An announcement about grants could lead to some “old-fashioned fun.”
“If you’ve got your bike stored in your garage, this will be another reason to dust it off and take it out for a spin,” said MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission Marc Dalton.
Dalton, along with Maple Ridge Mayor Ernie Daykin and Pitt Meadows Mayor Deb Walters, announced to about 20 people at the Local Ride Bike Shop more than $1.46 million to go towards cycling infrastructure in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.
Maple Ridge will get the greater share of the grant money, in the way of nearly $1.25 million. The money will fund a 655-metre cycle track from Laity Street to 216th Street providing a vital east-west link that is designed with a buffer and track width of three to four metres.
The provincial government will give $488,956, the district of Maple Ridge will provide $488,957, and TransLink will anti up $269,875.
The Kennedy Road Multi-Use Pathway project in Pitt Meadows will benefit from $215,000. The City will put up $115,000 and the provincial government will pay $100,000.
This new separated bike path will run from Lougheed Highway to Ferry Slip Road, allowing cyclists to avoid using Kennedy Road, where truck traffic is high and the shoulders are narrow.
“It will provide a safe connection to an existing pathway that links downtown to the dike system along Pitt River,” said Dalton.
“It is very important for us to take advantage of these types of grants,” said Walters.
“And we have a new trail and cycling map coming out soon that will show all the bike trails. Grants make these types of projects happen,” she added.
Local pharmacist Elizabeth Rosenau, who is the NDP candidate hoping to represent the riding of Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows, was less than enthusiastic about the announcement.
“I’m welcoming any improvements to cycling infrastructure. Maple Ridge has had more than their share of carnage in the roads. This is long overdue,” she said.
But Rosenau said the timing to do it now, “with less than four months to go until the election, reduces the credibility.”