The protected bike lane on Fort Street. (City of Victoria/Twitter)

Six communities on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands have been selected to receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants to build more pedestrian and cycling infrastructure.

In an announcement on Wednesday, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure stated that funding will be allocated through the B.C. Active Transportation Infrastructure Grants program for communities that have plans in place to develop these networks.

“One way to restart our provincial economy is to work with municipalities and Indigenous communities to support new active transportation projects,” said Minister Claire Trevena in a statement.

“The funding we are providing will make it easier for people to connect and interact in their community, address the issues of climate change and congestion, and help with people’s physical and mental well-being.”

The following projects have received funding for 2021-21:

  • Victoria is approved to receive $401,250 for Victoria’s Harbour Road Bi-Directional Protected Bike Lane Project that will improve the connection between the Capital Regional District’s regional trail network and downtown Victoria.
  • Oak Bay and the University of Victoria are approved to receive $316,380 toward Oak Bay’s University Drive Connection Pathway that will be a bidirectional bicycle pathway serving approximately 1,370 cyclists per school day. The existing pathway will be converted to a pedestrian-only lane and serve approximately 700 pedestrians daily.
  • Nanaimo is approved to receive $500,000 toward Phase 1 of the Metral Drive Complete Street Corridor that will provide continuous sidewalks, unidirectional protected cycle tracks, raised intersections, curb extensions and marked crosswalks.
  • Comox Valley Regional District is approved to receive $35,000 for the Gull Road Trail on Hornby Island that will connect with the existing roadside trail network and regional and provincial parks. The new multi-use trail can be used by pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians.
  • North Cowichan is approved to receive $282,433 toward the Chemainus Road Multi-Modal Improvements Project that connects to the neighbouring Cowichan Valley Trail. The project includes pedestrian facilities, actuated crossings, protected bicycle parking and accessibility improvements.
  • Salt Spring Island is approved to receive $490,000 for Phase 2 of the Lower Ganges Road Pathway that will connect residents to the downtown core.

An additional $224,000 has been allocated for the development of active infrastructure network plans in the Comox Valley Regional District, Esquimalt, Lake Cowichan, North Cowichan, Port Hardy, and Port McNeill.

Once formed, these plans could be eligible for further funding for execution.