VICTORIA -- The Township of Esquimalt is looking to hear from residents with ideas to improve active transportation in the municipality.

The focus of the public outreach is human-powered transportation, meaning walking, cycling, skateboarding and wheelchair accessibility.

“Esquimalt’s central location and compact design is ideally suited for active transportation,” said Esquimalt Mayor Barbara Desjardins in a statement Friday. “We want to increase the ease and comfort of people travelling within and to our community by bike, foot and other active ways to foster our vibrant township.”

Due to COVID-19 health orders barring in-person gatherings, the municipality is seeking feedback on a dedicated website for the project.

The website includes municipal data like population projections and current commuting patterns. The site also includes interactive tools to allow people to drop pins on a virtual map to show areas that need improvement or exhibit gaps in the active transportation network.

The active transportation plan is intended to guide transportation options for the next five to 10 years and will build on existing initiatives like the Esquimalt Pedestrian Charter, which formally recognizes the benefits of walking as a key indicator of a healthy, efficient, socially inclusive, and sustainable community.

The public input will contribute to a draft plan for improving active transportation later this summer. The draft plan will be shared with the public for review and will go to council in the fall.