Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Building Bike Lanes, Bus Lanes, and Sidewalks to Reduce Congestion in Langley City

A family on bikes on 53rd Avenue

One of the questions I get asked by folks occasionally is why Langley City has been changing some general travel lanes into, or building new, bike lanes, bus lanes, and sidewalks.

Langley City has been doing this for decades. The first project was the Fraser Highway One-Way, which, up until the 1980s, was a two-way road.

One of the facts about Langley City is that our community has limited space for transportation, so we have to make the most efficient use of the space available. The following chart is from the National Association of City Transportation Officials. It shows that sidewalks, bike lanes, and bus lanes carry an order of magnitude more people per hour than general travel lanes.

From Transit Street Design Guide, Designing to Move People. People per hour by lane type. Select the graphic to enlarge.

Langley City is an extremely walkable, bikeable, and transit-accessible community (even without SkyTrain.) Giving people safe travel options means we can reduce congestion as our community grows. This congestion reduction is only possible when a community has safe and convenient walking and cycling infrastructure and fast, frequent transit service.

The report from the Canadian Automobile Association titled “Breaking the Bottlenecks: Congestion Solutions for Canada” also supports building walking and cycling infrastructure to reduce congestion.

Experience in other countries shows that building segregated bike lanes that makes cycling commuters feel safe and secure can be a relatively low-cost way to reduce urban congestion. Policymakers should also consider better integrating bike sharing with transit systems as a true “last mile” solution.

While it is counterintuitive, the transportation investments that Langley City is making will ensure that our community keeps moving, freeing up road space for commercial traffic and people with no choice but to drive.


Anonymous said...

Reducing congestion?? Have you been out and had a look at traffic during the day? 203rd is a nightmare now that one lane has been eliminated, Douglas Cres. is gridlocked in front of city hall and its a matter of time before a cyclist is hurt riding in the bike lane on Douglas and 204st. What's the plan for when Skytrain comes? Take away more lanes of traffic and have bike/buggy lanes everywhere? Council's priorities are very out of touch with the issues in the city today.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree, I do not support bike lanes that take away traffic lanes. If the sidewalks are moved over to actually create a bike lane then I’m all for it. Streets are already congested and will soon, only get worse with the arrival of skytrain.