Kimberley is one of four Kootenay communities to benefit from B.C.’s Active Transportation Grants program, specifically in the form of $120,416 dedicated to the 4th Avenue Pathway Connection, which will create new active transportation connections between neighbourhoods, assisted-living facilities, schools and health centres.
“This addition to the shared pathway is a critical piece of infrastructure for seniors and young families walking and riding along the increasingly busy 4th Avenue,” said Kimberley Mayor Don McCormick. “We expect that it will eventually extend the full length of 4th Avenue.”
The purpose of the Active Transportation Grants program is to help rebuild the province’s economy from the damage done by COVID-19, while also striving to meet climate goals set out by CleanBC.
“People across 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 issues of climate change and congestion, and help with people’s physical and mental well-being.”
The Active Transportation Grants supports goals laid out in B.C.’s CleanBC plan, as well as Move. Commute. Connect. which is the province’s strategy for cleaner, more active transportation.
Additionally, the program provides Indigenous governments, municipalities and regional districts with financial support to build new infrastructure and make improvements on existing networks.
In total, over $1 million has been awarded to four communities in the Kootenays, Kimberley, Elkford, Nelson and Revelstoke.
Elkford is set to get $500,000 for their Balmer Drive and Alpine Way Connectivity Project, which will deliver a new sidewalk that will include wheelchair ramps, crosswalks and connectivity to existing trails.
Nelson has been approved to receive $424,510 for phase 1 of their Primary Bike Route Project, connecting the Fairview neighbourhood to the downtown core, including end-of-trip facilities for bike parking.
Finally, Revelstoke will receive $6,800 for the Revelstoke Bike Rack Project that will accommodate a total of 16 bikes at four locations around the community, providing safe places to park bikes.
Furthermore, the program will also support the development of community network plans for future active transportation infrastructure, coinciding with the B.C. Active Transportation Design Guide. The Kootenays will see an additional $184,027 in funding from the Active Transportation Network Planning Grant.
As well as Kimberley, The Shushwap Indian Band, Revelstoke, Invermere, Fernie and New Denver are all approved to receive further funding in order to develop active transportation network plans that may be considered for future infrastructure funding.
“These infrastructure investments strengthen Kootenay communities and give us opportunities to get around and keep fit,” said Michelle Mungall, MLA for Nelson-Creston. “As a lifelong cycling and walking commuter, I know the value these investments bring and look forward to seeing our communities using the new connections soon.”
Some of the approved projects may include improving the quality and safety of sidewalks, improvements to pathway lighting systems, and many other amenities that connect people to public transit, downtown cores and schools.
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