We write today with some good news, finally, about safe cycling on Salt Spring, and the vision for the Salish Sea Trail network connecting Fulford to Vesuvius and the rest of our region. Plus, info about a fun ride next Wednesday with our MLA Adam Olsen.
Two years ago we saw the opportunity of accessing federal covid-recovery funds to help bring this long held dream to life. By signing the petition for the Salish Sea Trail you and almost 2,000 fellow islanders were sending a message – we need safe cycling (and driving!) now, not in 20 years!
Working with other enthusiasts at Cycling Salt Spring and Island Pathways, we were able to create alignment among the cycling and active transportation communities and get this big idea for a real solution on the radar. We then helped convene a working group consisting of all the agencies who shared some responsibility for our roads.
The trouble was, because of our diffuse (and most would say, dysfunctional) form of government, there wasn’t an agency that even knew the state of our roads. Knowing what’s underneath and around our apparently complicated main road is the first step before any project engineering plans could be created, plans which are needed to then request bigger funding.
Until recently, we haven’t had much to show for our efforts. But we are so excited to report that things are finally starting to move!
In the past month, the province has stepped in to engage a consultant to study and review the route between Fulford Harbour and Vesuvius. This “final link” of the Salish Sea Trail network connecting our region’s incredible cycling infrastructure is also our main road, and it doesn’t take an engineer to know that it’s in terrible shape, far too dangerous for cycling, walking, tourists, or even driving.
The study will review current conditions, speeds, shoulder/lanes, signage and more to help inform future planning and opportunities to improve our roads for active transportation! It is also moving quickly, with plans to be completed by the end of the summer.
In addition to the study, our friends at Island Pathways have been awarded a $50,000 grant from the federal government to also advance the Salish Sea Trail network project. This grant will be used to advance further planning work so that we will have the project “shovel ready” and thus eligible for capital funding.
A plan is not yet a road with shoulder bike lanes, but things finally seem to be moving in the right direction. Hear! Hear!
Join Adam Olsen for a ride July 20!
On July 20th, our MLA Adam Olsen – who has been a big champion of this idea since the start – is cycling from Fulford Harbour to Ganges. He is doing this to promote safe cycling and continue his advocacy for improved road conditions.
Adam invites those of you who can to join him on the ride or in town. Below are approximate times, but get there a bit ahead of time to make sure we’re together.
Wed July 20
Meet Adam at Fulford Hall at 9:45 AM
10:15 Lee’s Hill
10:30 Cusheon Lake Road (non e-bikers might wish to join the ride here)
Arrive in Ganges 10:45 AM, where Adam will be around to chat in Centennial Park between 10:30 and noon.
11 AM Salish Sea Trail rally!
Please note: Salt Spring Solutions is not organizing this event so cannot offer further information other than the times and locations above.
After two years of campaigning – and decades of advocacy from many others – we could not be more thrilled that concrete steps are starting to be taken towards real solutions. We all seem to agree having safe roads for cycling and e-biking, low-emissions tourism, healthy living, affordable transportation alternatives, and green economic development is the right direction for Salt Spring.
Perhaps we’ll see you on July 20th for Adam Olsen’s ride to celebrate and show your support!