The City’s annual budget often sets the tone for what is and is not possible within the City. It is important for City Council to adopt a budget that will fund the programs needed to put the Complete Streets Policy into action. Before the budget is tabled for 2015, it is important for the City to see that there are a large number of residents that want to see a budget that is able to support full implementation of the Complete Streets Policy.
To have this amount of influence on the budget, the following actions have been recommended:
- Develop a report card to clearly identify how much the City is currently spending on walkability, cycling, and transit use (and the degree to which the City is prioritizing new roads and road expansion).
- Collect data for concrete evidence about the use of the streets (for example, conducting an active transportation audit)
- Community groups and individuals host consultations within their ward and include their city councillor
There are different ways to approach a budget ask, and the following were identified as options:
- Think creatively and leverage the money that already exists in the city for smaller more cost effective initiatives (for example a councillor reaching into their constituency budget)
- Ask for a small and specific number of projects to be funded rather than demanding more money on top of what the City is already spending
- Push for the projects that will be funded in the next five years in the Transportation Master Plan to be in the front end of those five years