Bold Action Now
It is time for bold action now to enable every person, including older adults and children, in BC to cycle or walk for their everyday trips.
Investing $1 billion over ten years in cycling and walking will send a strong message to the world that BC is serious about addressing Climate Change.
Cycling and walking will become attractive choices for everyone, leading to significantly improved fitness and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, pollution, congestion, and traffic injuries and fatalities. The paths and protected bike lanes could also be used by people in wheelchairs and other mobile devices.
Investing in cycling and walking will benefit the economy by increasing tourism, reducing healthcare costs, increasing workplace productivity, attracting talented workers, and reducing the societal costs of traffic fatalities and injuries.
Cycling is Popular
There is broad public support for cycling improvements. In the B.C. on the Move Engagement Survey, 72% of respondents supported enhancing cycling infrastructure. Cycling is popular. Almost 70% of adults in BC ride a bicycle at least once a year, 42% at least once a month and 25% at least once a week. Many want to cycle more, with around 65% indicating they would ride more if there were separated bike lanes that protected them from traffic.
A Transportation Bargain
On a per dollar basis, we all benefit more from cycling more than other modes. While bike paths and protected bike lanes are a bargain that will benefit far more people per dollar invested than other transportation projects, it does take a significant amount of cash to build networks of them in communities around the Province. For example:
- Metro Vancouver: $850 million
- Capital Regional District: $275 million
- City of Kelowna: $267 million (cycling and walking)
- City of Chilliwack: $27 Million
- City of Kamloops: $13 Million
At current rates of investment, these plans will take 30, 40 or even 50 years to complete, leaving people to brave busy roads on their bikes or more likely, not bothering to bike at all. Today's children will be grandparents by then.
The Provincial investment combined with local and federal funds will enable the completion of ambitious local and regional plans across BC. For example, the Metro Vancouver Regional Cycling Strategy predicts that upon network build out, cycling will increase to 10% of trips. The CRD Regional Pedestrian and Cycling Master Plan predicts cycling network build out cycling mode share will increase to 15%.
The funding for the $1 billion investment could come from a variety of sources including an increase in the Carbon Tax, predicted budget surpluses, a reallocation of transportation budget, cutting the tax break on those earning over $150,000 or a tax on sugary drinks.
By providing people with practical and safe transportation choices, this investment would decrease the rate of the Carbon Tax required to meet Provincial goals also saving money for those who don't cycle or walk.
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
The Provincial Government has recently announced the new 10-year transportation plan, B.C. on the Move.
The plan marks a significant opportunity to improve cycling in B.C. Thanks to all of you who completed their survey. It made a real difference as 72% supported enhancing cycling infrastructure!
As a result, the plan includes:
- $18 million over 3 years in Bike BC funding for communities (an increase of 50%)
- the widening of shoulders and safety improvements on provincial highways in areas with high volumes of cyclists
- a doubling of the frequency of sweeping on main cycling corridors
- a Cycling Tourism Signage and Marketing Strategy to promote B.C.’s beautiful cycling routes
These improvements are much appreciated. Still, more is needed. We strongly encourage the Province to implement a comprehensive Active Transportation Strategy building upon the BC Road Safety Strategy which commits to a long term goal of zero fatalities. Safe and comfortable access for people walking, cycling, riding transit or using wheelchairs should be an integral part of the plan and of all the roads and bridges in BC.
Cycling facilities should be safe, convenient and comfortable for people of all ages and abilities including children and seniors. This includes bicycle paths and protected bike lanes that are designed to be safe for the higher speed cycling required for long distance commuting, training and exercise.
Accelerate provincial investment in walking and all ages and abilities cycling infrastructure totalling $100 million per year including:
Funding for auditing, planning and upgrading cycling and walking facilities on provincial roads and bridges including shoulders and separated paths;
Increased Bike BC cost sharing funding to complete cycling networks in communities;
Funding for Safe Routes to School for B.C. children
Cost sharing funding for complete streets with all ages cycling facilities that are also safer and more comfortable for walking; and
Funding for trails and paths used by cycling and walking tourists and residents.
Improved cycling and driver education;
- The adoption of improved standards for facilities that are both appropriate for all ages and abilities and higher-speed cycling;
Universally available cycling skills training for children with provincial funding support;
Improved standards & more funding for maintenance and hazard removal on roads, shoulders paths used by cyclists;
Legislation to improve the safety and legal protection of people walking and cycling including a safe passing distance (1m) law and allowing riding two abreast;
Legislative changes allowing municipalities to cost-effectively reduce speeds on walking and cycling routes;
The implementation of a comprehensive cycling tourism strategy; and
- Increased provincial funding for transit and legislation that gives municipalities and TransLink the authority to implement new funding sources for cycling, walking and transit improvements.
Donate Give your loved ones and yourself the gift of great cycling
Write a Letter to Minister Stone and your MLA
Spread the Word to your friends, family and co-workers
Let us know your cycling infrastructure project priorities.
Metro Vancouver - HUB's Recommendations and Priorities
UBC/UEL - UBC/UEL Alliance for Biking and Walking