A wish to have the mountain biking bridge replaced that crosses Williams Lake Creek could be one step closer to reality with new biking funding announced by BikeBC. Photo submitted

Province announces infrastructure funding for cycling infrastructure

The timing is good for applying to fund the replacement of a mountain biking bridge in the River Valley

  • Dec. 26, 2018 3:00 p.m.

An announcement for communities throughout British Columbia to make cycling and active lifestyles more accessible for people in their regions has come at the right time for Williams Lake.

BikeBC said it is now calling for submission for the 2019-20 program.

At the Dec. 18 regular council meeting, Sheila Mortensen of Williams Lake Daybreak Rotary made an appeal that the city support replacing the mountain biking bridge that crosses Williams Lake Creek in the River Valley.

“It’s in need of replacement,” she told council, and said Rotary is willing to give $10,000 toward the project and she hoped grant funding would also be secured for the project.

Council received the request and referred it to the Central Cariboo City of Williams Lake Joint Committee for further consideration.

BikeBC offers communities funding to create new cycling infrastructure, as well as to improve existing infrastructure, to make local transportation safer, greener and more accessible.

Applications will be received until Feb. 18, 2019.

Read more: Twenty-five-year dream a reality for cycling club

Past funding projects have ranged from major cycling path and bike lane improvements to wayfinding signs, repair stations, bike racks, lockers or upgrades to existing infrastructure that prioritizes safety for cyclists. Funding is also available for smaller communities to develop cycling network plans.

Smaller communities, with populations of less than 15,000, are eligible to apply for funding that covers up to 75 per cent of project costs, while communities with more than 15,000 people are eligible for 50 per cent of costs covered.

In B.C., 40 percent of residents ride a bike at least once a year — a number the Province is working to increase. The BikeBC program encourages active living, which complements the government’s recently announced CleanBC plan. The plan is aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, while creating more jobs and economic opportunities for people, businesses and communities.

Since 1996, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has provided cost-shared funding for new cycling infrastructure to local governments, municipalities, regional districts and First Nations communities.

Over the past five years, the program has announced $26.74 million in funding for 113 cycling projects which, due to cost sharing, has resulted in over $53 million invested in cycling infrastructure throughout B.C.

Read more: German journalists wowed by local mountain biking trails and First Nations communities



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