Every resident of Sechelt should have access to safe walking spaces.
One of the most important roles of a councillor is approving new development applications.
I will use a walkability lens to determine how beneficial large developments are to the Sechelt community. Will the development make it easier and safer for residents and the neighbourhood to walk? If not, let's go back to the drawing board to think about ways that it could.
Walkability is a measure of how friendly an area is to walking. I value walking so highly because it is at the core of the Sechelt lifestyle. We walk our dogs, go jogging for health or stroll along the water at sunset. Our trails and paths are one of the District of Sechelt's greatest assets, and we need to continue to invest in them.
I grew up on the Davis Bay - Chapman Creek trail. When I was young, I would play in the forest there, as I grew I began using it for exercise and taking my dog out for walks. I now go there to escape from everything and calm my mind in the woods. That trail has been a part of my life for so long; it holds a special place in my heart, and I know many other residents have similar stories of other trails in Sechelt.
The real estate industry has developed a measurable Walk Score for communities. This method allows council to evaluate how successful they are in developing more walkable neighbourhoods.
The Walk Score program identifies several aspects of a walkable community, they include:
- A center: Walkable neighborhoods have a center, whether it's a main street or a public space.
- People: Enough people for businesses to flourish and for public transit to run frequently.
- Mixed income, mixed use: Affordable housing located near businesses.
- Parks and public space: Plenty of public places to gather and play.
- Pedestrian design: Buildings are close to the street, parking lots are relegated to the back.
- Schools and workplaces: Close enough that most residents can walk from their homes.
- Complete streets: Streets designed for bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit.
I support every one of these principals in all of our neighbourhoods and will work to encourage all of them as we build our community.
I have heard from residents that our trails are the most valuable part of our parks system. The new District of Sechelt Parks Masterplan supports this focus on trails, and I plan on exploring many of the ideas in the plan, including a Davis Bay to Downtown Sechelt Waterfront Trail.
Trail Bay Waterfront One of our many great walking areas. We need more places like this for everyone to have enjoyable walks.