Environment and Conservation
July 9, 2009

St. John�s Cycling Master Plan to Receive $1.5 Million

With the support of more than $1.5 million from the Newfoundland and Labrador Green Fund, the City of St. John�s officially announced phase one of the St. John�s Cycling Master Plan today.

The Honourable Charlene Johnson, Minister of Environment and Conservation, presented a cheque in the amount of $1,569,276 to the City of St. John�s Mayor Dennis O�Keefe and Shannie Duff, City Councillor and Chair of the Parks and Recreation Standing Committee. A number of cyclists, including members of St. John�s City Cycling, Bicycle Newfoundland and Labrador, and BikeShare; and residents were on hand for the announcement of the Cycling Master Plan.

The City of St. John�s Cycling Master Plan represents a tremendous opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to reduce other air pollutants, to encourage a more healthy lifestyle and to make St. John�s a more sustainable city. It also outlines a long-term strategy to attain the city�s vision of a sustainable, multi-modal transportation system that will provide its residents with healthier choices, cleaner air, and an overall better quality of life.

"We are pleased to have provided funds from the Newfoundland and Labrador Green Fund to help the City of St. John�s with the implementation of the Cycling Master Plan," said Minister Johnson. "Initiatives like this show leadership and long-term vision, as well as environmental responsibility. I applaud the City of St. John�s for taking such a critical step in creating a sustainable environment for its residents."

Phase One of the project will consist of 43 kilometres of on-road painted bike lanes, installation of signs on an additional 73 kilometres of roadway to designate roads without painted bike lanes as bike routes, the installation of 20 bicycle parking facilities throughout the city, and the installation of bike racks on the fleet of 53 Metrobuses. The total project costs of all phases of the project are estimated at approximately $7 million. The remaining costs are associated with maintenance and the paving of shoulders and pathways to make them more accessible to cyclists and will be incurred by the city as infrastructure is renewed and built over the next 20 years. In addition, there will be a promotion and information campaign aimed at cyclists and motorists alike to familiarize people with the principles of cycling safety.

"This is an important step forward in the implementation of the city�s Cycling Master Plan, and is evidence of government�s strong commitment to creating healthier, more bicycle-friendly communities while encouraging the public to change transportation habits to more environmental friendly forms to reduce greenhouse gases," said Minister Johnson. "In order to make the project a success, the co-operation of both cyclists and motorists is required in showing respect for each other. As the cycling plan is implemented, I also call upon private companies and institutions to provide appropriate facilities to encourage bicycle use by their employees."

It is estimated that the switch to bicycle transportation that will result from the implementation of a bicycle network in St. John�s would reduce greenhouse gases by approximately 1,900 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, which compares to removing approximately 400 cars from the road per year.

"I am absolutely thrilled that the city is finally realizing its long-term goal of a Cycling Master Plan, thanks in no small part to this financial support of the Provincial and the Federal Governments," said Mayor O�Keefe. "As many of you may know, I am an avid walker but a bicycle-friendly city may convert me yet."

"I am delighted that the province is partnering with the City of St. John's on the implementation of the cycling plan for the capital city," said Ms. Duff. "The generous financial contribution from the Newfoundland and Labrador Green Fund will enable the city to start work immediately on Phase One of the Cycling Master Plan. Encouraging cycling in the capital city will bring lasting health benefits to our citizens by encouraging active living and lasting environmental benefits by providing alternatives means of transportation."

Funding for the project comes from the Newfoundland and Labrador Green Fund, a three-year, $25 million program which is supported by both the Federal and Provincial Governments. This funding is to support projects geared toward environmental sustainability and real reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

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Media contacts:

Tina Coffey
Public Relations Specialist
Department of Environment and Conservation
709-729-5783, 728-8650
Dennis O�Keefe
City of St. John�s
Shannie Duff
City Councillor
Chair of Parks and Recreation Standing
City of St. John�s

2009 07 09                                                    2:50 p.m.

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