Friday, October 7, 2011

Mayors Approve Cycling and Transit Funding!

Great news! Metro Vancouver mayors voted overwhelmingly in favour of funding for improved transit and cycling with 16 voting for and only 6 voting against. Thanks to the mayors who supported the funding; those of you who emailed and phoned them; and to the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition for spreading the word to their members!

Support the Mayors Who Voted for the Funding
Especially with an election coming up soon, it is important to support these mayors who showed bold leadership by volunteering and donating to their campaigns. I suspect the provincial government will be watching the municipal elections carefully. If the mayors who voted for the funding are reelected, this will help give both provincial and regional politicians the mandate they need to provide further funding for the other transit and cycling improvements that the region so badly needs. This includes increasing cycling funding to at least $23 million a year, the UBC Line and rapid transit in Surrey.

Good News for the Whole Province
This decision is also important to the rest of the province where cycling and transit improvements are also badly needed. With success in the Lower Mainland, the province will likely be more inclined to give other regions the funding sources that they need to improve sustainable transportation.

Email Premier Clark
As the next step, the approval of the 2 cent gas tax, is up to the provincial government, it is a good idea to send a message of support to Premier Clark who has said her government will approve the tax and work with the mayors to find an alternative to the property tax:
Hon. Christy Clark  and cc:
The mayors, chief and councilors who supported the funding are:
Anmore - Mayor Heather Anderson, 
Belcarra - Mayor Ralph Drew, 
Bowen Island - Councillor Peter Frinton,
Coquitlam - Mayor Richard Stewart,
Langley City - Mayor Peter Fassbender,
Lion's Bay - Mayor Brenda Broughton,
Maple Ridge - Mayor Ernie Daykin,
North Vancouver City - Councillor Bob Fearnley,
North Vancouver District - Mayor Richard Walton,
Port Coquitlam - Mayor Greg Moore,
Port Moody - Mayor Joe Trasolini 
Surrey - Mayor Dianne Watts,
Tsawwassen First Nation - Chief Kim Baird, 
Vancouver -  Mayor Gregor Robertson,
West Vancouver - Mayor Pamela Goldsmith-Jones,
White Rock - Mayor Catherine Ferguson,

Those who voted against the funding are:
Burnaby - Mayor Derek Corrigan,
Richmond - Mayor Malcolm Brodie,
Langley Township - Rick Green,
Delta - Mayor Lois Jackson,
Pitt Meadows - Mayor Don MacLean,
New Westminster - Mayor Wayne, Wright,

Media Coverage
As usual, the anti-tax anti-everything crowd is busy in the comment sections. Never hurts to throw some pro transit and cycling comments into the mix.