Sunday, April 14, 2024
April 14, 2024

Island Pathways thanks transportation commission volunteers for efforts over the years

By JEAN GELWICKS

Before the Salt Spring Island Transportation Commission (SSITC) is no longer and the transition into the elected Local Community Commission (LCC) takes place, Island Pathways (IP) and the Partners Creating Pathway (PCP) Committee of IP would like to say a huge thank you to all the islanders who volunteered to be SSITC commissioners (past and present) and everyone else who sits around the transportation commission table, for all your hard work with IP volunteers since the commission’s creation some 15 years ago.

Island Pathways was one of the transportation commission’s first delegations, at the request of Gary Holman (CRD director at the time), who formed the commission. He was keen to promote community pathways around Ganges village. He wanted to introduce the commissioners to IP and their PCP Committee in the hope that we could work together on a community pathway network. This network of pathways into and around Ganges had been the dream of the Salt Spring Island community for years but was just not happening. Two Parks and Recreation Commission task forces had recommended the idea. Gary Holman also wanted to get a local transit system up and running.

The good news is . . . all these years later, we have an award-winning community transit system and the dream of the Ganges Village Pathway Network is a reality.

We are so proud of what we have accomplished. We are very aware of our pathway users. We see young students, older folks and everyone in between on the pathways at different times of day. We see dog walkers, parents with kids in strollers, family groups, runners and running groups, hikers and bikers from on and off island, school groups and mobility scooter users. We have even seen a unicycle, a young lady on a horse and a few wheelchairs. We have seen users in the early morning going to work or school, and using pathways through the day, to the evening and in the dark. We see them in all kinds of weather, from sunshine to rain and even in the snow.

The very good news is . . . they are all walking/cycling/mobility scootering safely on off-road pathways. Before these pathways were constructed they were all using the side of the roads, dodging the traffic (that kept increasing) and each other . . . not very safely.

We are very proud of our relationship with the transportation commission and the network of pathways we have created together. Thank you for community pathways: open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for absolutely everyone, and free.

We look forward to working with the new LCC on expanding the network of community pathways to the whole island.

The writer is an Island Pathways board member and chair of the Partners Creating Pathways Committee.

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