Wednesday, February 23, 2022

BC Budget 2022: SkyTrain, Highway 1 Expansion, and Bike Lanes

Steveston Highway Overpass - Highway 99

Yesterday, the provincial government launched its 2022 budget. I want to look at some specific transportation funding announcements that may help Langley City.

Langley City has successfully received grants to fund cycling infrastructure from the provincial government over the years. The City has received provincial funding as follows:

203 Street Cycling Project - 2015/16: $440,000
48 Avenue Cycling Project - 2016/17: $92,864
53 Avenue Bike Lane Project - 2017/18: $98,650

In this year’s budget, the province will continue to invest about $10 million per year over the next three years to help local governments build active transportation infrastructures such as sidewalks and bike lanes.

$10 million certainly helps local governments build active transportation infrastructure. The provincial government plans to spend about $8 billion on transportation infrastructure over the next three years. Given the government’s stated goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions due to transportation, I wonder if the province should be funding the active transportation grant program at a higher level.

The province mentions SkyTrain to Langley in the budget:

South of the Fraser River, the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain project will meet the transit needs of this growing region, which represents 25 percent of the population of Metro Vancouver. In 2021, the federal government announced its funding commitment of up to $1.3 billion for the project, and it is now in the business plan development stage.

The province continues to include “notional funding for Surrey-Langley SkyTrain” in its $1 billion “Transit Infrastructure” capital line item.

The province still plans to complete building HOV lanes between 216th and 264th, including reconfiguring the 232nd Street interchange, a new underpass at Glover Road, and a truck parking lot.

The province is also continuing highway widening planning to Whatcom Road. While there is some research in Canada that shows HOV lanes help promote carpooling and reduce carpooling commute time, there is limited data to show the impact of HOV lanes in reducing congestion, vehicle kilometres travelled, or greenhouse gas emissions.

No comments: