Letters from the chair
From time to time, the chair of the GNCC hopes to muse on activities that are happening on the board or committee level, on meeting with City officials or other organizations and on progress that is made around the world on bicycle infrastructure and new ways of creating modal share for cycling.
B.C. On the Move
Last October 2014 we reported on the Government of British Columbia developing a new transportation plan, called 'On the Move'. The plan marked a significant opportunity to improve cycling in B.C. as it will affect the transportation choices available to British Columbians and the shape of our communities, towns and cities for generations to come.
Thanks to all of our members and supporters who completed the survey and who provided us with suggestions, we achieved a lot. It made a real difference as 72% of road users who filled out the survey, supports enhancing cycling infrastructure!As a result, the plan includes:
- $18 million over 3 years in Bike BC funding for communities (an increase of 50%)
- the widening of shoulders and safety improvements on provincial highways in areas with high volumes of cyclists
- a doubling of the frequency of sweeping on main cycling corridors
- a Cycling Tourism Signage and Marketing Strategy to promote B.C.’s beautiful cycling routes
Since B.C. on the Move was announced in April, the Province has also committed:
- $7 million for Stanley Park Causeway cycling and pedestrian improvements
- $7.2 million for the Okanagan Rail Trail (E&N rail trail should be next)
- $0.25 million for improvements including shoulders along Wembley Rd in Parksville (Joe Stanhope will be over the moon)
Still, while this is a great start, much more is needed.
B.C. on the Move includes $2.5 billion over three years for transportation. With many highway upgrades included in the $2.5 billion, there is the opportunity for cycling and pedestrian improvements to be included in these projects. The BC Cycling Coalition and the GNCC will be working with our member groups and Provincial officials to ensure that high quality cycling facilities are an integral part of all road and bridge projects.
As many existing roads and bridges have low quality or non-existing cycling facilities, as part of B.C. on the Move, we are also recommending that they plan, prioritize and implement cycling improvements on all their roads and bridges.
We estimate that around $1.8 billion is needed to complete cycling networks in communities around B.C. To ensure these networks are completed over the next decade, the BC Cycling Coalition is recommending that the Province invest $100 million per year to:
- Upgrade cycling and walking facilities on Provincial highways and bridges
- Complete cycling and walking networks in communities around BC.
- Create Safe Routes to School for B.C. children
- Build trails and paths used by cycling and walking tourists and residents
With an election coming up in 2017, we need to build upon this success over the next year to encourage Provincial politicians to commit more funding for cycling improvements and education.
We will be working hard to build support for better cycling over the next few months by engaging and working with government, other organizations, businesses and individuals.
What we need now is Mayor & Council's support for the extension of the E&N rail trail and the implementation of the Nanaimo Master Transportation Plan. That is not only crucial but essential for the prosperity of our community. Our community needs to see true leadership and it is now up to this Council to ensure that every infrastructure project is built according to the adopted principal of building Complete Streets. Streets for all people regardless of age or ability.Leo Boon
Chair Greater Nanaimo Cycling Coalition
PS If you want to move Nanaimo into building bike infrastructure you need to write, email or call your Mayor & Council. Click here and start your community involvement
The Boundary Road Project
This month the city of Nanaimo has started on the Hospital Area Sewer and Road construction project for 2015. Following the guide lines of the City's Transportation Master Plan the city has proposed a bike lane along Boundary road. Looking at the Bicycle Network plans of the city, this is part of the connector to the hospital and to VIU.
The first paint has been applied on Pryde & Bush Street for partial bike lanes. It sure looks like drawings from the Kindergarten class of Engineering.