Provincial and Federal governments hand out loot

It is the season for giving, being a recession with Keynes back in and Friedman out, so today the two senior levels of government did just that. Or at least, so says their rather triumphant press release. Sadly (or not, depending on your point of view) there is no money for a new Johnson Street Bridge, but plenty of other things did get money:

  • Our fine municipality got money for the Uplands sewer upgrade. The joint storm/sewage sewers are the main reason behind our eye-popping $700/yr property increase for the new sewage treatment, so this money, an even matching grant between the municipality, the feds and the provinces, will help all of Oak Bay taxpayers.
  • The Kinsol Trestle rehabilitation in the Cowichan Valley got almost $6 million to complete this link of the Trans-Canada Trail.
  • Despite the government cutting library operating funds, two libraries in Surrey and Saltspring Island got funding for new buildings.
  • The only even remotely transit related project is a Highway 7 Bus Lane in Pitt Meadows. Guess we aren’t going to meet our climate goals after all.
  • Sidney got some money for a Lochside Waterfront Trail, likely the project mentioned on this website and in these 2006 council minutes (PDF).

All in all, the majority of the funding seems to be for sewers and highways, with a scattering of arts centres, libraries and other bits and pieces.

Pictures from Sidney’s celebration station today

long shot of celebration station from the north
Long shot of celebration station from the north

To celebrate the first day of this years Bike to Work Week, I made the trek up to the most northerly celebration station in south Sidney. Today’s big story ended up being the weather, with a little bit of rain, sun and just about everything in between.  We were right along the water near the Anacortes ferry terminal. This meant there was a very stiff breeze from the south, so much so that at several points the half dozen of us all had to hold down the tent to literally keep it from blowing away.

I ended up staying just over an hour and in that time we saw about a half dozen bicyclists. Amongst that group was a recumbent, who along with his partner, were on their way to Tijuana and a tandem heading south. I am not certain if it was the distance or the cold weather but every cyclist we had come was seriously equipped. Hopefully we get some better weather over the next few days to get those occasional riders out.

See you all tomorrow at the UVic fountain between 6:45 am and 8:45am.

Tent of the celebration station in Sidney
Tent of the celebration station in Sidney
Tandem riders leaving celebration station
Tandem riders leaving celebration station
Pumping up the tires on a recumbent
Pumping up the tires on a recumbent

Bike to Work Week starts today

Today marks the first day of the annual Bike to Work Week. This years is two weeks early, to coincide with events across North America. The kick off this morning at the south end of the Selkirk Trestle. That was only the first of a whole host of celebration stations across the city over the next week.

Safer Cycling Oak Bay plans to be at a few of them promoting the bike master plan and asking people what routes they commute by in Oak Bay:

Morning (6:45 am – 8:45 am)

Tuesday – UVic Fountain

Wednesday – Front lawn of the Oak Bay Municipal Hall

Thursday – Royal Jubilee Hospital (uncertain exact location)

Afternoon (3:30 pm – 5:30 pm)

Thursday – UVic Fountain

There are lots of other stations. Check out the complete schedule (PDF).

I will also be heading up to Sidney this afternoon to the celebration station in Tulista Park between 3:30 and 5:30:

View Larger Map

I am hoping to get to a few more, just to talk with people and get inspired. Happy Bike to Work Week everybody!

Quick note about the map: It is from the , a user-editable map of the world. Although the map is incomplete, the Canadian government with its Geobase project has released much of its data under a free license and this is now being imported into OSM.

Why is free data important? It allows different views of the map, such as the cycle-specific version embedded above, which shows bike routes, parking and lanes. Sadly Geobase lacks any of this bike-specific data butyou can help.