Make Cycling Investment a Federal Priority - Write the Minister
- help families struggling to make ends meet
- make communities thrive
- protect the environment
- help the economy grow
Making cycling a major focus of the investment can help them cost effectively accomplish their goals. They have already invested in many cycling projects including the Central Valley Greenway, the North Shore Spirit Trail and the ENN Trail.
To help enable everyone in BC to cycle for their daily trips, we recommend to the Federal Government implement a National Cycling Strategy that includes:
- The priority for infrastructure spending be sustainable transportation including cycling and walking. A dedicated fund for cycling and walking would be a good idea.
- Cycling and walking facilities be improved for all infrastructure projects involving roads including utility work. Anytime a road is torn up, protected bike lanes and protected intersections should be the default option when rebuilding it. This will enable cycling improvements to be made at a lower cost.
- Cycling facilities be an integral part of all transit projects. This includes connections to the stations, protected bike lanes or paths along the transit route and secure bike parking at the stations. These cycling facilities should be a core funding component of projects, not an add on that gets cut when budgets are tight. For example, the $30 million earmarked for walking and cycling connections was cut due to TransLink funding challenges.
- Provide resources for the expertise needed to design high quality cycling facilities everywhere. Smaller communities in particular often lack the resources to implement leading edge improvements. Other countries are far ahead when it comes to developing national standards, training opportunities and leadership on design best practices. The Federal Government has an important role to play in shaping provincial and municipal policy so that infrastructure for cycling is front and centre of the design of investments, rather than just an add-on or ignored entirely.
With respect to climate change policy, we recommend:
- The use of Carbon Tax revenue to fund cycling infrastructure. The Government of Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan includes the use of Carbon Tax revenue for transit and active mobility including cycling and walking. We urge the Federal Government to encourage other provinces to follow Alberta’s lead.
- The use of Carbon Tax revenue to eliminate the GST and provincial sales taxes on pedal-powered and electric bicycles. High quality bicycles and electric bicycles can be expensive. Removing taxes will make them more affordable for Canadian families.
- The adoption of a High Shift Cycling Scenario in climate plans to ensure the full potential of cycling is realized. A report by the Institute for Transportation