Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Transport 2050: TransLink’s New Long-Range Plan to Reduce Pedestrian and Cyclist Deaths

When people think of TransLink, they think about transit. While providing transit is the largest service that TransLink delivers, it also funds the major road network such as 200th Street as well as cycling and walking infrastructure such as 203rd Street, Duncan Way, Glover Road, and the 208th Street Causeway.

TransLink’s Board and the Mayors’ Council recently adopted Transport 2050, the new long-range plan for how we get around in our region. Transport 2050 works together with Metro 2050, the proposed new regional land-use strategy for Metro Vancouver.

I want to focus on aspects of Transport 2050 beyond transit.

Motor vehicle crashes are the third leading cause of injury-related death in BC for people who are 15 or older. Speed is a leading factor in these deaths.

According to TransLink, annually “100 people are needlessly killed [by motor vehicle drivers] on Metro Vancouver streets — typically, 40 of whom were walking, biking, or rolling while they were struck and killed.”

Strategy 4.1 of Transport 2050 is to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries. This strategy is known as Vision Zero.

A people-first street in Santa Monica, California

TransLink plans to work with municipalities to accomplish this by:

  • Reducing the default speed limits and designing urban streets to 30 km/hr or slower, only supporting speed limits of 60km/h or more for controlled-access highways.
  • Allowing 50km/h speed limits as long as streets have signalized crossings, wide sidewalks, protected bike lanes, and transit priority lanes.
  • Transforming roads into people-first streets by creating safe and inviting environments for people who are rolling, walking, and cycling.
  • Providing support for other ways of getting around on people-first streets such as e-scooters, mopeds, and even delivery trikes.

Transport 2050 includes actions around enforcement and education such as:

  • Delivering, in partnership with other agencies, increased training on how to operate motor vehicles safely around people walking, rolling, cycling as well as around transit vehicles, heavy commercial vehicles and agricultural equipment.
  • Working with the police to focus traffic enforcement on dangerous motor vehicle drivers.
  • Working with the province to increase automated speed and traffic enforcement at high-collision intersections.
  • Working with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Enforcement branch to create a unified regional program of commercial vehicle safety inspections.
  • Working to encourage Advanced Driver Assistance Systems that help reduce collisions between drivers of heavy commercial vehicles and people walking, rolling, and cycling.

For more information, please read Transport 2050 starting on page 83 (number 163 in the strategy.)

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