Richmond Receives over $2 million through Gas Tax Fund Partnership for Cycling and Pedestrian Improvements



    RICHMOND, B.C., Aug. 14 /CNW Telbec/ - Richmond residents can expect less
traffic congestion and cleaner air thanks to over $2 million the city will be
receiving from the federal Gas Tax Fund to fund cycling and pedestrian
improvements along the Canada Line corridor. The funding announcement was made
today by Member of Parliament for Langley Mark Warawa, on behalf of the
Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and
Communities, together with MLA for Richmond-Steveston John Yap and UBCM
President Brenda Binnie, who were joined by Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie and
other members of Richmond City Council. The City of Richmond was congratulated
for its decision to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by investing in
cycling and pedestrian enhancements that will complement the Canada Line rapid
transit service and help preclude the need for increased road capacity.
    "Canada's New Government is working in partnership with the Province of
British Columbia and the City of Richmond to address infrastructure needs in
an environmentally sustainable way," said MP Warawa. "This important
investment will help Richmond improve its infrastructure, while supporting our
government's commitment to provide Canadians with cleaner air, economic
opportunities, and an improved quality of life. Today's announcement also
complements our government's investment in the Canada Line transit project."
    The $2,037,400 in funding will help support construction of new elevated
bicycle lanes along No. 3 Road from Granville Avenue to the Bridgeport Road.
It will also support completion of a variety of pedestrian amenities,
including new sidewalks along parts of the Canada Line corridor.
    "Making our communities greener and improving accessibility for cyclists
and pedestrians is important as we work towards minimizing our impacts on the
environment," said MLA Yap. "I'm pleased that through this partnership we are
helping the City of Richmond reduce green house gas emissions."
    Canada's New Government is providing $635.6 million to British Columbia
from 2005 to 2010 through the Gas Tax Agreement. As part of its $33 billion
"Building Canada" plan, the Government of Canada extended the Gas Tax Fund by
an additional $2 billion per year nationally, from 2010 to 2014. The Gas Tax
Agreement is administered in British Columbia by the Union of BC
Municipalities.
    "One of the keys to reducing greenhouse gases in our cities is creating
alternative modes of transportation," said President Binnie. "The Gas Tax
Agreement is bringing together three levels of government to create new
transportation options for the people of Richmond."
    The new bike lanes will address a significant gap in Richmond's cycling
network by introducing designated bike lanes within the City Centre. The
separated lanes will provide an additional level of security for cyclists and
it is anticipated that the new route will dramatically increase cycling levels
in the community. The new bike route will provide direct access to Canada line
stations in the City Centre as well as local and regional bus services that
operate along No. 3 Road.
    The project supports Richmond's newly updated City Centre Area Plan,
which supports Transit Oriented Development (TOD) as a means of promoting
sustainable development, improving quality of life and reducing urban sprawl
and greenhouse gas emissions.
    "This project will further help support the transformation of our City
Centre into a transit-oriented neighbourhood with dramatically reduced
reliance on the car," said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie. "Our City Centre
will be more vibrant and sustainable and offer a fantastic quality of life for
residents, workers and visitors."
    The work on the cycling and pedestrian improvements along No. 3 Road is
expected to commence in March 2008 and will be completed in conjunction with
the Canada Line, which is scheduled to begin service in late 2009.
    Please visit www.infrastructure.gc.ca or www.civicnet.bc.ca for
background information on the Canada - BC - UBCM Gas Tax Agreement.




For further information:

For further information: Natalie Sarafian, Press Secretary, Office of
the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, (613) 991-0700;
Infrastructure Canada, (613) 948-1148; Marc Black, Communications Manager,
Ministry of Community Services, (250) 356-6334; Paul Taylor, Relationships and
Communications Advisor, Union of BC Municipalities, (250) 356-2938; Ted
Townsend, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, City of Richmond, (604)
276-4399


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