The Province released the 2020 Active Transportation grants today, providing money for two infrastructure projects and two active transportation planning projects in our region, but declined to fund another protected bike lane in Saanich.
We supported all three bikeway projects and are hopeful that Saanich continues with the Larchwood protected bike lane despite the funding setback.
Harbour Rd (Victoria)
Part of the city’s AAA bikeway network, this closes the gap between the end of the Galloping Goose Regional Trail and the JSB. This is a bit of a return to the future, as Harbour Rd was originally planned to be a protected bike lane or trail, but was built as a conventional bike lane as protected bike lanes were not well understood in the early 2000s.
UVic University Drive connection trail (partnered with Oak Bay)
A unique project, this funds the separation of the trail from the Ring Road to the centere of UVic on UVic property, but as UVic is not eligible for the province’s AT grants, Oak Bay agreed to be partner and be the grant recipient. With the completion of UVic’s first Campus Cycling Plan last year, expect this to be just the beginning of new infrastructure at region’s second largest biking destination.
Larchwood Dr (Saanich) – not funded
Saanich is building a protected bike lane on Larchwood Dr, connecting the existing trails and bike lanes on Feltham to the McKenzie buffered bike lane. Unfortunately Saanich was not granted any more for this, the second time in recent years Saanich has lost out on funding for AAA bikeways – Finnerty Road was turned down in 2018.
Active Transportation Network Grants
Both Esquimalt and North Saanich got grants to complete Active Transportation Plans. The funding for Esquimalt especially exciting as it comes after advocacy from our local committee for an AT plan this year. As Esquimalt remove their bikeway network from their Official Community Plan a few years ago, this AT plan is required for Esquimalt to get future provincial grants.
UPDATE: BC Cycling Coalition’s statement
The BCCC has also released a statement, asking for more money and pointing out the less money was granted to fewer projects this year. You can read the full statement on the BCCC website.