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Pedestrian connectivity plan for Didsbury in the works

Active Transportation Fund grant will cover 100 per cent of eligible expenditures up to $50,000 for mapping out pathways in Didsbury and address development needs
MVT Didsbury aerial pathway
Trails around the wetland ponds in Didsbury. The municipality applied for funding under a new federal program in support of promoting and encouraging pedestrian traffic in town. File photo/MVP Staff

DIDSBURY - The Town of Didsbury has been successful in a grant application to cover the cost of a proposed pedestrian connectivity master plan for the community, council heard during its recent meeting.

The town applied for an Active Transportation Fund grant earlier this year.

“The grant will support 100 per cent of eligible expenditures, up to $50,000, for the project,” said Ethan Gorner, the Town of Didsbury's chief administrative officer.

The project funding will be used to develop a pedestrian connectivity master plan.

“The plan will map out a network of trails and pathways that will connect throughout the town and address rehabilitation and development needs of existing pathways.”

He cited a number benefits of developing the plan, including providing more community space, offering alternatives to driving, grant universal accessibility, steer foot traffic towards local businesses, improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and promote health in the community.

“This project will help guide capital funding to the pedestrian transportation network, which is set to commence in 2024,” he said.

The next step in the project will be for the town to issue a request for a proposal for a consultant to come in and prepare the plan, council heard.

The preparation of the plan is expected to include public, staff and council engagement.

The plan itself is expected to include possible expansion of the town’s path system going forward.

Development permit report

Meanwhile, during the July 12 council meeting, Gorner also presented the 2022 second quarter development permit report. 

In the second quarter, 12 permits were issued for development-related residential use, with 2022’s total now numbering 24.

Total construction value in the second quarter was $1.6 million, with 2022’s total now topping $2.6 million.

Two permits were issued for developments related to commercial use, with nine issued so far this year. Total construction value in the first quarter was $18.9 million.

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