Residents from six Vancouver Island and Gulf Island communities will benefit from new and improved pedestrian and cycling infrastructure.
The Province’s Active Transportation Grants program is helping rebuild British Columbia’s economy out of the COVID-19 pandemic and meeting CleanBC climate goals.
“People throughout B.C. have a real appetite for safe, alternative ways of getting around,” said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “One way to restart our provincial economy is to work with municipalities and Indigenous communities to support new active transportation projects.
“It has been just a year since our government launched our provincial active transportation strategy, Move. Commute. Connect. The funding we are providing will make it easier for people to connect and interact in their community, address the issues of climate change and congestion, and help with people’s physical and mental well-being.”
The B.C. Active Transportation Infrastructure Grants program provides Indigenous governments, municipalities and regional districts with financial support to build new infrastructure and make improvements to existing networks. The program supports goals set out in the Province’s CleanBC plan, as well as Move. Commute. Connect. – B.C.’s strategy for cleaner, more active transportation. Together, these programs help British Columbia meet climate action targets that reduce B.C.'s carbon footprint and improve air quality for all residents.
“The City of Nanaimo is turning its focus to complete streets, through capitalizing on existing infrastructure projects within the city, to ensure all users are considered when rebuilding our roads,” said Leonard Krog, mayor of Nanaimo. “This significant investment in the City of Nanaimo, and Metral Drive in particular, will strengthen an important connection between two of our city's mobility hubs. By providing more active and sustainable transportation options, together with the Province’s help, we are mitigating our impact on the environment while creating a healthier, happier, accessible and more connected Nanaimo for everyone in the community to enjoy for years to come.”
Over $2 million in Active Transportation Infrastructure Grants have been awarded for the following 2020-21 projects:
- Comox Valley Regional District is approved to receive $35,000 for the Gull Road Trail on Hornby Island that will connect with the existing roadside trail network and regional and provincial parks. The new multi-use trail will benefit pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians.
- Nanaimo is approved to receive $500,000 toward Phase 1 of the Metral Drive Complete Street Corridor that will provide continuous sidewalks, unidirectional protected cycle tracks, raised intersections, curb extensions and marked crosswalks.
- North Cowichan is approved to receive $282,433 toward the Chemainus Road Multi-Modal Improvements Project that connects to the neighbouring Cowichan Valley Trail. The project includes pedestrian facilities, actuated crossings, protected bicycle parking and accessibility improvements.
- Oak Bay and the University of Victoria are approved to receive $316,380 toward Oak Bay’s University Drive Connection Pathway that will be a bidirectional bicycle pathway serving approximately 1,370 cyclists per school day. The existing pathway will be converted to a pedestrian-only pathway and serve approximately 700 pedestrians daily.
- Salt Spring Island is approved to receive $490,000 for Phase 2 of the Lower Ganges Road Pathway that will connect residents to the downtown core.
- Victoria is approved to receive $401,250 for Victoria’s Harbour Road Bi-Directional Protected Bike Lane Project that will improve the connection between the Capital Regional District's regional trail network and downtown Victoria.
The program also supports the development of community network plans for future active transportation infrastructure that aligns with the B.C. Active Transportation Design Guide. Six communities in the region will also benefit from an additional $224,000 in funding from the Province’s Active Transportation Network Planning Grant. With this new funding, the Electoral Area B of the Comox Valley Regional District, Esquimalt, Lake Cowichan, North Cowichan, Port Hardy and Port McNeill will develop active transportation network plans that may be considered for future infrastructure funding.
“The Cowichan Valley Trail is a local favourite, and with this investment, it will be more accessible to residents and visitors,” said Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan. “Funding provided through the Active Transportation Infrastructure Grants program will make our communities even better places to live, work and play. Creating stronger transportation networks that connect people to the places they need to go is another way that our government is working hard to make life better for British Columbians. As a lifelong cyclist and Cowichan resident, I know the warmth of the Cowichan Valley is best felt outdoors, and I look forward to seeing more people out on the trails.”
Approved projects may include safety improvements to sidewalks, improved lighting along pathways, multi-use and protected travel lanes, and other amenities that connect people to public transit, downtown cores and schools. Projects receiving funding strengthen Indigenous initiatives, land use planning and have the potential to generate tourism and other economic benefits.
CleanBC is a pathway to a more prosperous, balanced and sustainable future. It was developed in collaboration with the BC Green Party caucus, and supports the commitment in the Confidence and Supply Agreement to implement climate action to meet B.C.’s emission targets.
Spencer Chandra Herbert, MLA for Vancouver-West End –
“Over a year ago, Minister Trevena asked me to lead the consultations on our made-in-B.C. active transportation strategy, Move. Commute. Connect. I advocate for strong investments in safe bike routes, walking paths and other active transportation investments because when you give people more affordable, safe, clean and efficient ways to get around, you get better communities and happier, healthier people. It’s also a foundational part of our government’s plan to make life better for British Columbians. Investments through this grant program will help meet the needs of urban and rural communities, so people of all ages and abilities can benefit from better connections between neighbourhoods, transit stations and town centres."
George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy –
“People across British Columbia are looking for cleaner, healthier ways to move around in their communities using safe, accessible infrastructure. Our CleanBC active transportation strategy is helping people of all ages and abilities find cleaner, more affordable modes of transportation that support liveable, connected neighbourhoods.”
- Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, has provided direction on physical distancing relating to going outside during the time of COVID-19. Henry has said that playgrounds, bike trails and running routes can be safely used as long as people limit gatherings to small numbers, avoid physical contact as much as possible, practise proper hand hygiene and stay home when sick.
Active Transportation Infrastructure Grant Program: www.gov.bc.ca/activetransportationgrant
Move. Commute. Connect. – B.C.’s Active Transportation Strategy: https://cleanbc.gov.bc.ca/active/
British Columbia Active Transportation Design Guide: www.gov.bc.ca/Activetransportationdesignguide
For a backgrounder detailing the 2020-21 Active Transportation Infrastructure Grants provincewide, visit: