A new multi-use pathway coming to Maple Ridge has been funded, in part, thanks to $500,000 from the B.C. government’s Active Transportation Infrastructure Grants program.
This new section of 117 Avenue from 207 Street to Laity Street, and then up Laity Street to Lougheed Highway, will be a three-metre-wide multi-use pedestrian and cycling path that is scheduled to be completed sometime this summer.
According to the City of Maple Ridge, this project includes “the design and construction of the asphalt multi-use path, streetlights, and traffic calming features.”
George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, explained that projects like these are important to fund due to the significant benefits they provide to local communities.
“These projects and infrastructure promote health and wellness, reduce greenhouse gas pollution, and improve livability for people and our neighbourhoods,” said Heyman.
“Together with our municipal and Indigenous partners, we are taking meaningful action toward our climate commitments and will continue to look for opportunities to partner in active transportation projects to help build better communities.”
Bob D’Eith, MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission, shared these sentiments, calling the funding a great investment for Maple Ridge.
“It saves people money, helps them get exercise, and causes less traffic congestion,” said D’Eith. “Active transportation projects are really a win-win for communities.”
However, not everyone is as excited about this particular project, including many residents who live on 117 Avenue, and even members of the Maple Ridge chapter of HUB Cycling like Jackie Chow.
“This was not on our HUB Committee’s list of priorities for improved cycling infrastructure,” said Chow.
“We have concerns about bi-directional cycling infrastructure on one side of the street on streets with frequent driveways and side streets.”
Chow would have rather seen the funding be used for cycling improvements such as raised crossings at intersections or green paint to alert drivers of cyclist areas.
“We also hope that the city will start a conversation with residents about the choice between multi-use paths or sidewalks and cycling-specific infrastructure,” she said.
“I think it’s an important issue since the city is planning more bi-directional multi-use paths in the future in various locations throughout the city, so it’s not just about 117 Avenue.”
This new Maple Ridge path was just one of 74 infrastructure projects and network plans that were funded through the Active Transportation Infrastructure Grants program during the 2022-23 funding cycle.
Since 2004, Maple Ridge has now received a total of nearly $1.4 million in funding through this program, while Pitt Meadows has received $126,013.
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