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Spacing: Budget committee backs down from funding bikes

Tammy Thorne of Spacing just posted about the Budget Committee backing down from increasing the Bike Plan Budget to get it done by 2012.

While the original amount budgeted for 2008 was $3 million, the $5.5 million approved (while a substantial increase of 83%) falls short of the $7.7 million that some people say is needed to get the plan back on track to a 2012 finish.

The city’s chronic shortage of money has killed a move to add almost $18 million to complete an ambitious bike plan by 2012.

City council’s budget committee voted only to support the project in principle, with a report to come later on whether it’s affordable without cancelling other important projects.

The city’s 2008 capital budget allocates $5.5 million next year for bike lanes, but that should be raised to $7.7 million, said Franz Hartmann, executive director of the Toronto Environmental Alliance.

Councillor Gord Perks’ bid to add $17.9 million to the bike plan between 2009 and 2012 ran into opposition on the budget committee.

“I don’t want to increase the budget by $17 million right now,” said Councillor Shelley Carroll, the budget committee chair.

The Spacing Post also has some good advice for Toronto cyclists who want to get proper funding back on the table, maybe via the Council Executive Committee (email link to Exec. Committee Secretariat):

• contact your local councillor and ask them to support funding for completion of the entire Bike Plan
• contact the Executive Committee if you want them to up the funding for bikes.

More at Spacing Toronto

[photo credit]

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