On July 18, the province’s Cycling Infrastructure Partnerships Program’s Bike BC Program announced that the city of Rossland is one of 16 communities to receive grant money to help build and improve local cycling infrastructure. Rossland’s portion of the grant is $25,000.
“We’re committed to investing in community cycling infrastructure to improve the health and well-being of all British Columbians. This investment will help make cycling a viable transportation option for families and communities, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, Blair Lekstrom, in a news release.
The city of Rossland will be applying the grant money to the new Trail Creek Trail, which will connect lower Rossland, starting at the corner of Victoria and Washington, with the clubhouse at Redstone. Phase One of the project was completed last year. It saw the trail built from the trailhead to Redstone Drive. Part of the grant money will be used to complete this section with top dressing, but the larger part of the funds will go towards completing phase two of the trail, which will extend the run from Redstone Drive to the Redstone clubhouse. Phase two of this particular project will begin in earnest August 15, the goal being to have the trail complete by mid-autumn.
The building of Trail Creek Trail is one of several of the city’s Active Transportation Plan (ATP) projects that are designed to reclaim the city’s legal right-of-ways through the town to improve recreation and also to better pedestrian access to services and destinations.
Recently, two “spurs”, or small connecting trails, or shortcuts, have been completed. One connects the end of Second Avenue to the Rail Grade and another connects Columbia Kootenay Road with Eight Avenue. The latter was just completed last week. The local Interact club aided with funding for those two projects, and the students in the club also helped brush-clear the area where the trail went in before the Kootenay Columbia Trails Society (KCTS) came in to do the actual trail building.
The next big project for the ATP, which will soon be put out to tender, is the LeRoi Hollow Trail, which will connect lower Rossland to just below Ferraro’s. Behind Ferraro’s there is a steep embankment ending in a flat section, currently used for snow dumping in the winter. From this flat section, there is a length of city-owned land that extends down to where Cook Avenue and Queen Street meet, and this is where the proposed trail would end.
With the 2009 completion of the Centre Star Gulch Trail, which connects with the Centennial Trail and comes out next to Esling Park Lodge on Spokane Street, the addition of LeRoi Hollow and the Trail Creek Trail will create a “spine” of trails through town that could mean those with epic biking aspirations can conceivably cycle (or hike, if you’re really ambitious) right from Red Mountain to Warfield and eventually to Trail, using a combination of ATP trails and KCTS trails like Centennial and the Wagon Road.
Other recently-completed ATP routes, or “trunk” trails, leading east-west through town connect Nevada Street to the museum through the ballpark, and Centennial Park with Nevada Street. Yet another trail connects Nevada with the Miner’s Hall through an old alley-way.
The ATP was submitted to council in January 2009 and approved, leading to the city allocating funds in its budget to help build the trail system, though, as mentioned in this story, funds from grants and organizations like Interact have been key in seeing some of these projects through.
For more information on the ATP, you can visit the city’s website to view and download the entire ATP plan, which includes details of proposed trails, photos of potential trail sites, and lots of maps that give a good idea of what the future might hold for pedestrian and cycling traffic in town.