City boardwalk doing fine with multiple users

Despite complaints, boardwalk is holding up fine with wide variety of uses, says city staff

The city’s beach front boardwalk, officially opened in 2010, is standing up well, say city staff.

The city’s beach front boardwalk, officially opened in 2010, is standing up well, say city staff.

Despite some complaints to The News about wheeled use of the wood boardwalk along Parksville Bay, the city said it was always meant for a wide variety of uses.

Al Metcalf, city manager of operations, said the boardwalk, which opened in May 2010, is in good shape and appears to be handling the traffic as well as expected.

He said there is a $5,000 annual maintenance budget, which includes basic upkeep like sweeping and some cedar planks may have to be filled or replaced on occasion, but it is holding up well and they haven’t heard a lot of complaints.

Anecdotally, city officials and people using the popular boardwalk regularly say it is shared well between people strolling, older people in scooters, families on bikes and various wheeled contraptions

“The boardwalk has been a tremendous success,” said acting mayor Chris Burger.

“I haven’t heard a lot of concerns around conflicting uses,” he said, but admitted that as popular as it is, they do have to keep conflicting uses in mind in the future.

He said the more common complaint he hears is about unleashed dogs in the area — on which they are expecting a staff report in the near future.

Burger said his personal dream would be to eventually see a link of green trails and boardwalks along the entire city from Rathtrevor Provincial Park to French Creek.

But he pointed out that is a complex, expensive, long-term project, dealing with a lot of private property and environmental concerns and jurisdictions. The existing 445 metre wood walkway cost $820,000 and was largely paid for by grants and nearby businesses. Metcalf said the boardwalk has a budgeted life-cycle after which it would be replaced and while he didn’t know how long that would be, said it is likely decades away.


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