Monday, April 15, 2024

UVic to expand its cycling network thanks to new federal funding


Just a few days before Go By Bike Week in Greater Victoria, the University of Victoria (UVic) announced they have received funding from the federal government to expand their bicycle network.

On Wednesday, May 17th, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources of Canada attended UVic for the announcement that $10.9 million will be allocated to Vancouver Island active transport initiatives. 

UVic is one of many beneficiaries of this funding with $2.4 million coming their way. 

The money received by the university will go toward traffic-calming measures to make traffic safer at crosswalks, new bike paths and shared use paths as well as improved lighting and signage around campus. 

“These funds will support further enhancements to our cycling infrastructure on campus and support our commitments as Canada’s climate university,” said Kevin Hall, University of Victoria president and vice-chancellor. 

“As global leaders in environmental, social and institutional sustainability, we’re prioritizing improvements to active transportation options that will make our campus more walkable and bikeable for everyone.”

In 2019, UVic launched a 10-year campaign to work toward a better, more efficient cycling plan. 

UVic said its four key strategies in this campaign are to prioritize active transportation options in their planning, to promote safe transportation practices in high-traffic areas, to improve safety and comfort for cyclists on campus and to enhance end-of-trip facilities like campus showers and change rooms.

Now that the 10-year campaign is almost halfway through, conditions have improved as per their plan, but there is much work left to do. UVic has seven major improvements in the works. 

“The University Drive Connection Pathway opened in 2021 and the West Campus Greenway was completed this spring,” said Mike Wilson, director, Campus Planning and Sustainability.

“It’s all part of our work to ensure that pedestrians and cyclists of all ages and abilities can enjoy everything our beautiful campus has to offer.”

The cycling plan UVic is hoping to achieve by 2029 reflects United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals for good health and well-being, affordable and clean energy, sustainable communities as well as climate action.

Curtis Blandy

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