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 safely for their everyday trips and recreation.
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.
More Info6,618 signatures
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
We believe that there has never been a better opportunity to ensure that provincial highways work for all road users.
I am a strong supporter of the BC Cycling Coalition's position that having safer provincial highways requires taking all transportation modes into account. I believe that the Province should take advantage of the Rural Highways Safety and Speed Review to ensure that all cycling facilities on highways meet or exceed the standards for the actual speed of vehicles.
Ensuring high standards on rural highways is an essential step to unlocking millions of dollars in cycle tourism across BC. Cycling for transportation, recreation, and tourism is a popular option for residents across BC and could grow dramatically with the right investment and policy.
While the majority of B.C.’s highways, including some newer ones like the Sea to Sky, provide sub-standard cycling conditions relatively simple solutions could be implemented to ensure the usability by cycle commuters and tourists.
The BCCC recommends that speed limit increases not be considered on any highway unless there are adequate facilities present for cyclists of varying abilities, and that a review of cycling facilities, maintenance procedures and cycling collisions be undertaken in conjunction with the speed limit review.
Adequate cycling facilities can be provided through a variety of means, including:
Sufficiently wide paved shoulders that are well maintained and kept free of road debris
Physically separated bike lanes, preferably directional and properly integrated into intersection design;
High quality bike paths within highway rights-of-way, with safe and efficient crossings of intersecting roads;
A high quality bike path outside of a highway right-of-way could be an option if it involved no substantive increase in distance or grade.
Further information is available in the BC Cycling Coalition's Position Statement.