Sunday August 8, 2021 | LANGFORD, BC
by Mary P Brooke, Editor | Island Social Trends
The section of the E&N Rail Trail between the railway crossing on Atkins Avenue and Savory Elementary School (SD62) on Grainger Road in Langford is substantively complete and now open for public use, as announced on July 30 by the Capital Regional District (CRD).
“This is another great step in expanding the E&N Rail Trail,” said Premier John Horgan, MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. “The people of Langford are proud of our incredible trails and paths and this new section will serve our community for commuting and recreation use for years to come.”
A note on the CRD Capital Projects page suggests that users of this section of the trail should be additionally cautious on the section of trail alongside Atkins Avenue as there is a small segment that is single lane width only.
The E&N Rail Trail – Humpback Connector is being constructed largely within the E&N rail corridor, in phases over a number of years, and will be approximately 17 km in length when complete.
West shore to Victoria:
“This completed section provides even more options for people to walk, ride or roll, and only adds to the vibrancy of our community from east to west ends,” said Mitzi Dean, MLA for Esquimalt-Metchosin. “I know many of my neighbours enjoy active transportation as it is a great way to reduce our carbon footprint and promote healthier lifestyles,” she said in the CRD release.
This newest section creates a continuous 13 km of trail between Jacklin Road in Langford and Esquimalt Road in Victoria. For this project the CRD received a $1 million grant through the BC Active Transportation program in 2019 (formerly BikeBC). The regional trail provides an important active transportation and recreation link between Victoria and the western communities.
“Recreation and active transportation lead to healthy communities,” said Regional Parks Committee Chair Rebecca Mersereau. “Completing this section of the trail creates a continuous corridor from Langford to Victoria that allows residents to recreate and commute actively. We are thankful for the BC Active Transportation program for helping us make this happen.”
Long-time Langford Councillor Lanny Seaton (who chairs the Langford Parks, Recreation, Culture & Beautification Committee) is a member of the CRD Regional Parks Committee.
The next phase of the E&N Rail Trail will link between Esquimalt Road and the Galloping Goose Regional Trail by the Johnson Street Bridge, in the City of Victoria. It will be constructed in part by CRD and by the City of Victoria.
The City and CRD are now working together on the planning and design stage of this project and will be seeking funding support from senior levels of government. Construction is currently planned to begin in 2022.
Part of regional transportation plan:
The Regional Trail Network is a key component of the CRD’s Regional Transportation Plan and will help improve the region’s mode share. The CRD has worked with local governments, electoral areas and agency partners to identify the regional transportation priorities which were confirmed by the Board and is now working on implementation strategies including ways to accelerate and fund the balance of the Regional Trail Network.
The CRD has three regional trails which form a nearly 100 km network connecting communities across Southern Vancouver Island. Offering recreation, fitness and active transportation opportunities to all ages and abilities, the Galloping Goose, Lochside and E&N regional trails see over 3.8 million visitors each year. Recreation and active transportation on these trails benefit physical health and contributes to healthier communities through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.