The BC Government released the CleanBC plan in 2018. Active transportation plans – modes such as walking, cycling, and using public transit – was mentioned as a focus in the CleanBC plan. Through a consultation process, the BC Government invited comments/ideas from the public and stakeholders for their thoughts on what active transportation means to them, how the government can overcome barriers to implementation and ideas to enhance active transportation.
The Surrey Board of Trade submitted a response based on feedback from its membership and its Transportation Team. In summary the responses were:
· Better real-time data for bus arrival and departure
· Enhancing safety along roadways/highways for bike use
· Improving roads to allow for enhanced walkability
· Planning communities so that people can work closer to home
· Improve awareness for the capability of utilizing biking, walking, and transit to commute
· Provide incentives for people to purchase bicycles
“We need purpose-built communities where citizens can travel to their workplace efficiently and effectively,” said Anita Huberman, Surrey Board of Trade CEO. “Our members outlined their frustration with traffic congestion, and the need for viable public transportation modes that would enhance livability within the city, not promote a plan that involves only commuting to other cities.”
Surrey is a large urban centre (you can fit Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond into Surrey). Many areas are not close to transit hubs. Our members indicated that effective marketing and route-planning could encourage utilization of active transportation modes. If an individual knows that they can bike to a bus stop, dock their bike (and explain the docking method in detail), and then bike from the bus stop to their place of work more people would be inclined to use these methods. Unfortunately, due to congestion and the uncertainty of bus times it would still be underutilized.
Governments (at all levels) need to consider densification and incorporating mixed residential use buildings to promote more businesses in various communities. Additionally, governments could consider tax rebates or credits on bicycle purchases.
Active and public transportation facilities are smart investments as they stimulate local business and tourism in communities of all sizes. The economic benefits also extend beyond private business to healthcare: regular physical activity keeps people healthier and out of the healthcare system keeping government costs low.
“Building more schools, business attraction, job creation, connecting the city, and continued public engagement are necessary investments for any government policy to be truly equitable. We appreciate the invitation to comment on this important project.”
You can read the Surrey Board of Trade’s submission at https://businessinsurrey.com/policy/transportation/
For more information, contact Anita Huberman, CEO, at 604-634-0342, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.