Province invests in better pedestrian, cyclist infrastructure for the Thompson Okanagan


Press release from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure on June 24, 2020:

Residents from three Thompson Okanagan communities will benefit from new and improved pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure.

The Province's Active Transportation Grants program is helping rebuild British Columbia's economy out of the COVID-19 pandemic and meeting CleanBC climate goals.

"People throughout B.C. have a real appetite for safe, alternative ways of getting around," said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. "One way to restart our provincial economy is to work with municipalities and Indigenous communities to support new active transportation projects.

"It has been just a year since our government launched our provincial active transportation strategy, Move. Commute. Connect. The funding we are providing will make it easier for people to connect and interact in their community, address the issues of climate change and congestion, and help with people's physical and mental well-being."

The B.C. Active Transportation Infrastructure Grants program provides Indigenous governments, municipalities and regional districts with financial support to build new infrastructure and make improvements to existing networks. The program supports goals set out in the Province's CleanBC plan, as well as Move. Commute. Connect. - B.C.'s strategy for cleaner, more active transportation. Together, these programs help British Columbia meet climate action targets that reduce B.C.'s carbon footprint and improve air quality for all residents.

"These funds will allow Westbank First Nation (WFN) to continue to build upon our priority of promoting a safe and healthy community for our Members, residents and visitors," said Westbank First Nation Chief Christopher Derickson. "WFN has also committed to working towards lessening our carbon footprint as a community; creating more safe and updated pathways for alternative transportation will help move us towards that goal."

Over $1.4 million in Active Transportation Program Grants have been awarded for the following 2020-21 projects:

* Kelowna is approved to receive $500,000 to extend the Ethel Active Transportation Corridor with new protected bike lanes.

* Lake Country is approved to receive $401,880 for the Bottom Wood Lake Road Project that will provide active transportation improvements to the new H.S. Grenda Middle school.

* Westbank First Nation is approved to receive $500,000 for the Old Okanagan Highway/Louie Drive Sidewalk, which includes new sidewalks, bike lanes and will add additional lighting to increase safety.

The program also supports the development of community network plans for future active transportation infrastructure that aligns with the B.C. Active Transportation Design Guide. Various communities in the Thompson Okanagan will also benefit from an additional $56,525 in funding from the Active Transportation Network Planning Grant. The Bridge River Indian Band (Xwisten), Spallumcheen (Splats'in) First Nation and Thompson-Nicola Regional District (Blue River) are approved to receive this funding to develop active transportation network plans that may be considered for future infrastructure funding. 

Approved projects may include safety improvements to sidewalks, improved lighting along pathways, multi-use and protected travel lanes, and other amenities that connect people to public transit, downtown cores and schools. Projects receiving funding strengthen Indigenous initiatives, land use planning and have the potential to generate tourism and other economic benefits.

CleanBC is a pathway to a more prosperous, balanced and sustainable future. It was developed in collaboration with the BC Green Party caucus, and supports the commitment in the Confidence and Supply Agreement to implement climate action to meet B.C.'s emission targets.