This week the Province of British Columbia released their new Active Transportation Design Guide with the intent of creating consistent design for active transportation facilities across the Province. The Guide also provides expectations in design guidance for any applications for grant programs to build active transportation infrastructure.
This Guide aims to double active transportation trips and also intends to adopt “Vision Zero” which has been implemented in Europe successfully to minimize death or serious injury related to vehicular crashes. The British Columbia Motor Vehicle Act is also going to be revamped to encompass ALL the different users of the roads, and also acknowledge the importance of active transportation. This will include a retooling of current driver education to include the legal rights of all road users.
The day to day use of “all human powered modes of transportation, focusing primarily on walking, cycling and rolling” is finally going to be addressed. This is an important step in that the new guide embraces novel ways of moving including segways, e-scooters, electric biycles and hoverboards. It is also looking at snow based activities like skiing and skating and water based like kayaking and canoeing as well as horseback riding.
The guide emphasizes holistic connections, so that people can walk or bike and easily change modes to bus, train or ferry transportation.
One of the goals is to make active transportation a viable option going to school, work or play. Active transportation is more sustainable for the environment relieves vehicular congestion and increases the health status of participants. There are few policies that can reduce pollution, reduce the chance of serious injury and death AND improve personal health~but strongly promoting and building active transportation infrastructure can do all three.
You can review the new Active Transportation Design Guide here.
The official announcement of the new Guide was made by Claire Trevena Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.. You can look at the YouTube video of the announcement below, which also includes the important tie-in with physical and mental health, sustainability and reducing pollution.