VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The province wants to spend millions of dollars on new bike lanes to encourage more active transportation trips by 2030, but is that goal realistic?
Erin O’Melin with HUB Cycling thinks so.
She says doubling the percentage of trips taken using active transportation in 11 years seems reasonable, and there are plenty of areas to encourage growth.
“There’s tons of potential in walking, cycling and rolling around the province. We’ve already seen quite rapid growth here in Vancouver where they have put in infrastructure and they have done education and promotion,” she says.
“I think that’s possible in many other places [in B.C.]. Of course we can look to other cities around the world that have really high active transportation mode-share that is over 50 per cent.”
Vancouver could still use some help in making the city better for cyclists, she says.That can be done by making sure there are no gaps in the cycling network.
“Currently you’ll see there are bike lanes on some streets and then sometimes they just end. That doesn’t allow people to get from A to B feeling safe and comfortable,” she says. “It’s not always a protected or separated bike lane that needs to go in, it just depends on the volume of the traffic and the speed that it’s going.”
Kent Avenue in South Vancouver is one area, for example, that could use some separated bike lanes, she says.
“We have been working for quite a while to try and get Kent Avenue filled as a gap in South Vancouver. And another important regional connection would be from the Port Mann Bridge, the north end of it, over to Braid [SkyTrain] Station in New Westminster to rapid transit there,” she says.
B.C.’s CleanBC program aims to double the percentage of trips taken by active transportation by 2030.