Concerns about pedestrian safety and parking alongside the highway near Cathedral Grove in MacMillan Provincial Park have been raised for years.
Now the Ministry of Transportation is looking for public input on how to address those concerns.
The old growth forest found along Highway 4 between Parksville and Port Alberni is a popular destination, attracting roughly 500,000 visitors per year.
“As the park’s popularity continues to grow, so too have issues surrounding pedestrian safety and parking alongside the highway,” says a statement from the Ministry of Transportation.
“Park visitors, interest groups and people who live in surrounding communities will have a chance to shape future access to Cathedral Grove, with a series of open houses focusing on understanding and addressing safety concerns.”
The initiative called the Cathedral Grove Pedestrian and Traffic Safety Study will be seeking input both through the open houses, as well as with a survey and online public engagement starting on November 21st.
“The goal of this engagement process is to learn more about how to address safety and parking concerns at Cathedral Grove, while protecting environmental, social and cultural values.”
The ministry says input from the consultation period, along with feedback from First Nations and local government, will be used to guide the development of future safety initiatives. It expects to have initial plans in place by next spring.
The public information sessions will be held:
Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Port Alberni Friendship Centre, Clutesi Hall, 3555 4th Ave.,Port Alberni.
Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Oceanside Place, Multi-purpose room, 830 West Island Highway, Parksville.
The ministry says that for those unable to attend, an online feedback form may be filled out at: http://engage.gov.bc.ca/
People can also send comments or questions to the project team by calling 250 751-3126 or by email: [email protected]