BikeBC funding represents a small step in the right direction
August 11, 2016
Communities throughout Metro Vancouver are set to receive almost $1.69 million from the Provincial Government to help join-up some of the gaps in the region’s cycling infrastructure.
The grants, which are part of a $6.5m province-wide investment by BikeBC, will improve bike routes in Coquitlam, Langley, North Vancouver, Surrey and White Rock.
While a welcome boost to cycling in these areas, the funding represents a significant dip compared to 2015 when Metro Vancouver projects received over $3.14m. This means that investment has almost halved, despite cycling being the fastest growing mode of transport in the region.
The $1,687,840 provided by BikeBC will be match-funded by the relevant municipalities and is set to help address a very limited number of key gaps in cycle provision, including making the Bear Creek Greenway in Surrey safer and improving the infrastructure along 48th Avenue in Langley.
Despite these routes receiving the funding they need, there remains hundreds of gaps that lead to a disconnected and inconsistent cycling network.
Studies suggest that on average one mile of protected bike lane equates to one tenth of the cost of building a motor vehicle lane. As journeys by bike rise and car ownership drops, continued high-level funding in safe and separated cycling infrastructure is a cost-effective investment that would serve the 25% of Metro Vancouverites that are already regularly cycling, as well as the 41% that want to but are held back by safety concerns
Through their B.C. on the Move Plan, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will invest almost $2.7 billion over the next three years to improve British Columbia’s transportation network. We hope that going forward the funding allotted to cycling projects will be representative of the current (and increasing) number of people getting on their bikes. To help HUB push for this investment, become a HUB member and strengthen our voice.
The full-list of Metro Vancouver projects receiving BikeBC funding in 2016 is listed below:
Coquitlam: Shaughnessy Bike Route – $39,618
Coquitlam: Delestre-Alderson Bike Route – $4,082
Langley (City): 48 Avenue Cycling Project, 200 Street to 203 Street – $92,864
North Vancouver (City): Green Necklace – East Keith and Grand Boulevard – $1,000,000
North Vancouver (City): West Keith Road/13 Street Bike Facilities, Bewicke to Chesterfield – $342,500
Surrey: Bear Creek Greenway – $141,302
White Rock Bike Network Upgrade – $67,474