The Climate is Right for Cycling
The climate is changing, populations are increasingly vulnerable, and the world is finally listening.
We are seeing an incredible synergy across the world of people coming together for this cause. It’s time to alter how we live in hopes of keeping our climate from rising more than 2 degrees celsius. In BC, we need to join voices now to ask for what we need in order to make the changes that count.
The BC government recently released its Climate Leadership Plan which did not include any new cycling initiatives. While the Climate Leadership Team’s recommendations to the Government include the possibility of using Carbon Tax revenue to fund cycling and walking infrastructure, the Climate Leadership Plan is deferring any increase in the Carbon Tax to further discussions with the Federal Government.
The Plan acknowledges there is much work still to be done and states:
B.C. is committed to reaching our 2050 target to reduce GHG emissions to 80 per cent below 2007 levels. That means continuing to update our plan, which we will do over the course of the following year and every five years after that.
The Climate Leadership Team acknowledged the importance in the short term of the creation of communities more conducive to transit, walking and biking so there is still the opportunity for the Province to commit to investing more in cycling over the coming year.
We still need to work hard to convince the BC Government to enable everyone in Province to cycle and walk for their daily trips by investing $1 billion over ten years in cycling and walking. Please sign the petition and write the Premier.
Cycling is Effective
We know that “At approximately 37%, transportation is B.C.’s largest source of emissions.” (BC Gov). We also know that people in BC want to cycle more, and would do so if they had access to separated bike lanes.
Replacing trips made in vehicles with bike trips is a lot more effective at reducing GHG emissions than replacing cars with alternative cars, and building car centric “Infrastructure [that] is located, designed and maintained to withstand extreme weather conditions.” (Discussion Paper, pg 15)
If BC is serious about ‘reducing GHG emissions to two tonnes or less per capita (a 95% reduction from 1990) by 2050, cycling needs to be allocated the resources to grow immensely. Doing this will allow those that already want to start biking, or do it more often to join.
According to a new report published by the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy and the University of California, Davis, if we increase trips made on bike from 7% globally to 23% by 2050, we could save 300 megatons of CO2 emissions, and 24 trillion dollars. (Full Report)
Cycling is Popular
Cycling is popular with almost 70% of adults in BC riding a bicycle at least once a year. Many want to cycle more with almost 70%, 3 million people, indicating they would ride more if there were separated bike lanes that protected them from traffic. The CRD estimates that building out the cycling network would increase cycling to 15% of all trips while TransLink estimates network buildout in Metro Vancouver will increase cycling to 10% of trips.
Based on these estimates by region, the cost of building cycling networks around the Province will be be approximately $2.3 billion. For less than the cost of a new highway bridge, we can have quality bike routes that millions of British Columbians will enjoy. However, based on current levels of investment, cycling networks will take 20, 30 or even 40 years to complete. Not nearly fast enough given the urgency to find climate change solutions.
Where significant investments have been made, cycling has increased dramatically. Between 2008 and 2014, daily cycling trips by City of Vancouver residents over doubled increasing from 50,000 to 131,000. In Central Okanagan, daily cycling trips increased by 43% from 2007 to 15,400 in 2013.
We are being heard:
Since the start of the Billion for Bikes campaign, the BC Government has increased cycling funding by $2 million to $8 million per year. Much more is needed but that is a good start. The Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services has also officially recommended investment in cycling. Read the details about the recommendation here.
Please sign and share the petition and donate to our Billions for Bikes Campaign. Don't be shy- Feel free to share and celebrate the news with fellow bikers at stop lights, or with your barista- social media is not the only way!
Along with lending your voice, monetary support is immensely appreciated. The BC Cycling Coalition's ability to push for change is fueled by fundraising. A sincere thank you to those who have already donated.
3. Write the Premier and Your MLA
Please the Premier know that you want cycling to be a big part of its plans to address climate change. Let them know what greatly improved cycling would mean for your family and community.
Thank you for supporting safer cycling
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:
- 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