Governance & Politics
September 24, 2018

Triple Tweets — 2018 Vancouver Civic Election

On the emerging election issue of a subway to UBC, we have a few diverging opinions — within the same big tent. I suppose it’s healthy, but it does seem to be less a matter of opinion and more a matter of missing homework.

Then we have Bowinn Ma, MLA, P. Eng., schooling the twitterverse on transportation’s immutable law of induced demand, and its vicious circle of negative effects on city-building. Ms. Ma is BC NDP North Van-Lonsdale MLA. Parliamentary Secretary for TransLink.

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Vancouver is a city with a world-wide reputation for rising mode share for transportation by bicycle and by walking.

More people continue to realize that walking or taking a bike is the easiest and best choice for some of their trips. The person and the city get major health improvement as strong side effects, and this weighs in political decisions.  And Greenways are part of the plan.

Here’s a proposal for the East Van City Greenway, which will join infrastructure like the Central Valley Greenway, 10th Avenue, Union/Adanac and others.  However, it will focus on north-east Vancouver, extending the reach of Greenway infrastructure to yet another part of the city.

The proposal is in the form of a motion sponsored by Mayor Robertson and Councillor Reimer, now on the agenda for the July 10 council meeting, starting at 0930.

The north-east part of Vancouver currently has cycling mode share of 8-13%, and walking 17-29%, despite infrastructure being limited. A Greenway would likely increase mode share for both, and promote healthy living through active transportation and increased opportunity for social interaction.

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TransLink has approved the routes for major new regional bike infrastructure — the Major Bike Network (MBN).

Funding is already approved, and is included in the $9.3B 10-Year Vision as $131M for “Regional Cycling”.  That’s 1.5% of total spending, showing that bike infrastructure is really cheap, and that you can do ambitious stuff, even spending less as a percentage than cycling’s regional mode share (~ 2%).

The plan calls for around 300 km of separated bike lanes, and 2,400 km of bike routes (usually in neighbourhoods with lower traffic).  The MBN will be cost-shared with the municipality.

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Under perfect skies, Metro Vancouver is celebrating the growing number of people who choose to ride their bike to work.  Many, I’m sure, are creating their free BTWW accounts, creating routes, logging their trips, and hoping to win a bike or the big prize — a trip for 2 to Portugal.
The following pix are from Burrard and Pacific on Monday, May 28, one of over 80 Celebration Stations in a dozen municipalities in the region.

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Three photos of people riding bikes on Vancouver’s very popular and busy Seaside Greenway. Shamefully, the section at Kits Beach Park is nasty and dangerous, but nothing gets done.

Click here for a PDF of the full-size poster by HUB Cycling.
Despite seeing over half a million bike trips annually, and being subject to many years of calls for change from users and residents alike, the Vancouver Park Board continues to operate under the assumption that routing people on bikes through a busy parking lot — including tourists, children and older folks — is A-OK.
Happy Bike to Work Week…

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As of last week, this is what Vancouver’s upgraded 10th Avenue Bikeway looked like in the hospital precinct near Oak Street — still incomplete, but already being used.

 
This is the one that prospective NPA mayoral candidate Glen Chernen promised to take out with heavy equipment if elected.
Whether 10th Ave, Point Grey Road, Hornby Street, or any other piece of the network, it’s not going to happen — for at least four reasons.

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