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The District of Ucluelet is excited to undertake detailed design for Peninsula Road (the project). This is the next step to advancing the community vision and priorities for this important streetscape and gateway to Ucluelet. The primary aims of this project are to enhance pedestrian, cyclist, and traffic safety for Peninsula Road – while also improving the aesthetic of the streetscape to reflect the local and unique “Ukee” character. This project will upgrade and expand dedicated bicycle routes, improve accessibility, enhance pedestrian safety, improve crossings, enhance traffic and parking safety, and set the framework to beautify 1.4 km of Ucluelet’s key commercial area on Peninsula Road between Forbes Road and Main Street. To provide continuity for the pedestrian and cyclist network, this project also includes design for a multi-use pathway (MUP) for Larch Road (see project area image below - click image to view larger version).
Planning for Change
This project is a significant opportunity for our community – it is also a significant change. Change comes will challenges. By working together as a community to identify concerns and challenges we can proactively plan for how to reduce and mitigate impacts. To be successful, we will need to work as a community to come to balanced and realistic solutions. The District and project team is committed to transparency through this important community project and process.
Community & Stakeholder Engagement
A key part of the project is continuing to engage with the community, stakeholders, and interest groups to maintain the District’s commitment to review and feedback opportunities. While we know this project will bring many positive benefits to our community once complete, we also recognize that the road changes and construction process will affect all of those who live, work, or visit our community. We also acknowledge that the project changes and construction will most affect the property owners/business/owners/tenants directly on Peninsula Road. The team will work together to answer the questions:
- “Is the concept design developed from input in 2019-2021 still supported?”
- “What are the concerns or challenges for the project?”
- “How can we best manage and reduce impacts of changes and construction?
Improving Peninsula Road has been a topic of community interest for many years. Driven by community input, the revitalization of the project area has become a priority for the District. Preliminary analysis and design ideas were developed in the 2019 Peninsula Road Streetscape Study and process. The 2019 study reviewed ideas and challenges for the area along with options for enhancing safety, mobility, character, and community values. Community review and feedback from the December 2019 open house shaped the project foundation and key design directions. The project’s aims and terms were then refined through the 2019-2022 Strategic Plan and the policies within the District of Ucluelet’s 2020 Official Community Plan (adopted January, 2022). Based on these community inputs and plans, a Conceptual Design package was developed in 2021 to support a grant funding application. Prior to detailed design development, the first step for the kick-off of this project is to gain community and stakeholder feedback on the existing Concept Design.
This project is possible since the District has secured grant funding, and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) is collaborating to align their re-paving of Peninsula Road. Without these two opportunities, the District would not be able to fund this project at present. The alignment of these opportunities is time-sensitive and specific to 2022/2023.
Relevant Policies & Approvals
- OCP Direction: The Official Community Plan (adopted January 2022) identifies Peninsula Road as the gateway and main approach into Ucluelet, a focal point for the District’s image and streetscape character, and a priority for accessibility and active transportation (pedestrian, cycle, and transit service). This document provides the overall guidance for the terms and aims of this project.
- MOTI Jurisdiction: The portion of Peninsula Road north of Main Street is under the jurisdiction of the BC Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure (MOTI). Planning and design of this portion of Peninsula Road will require coordination and ultimately approval from the MOTI.
- District of Ucluelet Mayor & Council: The The District of Ucluelet Council reviewed and approved the project terms and award. Council will be involved in milestone reviews through detailed design development as well as the tender award recommendation for construction.
Design Features & Objectives
The previous efforts have outlined key design criteria to be addressed in the detailed design, including, but not limited to:
- Accessibility: Improve the accessibility of existing crosswalks, sidewalks, and pathways, including adding additional crossings and paths on the northside of the road.
- Cycling: Develop protected one-way cycle paths in both directions, including improvements to the existing path on the south side. Prioritize separation of the cycle path from vehicle travel lanes to support all ages and abilities (AAA).
- Pedestrians: Improve walkability including improving sidewalks or paths on the south side and adding or improving pedestrian routes on the north side of Peninsula Road where possible.
- Traffic Calming: Provide improved safety and a calmed traffic speed that transitions from the highway condition arriving from the northwest. Include curbing extensions at intersections and crosswalks to support traffic calming and provide safety and comfort for pedestrians and cyclists.
- Intersections: Define intersections that balance the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles. Provide curbing extensions for shortened and protected crossings for pedestrians and cyclists.
- Character & Aesthetics: Go beyond “standard” highway design to enhance the travel experience and character to enhance the unique of Ucluelet. The design approach should build on Ucluelet’s distinct identity and character through furnishings, vegetation, hard landscape materials, and public art opportunities.
- Landscape & Maintenace: Trees, vegetation, and landscape features should support the safety of movement in the streetscape while contributing to the local sense of place. The landscape should enhance the character and comfort of the street while balancing practical, low maintenance needs. Principles of sustainability, water infiltration, and use of native and adaptive species should be used in planting and landscape design.
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