Natasha Kovacev answered 2018-06-05 10:35:47 -0700Q: Please choose your top priority:
A: More funding for bike paths and separate bike lanes in your community
Please let us know what you think the top priority should be for the BC Cycling Coalition. This will help us plan our efforts over the coming year.Take the survey
Natasha Kovacev wants to volunteer 2017-10-31 14:51:37 -0700
Bold Action Now
It is time for bold action now to enable every person, including older adults and children, in BC to cycle or walk safely for their everyday trips and recreation.
Investing $1 billion over ten years in cycling and walking will send a strong message to the world that BC is serious about addressing Climate Change.
Cycling and walking will become attractive choices for everyone, leading to significantly improved fitness and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, pollution, congestion, and traffic injuries and fatalities. The paths and protected bike lanes could also be used by people in wheelchairs and other mobile devices.
Investing in cycling and walking will benefit the economy by increasing tourism, reducing healthcare costs, increasing workplace productivity, attracting talented workers, and reducing the societal costs of traffic fatalities and injuries.
Cycling is Popular
There is broad public support for cycling improvements. In the B.C. on the Move Engagement Survey, 72% of respondents supported enhancing cycling infrastructure. Cycling is popular. Almost 70% of adults in BC ride a bicycle at least once a year, 42% at least once a month and 25% at least once a week. Many want to cycle more, with around 65% indicating they would ride more if there were separated bike lanes that protected them from traffic.
A Transportation Bargain
On a per dollar basis, we all benefit more from cycling more than other modes. While bike paths and protected bike lanes are a bargain that will benefit far more people per dollar invested than other transportation projects, it does take a significant amount of cash to build networks of them in communities around the Province. For example:
- Metro Vancouver: $850 million
- Capital Regional District: $275 million
- City of Kelowna: $267 million (cycling and walking)
- City of Chilliwack: $27 Million
- City of Kamloops: $13 Million
At current rates of investment, these plans will take 30, 40 or even 50 years to complete, leaving people to brave busy roads on their bikes or more likely, not bothering to bike at all. Today's children will be grandparents by then.
The Provincial investment combined with local and federal funds will enable the completion of ambitious local and regional plans across BC. For example, the Metro Vancouver Regional Cycling Strategy predicts that upon network build out, cycling will increase to 10% of trips. The CRD Regional Pedestrian and Cycling Master Plan predicts cycling network build out cycling mode share will increase to 15%.
The funding for the $1 billion investment could come from a variety of sources including an increase in the Carbon Tax, predicted budget surpluses, a reallocation of transportation budget, cutting the tax break on those earning over $150,000 or a tax on sugary drinks.
By providing people with practical and safe transportation choices, this investment would decrease the rate of the Carbon Tax required to meet Provincial goals also saving money for those who don't cycle or walk.
More Info6,637 signatures
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
Natasha was born and raised in Germany and moved to Ontario with her family when she was 16 years old. After completing a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Windsor, and never having become accustomed to the famed Canadian winters, she left for the milder climate of the BC west coast and also to work in provincial government. She's been at the Ministry of Health for the better part of 10 years in various capacities, and currently works as a policy analyst working in the areas of physician compensation and MSP. She was an avid cyclist as a kid growing up in the densely populated urban landscape of southwestern Germany and still favors dense, accessible, and compact living over suburban sprawl. Never having owned a car in Victoria, walking and cycling have been her primary modes of transport. She's been a regular cycle commuter for the past 3 years after relocating to Saanich from James Bay. In her spare time, she enjoys weekend pizza rides with her partner, the multi use trails of Colquitz Park, and loves riding the bikeways of Vancouver and hiking the North Shore as often as possible. Natasha and her partner's favourite place to explore on two wheels is the BC Interior.