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Cycling for Everyone
by Rick

 In June 2011, Translink unveiled its regional cycling strategy entitled “Cycling for Everyone”. It is an “ambitious plan to increase cycling and improve cycling safety.”

The plan focuses on two main goals:

-    to get more people cycling more often so that, by 2040, 15% of all trips less than 8 kilometers are made by bicycle.

-    make cycling feel safer so that, by 2040, 50% of all cycling trips are made by females. Cycling is safer so that, by 2040, 50% fewer people are killed or seriously injured while cycling.

I agree with the two goals. This is one of those rare times Translink has come up with an inexpensive solution to reduce congestion and get people motivated to leave their cars at home.

According to Translink, less than 2% of all trips less than 8km in Burnaby are made by bicycle. Of those trips only about one quarter of those trips are by women.

In Metro Vancouver, funding for bicycle facilities and programs over the past decade has amounted to less  than 1% of regional transportation spending.

In 2011, Burnaby budgeted a paltry $487 020 (1.67% of money spent on transportation improvements) for its bike program . Meanwhile council has set aside $28.7 million for roads and traffic management.

There is a clear relationship between proportion of money spent on bicycle infrastructure and bicycle ridership, If the City took cycling seriously, we could reduce congestion during peak hours. A safe cycling network could reduce congestion around schools and reduce our dependence on cars for those short trips to the store or worksite.
The personal choice to cycle more often is influenced by many factors which include the weather, convenience, safety, geography and physical health and fitness. While government cannot influence the weather or geography of the community, it can significantly make cycling more convenient and safe. In addition, through information campaigns and event sponsorships, municipal governments can help change people’s attitudes about cycling.

With innovation in electric bike  and electric assisted bike technology, proper rain gear and appropriate end of trip facilities, cycling will be a realistic and convenient choice for many commuters in Burnaby.

(October 2, 2011)

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