The town held an Ideas Fair on May 1 as part of their consultation process with the public for their Active Transportation Plan. (Trevor Hewitt photo)

Smithers moves forward with Active Transportation Plan

Smithers Active transportation plan is on the move.

Smithers Active transportation plan is on the move.

Last week the town held an Ideas Fair to discuss it’s Active Transportation Plan (ATP).

Active transportation refers to human-powered methods of getting around, such as biking, walking or skateboarding.

According to ATP coordinator Liliana Dragowska, the purpose of the plan is to establish goals, targets and strategies the town can pursue over the next decade to improve active transportation options around the town.

READ MORE: Smithers gets active transportation money

She says that there are many benefits to active transportation, such as helping to fight obesity and chronic illnesses like Type 2 diabetes and offering independent mobility to residents of all ages and incomes — many of which do not have a vehicle.

“It brings economic benefits by reducing the social costs of transportation, supporting local stores and services, and attracting tourists who wish to get around without a car.” she said.

“It enhances street life, increasing citizen interaction and improving personal security.”

As part of this process, the town has offered residents the chance to give input on the plan through a public survey between April 15 and May 24.

READ MORE: Public engagement on active transportation begins April 15

Dragowska said they’ve had about 85 responses so far.

In addition to the survey, the public has also been encouraged to take photos of human-powered transportation in town using the #SmithersATP hashtag.

So far they’ve received around a dozen through instagram and email, a number Dragowska said they are trying to increase.

“[We] encourage our community to go online to complete the Survey and participate in the photo mapping by following @smithersatp on Instagram and uploading photos with #smithersATP or emailing them to active@smithers.ca”

She said that once the survey, photo mapping and key community stakeholder interviews have been completed, a summary of the feedback they have received through the public and stakeholder consultation process will be made public.

VOTE: Should Smithers be spending money on making the town more friendly to human-powered transportation?

As for the town itself, when asked about whether residents of Smithers could expect to see town staff on bikes one day, Dragowska said we’re already there.

“No joke, the Town Hall staff have two bikes that are available in the summer months for errand, sight visits, and other town business,” she said.

“Electric vehicles would be the next logical improvement to our town fleet when it comes time for replacement.”

Smithers ATP survey is open to the public until May 24.

The town will be accepting photos as part of its photo mapping initiative until June 7.



trevor.hewitt@interior-news.com

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