The City of Victoria received a $750,000 grant this week for its bike lanes network from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Government of Canada.
The funds are part of a larger, $31-million pot dispersed into 27 initiatives through the Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program and the Green Municipal Fund. The grant will help the City complete phase one of its “all ages and abilities” bike network, specifically the lanes planned for Wharf, Humboldt and Vancouver streets.
Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps voiced appreciation for the funding after the announcement on Tuesday.
“We’re thrilled with it, because we like to be climate innovators and we like to get federal funding for bike lanes,” she said. “For every dollar we get from outside, it means we have to spend less of the gas tax money on bike lanes … this brings up the total to $2.5 million that we received from senior levels of government.”
Most people misunderstand the source of funding for these projects, Helps said.
“Not one cent of property taxes has been spent on bike lanes. [They] have been fully funded by gas taxes, so every time people pump gas into their cars, they’re paying for bike lanes.”
Plans for the Wharf and Humboldt street bike lanes are in their final stages and are slated to begin construction in the fall, with a targeted completion date of May 2019.
In May, Vancouver Street was chosen over Cook Street as the final stage of the phase one plan, with plans still being developed.