The Salish Sea Trail Network would be a gem for the province, creating a world class cycling destination, boosting local economies across the region, while supporting sustainable tourism, healthy living, and green transportation.
Completing the network's only "broken link" - Salt Spring Island - would also solve a terrible safety problem keeping cycling from being a part of our lives, like it was only a generation ago.
The Salish Sea Trail Network is an idea hatched almost 15 years ago, and amazingly, it is 90% complete. Connecting the safe, mostly off-road Lochside, Galloping Goose, Cowichan Valley Regional Trail, and the E&N Railroad, this cycling, walking and active transportation network connects some of the most populated - and stunning - parts of coastal BC.
The missing link is the Vesuvius to Fulford ferry terminals on Salt Spring, where we well know the issues with narrow roadways, lack of shoulders, dangerous blind crossings, and fast moving traffic on often unpainted roads makes bicycling a dangerous choice for all but the most courageous and athletic.
Salt Spring is also long overdue for an update to our primary road network, as it has been over twenty years since the Ministry for Transportation has made major investments to road safety in the Fulford - Ganges - Vesuvius spine road.
At current rates of funding, it will be another twenty before we have a connected network making cycling safe for residents and tourists alike.
Cycling is sadly a dream many gave up after moving here, or a lost memory from those who grew up here but won't send their own kids out on our roads today.
That's why finishing the Salish Sea Trail - as a legacy program of the post-pandemic "Green Recovery" stimulus funding - makes so much sense.
When completed this trail network will bring major economic and health benefits to all BC citizens, attracting the right kind of low impact ecotourism we need to not only stimulate the economy, but keep our aging population healthy, while supporting the transition to the low-carbon future we all know we need. Completing and marketing the trail network now will create immediate jobs in planning, engineering, construction and communications, and bring countless economic spin off benefits to not only Salt Spring but the 14 First Nations and dozens of other rural and suburban communities it would connect across the entire region.
During a time when we face interconnected crises in health, climate, and inequality - not to mention more local concerns like parking, pedestrian safety in Ganges and road degradation - getting more people onto bikes and e-bikes will help build the better world we need now.
Please sign our petition to the Provincial and Federal Governments, asking them to provide funding for completion of the last link of the Salish Sea Trail Network across Salt Spring Island. This is a perfect Green Recovery project that will help citizens, businesses, our precious natural environment, and future generations to thrive.
Sign the petition below: