Policy & Planning
February 27, 2019

60 Days of Engagement Begin March 1 to Help Shape BC’s Active Transportation Strategy

On Friday, March 1, the Province of BC’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will launch the public engagement portion of their 10-month active transportation strategy, in what could be considered a stealth effort to catch up to years of progress made by municipalities across the south coast.

Public feedback will help identify and prioritize new investments in safe and convenient active transportation infrastructure, education, incentive programs and safety improvements — for modes like walking, cycling, scootering, and skateboarding — for people of all ages and abilities, in communities across the province.

This week, however, as the Ministry encourages stakeholder groups via a widely circulated email to “bring ideas about ways governments can work together to build new infrastructure or better support existing network connections in your community,” news of the strategy and the overall development process is absent from the Ministry’s website.

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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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