PROVINCE LAUNCHES THREE-YEAR ACTION PLAN ON ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION
– – – Plan to Help Manitobans Choose a More Active Lifestyle: Lemieux
The province is hoping to get more Manitobans out of their cars to walk, roller blade or cycle through a new three-year, four-point action plan that will focus on improved co-ordination, support and promotion of active transportation (AT), Local Government Minister Ron Lemieux said today during the annual Bike to Work Day event at the Legislative Building.
“As the minister responsible for active transportation, I am very pleased to announce the province’s Active Transportation Action Plan on Bike to Work Day,” said Lemieux. “Everyone benefits when more people choose active modes of transportation. Manitoba’s action plan will improve the policies, programs and infrastructure that support active transportation and make choosing these modes of transportation easier and safer for all Manitobans.”
Manitoba’s three-year action plan will include:
developing and adopting a provincial AT policy including design guidelines for AT infrastructure;
launching a new online portal with AT resources and an inventory of AT routes across the province;
working to complete the Borders to Beaches section of the Trans Canada Trail;
constructing a new AT overpass at the north Perimeter Highway to extend the popular North East Pioneers Greenway;
providing new funding and technical support to help municipalities integrate AT planning, design and implementation with land-use and transportation planning; and
working with Manitoba Public Insurance to continue raising awareness of safety issues affecting vulnerable road users (cyclists, pedestrians, children, and/or seniors).
Manitoba Local Government has been designated the lead department for AT. Lemieux noted that implementing this exciting strategy will improve the co-ordination of provincial AT investments and create a better connection with the public, adding it will assist in providing a convenient and
co-ordinated single-window service for communities. A co-ordinator has been designated to help implement the plan and assist communities as they implement initiatives to get residents more active.
“Walking, cycling and other active transportation modes improve heath, reduce transportation costs and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Through our three-year action plan, the province will improve transportation options and make our cities and towns more liveable,” said Lemieux.
The minister added that Manitoba will also establish a ministerial steering committee and public stakeholder advisory committee.
“We are happy to see that the provincial government is moving forward and taking an active role to help promote and facilitate the continued growth of active transportation in Manitoba,” said Mark Cohoe, city committee director, Bike to the Future. “We think that Manitoba Local Government is a natural fit for the active transportation file, as they are most directly involved with the municipalities who will be making the final decision on neighbourhood and street designs that facilitate and encourage pedestrians and cyclists. In particular, we are excited to see that this plan will include education and encouragement programs to complement the physical infrastructure, which we feel is a key component of any successful plan.”
Lemieux also said that Manitoba has developed a green plan called TomorrowNow, which sets out an eight-year strategic action plan for mobilizing Manitobans to work together to protect the environment, while ensuring a prosperous and environmentally conscious economy.