Delta council last week endorsed a final draft of a new Cycling Master Plan for the city.
In the works for a couple of years, the plan intends to provide a course of action that reflects the community's priorities related to cycling.
The plan outlines strategies, recommends infrastructure, policies and education to help enable and encourage cycling as a practical and convenient form of transportation.
Noting the development of the was based on public and stakeholder feedback, as well as a technical assessment of the cycling network, a report to council notes that approximately 220 km of cycling facilities have been identified. The proposed projects range from low-to-high priority.
The overall plan is estimated to cost approximately $105 million.
“Although the costs are significant, this is a long-term vision and implementation would be achieved through a phased approach that will rely on the leveraging of grant funding, partnerships with other levels of government and cost sharing opportunities. Once completed, the plan would provide a fully connected network,” the report notes.
Some of the key projects being prioritized in upcoming years include establishing a connection between Ladner Village and the Millennium Trail, a continuous biking facility along 112th Street to provide improved north-south connectivity across North Delta for access to Sungod Recreation Centre and the Social Heart, as well as improved connections between Centennial Beach, Southlands and Winskill Aquatic Centre and Park.
The Cycling Master Plan aims to increase bicycle use and create a culture of cycling in Delta by developing an integrated network of off-street pathways and on-street bicycle facilities that are comfortable for everyone, the master plan document states.
According to the plan, of city’s three main communities, North Delta has the largest share of cycling projects with just over $25 million worth of projects.
However, for the most part, those are lower priority facilities compared to those located in Ladner, North Delta, and Tsawwassen.
The document also notes various funding scenarios.
While the city may not necessarily invest at full levels directly itself, the city may be able to leverage other funding opportunities to help invest at higher levels, the plan states.
The document notes that if the city continues to spend $700,000 per year, it will take several hundred years to complete the high priority cycling projects identified in the plan, and much longer to complete all routes.
However, increasing annual funding levels will significantly speed up this process. For example, spending an extra $300,000 annually, including leveraging external funding sources, would complete the high priority network in 70 years. Furthermore, if the city prioritizes only the new cycling facilities rather than upgrading existing facilities, that will further accelerate the process.