Walking and cycling facilities linking neighbourhoods are sustainable growth initiatives
NEWMARKET …quot; York Regional Council today approved the selection of local municipal projects eligible for Regional funding in 2010 under the Pedestrian and Cycling Municipal Partnership Program.
The Town of East Gwillimbury and the City of Vaughan will receive funding in 2010, which marks the fourth year of the program.
“Through our Pedestrian and Cycling Municipal Partnership Program, York Region is taking leadership to support and accelerate local municipal efforts in providing pedestrian and cycling facilities and related infrastructure,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch. “York Region’s walking and cycling network encourages sustainability, active transportation and healthy lifestyles throughout our local communities.”
The total estimated cost of the 2010 projects is $607,923, with a request for Regional funding of $285,460. The Regional Municipality of York will share up to 50 per cent of the construction costs for qualifying pedestrian and cycling infrastructure projects that benefit communities across the Region.
“Our objective in expanding the cycling network is to make cycling a viable mode of transport for everyday activities, including cycling to work, school and even shopping,” said Town of East Gwillimbury Mayor Jamie Young. “Our network of trails also improves recreational opportunities, although recreation is not the main focus of this program, our goal is sustainable transportation.”
Upon completion, the Town of East Gwillimbury’s trail extension will contribute to the completion of the Nokiidaa Trail, a continuous path from the Holland River in East Gwillimbury through the Town of Newmarket to the southern part of the Town of Aurora, once a short section in Aurora is also completed.
The City of Vaughan’s signage project and trail development will enable cyclists and pedestrians to travel easily between numerous community centres, schools, shopping centres, York Region Transit stops and GO stations.
Projects were ranked on how they met the program’s goals of encouraging commuter walking and cycling, reducing traffic congestion and benefiting Regional communities. The following projects received funding in 2010:
• The Town of East Gwillimbury will receive $135,200 from York Region in 2010 to replace a single path from Green Lane to 2nd Concession with a crushed limestone path and trail signage. Total estimated project cost $295,400.
• The City of Vaughan will receive $150,260 from York Region in 2010 to put signs on local cycling routes and to create a trail between Jane and Keele streets. Total estimated project cost $315,523.
The capital budget for the Pedestrian and Cycling Municipal Partnership Program was approved by Regional Council in October 2006 with an initial budget of $500,000 per year, beginning in 2007. The program is funded through York Region’s 10-year roads capital program.
Two of eight projects have been recently completed.
On September 27th, the Town of Newmarket held an official opening of the new Mulock Drive underpass and extension of the Tom Taylor Trail (part of the Nokiidaa Trail system) that runs south to the Town of Aurora. And on October 19th, the Town of East Gwillimbury officially opened a new pedestrian bridge over the Holland River and extension of the Nokiidaa Trail that connects with the trail system reaching south to Newmarket.
These projects help to implement the Regional priorities and goals outlined in York Region’s 2008 Pedestrian and Cycling Master Plan. The plan promotes alternate forms of travel, such as combining walking and cycling with public transit to help the Region reach its sustainable transportation objectives.
For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, please visit www.york.ca
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