Northern Health congratulates the Northern BC recipients of 2021/2022 grants for the BC Vision Zero in Road Safety for Vulnerable Road Users program!
Five projects across the Northern Health region were awarded grants to fund infrastructure and other types of road safety improvements.
The program is funded by the Ministry of Health ($430,000) and by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure ($200,000), for a total of $630,000. Funding amounts per project range from $5,000 to $20,000, and project terms are for one year (April 1, 2022, to March 31, 2023).
The program’s goal is to reduce injuries in vulnerable road users in underserved communities, Indigenous communities, and small and remote communities, both immediately and in the long term.
The program also aims to advance the implementation of innovative, technology-driven, proven and low-cost road safety crash countermeasures.
What’s a vulnerable road user? The BC Community Road Safety Toolkit, Module 2 (page 39) provides this definition:
Vulnerable road user: Anyone outside of a motor vehicle including pedestrians, cyclists, people using mobility assistance devices (e.g., people who use wheelchairs, mobility scooters, etc.), and motorcyclists. These road users do not benefit from vehicle protections like crumple zones, airbags, and protected passenger compartments. For the purposes of this toolkit, “vulnerable road users” also refers to skateboarders and longboarders, people using push scooters, and people using inline skates.
Five projects funded in the North
Cycle 16 Trail Society (Smithers) | Smither/Telkwa Multi-Use Trail | $20,000
Funding will complete Phase 1 of the Smither/Telkwa multi-use trail. Funding will go towards purchasing 47 anti-graffiti signs, two eco-counters and four bike racks.
“The Board of Cycle 16 Trail Society is happy to announce that it is pedalling closer to the goal of building a 12 km paved multi-use trail between the Town of Smithers and the Village of Telkwa in North-central BC. Sufficient funding has been secured to complete construction of Phase 1, which will begin in June 2022. The trail will create a healthy and safe transportation option for people of all ages and fitness levels. The Board is grateful for the continued support of our membership, stakeholders, local businesses, and all funding entities in making the dream of a legacy trail for future generations a reality.”
– Janet Harris, Treasurer, Cycle 16 Trail Society
Northern Brain Injury Association (Prince George) | Road Safety and Community Education | $19,000
Funding will allow for bike rodeos to be hosted in 25 communities across Northern BC.
“Our project will focus on organizing bike rodeos to ensure that cyclists of all ages have the tools for safe bike riding on public roads while ensuring that ‘sharing the road’ principles are followed. We will strive to ensure that helmets are worn correctly and are appropriate for the activity being enjoyed. Our program will be expanded to include winter sports. We will target ski hills and backcountry enthusiasts. We will promote the use of helmet safety.”
– Ryan Challen, Community Coordinator, Northern Brain Injury Association
Saulteau First Nations (Moberly Lake) | Saulteau First Nations Playground | $20,000
This project aims to decrease speeds on the roads around the new playground by using signage and a solar speed radar sign. Signs will be in English and Plains Cree language to promote their traditional language.
“Saulteau First Nations has been focusing efforts on creating public gathering spaces to enrich social interaction and encourage healthy lifestyles; the funding received through the Vision Zero in Road Safety for Vulnerable Road Users Program will no doubt increase the safety of our outdoor gathering spaces, parks, and playgrounds, by providing signage to slow down drivers where children are at play. Thank you, Northern Health, for this program!”
– Teena Demeulemeester, TREP Supervisor, Saulteau First Nations
XaaydaGa Dlaang Society – Skidegate Health Centre (Haida Village of Skidegate) | Improving Xaayda Laas (Haida People) Road Safety | $20,000
Funding will purchase a number of high-visibility vests and rechargeable LED safety lights to give to community members. Six movable “children at play” signs will also be purchased to slow drivers down. The signs will be placed outside playgrounds and preschools where they will have the most impact.
“The safety of our community is one of our highest concerns. Although we cannot control how fast others drive or remain safe in their use of the roads, we can empower individuals to create awareness by improving their own visibility when outside, going for a walk, and enjoying our beautiful outdoors with confidence and safety.”
– Lauren Brown, Health Director, XaaydaGa Dlaang Society, Skidegate Health Centre
Village of Fraser Lake | Highway Speed Reduction Program | $20,000
Funding will install two solar panel speed boards as road users enter the 50 km/hr speed zone in the Village of Fraser Lake.
“The Village of Fraser Lake is thankful for this funding and enthusiastically looking forward to the installation of our Highway 16 speed boards. With Highway 16 running through our community, the speed boards will alert drivers to the 50 km/hr speed limit that is posted through our community. By slowing traffic, we will improve pedestrian and intersection safety. Slower vehicle speeds result in fewer collisions and better outcomes where injuries do occur. Thank you for your support of our community.”
– Rodney J. Holland, Chief Administrative Officer, Village of Fraser Lake
To see other Vision Zero in Road Safety projects funded in BC, visit Vision Zero Grant Program – Successful Applicants | BCIRPU (injuryresearch.bc.ca)