PEOPLE in communities throughout B.C. will benefit from additional investments toward safer roads through a second year of Vision Zero grants.
“Safe and equitable road access for all road users is critical to the well-being of people in rural, remote and Indigenous communities,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, on Tuesday. “That’s why the Vision Zero in Road Safety Grant program is so important. By supporting local road-safety improvements, we can help prevent injuries and save lives, while making active transportation more accessible in our communities and preventing burden on the health-care system.”
More than $1 million in grants has been distributed to 59 B.C. communities this year. Projects include improved crosswalk infrastructure, traffic calming, speed-limit reduction pilot projects, speed-reader boards, improved lighting, road-safety planning and more.
Organizations receive as much as $20,000 per project. The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure provided $600,000. The regional health authorities contributed additional funding to maximize the number of applications funded within communities.
The funding is 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. A dedicated stream of the program is for Indigenous communities and governments to set and direct their own road-safety priorities.
“Vision Zero grants are making roads in rural, remote and Indigenous communities safer for everyone who relies on them for school, work or to visit family,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “Projects like improved crosswalks, traffic-calming measures and safety planning help prevent dangerous driving, giving people confidence and keeping communities safely connected.”
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. Making roads safer for all users also contributes to:
* helping address the disproportionate number of traffic injuries faced by under-served communities and in Indigenous communities;
* reducing health-care system usage, lowering health-care costs and improving health-system capacity by freeing health-care space when injuries are prevented;
* building capacity in the public-health system in an area of injury that represents one of the two largest sources of trauma presented at British Columbia emergency departments; and
* supporting provincial climate change efforts by shifting people to lower-carbon forms of transport, such as walking, cycling and micro-mobility (e-scooters, e-bikes, etc.), and by taking specific steps to make these modes safer and more attractive.
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.
This is the second year Vision Zero grant funding has been provided provincewide. In its inaugural year (2022), a total of $564,147 was awarded to 32 communities.
Health authorities, organizations receiving funding
City of Port Coquitlam
Project: Installation of speed humps, raised crosswalks and streetlighting at key locations in Port Coquitlam to reduce vehicle speeds, increase visibility of pedestrians/cyclists, and improve safety for all road users.
Mission Public School District
Project: To reduce vehicle traffic to and from Windebank Elementary by promoting Active School Travel, educating the school community about road safety, and providing the safest walking route(s) to school.
City of Port Moody
Project: To install seven speed humps/cushions on two road sections, Klahanie Drive and College Park Way, to reduce vehicle speeding.
Tsawwassen First Nation
Project: To improve pedestrian safety and connectivity; include traffic calming measures; provide additional street parking; support a comprehensive transportation network, reduce environmental impacts.
Chawathil First Nation
Project: To construct the “Éy Kw’as émi” (it is good that you have come) walking path near the main entrance of the Chawathil community, making the entrance a safer and more walkable area.
Gibson Elementary School Active School Travel Committee
Project: To encourage active school travel compared to driving; to support a dedicated staff member to lead walking to the school bus with the students alongside secondary school student volunteers and parent volunteers to and from school.
Leq’á:mel First Nation
Project: To install signage and lighting to encourage the usage of a safe pathway by elementary school students and the Holachten neighbourhood community. This allows travellers to move between the two sides of the neighbourhood, to the health centre and the band office.
Project: To install flashing crosswalk signs at two locations along Chilliwack River Road. The location of these crossings is adjacent to the SAY Lands Community Building, a community gathering space, and a new multi-use trail.
Seabird Island Band
Project: To purchase two digital speed limit signs and install them in the community’s school zone to reduce risks, improve safety for its members.
City of Coquitlam
Project: This project aims to install new pedestrian-activated Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon crosswalks at seven different locations to improve the city’s safety and walkability.
City of Langley
Project: To install a pedestrian-activated flashing beacon to improve road crossing safety at an existing “zebra” crosswalk on 53rd Avenue and 201A Street. This interection serves more than100 children and pedestrians who travel to and from a nearby elementary school, parks, trails and transitbus stops.
City of Burnaby
Project: To upgrade an existing crosswalk with median divider to rectangular rapid flashing beacon at the intersection of Nelson Avenue and Victory Street. This will increase driver awareness of the crossing along Victory Street, and improve access to the Royal Oak Skytrain station.
City of Chilliwack
Project: To install a Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon crosswalk at the intersection of Yale Road and Kipp Avenue. This location is in the city core, is within the downtown transit exchange, crosses one of the busiest arterial truck routes in the community.
Vancouver Coastal Health:
Society for Children and Youth of BC
Project: To close roads to vehicle traffic and turn them into public play spaces. The project involves a co-design process with local youth to make it easier for young people to get outside and neighbours to connect.
Heartwood Solutions Consulting
Project: To install a Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon and provide a high-visibility crossing to enhance both student safety and resident travel through the Kinnikinnick Elementary area in Sechelt.
Project: The project will provide speed bumps along the three largest stretches of road within the 4 Mile reserve lands as well as provide speed signs throughout the entire reserve, both in 4 Mile and downtown Bella Coola. The speed bumps and signs will be in place in an effort to increase pedestrian/children’s safety, as well as enhance road user knowledge of the safe speeds to be driving within reserve lands.
Project: This project aims to increase road safety awareness for Musqueam Indian Band youth by delivering a specialized cycling safety and mentorship program in the summer of 2023.
City of North Vancouver
Project: This project will create a network of 30 km/h zones on local streets. The goal is to improve safety for vulnerable road users and reduce noise and emissions.
Project: This project will increase safety for vulnerable road users in the underserved communities of the Downtown Eastside through road safety education accompanied by physical interventions of distribution of safety equipment and mechanical repairs.
Project: To provide visible speed awareness to drivers by employing a fixed speed-reader board and a mobile speed-reader board with volunteer traffic and speed counters.
Ulkatcho First Nation
Project: To install traffic-control signage at intersections such as stop signs and speed limits. This project also involves adding traffic sign “retroreflection” around the cattle guards to improve their visibility at the night and in the winter.
Project: The Wuikinuxv Vision Zero 2023 Project will have four integral components: first, road infrastructure changes; second, road safety planning; third, community consultations, and; fourth, public awareness campaigns.
City of Vancouver
Project: The city plans to lower the current 50 km/hr speed limit to 40 km/hr and 30 km/hr for arterial and collector roads by using new signage and road paint. This project will be piloted at nine elementary schools. To minimize impacts related to travel times for transit, emergency services and goods movement, the new speed limit will be in effect during school hours only. Funding: $20,000
Eliza Archie Memorial School
Project: The Eliza Archie Memorial School is built on a hill with no designated area for people with disabilities. This project will improve accessibility by providing
handicap parking for the Elders and people with disabilities closer to the school.
City of Nelson
Project: The project will add Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons at two high traffic pedestrian intersections on both sides to increase the visibility of all pedestrians and reduce potential conflict specifically for these vulnerable groups.
Village of New Denver
Project: To implement various traffic-calming measures including new signage, redesigned traffic management, separated travel lanes and curb extensions.
Village of Cache Creek
Project: The project would install additional signage around the local school zone, which would prevent speeding in this area as it is commonly used as a shortcut entering Highway 1.
Ashcroft Indian Band
Project: Five large maps will be installed at all five entrances to the community. These maps would have each home number, street name, street junction and vehicle entry and exit points. This will aid paramedics, police and visitors to better navigate the community.
Tsideldel Health Services
Project: This project will create a safe crossing point where the Tsideldel reserve intersects with Highway 20.
City of Penticton
Project: Jermyn Avenue, a street that is commonly used as a shortcut will receive a traffic-calming treatment (curb extensions with raised crosswalks) to reduce speeding.
Corporation of the District of Summerland
Project: This project involves installing Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons at three crosswalks located mid-block near schools, seniors care centre and medical clinic.
Village of Montrose
Project: The project includes monitoring high-traffic-volume streets with a new portable speed reader, collecting data from six previously identified high risk locations and installing portable speed humps/signage at the highest risk streets.
City of Williams Lake
Project: To install a new solar-powered signalized crosswalk at the intersection of Western and Blair streets that is centralized between three education facilities. Although the speed limit in the area is reduced the city has concerns for pedestrian safety as there is currently limited crosswalk infrastructure.
Village of Clinton
Project: Two solar-power radar signs will be purchased to raise drivers’ awareness and reduce the chances of accidents. They will be installed on an avenue that is a busy pedestrian corridor connecting schools, playgrounds and an seniors assisted-living home.
City of Penticton
Project: Curb extensions and a raised crosswalk will be installed around a residental park, which will reduce vehicle speeds.
City of Kimberley
Project: Multi-directional rectangular rapid-flashing beacons crosswalk lights will be installed at a heavily used crosswalk, which is a connector to at least four distinct neighbourhoods.
District of 100 Mile House
Project: Two speed bumps will be installed to assist with enforcing vehicles travel within the posted speed limits.
Town of Smithers
Project: To design a corridor in downtown Smithers, which is an effective, safe integration of multi-modal transportation infrastructure with engagement and input from the community. This corridor will be climate and culturally appropriate that integrates northern design elements along with those with Witsuwit’en cultural significance.
South Quesnel Business Improvement Association
Project: To build two bus shelter/platforms at Juniper Road and Lust Road for pedestrians to have a safe place to stand while they wait for the bus.
Prince Rupert Lions Club
Project: This project involves providing high-visibility medallions and reflective snap bracelets to vulnerable road users, especially seniors.
Wrinch Memorial Foundation Society
Project: To provide 150 reflective safety vests for volunteers and give every school student a clip-on LED safety light. This project also includes running an information campaign and local public announcements to help raise awareness about the need to be visible when walking.
District of Kitimat
Project: To upgrade community crosswalks with rectangular rapid-flashing beacons to strengthen pedestrian detection/visibility, walkability and safety.
Saulteau First Nations Health Centre
Project: To build a sledding hill and ice rink for people to meet and play in a safe area. This shared space will also discourage members from playing on the roads and other unsafe sledding spots.
Cycle 16 Trail Society
Project: Funds will be used toward 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.
College Heights Secondary School Parent Advisory Council
Project: To install a pedestrian controlled Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons at the crossing of Domano and the College Heights Secondary school.
Corporation of the Village of Telkwa
Project: 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.
Uchucklesaht Tribe Nation
Project: The roads to and from the Uchucklesaht Tribe’s traditional village of Ehthlateese is often described as challenging and dangerous. Uchucklesaht Tribe Government will be installing solar-lit directional signage along Henderson Main, Henderson 500, Henderson Lake 8, and the village road to ensure safe travel of all road users.
Project: Shared roadways on Songhees Nation land will be made safer for both drivers and other road users with the installation of three solar-powered LED speed-indicator signs.
Project: The Songhees Nation roads will be made safer by installing speed-limit signs and stop signs on Cooper Road, Chief Robert Sam Lane and Middle Road.
Project: This project involves the installation of speed-limit signs and stop signs in Dual Lekwungen/English language on Lekwungen Lane, Ned Williams Road (playground), and Stil Quee Mat Court on Songhees Nation land.
Project: Songhees Nation will install speed-limit signs and dual-language stop signs on Lekwammen Drive, Camus Lane, and Upper and Lower Maplebank roads.
Clayoquot Biosphere Trust
Project: The project goals are to simulate the driver-testing/driving environment by purchasing road signs to use for driver education and school safety talks and to develop a culturally appropriate driver’s education curriculum.
City of Campbell River
Project: To encourage cycling along Birch Street, this local bike route will be upgraded to a neighbourhood bikeway. The speed limit along this bikeway will be reduced from 50 km/hr to 30 km/hr, and traffic calming measures will be installed.
City of Campbell River
Project: Using video safety analytics technology, traffic volumes, speeds, pedestrian movement, cyclist movement and near misses will be analyzed at the intersection of Highway 19A and Shoppers Row, the highest-risk intersection for collisions in Campbell River. A report will be provided detailing concrete countermeasures to improve safety at the intersection.
District of Port Hardy
Project: This project involves the installation of speed-radar signs to collect data about vehicle speeds and notify drivers that speeding is an issue.
Town of Qualicum Beach
Project: This project will reduce traffic speeds and improve safety for all road users along the section of Highway 19A along the waterfront in Qualicum Beach. The plan will include new traffic-calming measures and upgraded active-transportation facilities.
City of Duncan
Project: This project involves installing new speed-limit signs across the city to reduce speed limits to 30 km/hr in residential neighbourhoods, and 40 km/hr on connectors. One major route (Government Street) would remain at 50 km/hr. A total of 64 new signs are slated to be installed.
District of Oak Bay
Project: The project involves replacing an old pedestrian-activated crossing (a single blinking amber light) with a rapid rectangular flashing beacon. This location is at the bottom of a hill with no intersections and no street lights, where the pedestrian-light is essential to alert motorists to the presence of pedestrians.
City of Nanaimo
Project: This project will add a raised crosswalk at the intersection of Georgia Avenue and Dundas Street. This intersection is adjacent to Georgia Avenue Elementary school.
City of Nanaimo
Project: A new raised crosswalk will be installed on Estevan Street. This location is adjacent to École Océane and forms part of a larger corridor-improvement project.
District of Metchosin
Project: This project will install a crosswalk at Hans Helgesen Elementary School across Rocky Point Road, “crosswalk ahead” pavement markings, school zone pavement markings, other appropriate signage, as well as the creation of a waiting area for pedestrians to cross where no adequate roadside now exists.
Village of Port Alice
Project: This project will install solar LED speed signs along Marine Drive, the main route through Port Alice, to remind drivers what the speed limit is through town.
Village of Cumberland
Project: This project will install temporary traffic-calming curbs at several key locations and crosswalks throughout the village that do not meet current pedestrian-design standards.
Town of Sidney
Project: This project will upgrade the existing traffic light signal cabinet at Seventh Street and Beacon Avenue to allow for additional signal operations to improve pedestrian safety, minimizing conflict between vehicles and pedestrians.
Eagleview Elementary Parent Advisory Council (District of Port Hardy)
Project: This project will increase visibility and reduce the risk of pedestrian crashes at the dropoff/pickup location for Eagleview Elementary school. This project combines student/public education, increased cul-de-sac signage and road markings, the installation of a Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon set, and a gravel walkway from the outer parking area to the sidewalk so children do not have to walk on the road.