Good news - Investing in Cycling Recommended by BC Finance Committee!
Some good news! The Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services recommendations include investing to expand cycling infrastructure and safety education. The BC Cycling Coalition presented our recommendations including investing $1 billion over 10 years in cycling and walking to the Committee in September.
Specifically, the recommendation on page 48 of the report state:
Invest in improvements to expand cycling infrastructure, promote cycling as an alternative transportation model and to increase cycling safety awareness and education among cyclists and drivers.
The report also states on page 46:
Several submissions detailed the importance of promoting cycling, suggesting this is an area with huge potential to grow and thus provide B.C. communities with more affordable transportation choices and increased economic and health benefits for the province. The British Columbia Cycling Coalition (BCCC) presented to the Committee in Richmond with their suggestions for developing a comprehensive Active Transportation Strategy including infrastructure, Super Cycleways and electric bicycles. The BC Healthy Living Alliance (BCHLA) also supported the benefits to the province of creating a Provincial Active Transportation Strategy, giving examples of how this is already being developed in other provinces, including Quebec, Ontario and Nova Scotia.
The BCCC asserted that with sufficient investment and policy support, cycling and walking can become practical options for many more people, leading to significantly improved fitness, reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and traffic congestion and fatalities. They propose that with additional investment in this area, it will be possible to further increase tourism, reduce health care costs, increase workplace productivity, attract talented workers and reduce the societal costs of traffic fatalities and injuries. The BCCC report suggests that many people want to cycle more, with approximately 65 percent indicating they would ride more if there were separated bike lanes that protected cyclists from traffic.
The report has been sent to the Legislature who will likely approve the new budget in the Spring.
The recommendation from the Committee is a good sign. Still, it will take a lot of effort to encourage the Government to invest more in cycling. Please sign and share the petition and donate to our Billions for Bikes Campaign.
I call upon the Government of BC to enable everyone in BC to cycle & walk in safety as part of their daily lives by implementing an Active Transportation Strategy that includes:
- Investing $1 billion over the next ten years to:
- Upgrade cycling & walking facilities on provincial roads & bridges
- Complete cycling & walking networks in communities across BC
- Provide safe routes to school for children
- Build trails & routes for cycling & walking tourism
- Ensuring that paths & protected bike lanes can be safely shared by people using wheelchairs, skateboards & in-line skates
- Enhancing cycling education for children & adults
- Promoting cycling & walking
- Encouraging electric bike use by eliminating the PST & providing rebates