On Tuesday, November 13th, there will be public hearings about the City of Toronto‘s budget for next year.
How does this impact cyclists? It’s all about the money for expanding the bikeplan to its full 1000+ km by 2012.
Since the budget was just released on the 29th it has taken a bit of time to find out exactly how cycling related budget lines have fared in this proposed budget. The two budgets that have the most impact on the Bike Plan projects are those of the Transportation Services Division and the Parks Forestry and Recreation Division.
The presentation by staff at the budget launch showed that the Transportation Services Cycling infrastructure budget would be $3.0 million in 2008, no increase over 2007. However the analyst notes indicate that this budget will get an increase to 5.5 million in 2008 ($4.55 million to be spent in 2008 and $950,000 to be spent in 2009).
However, this annual rate of funding is still short of the funds that would be needed to complete the bike plan by 2012. The proposed 5 year capital plan 2008 – 2012 shows $30.1 million being spent on cycling infrastructure. That budget pays not only for bike lanes and off-road paths in hydro and rail corridors but also it contains the funds for the other items that are paid for out of the Cycling infrastructure budget such as Bike Parking projects, bridges and crossings, project management or any of the amenities that go with trail projects.
More than half of the funds needed to complete the Bikeway Network and the other parts of the Bike Plan are in the Capital plan for the years beyond 2012. The remaining $38.104 million needed to complete the bike plan are in the 2013 – 2017 Capital plan.
To complete the Bikeway Network by 2012 the budget committee needs to move those funds into the 2008 – 2012 capital plan.
If you believe in the possibilities of a full bikelane network encouraging more Torontonians to bike in our city, consider speaking to the Budget Committee next Tuesday during the public hearing session.
This is the only opportunity to voice your support for political funding of projects that improve the cycling environment in Toronto.
To find the public presentation and analyst briefing notes visit the City’s web site by clicking here.
To sign up to make a deputation on November 13th, contact the committee secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-392-7340.