Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How to increase cycling in Metro Vancouver

At the Connecting Communities: BC Youth Summit for Sustainable Transportation, I heard a great presentation on how to attract people to cycling. Portland, OR did a study to find out what it would take to get people into cycling. They found that about a third of the people would not cycle, “no way, no how.” Another 10% where hard-core cyclist that cycle no matter what. 60% of the people would cycle, but they had concerns.

60% is a pretty big numbers and it’s a group whose needs haven’t been meet when it comes to cycling infrastructure. End of cycling facilities such as bike parking and shower are important, but so is the cycling facilities “on the ground.” This 60% group of concerned, potential cyclist do not and will not ride with cars meaning that the typical shoulder bike lane is useless. Off-street bike paths and multi-use paths are the top choice for these potential cyclists. The second choice was separated bike lanes like in Downtown Vancouver. If we are truly serious about increasing the amount of cycling done in our region, we’re going to have to get serious about cycling infrastructure. The great thing about cycling infrastructure is that even separated bike lanes and off-street path are an order of magnitude cheaper than transit or roads expansion.


Unknown said...

Couldn't agree with you more. I do want to caution though that I am still of the opinion that infrastructure wise it is far better to focus on dedicated bike routes not on already existing dedicated main roads.

An example of this would be how Vancouver did handle putting the dedicated lane on Hornby. Had they wanted to put it on Burrard I think it would have been the dumbest move ever but they didn't cause road conflict. While some people may have been upset about it going on any road even Hornby it didn't remove road lanes for buses and cars off a major dedicated arterial in downtown.

For that I'd never want to see dedicated bike lanes on Georgia, Seymour, Howe, or Nelson. But absolutely more cycling infrastructure.

Same goes in Surrey and in Langley. No bike lanes on King George or 104th. But alternates are always better. I think Surrey and Langley really have a chance though now to do things right because they both have so much more land and options available. Vancouver is built up so adding road infrastructure in any capacity even bike lanes means sacrifice on another front. You can't simply widen the roads.

But say for example the 160th widening which _will_ happen eventually from Fraser Highway to HW1. I think when they do it, they should widen it enough to have dedicated bike lanes separated with pedestrians. Do something similar to the sea-wall where pedestrians and cyclists are separate from the road traffic and also minorly separated from each other. It wouldn't take much more space as you wouldn't need to do it on both sides just 1 side both directions.

Joe Zaccaria said...

Of the 22 reasons for bike lanes, 20 of them benefit the automobile driver. Someone here seems to have a real hate on for bike lanes. Maybe they should investigate the other benefits?