This week ,Premier Gordon Campbell announced 31 million dollars will be earmarked for a Bike BC program to increase awareness and infrastructure improvements for alternate transport in the Province. These funds ,will aid the progress of significant programs already benefitting from Kevin Falcon’s MOT initiative under Act Now and LocalMotion .
British Columbians will see bicycle paths repaired and completed ,while cycling lanes on roadways will be created and enhanced to provide safe corridors in which vehicular traffic and cyclists will coexist .
John Luton ,Executive Director of the Capital Bike and Walk Society, a Victoria based organization which supports alternative methods of transportation,has made some top recommendations for funding channels. Among them were the completion of the E and N trail linking Victoria to the TransCanada trail. Federal MP Gary Lunn commited 15 million to the trail last year. The announcement of further specific funding will allow for greater challenges of the trail design to be met.
The Kinsol Trestle is also listed as being of principal importance -according to Luton,and in need of a push to meet the 2010 completion deadline at which time, the E and N trail will initiate in Victoria, and will end in Lake Cowichan thus completing a spectacular commuter and tourism link for cyclists. The Kinsol has been in need of repair for many years,and is being recognized as the “Gateway” of the Trans Canada Trail on Vancouver Island . A comprehensive study of the historic wooden structure has been completed and recognizes the trestle as being in very good condition to allow for a heritage restoration.
It is with great hope that Kevin Falcon will once again cut the ribbon on opening day and lead the pack across the trestle on his mountain bike. The Kinsol Trestle represents an interesting bridge project similar to the Kicking Horse (Park) and Port Mann -but reflects the real future of alternative transportation in the Province.
The Bike BC funding will certainly help cash strapped municipalities to complete additional programs that will help make cycling safe and efficient.