Charlie Smith writes in the Straight about the numbers of people riding bikes in Vancouver. He calls the results “spectacular”. And with good reason, and great timing, as we head into another Bike to Work Week.
Vancouver records spectacular increases in cycling trips
When Lon LaClaire joined the City of Vancouver’s engineering department in 1997, council had just passed a landmark transportation plan with 76 major initiatives. It marked the first time that the city explicitly expressed a desire for more trips by walking, cycling, and transit and set out ways to accomplish that . . .
. . . Within a decade, however, cycling had almost tripled and there were more than 50,000 bike trips inside the city, according to a May 2006 report by LaClaire.
By 2013, the city reported that 83,000 trips were taken on a bike. The following year, this rose to 99,000, and by 2015 the number shot up to 131,000. That’s a 32-percent hike in cycling in a single year.
“These jumps are just really, really shocking,” LaClaire said . . .
. . . According to LaClaire, one of the biggest obstacles to cycling is the perception that it’s not safe. That’s where the separated bike lanes have helped.
“The more that we build these facilities where people can visualize themselves taking that route on a bike, the more likely they will,” LaClaire said. “I would say the results of what we see on these investments kind of validates what people have been telling us in our surveys.”