City Council

Pride Walk built in Prince George


The Prince George Pride walk was built today near the Days Inn. The walk was unanimously voted in favour at city council. Prince George Pride Society pushed to get the walk built in the community. This is added to the pride flag which is being flown at city hall. The pride parade, which is taking place on July 9th, will certainly be highlighting the new cross walk. Feelings of how the city has changed over the years could be heard while the paint was being mixed. Composed of rock and reflective materials the paint is expected to last longer than traditional cross walk paint even in the winters of Prince George.

The walk was built days after a massive shooting at a gay club in Orlando, Florida which claimed the lives of 49 people and injured over 50. Outpouring of support has been happening all across North America, a vigil was held on Monday May 13 to show support for the victims and their families of the shooting.


By: Grant Bachand (Twitter) @grantbachand

Parking in bike lanes no longer allowed


City council passed a bylaw which makes it an offence to park in bike lanes in Prince George. This motion was put forward by Jillian Merrick to help improve cyclists safety.  The motion passed with only one dissenting voice. Brian Skakun felt that the bike lanes were under used by the public and the added costs that would be needed to improve parking options were unnecessary. This new bylaw will affect 69km of  the 72 km of bike lanes in Prince George. The 3km of bike lanes which are not affected need more work before ready for the new bylaw. The process for this motion it was long, it was brought in front of council on February 1st 2016. At that time the motion was referred to staff to conduct a study on how would imposing these restrictions would affect the community. L&M Engineering as hired to perform the study at a cost of $70,000. The study included a feasibility analysis and a way to implement the new bylaw.

There was many problematic areas around the community; Rainbow Park, CN Centre, outside the Phoenix Medical Centre, and the PG soccer fields were among the most discussed. Complaints relating to lack of parking option at Rainbow park and the distance of the parking options for the Soccer fields were some of the complaints heard by the city. It was due to these complications that particular areas like those ones were except for a time being until proper accommodations were put in place by the city.

The city will allow for an educational period where signs are put up and information is given to the community about these new regulations. This will include warnings by bylaw officers and information in local media. Though eventually towing and tickets will be brought in, this was some of the statements made by Brian Skakun.

According to 7,500 people a year are injured while riding bikes. Cyclists are more likely to be injured or killed at an intersection or at a location with a traffic signal or other traffic control signal.

Public transit in PG getting high customer satisfaction


In Monday night's meeting in front of city council BC Transit representatives Chris Fudge and Shilpa Panicker along with the new transit planner, Josephine Macharia told council about the future of transit in Prince George. The team went over short and long term changes to the transit system in Prince George as well as the current state of affairs. Chris Fudge stated that customer service in Prince George is high and this is a result of the good work done by the staff. Prince George transit has been characterized by some students as under par with a lack of transit options on weekends and statutory holidays. This has left students feeling stranded on campus in many situations creating a divide between UNBC and the community of Prince George. Transit has been a focus for many of the city councillors at UNBC with Lyn Hall making election promises to improve transit. Action of public transit has been slow with a 5 year plan being put in place and no action on that plan happening for two years.

In the long term transit in Prince George will have some changes, with the introduction of rapid transit lines (buses that make few stops) and frequent transit lines (buses that come every 15mins). These changes are however over the long term which could be over the ten years. In the next 5 years expect transit to expand into the statutory holidays and a increase in the hours of operation of the buses. All of these changes though planned will be based on the fiscal situation of BC Transit which has been experiencing funding challenges. Lyn Hall stated that he would like to see an earlier implementation of these short term changes sooner rather than later.

Ridership has been down over the last couple years going from 2,032,972 in 2013-2014 to 1,877,966 in 2015-2016. This decrease in ridership has made it difficult for the city and BC transit to improve the services here in Prince George. Funding from the provincial government has been frozen for the last two years and created a financial pinch for BC Transit. Prince George makes up 53.31% of the funding for public transit and the province makes up 46.69%. In order to improve the service Lyn Hall believes that the city needs to be lobbying the provincial government to get the improvements that are needed done.

It is unclear when the longer hours and the service on statutory holidays are gonna happen BC transit has been reluctant to place any time horizons on the expansion. So for the time being prepare for the same as usual with the transit in Prince George.




POLS 320 Students Present to City Council

POLS 320 City Council Photo by Jason Morris @JPols

Students from UNBC POLS 320 class presented the results of their class project at Monday's city council meeting. POLS 320 is a political science class at UNBC which focuses on teaching students how to conduct university level research in an applied fashion.  Over the years the class has done various projects, this year they focused on voter apathy amongst youth 18-35. They concluded that youth are voting and are "politically engaged."

The results  showed that over 80% of respondents participated in the most recent federal election. It also showed that most youth are not in favour of lowering the voting age but looking to more digital ways of voting for the future. This spurred city councillors to talk about the possible return of the debate of electronic voting

However the results do show a bit of a bias according to the students that presented stating that most of the surveys came from UNBC and not enough came from the community.  Garth Frizzell was impressed by the students and happy to see students are engaged in the political process, he asked if their was ways to improve those numbers even more. One of the students stated that more engagement with young people will continue to encourage those numbers to improve.

By Grant Bachand @grantbachand