FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Peace River Regional District made a Presentation to Fort St. John City Council regarding the Connecting Communities Trails Feasibility Study.
The presentation made by Jana Zelenski, Landscape Architect of Lanarc Consulting, shared the results of a feasibility study on creating a trail system to connect Fort St. John to Charlie Lake and another trail that goes from Dawson Creek to Pouce Coupe.
Zelenski shared, it has been a challenging project yet listening to the community by gathering information from events such as Canada Day helped start the direction for the study.
The greatest input for the study came from families and woman; it was necessary for the study according to Zelenski to know what was important to users and also what are the concerns.
Research obtained from eight different Regional Districts about how they planned their regional trail designs was an important step knowing this is a large scale project. Once the study has been presented. The next big step would be figuring out funding.
People expressed their desire for options that include non-motorized activities. One of the challenges the study faced was to determine a starting point for the trail system and the use of private property also being an implication of where the trails would be mapped out.
Nine options for trails were screened down by a series of questions, from those nine trails three were considered to have good potential as a 7 km trail, with one design being deemed a future trail extension as it would end in Beaton Provincial Park.
Option A – Would connect Charlie Lake Elementary and the Tse-Kwa Caves
Option B – A robust public support for this option yet more constraints
Of the two main trail ideas presented they were close in cost to create yet held different implications to the environments in which they would run through.
Option A Cost – 4.8 to 7.7 Million
Option B Cost – 5 to 7.5 Million
At the end of the presentation, Mayor Lori Ackerman addressed her concerns that not all parties were addressed during the study such as the First Nations as Fish Creek is to remain a wildlife corridor as well as concerns as to who would be responsible for maintaining and policing the trail.
Councillor Trevor Bolin spoke on Option 7 addressed in the original 9 trails and suggested that running alongside the Alaska Hwy would only involve two landowners.
Council moved for City Staff to create a report on the best trail option.
To view the presentation, CLICK HERE