Access to the University of British Columbia's Okangan campus by bicycle has been a long standing issue. Cycle commuters from the Rutland area have to cross a bridge on the highway that has no shoulder northbound, and those from the Mission/Downtown/Glenmore area have tradtionally used Robert Lake Road, a private road with significant legal access issues extending over the past two decades. Despite these difficulties, there is a large and regular cycle commuter group.
The University of British Columbia is a strong supporter of sustainability and has devoted considerable effort into working with the city, the railroad industry, and the landowners on Robert Lake Road to develop a safe and legal route into campus for cycle commuters. Despite these efforts, there is no concrete plan in place that has a likely completion date within the next two years.
The acquisition of the endowment lands to the northwest of the campus provides us with a new opportunity to solve this problem. A potential route was scouted using a soft-terrain bicycle through the Endowment lands to the Mountain Weather Office on campus, and mapped using a GPS device (see attached image). This route is less than two kilometers long, has a maximum grade of less than seven percent, and is mostly flat. While at the moment the surface is primarily a grassy field, a bike path that could be ridden by novice cyclists could easily be created using a crushed gravel surface.
Advantages to the University and the University community:
1. A solution to the ongoing legal issues with the Robert Lake land owners, saving both time and legal expense.
2. A route to campus that is not intimidating to a new or novice cycle commuter, increasing the number of people willing to consider alternative transportation.
3. Reduced usage of automobile-specific infrastructure, such as parking and vehicle access.
4. A concrete milestone in achieving the University's mandate of reducing its ecological footprint.
Please join me in signing this petition to the University so that our voices can be heard in support of this plan!