Powell River council approves active transportation grant application

City of Powell River councillors have voted to apply for a provincial active transportation planning grant.

At a special meeting of council on October 29, council voted unanimously to submit a grant application to the active transportation planning program and that the city provide overall grant management.

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Councillor CaroleAnn Leishman said was really happy to support the application.

“I’m excited to see there is funding available and that we can move into a new phase,” she added.

Councillor Cindy Elliott said she was in favour of extra active transportation planning for the city.

“We could do better in planning for active transportation in our city,” said Elliott. “I’m glad that we are moving forward.”

At the October 22 finance committee meeting, sustainability planner Ana Lukyanova made a presentation in favour of applying for the grant, which provides up to a maximum of $10,000, with no city monetary contribution required. She said the goal is to secure council’s support to apply for the grant.

Active transportation involves getting people out of their cars.

Lukyanova said the grant is offered for communities with a population of fewer than 25,000 and that this work aligns with the city’s official community plan. She said there is a policy to develop a comprehensive active transportation master plan, which sets out a long-term strategy to guide the planning, development, implementation and maintenance of an active transportation system in a manner consistent with projected needs, and aligned with the city’s growth and overall vision for the city and region.

She listed some of the activities that will be completed if the funding is secured. This includes hosting stakeholder workshops, networking streets safety analysis, destination and priority analysis, and developing active transportation designs specific to Powell River, such as protected active and assisted mobility lanes.

“The request for council today is to support the active transportation planning grant application and the proposed activities in the City of Powell River providing overall grant management,” said Lukyanova.

The application deadline is October 30, so the matter went to the special council meeting on October 29 for approval.

Leishman said this is something that has been on council’s books for years. She said applying for the grant was very much supported by the climate change mitigation and adaptation committee and Powell River Youth Council.

Elliott said she was also in support of the application and liked that it was 100 per cent funding.

“Getting more planning around active transportation is a great idea,” said Elliott.

In a report Lukyanova wrote to council, it stated the city is currently completing the parks and trails master plan, which includes an active transportation component. The report stated the active transportation analysis included in the parks and trails plan is limited in scope and additional work is required to create a complete standalone active transportation plan.

“Having such a plan will assist the city in receiving funding for active transportation projects moving forward,” stated Lukyanova.

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