, thanks for your great work on the board of directors!Thanks so much for your support of the BC Cycling Coalition and cycling in BC.
The BC Cycling Coalition is your voice for great bike routes everywhere. We are working hard to enable everyone in the Province to bike for their daily trips while eliminating fatalities and injuries. Please show your support by signing the Billion for Bikes petition.
The Comox Valley is the land of outdoor activity. It is known for mountain biking but equally enjoyed by people on road bikes. One popular route is through the rural Comox Valley communities situated between Cook Creek Road and Royston Road, a 30 km stretch along Hwy 19A. With an investment in better cycling infrastructure, the Comox Valley could become a mid-Vancouver Island cycling destination.
Even now, many people cycle this route: local cycling clubs, tourists and residents. It is rare not to spot a person on a bike here. This section of Hwy 19A offers the only transportation route by car, bike, transit or foot through the adjacent ocean front residential nodes and contains the access point to both Denman and Hornby Islands. It is also an important link for the bicycle circle route between Nanaimo, the Comox Valley, Powell River and the Sunshine Coast. The route offers a unique rural community experience for both locals and the growing number of people seeking adventure by bike.
In my experience, the best side of Hwy 19A between Royston and Cook Creek Road is its diverse natural setting offering vistas of Baynes Sound, aromas of the sea, stretches of forest and occasional viewings of wildlife from both the forest and the sea. The friendly unique rural communities along the route provide sanctuaries of rest, food and hospitality. The overall terrain is comfortable, with undulating sections but nothing steep. It is a route ideal for cycle tourism and transportation by bike, or rather could be.
The negative side is the road itself. It has areas of neglect and inadequate shoulder widths. The posted traffic speeds vary between 60-80 kmh. Generally it denies a bike rider a safe space. The shoulder is often too narrow, some spots as narrow as 9 inches wide; the cars too fast, many very large, and frequently not moving over nor slowing down enough for a cyclist to feel safe; the upkeep of the road shoulder is poor including overgrown greenery, gravel, and cracked and angled pavement, many of the bridge decks are shared with highway speed traffic with no refuge for the bike rider and interspersed during a bike ride is often parked vehicles that essentially force the cyclist off the shoulder into a travel lane meant for larger and faster moving traffic.My personal story, that fueled safety concerns on this stretch of roadway, occurred in June 2016. I experienced what felt like a near miss on two consecutive days: one with a logging truck that forced me off the road, the other with a swerving driver that fortunately swerved away just in time to continue swerving somewhere else. I can only guess that person was impaired.
My conclusion is this section of Hwy 19A does not consider public safety issues for people on bikes nor people on foot. The gold standard would be protected cycling and walking infrastructure, something, given my recent experiences, I am advocating for.
I believe improved cycling infrastructure on Hwy 19A in the Comox Valley would make the road safer for people on bikes. A likely outcome would be more residents cycling for transportation, and a marked rise in cyclotourism. The return on investment beyond the potential for saving a person’s life is the role cycling plays in climate action solutions, health care cost reduction, tourism and rural community economic growth.
Please email the Minister of Transportation and Highways, the Hon. Todd Stone to ask for investment for safer cycling infrastructure on Hwy 19A:
firstname.lastname@example.org, FIN.Minister@gov.bc.ca, email@example.com, PSSG.Minister@gov.bc.ca, firstname.lastname@example.org, claire.trevena.MLA@leg.bc.ca, email@example.com, CycleCV@gmail.com
Finance Minister Mike de Jong reports that B.C. is ending the fiscal year with a $730 million surplus. Investing a good portion of the surplus in cycling and walking will increase affordability by enabling people to reduce their transportation costs.
The B.C. economy grew by an estimated three per cent in 2015, more than triple the national average. A massive surge in property transfer tax has left the province’s coffers fuller than expected, and more help could be coming from the province to deal with housing affordability.
The Province has recently announced several cycling improvements:
- Seven Vancouver Island communities (Langford, Saanich, Victoria, Nanaimo, Port Alberni, Capital Regional District, Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District) will get nearly $2.7 million in Bike BC Funding for cycling facilities
- Updates to Highway 97 in West Kelowna include wider shoulders and improved lighting from Glenrosa Road to Hebert Road
- Upgrades to the Sea to Sky include the Porteau Bluffs cycling warning system and may include improved shoulders near Whistler
While this is a start, much more is needed to enable everyone to cycle for their daily trips.
Please Premier Clark know that you want more cycling. Let them know what greatly improved cycling would mean for your family and community.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org and cc:
email@example.com, FIN.Minister@gov.bc.ca, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Minister.Transportation@gov.bc.ca, ENV.Minister@gov.bc.ca, claire.trevena.MLA@leg.bc.ca, firstname.lastname@example.org, spencer.herbert.MLA@leg.bc.ca, david.eby.MLA@leg.bc.ca, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,,
I’ve had the pleasure of working with many of you to improve cycling around Vancouver and BC through HUB, BEST, Canada Bikes and the BCCC. Working with political leaders and staff in all levels of government, we have had many successes. From wider sidewalks on the Lions Gate Bridge and the Ironworks Bridge, the Bicycle and Pedestrian Path on the Canada Line Bridge, to the Central Valley Greenway. All told, these improvements total around $70 million.
While there are many reasons why I work to move cycling forward, what I find most rewarding is seeing more and more people cycling. Especially families with children.
Still, there is much to do. BC is a large province with great potential.
We need cycle tracks along main streets so people can safely and comfortably cycle to shops, cafes, restaurants, offices and other businesses.
We need safe connections between communities for locals and tourists. At least wide shoulders free of debris and preferable paths separated from high speed traffic.
We need improved standards for paths and roads ensuring that obstacles are not placed on or near bicycle paths, that fencing and railings do not cause crashes or serious injuries and that shoulders are wide, well maintained and kept clear of hazards.
We need a billion for bikes so we can fast track the completion of all ages and abilities cycling networks across the province. It is time for bold action.
We need need to build stronger more organized cycling community across the Province to encourage leaders to make commitments to improve cycling and to provide the grassroots support they need when they show leadership in moving cycling.
We need your support to make this all happen. As the BCCC not a charity, we can’t issue tax receipts. However, that means we are not limited in the amount of money that we can and will devote for advocacy. Please donate to support the Billions for Bikes campaign.
I look forward to continue working with you to make this beautiful province a great place for people of all ages to enjoy cycling.
Thank you for your great work and support.
Currently in B.C. bicycles and transportation fares are exempt from PST charges, and clean energy vehicles are eligible for rebates up to $5,000. Purchases of new electric bicycles, and their electric parts, are charged PST, and are not eligible for rebates. Something doesn’t seem right here, does it? So please please sign the petition!
For a brief period of time, when B.C. was running the HST tax, electric bikes did, in fact, receive tax exemptions. It seems that in the transition back to the system we currently use, minor details such as taxes on assisted bikes slipped through the cracks.
For small business owners however, this detail feels rather significant. "It's really quite a hassle." Says Paul Dragan of Reckless Bikes. "When repairing an electric bike, we have to charge PST on the electric parts like the battery and motor while there is no PST on the bike parts like wheels and brakes.". Creating two separate lines, and a once unnecessary step to small business’s financial records, is cumbersome and aggravating.
For individuals, the re-added tax could be a barrier to purchasing, or converting to, an e-bike. Electric bikes suitable for commuting typically cost $1500-$3000, making the suggested PST exemption worth about $105 - $210 for buyers, plus on-going PST charges on maintaining parts. Additionally, a rebate would provide financial incentives for individuals to incorporate active transportation into their daily lives.
Electric bikes are being studied by biking centres around the world. The Netherlands, and Norway have measured significant increases in bicycle trip length, and frequency due to use of electric bikes. In 2013, a survey in the Netherlands reported that 5 percent of the total population, and 10 percent of the 60+ population owned an e-bike, and those with electric models ride twice as many kilometers compared to the 60+ cyclists with a regular bike. In 2014, they found that those with e-bikes rode 22% more kilometres per week, and the average commuting distance rose from 6.3 to 9.8 kilometres. Assisted bikes make up 21% of bicycles sales in the Netherlands.
Electric bicycles remove accessibility barriers by allowing riders to conquer hills, speeds, and distances that would otherwise be impossible for some people. These machines, that emit zero carbon, make active transportation a viable option for a broader population, opening it up to all ages and abilities, especially in combination with safe cycling infrastructure.
With B.C.’s aggressive climate targets for 2050, and municipal initiatives to increase active transportation, removing financial barriers to access electric bicycles is logical. Considering that it was not long ago that we actually didn’t pay taxes on these bikes, it is more of an error correction, than a radical request.
The British Columbia Cycling Coalition has submitted a formal request to remove the PST and add rebates, similar to those available for electric cars, as part of their Climate Leadership Action Plan recommendation.
Also included in the recommendations a billion dollars over ten years for bike paths and protected bike lanes as well as improved design standards that can safely accommodate electric bikes and enable longer distance commuting.
I call upon the Government of BC to enable everyone in BC to cycle & walk in safety as part of their daily lives by implementing an Active Transportation Strategy that includes:
3,580 SUPPORTERS420 needed to reach 4,000
- Investing $1 billion over the next ten years to:
- Upgrade cycling & walking facilities on provincial roads & bridges
- Complete cycling & walking networks in communities across BC
- Provide safe routes to school for children
- Build trails & routes for cycling & walking tourism
- Ensuring that paths & protected bike lanes can be safely shared by people using wheelchairs, skateboards & in-line skates
- Enhancing cycling education for children & adults
- Promoting cycling & walking
- Encouraging electric bike use by eliminating the PST & providing rebates
- Investing $1 billion over the next ten years to:
Join the MovementSupport safer more enjoyable cycling in BC!
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