Local governments get active-transportation funds
Cycling, pedestrian and other active-transportation infrastructure that will safely connect neighbourhoods to parks, schools and town centres in 33 Indigenous and local governments in B.C. will receive funding, including in Fernie, Sparwood, Kimberley and Invermere.
“We know that people are enthusiastic about using active transportation as an affordable, safe, climate-friendly and enjoyable way to get around,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “That’s why we’re making these investments in safe bike routes, walking paths and other local active-transportation infrastructure. This program is one of many ways we’re working to create more liveable and better-connected communities all across B.C.”
“Climate action must include investments in infrastructure that enable people to choose environmentally friendly modes of travel that are critical to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, like walking, biking and rolling,” said Bowinn Ma, Minister of State for Infrastructure. “These safe transportation options protect the environment, connect communities and are key to B.C.’s recovery plan and our commitment to climate action.”
Over the next three years, $36 million has been committed to the Active Transportation Infrastructure Grants program, with nearly $13.7 million in funding awarded in 2021.
“Investments through this grant program support the environment, benefit the tourism industry and help meet the needs of urban and rural communities across B.C.,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “These projects will improve community health, affordability and safety, so people of all ages and abilities can benefit from cleaner air and better connections.”
The funding will also help 29 additional Indigenous and local governments develop active-transportation network plans that align with the B.C. Active Transportation Design Guide, including in Golden, Radium Hot Springs and Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡi ‘it (Tobacco Plains Indian Band).
Network plans are an eligibility requirement for infrastructure funding through the grant program.
The District of Invermere and the Shuswap Indian Band received a joint network planning grant in 2020. This year, the District of Invermere will receive $500,000 to make safety enhancements to a 550-metre multi-use trail that serves all Invermere schools. It also connects with regional trail systems, making it safer for people to choose active modes of getting around.
“The District of Invermere is excited and thankful for the continued support we have received for active-transportation projects in and around our community,” said Al Miller, mayor of Invermere. “A healthy and safe multi-use pathway upgrade, directly servicing our neighbourhoods, community schools and connecting the Invermere trail system with regional trail networks is a giant positive and will be used and appreciated by many on a daily basis.”
The District of Sparwood is receiving $272,358 for 1.7 kilometres of active-transportation paved pathways that will link two major gaps in the district’s pathway network.
The City of Fernie is getting $500,000 for its Annex Park Trail project, which will pave the 1.9-kilometre Annex Park trail loop between the West Fernie Bridge and the Leo T. Nimsick Bridge.
The City of Kimberley is getting $204,628 for its Townsite Multi-Use Pathway Improvement project, which will upgrade existing dirt pathways to create 0.46 kilometres of safe multi-use pathways.
Lead image: A pathway in Fernie’s beautiful Annex Park. e-KNOW file photo