Burns Lake Prioritizes Active Transportation

Burns Lake’s Active Transportation Plan capitalizes on community qualities and tourism potential.

The Village of Burns Lake, population 3600, is located near the centre of BC between Prince George and Prince Rupert. The area is home to six First Nations with two located within the Village: the Burns Lake Band and the Lake Babine Band. Burns Lake has evolved into a small, modern northern community.

Burns Lake developed an Active Transportation Plan in 2009, capitalizing on its community qualities that support active transportation as well as the village’s tourism potential: many destinations within walking distance, young and active population, and natural surroundings that attract residents and tourists seeking recreation and willing to engage in active travel. Some of the challenges to overcome in a successful active transportation network include: poor connectivity resulting from historic settlement pattern, safety concerns with on-street active transportation, steep topography, safety, and winter climate.

Planning and Partnerships

The planning process was funded through the Union of BC Municipalities and BC Recreation and Parks Association’s Built Environment and Active Transportation (BEAT) program that existed at that time. The plan was created over 5 months. The Village led the project and hired a consulting team to assist. Community residents were involved in identifying the existing conditions for active transportation at the outset of the process, and identifying key destinations. As recommendations were drafted, the planning team consulted with key stakeholders including landowners and key agencies.

Practical Implementation

The plan makes clear recommendations for project and priorities, maps out active transportation routes, provides design standards, and funding implications. The plan also includes a lot of direction for practical implementation, including:

  • Partnerships and programs to grow the active transportation culture of the community
  • Recommendations about how the Village bylaws and policies can be revised to encourage active transportation (e.g. bicycle parking requirements in the Zoning Bylaw)
  • Maintenance and operation recommendations for active transportation infrastructure
  • Various funding opportunities, from grants to individual donations

The Active transportation Plan has factored into the community’s economic development and community sustainability plans. Active transportation is woven into 2014 priorities for the village, e.g. downtown revitalization and OCP review. This Plan illustrates how the culture and potential of a place can be harnessed with active transportation planning.

Links to other community stories for active transportation planning

For more information contact:

Village of Burns Lake
Email: village@burnslake.ca
Phone: 250-692-7587

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