The Traboulay-PoCo Trail

The Traboulay PoCo Trail alongside the DeBoville Slough, Port Coquitlam

By DeBoville Slough, Port Coquitlam

As an easy but interesting and varied urban bike trail, the Traboulay-PoCo Trail in Port Coquitlam measures up to anything I’ve experienced in Canada. This 25-kilometre loop passes alongside five different bodies of water. It’s virtually 100 per cent separated from traffic, with only occasional road crossings.

I was reminded of this route when I purchased a book called Easy Cycling Around Vancouver  as part of a plan to spend more time on my bike. None of the trails in the book are in Vancouver, if that matters; they’re all in the suburbs or beyond. The mountains, rivers and inlets that carve up our region are a barrier to car commuting, but they’ve helped planners and local governments build a remarkable inventory of recreational multi-use trails for the use of residents and visitors. Suburban cities like Port Coquitlam are working hard to make their downtown villages complete and attractive; a facility like the PoCo Trail connects neighbourhoods with the downtown, and puts the outdoors at the doorstep of downtown residents. Continue reading

Port Coquitlam — working the plan

The cover of Port Coquitlam's 1998 downtown plan

Measured by its regional media profile, Port Coquitlam is a city that most people ignore.  There’s not really a port here, as I mentioned in an earlier post; there are railyards, trucking companies, a jail, and a recent proliferation of big box stores on the eastern fringe.

Apartment housing near the Coquitlam River, Port CoquitlamUp close, though, the local government has done a decent job of delivering on its 1998 plan [no longer available online] to build an urban village around the downtown core.  The plan is more detailed than most of its counterparts around the region, and more focused on the value of village residential development. Continue reading