Outside Consultant Urban Systems recently produced drafts of the District of Sooke’s Transportation Master Plan and Parks and Trails Master Plan. A group of Transition Sooke volunteers prepared responses to the Master Plans and successfully sought endorsement from Active Members.
Transportation Master Plan
Transition Sooke Response to the Sooke Transportation Master Plan: Embrace the Climate Emergency • Stop Unlimited Growth • Promote Personal Mobility
“Sooke is committed to creating a transportation system that prioritizes safe, sustainable transportation options for all Sooke residents. In doing so, a new approach to decision making related to transportation policy, planning, infrastructure, and services is envisioned where walking, cycling, public transit, goods movement, multi-occupant vehicles and single-occupant vehicles are ranked in descending order of priority.
The aspirations of the draft Transportation Master Plan, quoted above, are well intentioned. To privilege walking, cycling and transit over movement of automobiles is a radical approach, highly appropriate to these climate emergency times. However, the details of the plan do not actually
support the goals.
The proposed transportation network that the TMP describes is good; but it does not go far enough. If all parts of the plan are approved by Council, funding is secured, and the short-term action items are all completed within five years, the resulting walking/cycling networks of complete streets and off-road trails would be impressive and increase the safety of local active transportation. If the BC Transit Local Area plan increases regional and local bus routes and services in Sooke over the next three years, commuters of Sooke’s nearest residents in the subdivisions currently under
construction (Sun River, Broomhill, etc.) could reduce the number of car trips sooner than later.
But these are big ifs. Even though the goal is to complete all components of the plan, there is no guarantee that the maps included will in fact be built out in the timeframe of the plan.
Parks and Trails Master Plan
Review and Comments on Parks and Trails Master Plan
This plan can be found at: https://sooke.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Draft-PTMP-2020.pdf
Transition Sooke appreciates the call to preserve local ecosystems, protect urban forests, ensure future development does not disrupt wildlife corridors, and create a tree bylaw.
There are several ecosystem-preserving ideas incorporated into this plan such as on page 23 under “vegetation” where it says “add rain gardens and bioswales along trails . . . to infiltrate, clean and slow urban run-off.” On page 63, many of the actions suggested in 8.3 are forward-thinking.
Transition Sooke made extensive comments on the Transportation Master Plan, focused on more people-centred and less car-centric mobility. Those ideas also apply to this Master Plan. Similarly, the Parks and Trails Master Plan should become an integral part of transportation in Sooke.