One of the things that I’ve been advocating for in Langley City is the creation of a cycling track network through my community. Building a community where people can safely get around by walking and cycling just makes sense to me.
Supporting active transportation options is cost effective, good for business, improves the environment, and creates positive health outcomes. Cycling is also an affordable, accessible transportation option. In a community like Langley City, this is important.
I know there is a demand for cycling in Langley, but there isn’t a safe network for people to use. Most people will only cycling on off-street trails, and on bike lanes that are separated from moving autos. Of course these trails and separated lanes actually have to go to places where people want to travel, and be a complete network. The current piecemeal approach to building cycling infrastructure will not encourage more cycling.
When I lived in Calgary back in the early 2000s, cycling infrastructure was nominal in Calgary’s downtown core. Last year when I was in Calgary, I noticed that they installed one separated bike lane along one of their downtown streets. I’m back in Calgary this week, and noticed they’ve built a complete separated bike lane network seemingly overnight!
Cycling is a cost effective way for both government and individuals to get around. In a presentation about deploying a pilot cycling track (separated bike lane) network in Calgary’s downtown core, it is noted that spending $10 million could build a 330 stall parkade which would serve about 435 people per day. That same $10 million could build around 8 kilometres of cycling track which would serve 2,700 people per day.
Based on the experience of that first separated bike lane, Calgary is now investing $9.38 million to build a 7.3km cycling track network in its downtown core. They expect to see a 2 to 3 times increase in cycle ridership in the first year of the network being in service, with 20% growth in ridership in subsequent years.
|New cycling track network in green. Select map to enlarge.|
I decided to take some pictures of the new cycle track network. These pictures show the various ways you can configure cycling lanes which makes people feel safer.
|Two-way cycle track. Select image to enlarge.|
|Two-way cycle track crossing street. Select image to enlarge.|
|One-way cycle track. Select image to enlarge.|
|One-way cycle track with parking buffer. Select image to enlarge.|
If Langley City where to spend $9.38 million dollar to build a cycling track network, it would include:
203rd Street from the 204th Street Overpass to Grade Crescent
53rd Avenue from 196th Street to 208th Street
Glover Road/204th Street from the Langley Bypass to 53rd Street
Imagine what a transformation that would be if we actually built that network in Langley City. Seniors, women, and children would actually feel safe riding around town.