A Yellow Point Trail

Update, December 2022

The Yellow Point Trail idea is still cycling through the hoops of government.          

  • The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI)  has been asked to continue widen the side of the road from Code Road to the Kiss & Go (Park & Ride) up by the highway.
  • With the federal gas tax awarded to the project, the CVRD is hiring an engineer to determine where exactly Phase 1 of the trail will go. We’ve been told it will probably go from the Chuckwagon Store towards the North Oyster Fire Hall. How far they’ll get with the money they have ($380,000) is still unknown.
  • The new Regional Director for RDN Area A, Jessica Stanley, has attended a Steering Committee meeting and has been briefed on the project and will do her best to influence her Parks & Trails people of the importance of getting the project done—especially around areas that children walk to school.
  • CVRD’s Area H Director Ben Maartman had a chance to chat with MoTI Minister Rob Fleming so he is aware of the project as well.  He realized there’s difficulties with their Active Transportation grants when the project scope is as big as ours. With any luck, he’ll figure out how it can get done more efficiently.
  • The CVRD hired a company to look at all the active transportation routes real and imagined throughout the entire area and solicited the public’s help in prioritizing the most important ones. The Yellow Point Trail has been deemed very important. They will publish their full report soon.  To access it, go to Plan Your Cowichan
  • We are still working on getting help from the Stz’uminus Band with a possible link through Oyster Sto’ Lo to the Kiss & Go making it easier for everyone to get to businesses there without the use of fossil fuels. Got any ideas?
  • The TransCanada Trail is another issue we want to tackle. Could our trail be the link people could use who want to travel from the Cowichan Valley Regional Trail to the Nanaimo Parkway Trail?  Could we become a hub for all trails in the area?  With the help of the Nanaimo Airport who has publicly said they will build a trail on their land over to the Cottonwood Golf course.

If you’re interested in helping out with any aspect of this project, give Pamela a call at 250-245-9155

Update, October 1st 2021

Citizen Survey

A few keen local citizens donned their hiking boots and clip boards and walked the proposed trail from the Chuckwagon Store to the Crow & Gate. They were looking for two things: the answer to the questions, “If we had a trail on just one side, which would it be?” and “What natural and man-made impediments are in the way of creating a trail. Everything from culverts to boulders to hydro poles and fences was carefully marked on maps. The information was put onto a map using GIS technology by Carrie-Lynn Robinson, a VIU GIS (Geographic Information Systems) along with actual photos of the troubled spots. It is hoped that all this work will save money in the long run when we put the “shovels in the ground.”

Our conclusion is that a widened shoulder is feasible, but we need a feasibility study for the separated multi-use trail, which may need some detours.  We presented the survey results at the second meeting of the Joint Management Committee in April with MOTI, RDN and CVRD,  and we are working with the RDN and CVRD Directors for support to apply for Active Transportation Funds or Gas Tax to fund this. We also presented a proposed Terms of Reference for the Committee and need further board approvals to move forward on this. 

Widening More Shoulder

MOTi has now complete the shoulder from Haslam to Yellow Point Road on one side, and plans to install a shoulder on the other side back to Code Rd and then to the Highway. There is a path on both sides of the road from Quennel to Yellow Point Road. 

Trans Canada Trail Link

We have had discussions with CVRD and RDN staff in regards to the Trans Canada Trail. The trail could come from Ladysmith to the Diamond and along to Cedar, across the highway to the Park and Ride, along the secondary road to the east of the highway to the airport, around the airport on a dedicated trail to the golf course, and then down Haslam Road and along Cedar Rd. This change in the route would mean that the Trail would not have to stop at the Nanaimo River where it waits for money for a bridge to be put in. Funds already allocated for the bridge could be used to create a dedicated off-road path instead. A path through the airport lands has already been proposed and is awaiting approval from the Nanaimo Airport Board. More on this soon!

Yellow Brooms

Yellow Brooms have been put up around Cedar Road where the pavement has been widened to accommodate bicycles and buggies and buddies walking side-by-side. To keep the path free of gravel, we have installed a few yellow brooms. Help everyone out by brooming away the rocks as you roll by.  Together, we can make it better.

Yellow Point Trail Video

We are making a short video about the need for the Yellow Point Trail . If you’re interested in seeing your name in lights, give Pam a call. 250 245-9155.

Support for the Trail

New Yellow Point Trail business cards have been designed and printed. We are handing them out to people in the area who are interested in and would like to know about the trail. If you’d like some, let us know; we have a limited supply.

We are planning a future public meeting on the trail. If you would like to be on our mailing list please sign up and indicate your interests on the form HERE.

Update, December 18th 2020

The RDN, CVRD and Ministry of Transportation have approved YES leadership of the new Joint Management Committee, and our goal now is to find $28,000 to pay for a Feasibility Study for the proposed trail.

Thanks to all the Yellow Bikes publicity and community support, the Ministry of Transportation decided to prioritize adding a paved bike lane to Cedar Road between Code Road and Haslam Road, which is now complete, and just awaits painting. We have asked if they can extend it up into Cedar, but that will depend on their next year’s budget. We asked if they could paint a double white line to separate the bike path from the road to create more safety for cyclists, but they resisted, saying it would cost an extra $50,000, which was not in their budget. We still aspire to have a properly separated multi-purpose trail along that stretch.

Previous Updates

The community response to the Yellow Bikes, the article in Take 5 Magazine, and on the Cedar and Yellow Point Facebook groups has been very positive. 90% of the comments on Facebook are either enthusiastically supportive, or supportive as long is taxes are not raised to pay for a trail.

We have a strong committee guiding our way forward. Thanks to everyone who is helping!

On September 15th we presented to the RDN Board, where we received a very positive response. A Notice of Motion was proposed that the RDN name one person to join the Joint Management Committee, and offer its support for the project. This will be voted on at the next RDN Board Meeting on October 27th

On September 15th we presented to the CVRD Electoral Area Services Committee, where we received a similarly positive response, referring our request to the CVRD Board on October 14th. This is the slide deck that we presented:

Our Vision

We have a vision of safe, healthy, sustainable travel and recreation in the Yellow Point area – and everywhere.

We believe there is a strong need in Yellow Point for a safe separated trail that could be used by walkers, cyclists, mobility devices and, in some areas, horse riders.

Practically, there may need to be a combination of trail designs to suit local conditions and the cost of building, with a separated trail in some areas and a widened shoulder in others. The trail’s development could also be phased to address areas of higher need first. 

The Proposed Route

We propose a 22 kilometres multi-use trail connecting local parks, schools, businesses, markets and community centres, in a circular route around Yellow Point and Cedar roads, with 10 km of connectors: 

(a) from the Chuckwagon to the Highway 1 / Cedar Rd S. Park and Ride and to Nanaimo airport/bus stop

(b) From Cedar Road N. to Macmillan Road, on the way to the Duke Point Ferry.

The Tofino-Ucluelet Trail

Local Connections

The trail would connect users to nine parks, including Hemer, Roberts Memorial, Yellow Point Park, Wildwood Ecoforest, and the Ladysmith Bog Ecological Reserve, and to:

  • Farms, farm stands, agricultural recreation, McNab’s corn maze
  • Schools – Cedar Elementary and Secondary, North Oyster and Woobank
  • The softball fields in Cedar
  • Churches –  Cedar United and St Phillip’s Anglican
  • Cedar and North Oyster community centres
  • Businesses, stores and markets, including 49th Parallel Grocers and Friesen’s
  • Resorts and campsites, including Yellow Point Lodge, Zuiderzee, Inn on the Sea
  • Pubs, Cafes and Restaurants, including the Crow and Gate, Coco Café, Slice Resto, the Mahle House, the Wheatsheaf and the Cranberry Arms.
Lake Minnetonka Regional Park Trail, Minnesota

Where Should the Trail Go?

The path would be built within the existing Right of Way (ROW), on land that is owned by the province. The roads along the proposed route are typically 6 metres wide on a 20 metres ROW, allowing 7 metres of space on either side for a trail. In some areas, the property lines are wonky, so the layout may need to vary.

In many places the roads are unsafe for non-car users, with blind hills, blind bends, narrow shoulders, and some drivers who are just going TOO FAST!

Cedar Rd has a fog line and narrow paved shoulder, but Yellow Point Road is mostly without a paved shoulder and is probably more dangerous.

Potential Path Users

  • Our kids walking to school
  • Cyclists commuting, exercising and volunteering and touring
  • Neighbours visiting
  • Dogwalkers going to the parks
  • Horseriders
  • Businesses and community services – bike repair, coffee shops, farm stalls, softball players
  • And so much more
A trail on Salt Spring

Future Potential Connections

In the long run, the train could connect to other present and future trails:

East Bay Bike Path, Portsmouth, Rhode Island

Gathering Support

We have received letters of support from

  • Paul Manly MP
  • Doug Routley ML
  • School District 68
  • Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce
  • Nanaimo Airport
  • Mahle House
  • North Oyster School PAC
  • Yonder Wood
  • 49th Parallel Grocery
  • Cedar United Church
  • Diane Andrews, Mid-Island Horse Country

What’s Next?

We need to:

  • Demonstrate sufficient local support for the project 
  • Engage key stakeholders including MOTi, CVRD and RDN to plan the project
  • Form a broader committee and a RDN Area A/CVRD Area H partnership, to advance the project,
  • Obtain funding for an initial Feasibility Study
  • Complete the various project stages, including
    • Planning and conceptual design 
    • Preliminary design
    • Detailed design
    • Tender and construction
  • Timeline could be from 2 to 10 years

Finding the Funding

We are looking for funds that are available for green infrastructure projects:  

  • BC Active Transportation Infrastructure Grant 
  • Gas tax 
  • COVID Community Infrastructure Grant
  • Other grants and donors

The Annual Bike vs. Bear Race

If you are interested to help, please contact Pamela Walker, 250-245-9155. If you’d like to share your thoughts, or make a comment, scroll down below to “Leave a Reply”. Thanks!