Re: Federal funding for pedestrian and cycling infrastructure plans
To see a PDF version of the original letter sent to Mayor Watson, please click here.
I am writing to ask that you include funding for the City of Ottawa’s Pedestrian Infrastructure Plan and Cycling Infrastructure Plan among your list of priorities for federal infrastructure funding.
As you know, the federal government has committed $60 billion over ten years to infrastructure spending on projects across Canada. The government has stipulated that it will use three eligibility areas to guide its assessment of the viability of potential projects; public transit infrastructure, social infrastructure and green infrastructure projects will be prioritized.
The City of Ottawa has established free-standing plans for cycling and pedestrian infrastructure, each of which envisions approximately $70 million to be spent over 15 years. By seeking additional federal dollars to support these two plans, the City of Ottawa could accelerate the implementation of these important projects and provide much needed infrastructure improvements in a timely way.
As an investment strategy, the City of Ottawa’s existing cycling and pedestrian infrastructure plans would meet all three federal eligibility areas since they would simultaneously help transport people, reduce greenhouse gases and add to the safety, health and vibrancy of the community. Further, the fact that the plans have already been conceptualized and the individual projects are relatively small scale means that they are “shovel-ready” and could be implemented in a timely way. More broadly, these projects would result in visible short- and long-term economic and social benefits to the community, and are highly cost-effective and impactful when compared with expenditures of similar scale targeted at more traditional (e.g., automobile-focused) infrastructure investments. They are also widely spread out across the city, so they would help showcase federal infrastructure funding in all wards and ridings.
For these reasons, Ecology Ottawa urges the City of Ottawa to prioritize an appeal for federal funding for the Pedestrian Infrastructure Plan and the Cycling Infrastructure Plan as part of its request for federal infrastructure funds.
I would very much appreciate hearing your thoughts on this matter. Thank you for your consideration of this letter.