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Client: Bunt & Associates | District of PortHardy | 2021

The town of Port Hardy is located on the northernmost tip of Vancouver Island on the traditional territory of the Kwakiutl people, Gilakas’la. Home to approximately 4000 people, the District is interested in advancing active transportation by focusing on creating better connections and access to key destinations.

Providing transportation choices to those who do not drive, often including the most vulnerable people in society (children, people with lower incomes, people with disabilities, and the elderly)in order to get where they need to go was a key focus of the Plan. An example of just one of the town’s challenges is the aging population and the increase in the use of mobility scooters. Many residents find themselves in dangerous situations due to a lack of adequate and accessible active transportation infrastructure. The role of the technical consulting team was to assess the transportation network challenges and recommend opportunities for infrastructure upgrade projects that accommodate all ages and abilities.

The role of Uplift Co. was to create a Stakeholder Engagement and Communications Plan that successfully reached all members of the community to better understand the lived experiences and perceptions of the issues and opportunities. Uplift Co. worked together with District staff and the technical consulting team to identify and reach out to key community stakeholders, develop educational and promotional materials, and coordinate COVID-19-friendly town walk and wheel tours. We created online surveys (one using the Ethelo platform) to solicit input on several recommended projects. This work ultimately resulted in the Plan’s priority improvement projects being fully informed by the community. The Port Hardy Active Transportation Plan was presented to the Council the last week of March, with the final report submitted on March 31st,2021. Feedback from the Council was very positive, with inspiring discussion ensuing about the outreach and educational possibilities moving forward.

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