North Burnaby is set to become a bit more bike-friendly.
The federal government announced $5.7 million in funding to upgrade the Vancouver–Simon Fraser University cycling route, along with up to $4.03 million from the City of Burnaby.
The project, which will go to a design phase this summer, will be 8.9 kilometres of pathway upgraded to an all-ages-and-abilities standard, according to Beech.
Burnaby North-Seymour MP and parliamentary secretary to the deputy prime minister Terry Beech announced the funding at a press conference on Thursday, March 16.
Beech said he used to cycle between North Burnaby and Vancouver.
“Despite the fact that I was a younger man, it was still quite a precarious trip – not for the faint of heart,” he said.
He said the upgrades will mean “you don't necessarily need to be super brave to use our transportation networks.”
“Seniors will be able to use this; children will be able to use this, as well as commuters who will be able to use it,” Beech said.
“And it's actually one of those projects where, by investing in this specific quarter, we're actually strengthening the entire network, not just for Burnaby but for the North Shore and the surrounding areas as well.”
Burnaby Mayor Mike Hurley said the investment will help the city move closer to its goal of making cycling safer and more accessible.
“We're helping to build a more sustainable and healthy community and, hopefully, also developing a cycling culture within the city,” Hurley said.
“And I don't think we'll ever be able to do that until we develop more and more of these safe biking trails where families can be assured that their kids are safe when they go out.”
The Vancouver–SFU active transportation connection is a “major cycling route that connects Vancouver, Burnaby, Port Moody, Coquitlam and SFU,” according to a press release.
Construction on the Vancouver–SFU upgrade is expected to begin next year.