Be Car Free in the Comox Valley

Meeting report prepared by Tomiko Collins

On February 26th, the Courtenay Recreation Association hosted their Annual General Meeting at the Florence Filberg Centre. In conjunction with this meeting the CRA hosted a community forum entitled “Be Car Free”.

Approximately 80 valley residents gathered to hear presentations from various community groups. Presenting at this event was the Cycling Task Force, Active Comox Valley, GP Vanier Student Leadership, Access Comox Valley, Transit and the Cycling Coalition. The Mayor of Courtenay, Greg Phelps attended this event and the dialogue was chaired by Courtenay Council member Ronna-Rae Leonard.

The evenings activities focused on information exchange and dialogue. The night involved formal presentations, an open house and group work. Participants were asked to envision their ideal transportation system, suggest ways to celebrate their movement and imagine the situation for their fellow road sharers.

Many citizens shared their passion for cycling transportation, as well as walking. The desire for alternative cycling/walking pathways, as well as dedicated lanes for cyclist on major roadways was voiced.

This workshop was hosted to get citizens input and confirm the city’s commitment to healthy active lifestyles, and environmental sustainability.

The realization that alternative transportation is one of the components of a healthy community spring boarded this topic for the AGM.


Next Meeting Scheduled

The next monthly meeting will be

Thursday March 19th
7:00 to 9:00PM

The Salish Building (near the tennis courts)
Courtenay Recreation Centre
Lewis Park
V9N 3P5

This meeting is open to all


Minutes of Meeting February 19th 2009

prepared by Michael Collins , secretary
Meeting facilitator: Ed Schum
Attendance: 27 CVCCo members

7:05 PM Meeting called to order

Item 1: Should the CVCCo become a chapter of the BC cycling coalition or our own society in affiliation to the BCCC?
Motion by John Gadsby : “The CVCCo becomes its own independent society with affiliation with the BCCC”.

Seconded: Wilf Dreher
Vote: 27 in favour, 0 opposed
Motion passed

Item 2: How should the CVCCo website be operated?
1) Own site rather than a page on the BCCC site
2) Decided to move away from our existing free blogspot to give more potential
3) Which Domain? (where should we host this website) Tony to research options
4) Name/URL to be decided, members suggested three possible names;



Ed will send out suggestions to membership, poll results and get them to Tony asap

Item 3: The Comox Valley Cycling Coalition’s relationship with the Comox Valley Cycling Club (local group mainly involved in competitive cycling);
Motion by Jim Lister : “The Comox Valley Cycling Coalition should hold off on forming own society until March 10th 2009” to explore possibility of amalgamation with Comox Valley Cycle Club
Seconded: Ray Wagner
Vote: 3 in favor, 24 opposed
Motion denied

Item 4: Committees and working groups.
The membership of the coalition will form several interest groups to tackle specific jobs and areas of concern.

Road Maintenance and Standards
Tony Goodwin
Rick Clough
Steve Allan
Graham Garner
Wilf Dreher

Planning, Surveys and Mapping

John Gadsby
Doug Olstead
Sue Grant
Tomiko Collins
Kathleen Hennig
Bruce Johnstone
Wilf Dreher


Marguerite Masson
Stan Wood
Jan Gemmell
Dan Hanton
Betty Clough

Item 5: The CVCC role in “Be Car Free” event Thursday 26 February, Filberg Centre, 7pm;
Ed will make and deliver PowerPoint presentation
Tomiko will prepare banner and poster (budget $20)

Item 6: Establish Monthly meeting;
Third Thursday of every month

Item 7: Establish Weekly Reconnaissance rides;
Every Saturday 1pm, leaving from Courtenay Rec. Centre.

Item 8: Bike to Work week May 11-17;
Tony Goodwin is contact person
CVCCo will be involved with celebration stations and promotion.
Will be looking for volunteers later on.

Item 9: Earth Day - Saturday April 25 Simms Park 10-4;
CVCCo to have a table in the transportation pod, as a non-profit this will cost $25.

8: 54 PM Meeting Adjourned


Reconnaissance Ride - Saturday 21st February 2009

Ride report from Ed Schum

"Eight of our keen members showed up for the ride on February 21. The air was cool but the sun made riding very pleasant. The plan was to look at the Riverside trail to see what can be done to make it safer. After riding over 5th Street Bridge, we went under the bridge and up the set of stairs where bikes have to be carried. A smooth narrow strip of concrete on at least one side of the stairs would make it much easier to move bikes up or down these stairs.

The Riverside Trail is a pleasure to ride. At least for the first part after its start behind Central Builders.

The closer one gets to the Airpark the busier it gets with people walking, some with their dogs on loooong leashes.

This trail coming down a fairly steep hill from 17th Street Bridge meets the Riverside trail on a blind corner and needs a caution sign for cyclists to slow down.

The two steel posts in the middle of a sharp turn on the trail make it difficult for some cyclists, particularly with trailers to negotiate the turn. With the new landscaping in place they should no longer be necessary to keep cars off the trail. The concrete garbage container could be moved off the trail.

As mentioned earlier, once you get to the Airpark the traffic on the trail gets quite busy in the afternoon of a sunny day. There are many people walking with kids and dogs and kids riding their bikes and trikes. This is a great and true multi use trail and, in my opinion, cyclists should not expect to be able to ride on it at any speed.

There are a few corners that could be widened and a center line in some places might help to separate traffic going in different directions. Perhaps a few signs could explain who has the right-of-way and where people should walk or ride. But, in my opinion too many rules and regulations would spoil the trail.

This is the kind of trail where nobody should be in a hurry, everyone watch out for everyone and faster people yield to slower ones.

I would suggest that we leave this trail to pedestrians and only slow recreational riding and get one of the south-north running streets improved for faster cycling and commuting.

All of this is my personal opinion. Please let me know if yours is different. In the end we will leave it up to one of our committees to determine what the stand of our coalition on this trail is.

Wow, how can anyone say so little with so many words?



Meeting Agenda - Thursday February 19th 2009 - Comox Recreation Centre 7pm


Operate as a Chapter of the BCCC – or – form our own Society?
What do we want to get involved with?

Chip seal issue
Road standards
Road maintenance
Special events
Social events
Reconnaissance rides
Traffic laws
Traffic counts and surveys
Coalition clothing?

If you have any additional ideas, bring them to the meeting.

Forming of work groups/committees
We need more members involved in leadership roles.
Presently elected officers:

President, Recording Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Secretary, Media Relations, Webmaster, Social convener.

Additional appointed or elected positions:

Vice president(s)
Work group/committee leaders
Additional social convener(s)

‘BE CAR FREE IN THE COMOX VALLEY’ get-together, Feb. 26
Promote it as much as possible.
Presentation, Information Table-photos-posters-memberships.

Strategy to convince local governments that the majority of citizens are in favour of spending more tax dollars on improvements for cycling and walking instead of on getting more and more cars into our city centers.

Monthly meetings: Continue every third Thursday of month?
Reconnaissance rides: Every Saturday at 1:00 PM
Membership drive.
Open discussion