New Brunswick needs safer and healthier streets
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It is time to implement the Sustainable Transportation Strategy recommended by ESIC and the Climate Change Action Plan which has been endorsed by all elected parties.
Transportation is the second highest contributor of carbon emissions in Canada and the second highest expense for the average Canadian household. Walking, biking and rolling are some of the healthiest and most cost effective choices we can make in our daily routine. Unfortunately in New Brunswick, we lack meaningful policy and action to make this an easier and safer choice. A 2018 survey by the Council of Ministers of Transportation found that New Brunswick is the only province without programs and performance measurements to increase active transportation. In fact, the only policy which mentions active transportation is the 2016 Climate Change Action Plan and the 2017 Sustainable Transportation Strategy, which have largely yet to be implemented.
It is time that government commit to implementing these plans before more New Brunswickers are put in danger for making a healthy, environmental and cost effective choice.
In 2020, five people died on New Brunswick roads while walking or cycling. Two of them were children. These tragedies were preventable.
A lot of time, money and expertise has gone into these documents. There's no need to re-invent the wheel. We can save lives and improve others if we commit to these plans today.
The benefits of Active Transportation
Researchers with the CDC found that for every dollar invested in walking and cycling trails there is a 3X return in healthcare cost savings.
According to Statistics Canada, the second largest expense for the average Canadian household is transportation. The average cost of car ownership is $11,258 per year.
In a survey conducted by the Sonoran Institute, “Proximity to trails” ranked #4 out of 26 factors when people decide to relocate or remain in a chosen community.
Business & Tourism
According to case studies conducted by TCAT, people who walk or bike to businesses spend more and visit more often. Furthermore, trail tourism is a $32M industry in NB, while cycling tourism alone is a $66M industry in Maine. We have room to GROW!
Lower Maintenance Costs & Safer Roads
Road diets reduce the number of lane-kilometres that need to be plowed and resurfaced. According to the US DOT, road diets can also reduce car accidents by as much as 47% due to fewer conflict points, shorter crosswalk distance and larger buffers between motorized and non-motorized uses. Video: What is a road diet?
Actions from the Climate Action Plan
- 18: “In urban areas, and where possible elsewhere, preferentially locate public buildings in areas accessible by public transit, walking and cycling.”
- 50: “Collaborate with municipal and local governments to expand cleaner alternative transportation options such as electric vehicles, public transit, carpooling, ride-sharing, bicycling and walking.”
- 62: “Encourage community and regional land-use planning practices that incorporate energy efficiency, energy conservation, carbon sequestration, reduced emissions, support healthy built environments and which incorporate and encourage communities to improve the availability and accessibility of safe alternative forms of transportation such as walking, cycling and public transit.”
Read the full action plan here.
Recommendations from the Sustainable Transportation Strategy
- 2.3: Require provincial departments and municipalities to develop Transportation Impact Assessments (TIAs)
when locating large-scale developments.
- 4.8: Encourage and enable the development of Active Transportation infrastructure to support walking, biking, and wheeling in urban and rural areas.
- 5.1: Assemble a provincial transportation oversight committee to monitor progress on the implementation of the Strategy until clear ownership is achieved.
Read the full strategy here.
For more information go to MoveNB.ca
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Nick Cameron needs your help with “Minister Jill Green: New Brunswick needs climate action and sustainable transportation options”. Join Nick and 241 supporters today.