London Mayor Sadiq Khan to Invest $305 million/year in Cycling
Congratulations to new London Mayor Sadiq Khan on his historic victory. During the campaign he promised to double the annual cycling budget to £164m ($305 million CAN). Cycling is a form mass transport that requires serious investment.
As London's population was 8.4 million in 2012, that amounts to around $36 per person per year, almost the $40 per person per year invested in the Netherlands. If BC was to invest at the same rate, that would amount to around $165 million per year. Time for British Columbia to follow the lead of the British and invest in cycling for everyone.
London is investing relatively large amounts in cycling is because it is really their only near term option. They are expanding transit capacity but these efforts are both very expensive and can take decades to complete. TfL commissioner, Peter Hendy states:
capacity on London's transport network would be improved far more quickly and cheaply, and with positive effects on the cycle routes, than other schemes on the horizon such as Crossrail 2.
Even back in 2013, bicycles accounted for 24% of vehicles in London's morning rush hour. London's cycling commissioner, Andrew Gilligan, told the Guardian:
Cycling is clearly a mass mode of transport in central London and until now it hasn't been treated as such.
Nearly all provision for cycling is based on the presumption that hardly anyone cycles, that you can make do with shoving cyclists to the side of the road and that just clearly is wrong.
Sadiq Khan has also said:
"I am committed to continuing the investment in the Cycle Superhighways programme and upgrading existing segregated cycle ways to a higher standard. I also want to roll out more 20mph zones in residential areas, having long campaigned for their introduction in my own constituency of Tooting. Moreover, I would be strongly in favour of adopting a variant of the Idaho Law and I have pledged to revise the list of junctions in need of immediate attention, prioritising improving those where the most deaths and accidents have occurred. Doing this is absolutely essential because Londoners must be able to move around their city with confidence and as safely and efficiently as possible.
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