WHEREAS the Province of BC’s 2007–2010 Strategic Plan includes the core values of promoting environmentally sustainable, healthy and safe communities and the Province has implemented a number of programs and initiatives that follow through with these values;
AND WHEREAS in most of the province, highway shoulders are often nonexistent or inadequate and thus do not encourage alternative modes of transportation, such as walking or cycling:
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Union of BC Municipalities request that the Province of BC adopt a policy to the effect that the refurbishing of highway shoulders be mandatory when highway upgrading projects are undertaken adjacent to communities to allow for safe travel by pedestrians and cyclists.
Ministry of Transportation
The Ministry of Transportation (Ministry) recognizes the need for cycling infrastructure and provides cycling improvements whenever it is feasible and cost effective.
The Ministry supports cyclists. Since 2004, the Ministry, through the Cycling Infrastructure Partnerships Program, has provided over $6.5 million in cost sharing grants to local governments for the development of cycling infrastructure. This money has leveraged the development of over $20 million in new cycling facilities throughout the Province of British Columbia (Province).
There are circumstances that may prevent the Ministry from providing cycling infrastructure during a project. For example, there may be adverse implication for safety, the cost of the cycling infrastructure may be excessively disproportionate to the need, or a provincial act or municipal bylaw may prohibit cycling.
The goal of the Ministry’s Cycling Policy (Policy) is “to integrate bicycling by providing safe, accessible and convenient bicycle facilities on the Province’s highways and to support and encourage cycling.” The Policy states that provisions will be made for cyclists on all new and upgraded provincial highways. The Policy also states that to accommodate the safety and travel requirements for different types of cyclists, the Ministry will plan, design, and build for the appropriate type of cyclist based on the type of facility.
Examples of the Ministry’s commitment to improving cycling on provincial highways include:
• Highway 10/15 (Border Infrastructure Fund) substandard shoulders widened to full width.
• Highway 6 resurfacing (near Vernon), included extra shoulder width, which was praised by the Greater Vernon Cycling Advisory Committee.
• Highway 17 (Pat Bay Highway) when this section of highway received a pavement overlay the ministry also did the extra work to ensure the shoulders were widened.
• Gateway Program, the Ministry has committed $50 million in cycling infrastructure as part of the specific projects (Highway 1/Port Mann Bridge, South and North Fraser Perimeter Roads) and an additional $10 million to be cost-shared with local government for projects that will improve the overall effectiveness of the regional cycling network.
The Ministry’s Cycling Infrastructure Partnership Program provides up to $2 million per year in cost shared funding to local governments to encourage them to build cycling improvements. Local governments can also apply for infrastructure funding through the Province’s Local Motion Program, which will provide $40 million over 4 years for active infrastructure.