Think of TransLink’s new Major Bikeway Network (MBN) as a regional arterial bike lane system that allows for long-haul bike trips between municipalities for both recreation and commuting purposes.
In an email to Daily Hive, TransLink says its Regional Transportation Advisory Committee, comprised of transportation directors and managers representing the 23 municipal governments of Metro Vancouver, approved this route concept of the MBN during a meeting on June 27.
Existing major bike routes are included in the MBN designation, such as the Arbutus Greenway, BC Parkway running along the route of the Expo Line, the Central Valley Greenway, and the North Shore Spirit Trail.
“Recognizing that the original MBN concept was developed several years ago, TransLink worked with local government staff, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure staff, and HUB Cycling representatives over the past several months to produce an updated MBN which will be used to help guide regional cost-share investments in cycling,” reads the email.
The fully approved 10-year, $9.3-billion plan – Phase One and Phase Two combined – by the Mayors’ Council allocates $131 million towards the construction of new cycling infrastructure.
This will create 300 km of new traffic-protected bike lanes – with physical separation or off-street paths – along major streets in urban centres and 2,400 km of designated marked bike lanes through neighbourhoods. An effort will be made to protect these bike lanes from traffic as much as possible.
TransLink will allocate $97 million of the 10-year plan fund to support regional cycling projects that are also partially funded by municipal governments and other parties. Regional bike lanes in urban centres and links for the MBN would be covered by the public transit authority by up to 75% while all other municipal bike lanes would be eligible for cost-sharing of 50%.
Municipal governments have until October 31 of this year to submit their bike lane projects to TransLink for funding consideration.
Furthermore, an additional $34 million will be spent by TransLink to build bike lanes that the public transit authority will own and maintain.
TransLink’s MBN designation is similar to its Major Road Network system, which includes over 600 kms of municipally-owned regionally significant arterial roadways. This includes Broadway, Kingsway, West Georgia Street including the Georgia Viaduct, Southeast Marine Drive, most of Steveston Highway, King George Boulevard, Lougheed Highway, Hastings Street, Barnett Highway, Marine Drive on the North Shore, and Marine Drive and Marine Way in Vancouver and Burnaby.
The public transit authority provides annual funding for the operation and maintenance of routes designated under the MRN.
The 10-year plan also sets $330 million for one-time MRN upgrades, including $130 million towards seismic improvements