March 2, 2015

Metro Update: North Shore commuting triples

On bike, that is.  From Metro Vancouver Update:

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Cycling Infrastructure: North Vancouver City & District

​Thanks to a joint cycling master plan by the City and District of North Vancouver, the number of cycling commuters on the North Shore has tripled in the last three years!

These North Shore municipalities developed the plan with valuable input from cyclists.

The master plan links bicycle routes so that a route developed in the City of North Vancouver would connect with a route in the District of North Vancouver, and in West Vancouver if possible, providing a seamless ride for cyclists. An ambitious feature of the plan is the 35-kilometre Spirit Trail to accommodate walkers and cyclists in the three municipalities from Ambleside in West Vancouver to Deep Cove in the District of North Vancouver. Some sections of the trail are in use and it will take about a decade to complete it with clearly marked routes.

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Comments

  1. Not to entirely rain on anyone’s parade, and in the past I have been a bike commuter in other cities, but it’s important to understand that bike riders represent a very low single digit percentage of commuters.

    There are lots of great reasons to build bike infrastructure, but money invested in transit, or even in more efficient roadways, will have a much bigger impact in the grand scheme of things. Adding more bike lanes has a negligible effect on traffic problems or pollution.

    1. Actually moving just a few percentage points of drivers to bikes has a huge effect on congestion.
      “Traffic congestion is a non-linear function, meaning that a small reduction in urban-peak traffic volume can cause a proportionally larger reduction in delay. For example, a 5% reduction in traffic volumes on a congested highway (for example, from 2,000 to 1,900 vehicles per hour) may cause a 10-30% increase in average vehicle speeds (for example, increasing traffic speeds from 35 to 45 miles per hour). As a result, even relatively small changes in traffic volume or capacity on congested roads can provide relatively large reductions in traffic delay.” http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm96.htm

      North Vancouver’s bike network is mostly incomplete and low quality (i.e. bikes are on roads with heavy traffic, buses and trucks). The high use of the short Spirit Trail sections built so far shows the potential for much higher ridership if good quality infrastructure is built instead of just applying paint on busy roads.

      Bike lanes also cost much less compared to roadways or transit, both to build initially and in long term maintenance. The reason so many cities around the world are increasingly investing in bike lanes and bike share is largely financial.