I sent an e-mail to all the provincial candidates for our region (see earlier blog post) to ask them about their views on the Cycling Strategy proposed by the BC Cycling Coalition.
Alex Pope, Green candidate for Maple Ridge/Mission, responded as follows:
“The Green Party of BC is committed to creating and supporting clean, affordable, and efficient transportation modes for all British Columbians. Greens want to limit urban sprawl while increasing cycling paths, maintaining and creating more walkable neighbourhoods, and providing affordable transit systems. Encouraging cycling is one of the ways in which Greens will contribute to a more cycle-friendly BC. The BC Greens will also provide tax breaks and funds that support cycling and other clean modes of transportation.
Funding for increased biking infrastructure will come from the use of Transportation Demand Management (TDM) strategies, such as road pricing, congestion pricing and parking pricing. BC Greens would also increase the carbon tax and use some of this extra revenue to fund transportation alternatives. Being dedicated to a healthy and clean lifestyle for all British Columbians, BC Greens want to see an increase in the accessibility of current biking infrastructure, while continuing to improve and expand it.
Increased cycling is sure to provide many benefits to British Columbians by decreasing health care problems that are a result of physical inactivity, increasing revenue by creating ‘green-collar’ jobs, and decreasing pollution from car emissions. Greens recognize the potential that cycling has in contributing to an overall cleaner environment. This is why the BC Greens are dedicated to providing British Columbians with easier and greater access to safe cycling infrastructure and encouraging them to live more active and healthy lifestyles.
Even with the amount of funding suggested by the BCCC, complete cycling networks will take quite a number of years to complete. I would suggest that we should prioritize those cycling projects that will provide all-ages cycling pathways that provide connectivity to schools and transit hubs. These pathways are the most likely to see the greatest uptake in use so will provide the greatest benefit to future cyclists.