News Release: CRD Encourages Residents to Stay Active

Victoria, British Columbia – Key elements of the Capital Regional District's (CRD) recently completed Pedestrian and Cycling Master Plan (PCMP) will soon be implemented thanks to a contribution of $780,950 from the Government of Canada's Gas Tax Fund transfer.

“Our Government is proud to support environmentally friendly projects that create jobs and promote healthy, active communities,” said the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia Pacific Gateway. “Through the Gas Tax Fund transfer, we are providing significant infrastructure funding for every municipality in Canada to choose and prioritize projects in their own communities.”

A series of projects will be undertaken over the next two years to increase walking and cycling in the community. To encourage residents' use of sustainable transportation, the PCMP will implement pedestrian and cycle-friendly infrastructure, such as bike activated warning signals, advisory bike lanes, and traffic calming for bike boulevards. Other elements include solar-powered signage, automated count stations, and secure lock-up systems that support dual-mode trips such as cycling and transit.The PCMP also promotes a Rider / Driver Etiquette campaign and a road skills course.

The CRD will contribute an additional $87,600 to complete the project.

“While each community has its own active transportation plan and its own bike network, travel is truly a regional issue,” said Alastair Bryson, CRD Board Chair, who notes that 58 per cent of the 1 million trips CRD residents take each day cross municipal boundaries. “The master plan provides a blueprint for how the municipalities can work together to create a seamless network for cycling facilities in the same way that transit and automobiles have come to expect.”

“Building infrastructure that provides a safer, more attractive setting for cyclists to travel by greatly enhances the Capital Regional District's transportation network and contributes to a cleaner environment,” said Bill Bennett, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development. “This Gas Tax grant enables the district to move forward on key elements of their Pedestrian and Cycling Master Plan – giving them the funding they need to go from vision to realization in creating a first-class system of cycling supports.”

“Built environments that encourage cycling and pedestrian activity are more supportive of community health,” said Mary Sjostrom, Union of BC Municipalities President. “By helping the CRD to attain its ambitious cycling and pedestrian goals, the federal Gas Tax Fund is making it easier to choose active transportation across the region.”

Since 2006, the Government of Canada has made unprecedented investments in infrastructure. Through the Gas Tax Fund alone, municipalities across the country have received over $10 billion in transfers for local priority initiatives. Making this fund permanent at $2 billion annually was part of Canada's Economic Action Plan – a plan to help create good jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity.

The Gas Tax Fund transfer provides predictable, long-term funding for Canadian municipalities to help them build and revitalize public infrastructure. Projects are chosen locally and prioritized according to the infrastructure needs of each community.

Between 2006 and 2014, British Columbia will receive more than $1.56 billion from the Gas Tax Fund to improve local infrastructure. The Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) administers the Gas Tax Fund in BC, in collaboration with Canada and British Columbia.

For additional information about federal investments in infrastructure and to stay up-to-date with Web feeds, visit www.infrastructure.gc.ca.

To find out what the Government of Canada is doing to promote jobs, growth and prosperity, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.

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For more information:

Genevieve Sicard
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
613-991-0700

Andy Orr, Senior Manager
CRD Corporate Communications
Tel: 250-360-3229
Cell: 250-216-5492

Matt Gordon
Communications Director
Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development
250-953-3677

Paul Taylor
Relationships and Communications Advisor
UBCM
250-356-2938

Infrastructure Canada
613-960-9251
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154

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