Colleen MacDonald posted about The Trail of the Okanagans on Facebook 2016-04-27 07:22:24 -0700I’m signing because this is a route I’ve hoped for for years. I believe it will increase cycling tourism in the Okanagan.
One of the key natural features of the Okanagan Valley is a chain of lakes that are connected by the Okanagan River. Many small and medium-sized communities dot their shorelines. Vineyards and orchards welcome visitors and residents. It is a remarkably beautiful region.
Over the last few years trail development for hikers and cyclists has progressed to a point where it becomes feasible to connect all communities of the Okanagan Valley including Osoyoos, Penticton, Kelowna, Lake Country and Vernon with a continuous 250km pathway. Over 70% will follow abandoned rail trails along beautiful lakeshores, valleys and rivers. Only a very small portion will follow Highway 97 on a separate bike lane or go through suburban areas on residential roads.
The Okanagan Valley has established an international reputation as a cycling paradise. Unfortunately many cycling events are at the local level since there currently is no safe way of cycling from community to community. Several local governments and volunteer groups including The Trail of the Okanagans, The Okanagan Rail Trail Initiative, The Gellatly Bay Trails and Parks Society and The Shuswap Trail Alliance have developed plans to address this situation.
The vision of a valley-wide cycling corridor includes the development of loops and spurs that provide access to communities, vineyards, beaches, parks, the Trans Canada Trail and the many single-track mountain bike areas. Various studies have shown that significant economic benefits can be realized by encouraging cycling-tourism. In addition a safe, affordable, green transportation option is required for commuters and students visiting UBC Okanagan and the various facilities of the Okanagan College.
Though significant investments have already been made by local municipalities, regional districts and the Provincial Government, additional funding is required to build safe cycling lanes along sections of Highway 97, to acquire land leases from private owners and the Okanagan Nation bands, and to construct trails or to improve the surface of existing trails.
These infrastructure investments are expected to yield significant returns by extending the short summer tourist season into the spring and fall shoulder seasons, which is required to make additional private investment for businesses including hotels, restaurants viable.
HELP MAKE IT HAPPEN
The $1 billion for cycling and walking proposed by the BC Cycling Coalition would greatly speed the completion of Trail of the Okanagans and other cycling improvements in the Okanagan thus enabling residents and visitors to experience the economic, health and environmental benefits of cycling sooner. Please sign the petition and share it with your friends, family and co-workers.
Colleen MacDonald signed A Billion for Biking & Walking Petition via The Trail Of The Okanagans 2016-04-27 07:22:06 -0700I’m signing because this is a route I’ve hoped for for years. I believe it will increase cycling tourism in the Okanagan.
Bold Action Now
It is time for bold action now to enable every person, including older adults and children, in BC to cycle or walk for their everyday trips.
Investing $1 billion over ten years in cycling and walking will send a strong message to the world that BC is serious about addressing Climate Change.
Cycling and walking will become attractive choices for everyone, leading to significantly improved fitness and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, pollution, congestion, and traffic injuries and fatalities. The paths and protected bike lanes could also be used by people in wheelchairs and other mobile devices.
Investing in cycling and walking will benefit the economy by increasing tourism, reducing healthcare costs, increasing workplace productivity, attracting talented workers, and reducing the societal costs of traffic fatalities and injuries.
Cycling is Popular
There is broad public support for cycling improvements. In the B.C. on the Move Engagement Survey, 72% of respondents supported enhancing cycling infrastructure. Cycling is popular. Almost 70% of adults in BC ride a bicycle at least once a year, 42% at least once a month and 25% at least once a week. Many want to cycle more, with around 65% indicating they would ride more if there were separated bike lanes that protected them from traffic.
A Transportation Bargain
On a per dollar basis, we all benefit more from cycling more than other modes. While bike paths and protected bike lanes are a bargain that will benefit far more people per dollar invested than other transportation projects, it does take a significant amount of cash to build networks of them in communities around the Province. For example:
- Metro Vancouver: $850 million
- Capital Regional District: $275 million
- City of Kelowna: $267 million (cycling and walking)
- City of Chilliwack: $27 Million
- City of Kamloops: $13 Million
At current rates of investment, these plans will take 30, 40 or even 50 years to complete, leaving people to brave busy roads on their bikes or more likely, not bothering to bike at all. Today's children will be grandparents by then.
The Provincial investment combined with local and federal funds will enable the completion of ambitious local and regional plans across BC. For example, the Metro Vancouver Regional Cycling Strategy predicts that upon network build out, cycling will increase to 10% of trips. The CRD Regional Pedestrian and Cycling Master Plan predicts cycling network build out cycling mode share will increase to 15%.
The funding for the $1 billion investment could come from a variety of sources including an increase in the Carbon Tax, predicted budget surpluses, a reallocation of transportation budget, cutting the tax break on those earning over $150,000 or a tax on sugary drinks.
By providing people with practical and safe transportation choices, this investment would decrease the rate of the Carbon Tax required to meet Provincial goals also saving money for those who don't cycle or walk.
I call upon the Government of BC to enable everyone in BC to cycle & walk in safety as part of their daily lives by implementing an Active Transportation Strategy that includes:
- Investing $1 billion over the next ten years to:
- Upgrade cycling & walking facilities on provincial roads & bridges
- Complete cycling & walking networks in communities across BC
- Provide safe routes to school for children
- Build trails & routes for cycling & walking tourism
- Ensuring that paths & protected bike lanes can be safely shared by people using wheelchairs, skateboards & in-line skates
- Enhancing cycling education for children & adults
- Promoting cycling & walking
- Encouraging electric bike use by eliminating the PST & providing rebates
Colleen MacDonald posted about Priorities Poll on Facebook 2015-09-27 23:08:56 -0700What are your cycling priorities? Please let the BC Cycling Coalition know. I just did!
Please let us know what you think the top priority should be for the BC Cycling Coalition. This will help us plan our efforts over the coming year.Take the survey
Colleen MacDonald answered 2015-03-03 16:39:27 -0800Q: With billions in surpluses projected for coming years, I would prefer that the Federal Government:
A: Invest $40 per person per year in cycling paths and separated bike lanes.
The Federal Government is projecting large surpluses in coming years. The current government is talking about tax cuts.
Another option would be for the Federal Government provide communities funding for cycling improvements such as separated bike lanes and cycling paths. The Netherlands, for example, invests around $40 per person per year in cycling.Take the survey
Colleen MacDonald donated 2014-08-11 08:34:07 -0700$1,814.00 raisedGOAL: $10,000.00
By donating to the BCCC, you are supporting our efforts to make cycling safe, accessible and more comfortable for everyone in B.C.
Over the next few months, we will be focusing on encouraging the Provincial Government to make cycling a key part of their new Climate Leadership plan. Specially, we recommend that they invest $1 billion over the next 10 years to complete all ages and abilities cycling networks in communities around B.C and upgrade Provincial roads and bridges.
As well, we will be encouraging them to:
- support cycling education
- improve the Motor Vehicle Act to include a safe passing distance law and allowing riding two abreast
- reduce hazards and improve maintenance on roads and paths
- support cycling tourism
Your contribution is critical to help make this happen.
You can either make a one-time donation below or make on-going monthly contributions here.
If you wish to become a member of the BC Cycling Coalition, please purchase a membership.
You can also make donations to specific BC Cycling Coalition programs:Donate