Saanich residents deserve neighbourhood sidewalks

MEDIA RELEASE
For Immediate Release
November 1, 2011

Saanich residents deserve neighbourhood sidewalks: Murdock

Victoria – Saanich Councillor Dean Murdock thinks your neighbourhood needs a sidewalk.

Announcing his mobility plan today, Murdock said quality sidewalks and bike lanes are a priority for most of the Saanich residents he’s met on the doorstep.

“In almost every neighbourhood, in every part of Saanich, people tell me they are concerned about the safety of their kids and elderly parents,” said Murdock. “Walking in the gravel next to a busy road isn’t just intimidating, it’s dangerous. People deserve to feel safe when they’re walking in their own neighbourhoods.”

To address Saanich’s sidewalk deficit, he proposes a 10-year plan to re-invest in sidewalk restoration and installation in priority areas.

“There are a lot of crumbling sidewalks in Saanich, and even more gravel paths where a sidewalk belongs,” Murdock said. “We’ll work with community associations to identify priority improvement areas.”

“Investing in sidewalks and bike lanes is more than investing in concrete and asphalt,” Murdock added. “It’s an investment in a healthier community, climate protection, the environment, safety, and mobility.”

The plan will use development cost charges, provincial and federal infrastructure grants, and the municipal infrastructure improvement fund to upgrade sidewalks and bike lanes over 10 years.

The first-term Councillor is seeking re-election to Saanich Council and a seat on the CRD Board.

Municipal elections are November 19.

A 10-year Mobility Plan for Saanich

Investing in sidewalks and bike lanes is more than investing in concrete and asphalt. Pedestrian and cyclist rights of way allow commuters to travel without an automobile, cut our greenhouse gas emissions, and preserve the quality of our air.

Proper sidewalks allow seniors to safely access goods and services within the community on foot. Sidewalks ensure that our children can reach their schools safely. Sidewalks and bike lanes are an investment in a healthier community, climate protection, the environment, safety, and mobility. It is time for a reinvestment in pedestrians and cyclists by:

– Creating a 10-year sidewalk revitalization plan.

– Working with community associations to identify priority areas for sidewalk restoration or installation.

– Concurrently constructing sidewalks and bike lanes with road improvements.

– Dedicating larger portions of funding to sidewalks and bike lanes.

– Accessing grants from senior levels of government to improve pedestrian and cyclist corridors.

– Redesigning Development Cost Charges to create a municipal mobility fund to construct sidewalks and bike lanes across Saanich and not limited to areas within immediate proximity of new developments.