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Province paves the way for safer roads

Smithers, Telkwa and Cycle 16 to get grants to improve road safety
The town of Smithers is getting some grant money for a project that aims to be an effective, safe integration of multi-modal transportation infrastructure with engagement and input from the community. (Marisca Bakker/The Interior News)

The province is handing out some cash for safer roads and three projects in the Bulkley Valley are set to get a piece of the pie.

Vision Zero grants are provided through regional health authorities to local governments, Indigenous communities and governments and non-governmental organizations, such as school districts and road safety advocacy groups, to support them to plan and implement projects that will directly improve the safety of the roads in their communities. Vision Zero is an international best practice in road safety. By adopting Vision Zero, the province is committed to action to decrease deaths and serious injuries on B.C. roads.

According to the province, road injuries and deaths are a significant cause of health-care system usage and impact patient and health-system capacity, while resulting in more than $300 million in direct health-care costs each year.

Town of Smithers is set to get $15,000 to design a corridor in downtown Smithers.

The Downtown Corridor Revitalization Plan aims to work towards implementation of three key actions outlined in the Smithers Active Transportation Plan (ATP). The three action items are as follows: Implement a protected bike lane on Third Avenue between Queen Street and King Street; upgrade Third Avenue to an unbuffered bike lane; and develop Third Avenue as the Town Greenway.

This grant money will towards taking these broad actions up to the installation phase by bringing on a consultant, urban designer, to work with the community and design a revitalized Third Avenue, which is an essential corridor in downtown Smithers.

The Cycle 16 Trail Society is also getting some funding. They will use almost $20,000 to put towards the preparation of detailed engineered drawings of a Highway 16 underpass. Completion of detailed design drawings for Phase 2 will allow Cycle 16 to further apply for infrastructure funding. The completed underpass is expected to transform the surrounding communities by providing a safe multi-use for travel between the Smithers and Laidlaw Road.

Also on the list is the Village of Telkwa. They will be getting $11,000 to design a safe, active transport pathway linking a pedestrian highway underpass on Hankin Avenue and a staircase connecting the village core to the Tower neighbourhood.

READ MORE: Smithers to continue rolling along with active transportation plan


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Marisca Bakker

About the Author: Marisca Bakker

Marisca was born and raised in Ontario and moved to Smithers almost ten years ago on a one-year contract.
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