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B.C. Government Funding 16 Bike Routes Across the Province

This year, the Government of B.C. through BikeBC is helping to fund 16 cycling projects in 13 communities around the Province. These cycling lanes, trails and paths include:

  • Barriere – River Trail Network, Bartlett Road at Airfield Road to Yard Road at Highway 5
  • Capital Regional District – Rainbow Road (Salt Spring Island) separated bike path
  • Castlegar – 17th Street/Connors Road multi-use separated path
  • City of North Vancouver – 3rd Street multi-use path and bike lane
  • Coquitlam – Glen Drive bikeway bike lanes and shared roadway
  • Coquitlam – Cross town route removal of impediments
    • Spuraway/Mariner intersection upgrade
    • Hillcrest School – multi-use pathway
    • Daybreak – Armada to Saddle, signs and markings
    • Johnson – multi-use pathway
  • District of North Vancouver – Lynn Valley Road bike lanes
  • District of North Vancouver – Mount Seymour Parkway multi-use path
  • Kelowna – Ethel Street bike path, Harvey Avenue to Bernard Avenue
  • Langford – Millstream Road bike lanes
  • Maple Ridge – Hammond Trail bike path
  • Penticton – Power Street bike lanes
  • Penticton – Skaha Lake Road bike lanes, Channel Parkway to Yorkton Avenue
  • Sunshine Coast Regional District – Marine Drive shoulder bikeway, Gibsons to Langdale Ferry
  • Tofino – Pacific Rim Highway multi-use separated path
  • Vernon  – 29th/30th Street separated bike path

While definitely welcome, the $1.18 million invested is significantly less than $7.36 million the B.C. Government committed last year. The number of projects show that cycling is really cost effective. Still, as we live in a big province, much more funding is needed so everyone can have convenient access to a high quality cycling network.

Take Action

A good idea to write Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone and your MPA in support of funding for cycling and encourage the Government to increase funding for cycling. More information including email addresses here.

 

 

Posted in Action, Cycling, Cycling facilities, Funding, Safety | Leave a comment

Speed and Safety Review Update

Over the past few months, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has undertaken a Safety and Speed Review of highways between communities in B.C.  The British Columbia Cycling Coalition has strong concerns about traffic speeds on British Columbia’s roads and in particular their effect on the safety and comfort of people cycling.

In our response to the Review, we recommended that speed limit increases not be considered on any highway unless there are adequate facilities present for cyclists of varying abilities and comfort levels and that a review of cycling facilities, maintenance procedures and cycling collisions be undertaken in conjunction with the speed limit review.

Representatives of the BCCC and our member organizations attended open houses, participated in the Twitter Town Hall, and met with the Speed Review Team. We also submitted recommendations to the Review team and copied them to Minister Stone. In particular, we are concerned that the Review materials did not mention cycling nor did the feedback forms ask for input on cycling conditions. In response to our letter, the Minister stated that:

It is important to keep in mind that the focus of this review is on rural highways, and to that end, the ministry is looking at ways to improve cycling conditions along these roadways through such measures as the installation of bike paths, where possible, and the ongoing monitoring of maintenance activities. Expect the findings of the the Review to be available this spring.

We strongly recommend that the Province take advantage of this opportunity to ensure that cycling facilities meet or exceed the standards for the actual speed of vehicles on highways.  Unfortunately, the majority of B.C.’s highways, including some newer ones like the Sea to Sky, provide sub-standard cycling conditions.  An increase in traffic speeds would compound the difficulties cyclists already face.  We are concerned that increased speed limits would not only affect the safety of cyclists but also discourage people from cycling for transportation, recreation and tourism. This may well affect the future growth of cycling and the large quality of life and economic benefits that cycling already contributes, and is poised to further contribute, to British Columbia.

Take Action

  1. Write Minister Stone – While the public input opportunities for the Safety and Speed Review have ended, it is still a good idea to write the Hon. Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Minister.Transportation@gov.bc.ca regarding cycling safety. Copy Transportation Critic, Claire Trevena, Claire.Trevena.MLA@leg.bc.ca and your MLA. Please relate your personal experience regarding safety issues and speed on B.C. roads.
  2. Read and endorse our Position Statement
  3. Join the BC Cycling Coalition. Your support makes our campaigns and programs possible
  4. Share this campaign widely

For more information:

Posted in Action, Cycling, Safety, Speed | Leave a comment

Survey: Support for transit through Property Tax Increase; Sunshine Coast BC

Against the call that property taxes cannot be increased, people are supporting increased taxation for transit.
A principle: Growth of cycling as a mode of transportation is stimulated with quality transit services. For people, cycling is an effective and appealing feeder mode to transit stops. For people, cycling extends trip distances and increases transit ridership when cyclists can take their bicycles on transit vehicles.
Politicians are telling us that the level of property tax has hit the pinnacle. Politicians are telling us that property tax cannot be increased. Maybe the public, the taxpayers of the property tax, are telling us something else?
In a number of municipalities in North America, residents are supporting initiatives for more taxation for transit if the taxation is linked directly to improvements in transit availability. With their pocketbooks they are supporting transit levies of various forms.
In a recently released document, again resident of a municipality are supporting greater availability of transit. This time, the question dealt with an increase in property taxes for that purpose. Only a small portion did not support any increase. Half of the respondents supported an increase of $25 to $75.

From the Transit Future Plan, Sunshine Coast, Draft Nov 2013

The Sunshine Coast Regional District is a region located on the northern side of Metro Vancouver with a population of 28,000 that swells in the summer months. The SCRD covers an area of 3.780 sq. km.

The message:

Majority of survey respondents were willing to support an increase in taxes to implement increased transit service on the Sunshine Coast.

From the study:

Highlights from the report:

Vision

“Sunshine Coast Transit is an essential component of our sustainable community and a preferred method of travel. It enhances mobility by providing a convenient, reliable and affordable alternative to the car that is aligned with sustainable land use decisions and fully integrated with other transport options.”

Ridership Target

The Transit Future Plan sets a transit mode share target of 5.4 percent for all trips by 2038, which will require the Sunshine Coast transit ridership to grow from 0.5 to 1.8 million trips per year. This target aligns with the Provincial Transit Plan’s transit mode share target for regional centres in British Columbia.

Posted in News, Sunshine Coast, Transit | Leave a comment

More Rail Trails in the Okanagan?

A magnificent Rail Trail opportunity may be alive in the Okanagan. With the bankruptcy of the Kelowna Pacific Railway it appears that there is no longer the economic viability to maintain a commercial rail line between Kelowna and Vernon. If that turns out to be the case then the Okanagan Rail Trail Society hopes to turn the line into a unique cycling and recreational corridor.
The rail line travels north from Kelowna, past UBCO, through Lake Country and passes Ellison, Wood and Kalamala Lakes ending at Coldstream just south of Vernon.
You can support this project and get more information by visiting the Okanagan Rail Trail Society website.
CBC Radio interview with Brad Clements of Vernon

Posted in Action, Campaigns, Cycle Tourism, Okanagan | Leave a comment

Links to the Presentations at the CycloTouringBC 2013 Workshop

The BCCC is undertaking an initiative to encourage growth of cycle touring in the province in order to provide significant contributions to the local economies of cities, towns, and villages. As part of this sector initiative, a CycloTouringBC Workshop was held on Oct. 27, 2013-10-27 at the Accent Inns in Burnaby.
The themes for the Workshop sessions were “Opportunity and Vision for a BC CycloTouring Program” and “Shaping the CycloTouring Program” and was an opportunity for the attendees to provide their feedback and thoughts on the work done to date. If you have some thoughts that you wish to provide us after reviewing the presentation material, send these to team@cyclotouringbc.com.

Links to the presentations:

Session 1: Opportunity and Vision for a BC CycloTouring Program
Session 2: Shaping the CycloTouring Program
The workshop notes are available here – Oct 27th 2013
If you find the CycloTouringBC initiative interesting and want to be part of it, then take a look at the volunteering opportunities on the blog and contact us at team@cyclotouringbc.com.
As part of development of a cyclotouring sector initiative for British Columbia, there is a need for a social place for cyclotourists where cyclists can seek information; look at maps; ask questions and get responses; leave comments; rate routes, accommodations, and services; relate and share their cyclotouring experiences; and so on.
This blog (http://www.cyclotouringbc.com/wordpress) will evolve to that and then be joined by a website (http://www.cyclotouringbc.com). The blog will be the “daily newspaper” on cycling touring in BC. The website will be the place to get information.
If you are interested in other presentations from our Annual Conference they are available here.
Posted in AGM, Cycle Tourism | Leave a comment