Ten Island communities will share more than $4 million in provincial funding to establish or improve their active transportation infrastructure.
The money comes from the province’s Active Transportation Infrastructure Grants program, which has kicked in more than $13.7 million over the past year to increase accessibility to active-transportation networks and other “green” modes of transportation.
In Greater Victoria, that has translated into $500,000 for the District of Central Saanich to construct new crosswalks with flashing lights, and extend sidewalks near Keating Elementary, $1 million in Sooke and $500,000 in Victoria for 1.2 km of cycling infrastructure to connect downtown with the regional trail network.
Around the Island there is nearly $300,000 in Ladysmith for sidewalks, $500,000 in Nanaimo for sidewalks and bike trails, $441,144 for Nanoose First Nation for a multi-use pathway and improved lighting, $290,584 for Port McNeill for a multi-use sidewalk along a high-traffic corridor, $221,981 for sidewalks in Port Hardy and $350854 for the Toquaht Nation to build a 1.3-km gravel multi-use path to connect Macoah to the new Secret Beach subdivision.
Over the next three years, the province has committed $36 million to the grants program.
“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 Environment Minister George Heyman. “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. Network plans are an eligibility requirement for infrastructure funding through the grant program.