The Town of Oliver: Active Transportation and Downtown Beautification
EcoPlan supported the Town of Oliver in implementing its Economic Development Strategy (which we also supported). The Elements of this plan incorporates active transportation, wayfinding, and downtown beautification. Each of these are discussed below.
Active transportation includes any form of human powered transportation: walking and cycling, scooters, wheelchairs, skateboards, in-line skating, etc. Supporting alternatives to driving can reduce emissions and fuel consumption, increase health and safety, and improve access to community services for non drivers. Bike-friendly towns are also a draw for outdoor recreation enthusiasts, promoting tourism and attracting potential residents.
Facilities that support active transportation include: sidewalks and bike lanes; crosswalks and crossing signs and signals; street signs or pavement markers; bike racks and lockers, and accessibility considerations such as ramps and path surfaces.
This plan refers to pedestrian and cyclist wayfinding, not vehicular wayfinding. Wayfinding is more than signage. Wayfinding is about the journey and experience of moving through the downtown area. Signage is an element of the journey. Good wayfinding helps create a better experience of places by facilitating navigation and orientation. It contributes to a sense of comfort and safety and works for, and is inclusive to, a diverse set of users (language, age, culture, abilities).
Successful downtowns are livable, complete communities that incorporate a mix of uses and support an enjoyable pedestrian experience. Unlike other smaller towns in BC, which have seen a gradual decline in downtown areas with the emergence of auto-oriented development and outward growth, Oliver maintains an active downtown area with a number of good assets to build on. Recent developments on Station Street are the realization of many years of dreaming and planning.
Main Street, meanwhile, presents a mixed story of well-loved new and old buildings, do-it-yourself appeal, and a little bit of neglect. This plan offers a range of small and large interventions that could help improve Main Street’s image.