This is part of a six-phase approach, which includes four meeting with council – the most recent being the second – as well as engaging with a developed Stakeholder Committee and the general public as a whole.
“Since then we’ve had a stakeholders meeting with a number of interested parties,” Shopland said. “…Today’s presentation is going to be about what the results from the stakeholder meeting were, some goals and visions we’d like council to look at… and also some next steps.”
Some of the feedback presented to council in shaping the Transportation Master Plan includes addressing “poor conditions of roads,” enhancing snow clearing, widening sidewalks to better accommodate wheelchairs and strollers, ensuring roads are accessible throughout all four seasons, and considering the predicted rapid growth of the city’s population
A part of shaping the Transportation Master Plan is looking at traffic behavior, traffic volumes, and safety performance.
When looking at behavior, Shopland and his crew discovered 69 per cent of drivers in Fort St. John will commute alone while 8 per cent will engage in a carpool. They also found 8 per cent of residents take advantage of the city’s public transit while 15 per cent get around town through active means of transportation, such as walking or bicycling.
One per cent of residents are grouped as “other method” commuters.
The most congested parts of town include 100 Avenue and the Alaska Highway, 100 Avenue and 100 Street, as well as 93 Avenue.
There are three high risks zones for vehicle collision based off of data collected in 2008 – 2012. These zones include 100 Street and 100 Avenue, 100 Street and the Alaska Highway, as well as 100 Avenue and the Alaska Highway.
“To do all this stuff, we pulled it from multiple data sources, including traffic counts, census data, ICBC and MOTI collision stats data, and then the city’s GIS information,” Carlstrom said.
In addressing the importance of the public awareness in regard to the city’s findings and plans moving forward, Mayor Lori Ackerman encouraged members of the stakeholders group to help spread the information across the community.
“We often speak about educating our public on issues, and I’m wondering if there’s an opportunity when we have accomplished the end of this project, if there’s a way of informing and educating the public on transportation,” Mayor Ackerman inquired. “…I think that the people you have that are committed to being a part of the stakeholder group… can all be a part of providing input into how we can do this because they would best know how to reach their stakeholders as well.”
Those who are a part of the Stakeholders Committee include, but are not limited to SD 60, Fort St. John and District Chamber of Commerce, the Mayor’s Accessibility Committee, NEAT and B.C. MOTI.
The next phase in the Transportation Master Plan is reviewing special transportation issues and undertaking a parking policy strategy, which will take place January – February. The next meeting of the Stakeholder Committee will be sometime between February – March, which will also include another City Council presentation, as well as engaging in public input.