Cycling is Mass Transportation - It Needs to Funded Accordingly

Increases in the number of people cycling and walking in BC communities including Victoria, Whistler, North Vancouver, Kelowna and Vancouver, demonstrate that cycling and walking are mass transportation solutions worthy of substantial investment.

To help enable everyone to cycle and walk for their daily trips, we recommend that the Provincial Government accelerate its cycling and walking investment to $100 million per year. This, along with investment from communities and the Federal Government, will enable communities to build out their cycling networks thus enabling the benefits including GHG emissions reductions and health care cost savings to be realized sooner. This funding would be used to upgrade Provincial roads and bridges; complete cycling and walking networks in communities; provide Safe and Healthy Routes to School; and for paths used by visitors and residents.

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Tell them what the problems and solutions are in your community and what better cycling would mean for your family and friends.

This investment will help address the deficit estimated to be $2 billion for cycling and $2.6 billion for walking. Around $7 billion will be invested in B.C. over the next 3 years in transportation and the Government is projecting surpluses of over $200 million per year so there is plenty of funding available.

Cycling and walking are popular activities that many people in B.C. want to do more often

  • Almost 70% of adults in B.C. ride a bicycle at least once a year, 42% at least once a month and 25% at least once a week.

  • Cycling and walking are especially popular among young people (18-35) with 8% cycling and 10% walking to work.

  • Many people want to cycle more, with 65% indicating they would ride more if there were separated bike lanes that protected them from traffic.

  • 14% of adults 18-35 years old say cycling would be their ideal commute.

  • 34% of B.C. residents say walking (23%) or cycling (11%) would be their ideal commute.

Cycling and walking are popular activities that many people in B.C. want to do more often

  • Almost 70% of adults in B.C. ride a bicycle at least once a year, 42% at least once a month and 25% at least once a week.

  • Cycling and walking are especially popular among young people (18-35) with 8% cycling and 10% walking to work.

  • Many people want to cycle more, with 65% indicating they would ride more if there were separated bike lanes that protected them from traffic.

  • 14% of adults 18-35 years old say cycling would be their ideal commute.

  • 34% of B.C. residents say walking (23%) or cycling (11%) would be their ideal commute.

There is broad public support for cycling improvements

  • 72% of B.C. On the Move Engagement Survey respondents supported enhancing cycling infrastructure.

Where significant investments have been made, cycling has increased dramatically

  • Between 2008 and 2015, daily cycling trips by City of Vancouver residents increased from 50,000 to 131,000. In 2015, 10% of Vancouver residents cycled to work, up from 4.4% in 2011.

  • In the Central Okanagan, daily cycling trips increased by 43% to 15,400 between 2007 and 2013.

  • Whistler’s cycling commute mode share was 8% in 2011, an increase of 31% since 2006.

Many trips are within reasonable cycling distance

  • In the Netherlands, electrically assisted bicycle trips average a distance of 9.8 km each way, while regular bicycle trips average 6.3 km.

  • According to the 2011 National Household Survey, 42% of commutes are under 5 km.

  • In B.C. 65% of all commutes are under 10 km, making them practical using an electric bicycle.

Inadequate Investment - Active Transportation Deficit

Regions and communities across the province have produced extensive cycling network plans. Unfortunately, due to lack of investment, these cycling networks may not be complete for 30 to 50 years unless senior levels of government dramatically increase funding. The BC Communities Road Safety Survey identified pedestrian and cyclist safety as top issues. For the the 81 municipalities that responded, “The most commonly reported challenges to implementing road safety activities were funding and staff with expertise.”

  • TheCapital Regional District’s  Pedestrian & Cycling Master Plan estimated the cost of upgrading the bike network to attract people of all ages and abilities is around $275 million.

  • In order to meet its target of 10%, TransLink has estimated that completing all-ages cycling networks around the Metro Vancouver region will cost at least $850 million.

  • Kelowna’s cycling and walking Plan is estimated to cost $267 million. While the city is currently putting money aside for the program, staff have warned that at the current level of funding, the city will only have approximately $90 million to fund the plan.

  • Squamish’s recently approved active transportation plan is estimated to cost $36 million.  

  • Surrey’s cycling plan includes over 400 km of additional bike lanes and paths. With current funding, it plans on completing around 12 km per year, but has indicated that additional funding from senior levels of government would speed-up the implementation of the plan.

Internationally, other jurisdictions are committing to significant increases in cycling. Norway, whose population is only slightly larger than B.C.’s, is planning to invest $1.25 billion in Cycling Highways to link suburbs to city centres.

More Information

Budget Submission - 2017 (includes references for information above)

Communities on the Move recommending investing $100 million per year in active transportation.

 

 

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