Let’s make 2021 the Year of the Cyclist in Kamloops!

It can be discouraging and slow-moving, muddled and downright maddening– but every so often we are presented with an opportunity to shift policy in ways which could radically improve our city and the lives of people in it. January 12th will offer us one such opportunity, thanks to the advocacy of Councilor Arjun Singh. 

Councilor Singh will bring a notice of motion to the council chambers to be debated next Tuesday which will, in short, compress the timeline for the city to achieve some aspects of its Transportation Master Plan from 20 years to a much more appealing 5 years. Singh envisions 2021 being the “Year of the Cyclist”, with a call on City Staff to come up with ideas to invest in alternative transportation infrastructure―and also prioritize more funding opportunities for such projects. In short, it makes cycling and active modes of transportation a priority, and the timing couldn’t be better.

Kamloops is growing fast. Many people will be coming to join this great community over these next few years, and it’s worth thinking about how we can make sure Kamloops stays the special place it is today. Now is the time to invest in common-sense infrastructure that lays a foundation for how our city should grow. If we do not show a commitment to a sustainable, connected city now, we will surely regret it. This pandemic has shown us the need to invest in our communities and neighbourhoods, to invest in resiliency and our shared sustainable future. This is a rare and opportune moment to put cycling infrastructure at the forefront, to kick off a new commitment to a more sustainable city which meets the climate crisis head-on, and adapts for the better. 

Singh, interviewed about the motion by Kamloops This Week, notes that the much-beloved Rivers Trail came into being through a strong show of community advocacy and fundraising. His motion would open future projects to similar funding models, increasing the potential for great cycling infrastructure across our city. All one needs to do is walk along any portion of the Rivers Trail to see the benefit, and the joy, of a more connected city which promotes cycling and alternative transportation. 

Imagine, for a moment, the potential just sitting in waiting. Imagine a city with less traffic, less pollution, less noise―a city safer for bikers, safer for drivers, and better for the pristine wilderness which surrounds it. Our future will benefit from our voices raised in support of this fantastic initiative from Councilor Singh, and I hope you’ll join me in expressing your support to all members of council. 

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