Community Association of Oak Bay talks safe transportation and accessibility

Community Association of Oak Bay invites residents to the fourth of their ongoing community conversations

Curb cuts, overbearing hedges and street furniture join the accessibility conversation hosted by Community Association of Oak Bay on Monday (Nov. 7).

“We’ve heard about accessibility and safe transportation in the community from a number of people,” said association president Kris Nichols. “Everyone has a say in this. No mater what you do in Oak Bay, you have to get around. So this has an impact on everybody.”

Tales run the gamut from his own daughter’s concerns riding her bike to school to those attempting to navigate narrowed portions of Oak Bay Avenue.

“Accessibility covers the full range from those that are very mobile and cycling and walking to those not very mobile in a walker or stroller or with a cane and just trying to get around,” Nichols said.  “It’s about keeping people healthy as well.”

Challenges are sometimes as simple as lack of street furniture allowing for breaks for those less mobile. It can mean good curb cuts for strollers and walkers; plus the conversation includes cycling infrastructure.

“We need to work on our bike lanes,” Nichols said. “We have a brand spanking new high school and yet we don’t have easy access for kids to get there on bike lanes.”

The association hopes to have a community conversation, with a diverse population represented, where they share information, and take away information.

“We have a number of speakers coming in for the first part to educate,” Nichols said. The second half features maps and discussion. “It’s all about looking at opportunities.”

They’re contacting schools, activity centres and local organizations in a bid to create a wide representation of the community.

“We just want to learn. At the end we’ll gather all this information and present it to council,” Nichols said. “In Oak Bay there’s not a lot of opportunity for this. For people to come and talk about things that are not in the (council’s) strategic plan or at the forefront of what council is looking at. But they need this.”

The Community Association of Oak Bay hosts the free community conversation forum Nov. 7 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Emmanuel Baptist Church, fireside lounge, 2121 Cedar Hill X Rd.