Province Announces Reduced Investment in Cycling
December 4, 2013
On November 20, BC’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) announced a $1.14 investment in BikeBC, to be matched by municipalities for new and expanded bike lanes, trails and paths.
The full text of the announcement can be read on the MOTI website.
HUB is supportive of all investments in cycling infrastructure and safety measures for the growing number of people who are choosing to cycle.
However, this represents a significant drop in funding — 2% of trips in British Columbia are by bicycle, yet the total budgeted provincial funds will be approximately 1/8 of 1%, down from 1/4 of 1% in previous budgets.
In addition to appearing to be a reduction in spending on cycling, this investment is disproportionately small when compared to the proportion of cyclists to motorists, the history of the cost sharing program, and investments in cycling made by other provinces.
Highlighting the Province’s public commitments to increased use of alternative modes of personal transportation, and investments in an integrated cycling and walking network, Minister Stone says, “Cycling is a great way to stay healthy and active and is also good for the environment”.
HUB and our Members agree, and in that spirit we encourage the Province to make cycling investments that fully support the long-term health and welfare of British Columbians, and contribute to positive impacts on:
- Healthcare system capacity and cost reduction
- Reduction in car traffic congestion
- Achieving greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets
Led by the Province, a more robust investment in cycling will help improve cycling safety and connections in the following locations:
- Surrey Gateway / Port Mann Bridge
- United Boulevard / Central Valley Greenway
- Lougheed Highway / Coquitlam Centre / Port Coquitlam
- Ironworkers Memorial Bridge
- North Shore Spirit Trail
These represent the highest priority areas for cycling safety and access improvements. If left unaddressed, these gaps in the network will restrict cycling's growth and reduce the Province's ability to facilitate healthy lifestyles, cleaner environments and reduced traffic congestion.