Nanaimo councillor floats cross-Island trail

NANAIMO – Coun. George Anderson wants communities to start discussing the creation of an Island rail trail.

A cross-Island E&N trail could help steer tourists into Nanaimo into the cycling tourism market, but municipalities need to get on board with a strategy, says city councillor George Anderson.

Anderson wants Nanaimo city council to help lead local governments and the Island Corridor Foundation into discussions of a potential Island-wide E&N trail. Municipalities have talked about a major trail network for years, but until now communities have focused resources on building their own pathways. There has been no co-ordinated effort to link communities, despite potential benefits around safety, recreation and tourism, Anderson said.

“I’m not asking council to put any money down … [but] this is something municipalities along the corridor have been talking about for a while and I want to see us actually have a dialogue on how to achieve it,” he said. “It [wouldn’t] only provide recreational ability, but commute between communities and potential revenues for tourism as well.”

According to Nanaimo tourism experts, cycling tourism is becoming big business and a connector across the Island could help steer Nanaimo into the market. Dan Brady, chairman of the tourism leadership committee, said international and B.C. tourists are looking for places where they can book day cycles and longer-term trips between communities. The Capital Region’s Galloping Goose and Lochside Trails, for example, are an inter-city connector that allows people to travel from Swartz Bay to Sidney and Victoria.

While the Harbour City has trails, Brady believes an inter-city connector could build on the momentum of sport tourism and make highways safer for cyclists and pedestrians interested in traveling across the Island.

“I know a ton of people constantly ride back and forth to Victoria … and you are fighting traffic and almost getting run over,” Brady said. “The thought of the E&N being cycle-friendly … or a hiking route where people can [catch] the ferry to Victoria … ride up through Lake Cowichan and Duncan to Nanaimo – it would be world class.”

Brady and others interested in an Island link say one of the biggest questions in a project of this scope would be funding. A single kilometre of E&N trail can cost between $200,000 and $500,000, according to the City of Nanaimo. Some areas of the E&N trail – including Nanaimo’s north end – also have trestles and steep rock cliffs that are expensive to build across.

Anderson is set to start discussion about a new strategy for a cross-Island route during an open meeting Sept. 9.

Just Posted

Construction work continues on the City of Nanaimo’s new Fire Station No. 1 on Fitzwilliam Street. (News Bulletin file)
Next phase of borrowing approved as Nanaimo fire hall construction ongoing

City of Nanaimo CAO says construction on Fitzwilliam Street hall on schedule and budget

Nanaimo Fire Rescue firefighters at the scene of a single-vehicle crash on Tenth Street near Southside Drive on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Driver OK after crashing vehicle off the side of Nanaimo’s Tenth Street

Crews say wet roads a factor a crash Sunday, June 13

Emergency crews on scene of a two-car crash at the intersection of Cranberry Avenue and the Trans-Canada Highway on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Crash blocks Cranberry intersection in Nanaimo, no one injured

Incident blocks both southbound lanes of Trans-Canada Highway

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

Nanaimo is the first city in Canada to subscribe to the Chonolog environment photo-monitoring system, which allow residents to contribute photos of habitat restoration projects that are converted to time lapse sequences showing environmental changes. (Chris Bush/ News Bulletin)
Nanaimo residents invited to be citizen scientists by sharing habitat restoration photos

Nanaimo first city in Canada to sign up for Chronolog environment photo monitoring service

Emergency crews on scene of a two-car crash at the intersection of Cranberry Avenue and the Trans-Canada Highway on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Crash blocks Cranberry intersection in Nanaimo, no one injured

Incident blocks both southbound lanes of Trans-Canada Highway

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

Harvesting hay in the Fraser Valley. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
COVID-19: B.C. waives farm income requirement for a second year

Property owners don’t need minimum income for 2022 taxes

A view of the outside of St. Andrews Roman Catholic Cathedral on Victoria’s Blanshard Street. (Don Denton/News staff)
Vancouver Island bishop apologizes for church’s role in residential schools

Bishop Gary Gordon of the Diocese of Victoria voices commitment to healing and reconciliation

Cruise ship passengers arrive at Juneau, Alaska in 2018. Cruise lines have begun booking passengers for trips from Seattle to Alaska as early as this July, bypassing B.C. ports that are not allowed to have visitors until March 2022 under a Canadian COVID-19 restrictions. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)
B.C. doesn’t depend on U.S. law to attract cruise ships, Horgan says

Provinces to get update next week on Canada’s border closure

This undated photo provided by Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails shows a scout donating cookies to firefighters in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as part of the Hometown Heroes program. As the coronavirus pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many Girl Scout troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons. That resulted in millions of boxes of unsold cookies. (Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails via AP)
Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies

Since majority of cookies are sold in-person, pandemic made the shortfall expected

Most Read