Moving Active Transportation Forward in BC

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Through our Moving Active Transportation Forward in BC initiative, we are helping to facilitate a Provincial cycling and walking strategy and assist smaller communities in implementing their cycling networks. The goal is to help enable everyone in BC to cycle and walk for their daily trips while eliminating fatalities.

The project includes engaging municipal officials, the public, business and other organizations in communities across BC to help find opportunities and to overcome barriers.

We are working with Heart & Stroke BC and the BC Alliance for Healthy Living on the complimentary Communities on the Move Declaration in support of healthy transportation.

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Province Starts Consultation on Active Transportation

The Province has started consultation on active transportation! This is a great opportunity to make cycling safer and more comfortable for everyone in BC. Input will be excepted until April 15. 

The development of an active transportation strategy with significant investment in and policy support for cycling, walking and rolling has be the major objective of the BC Cycling Coalition over the last few years. Our reps have already participated in the two stakeholder forums in Vancouver and Surrey and a facilities design guidelines meeting. 

Minister Trevena states:

By investing in strong, sustainable communities I believe we can build a better B.C. for ourselves, our kids and our grandchildren.

As part of CleanBC, we want to work in partnership with communities to improve active transportation infrastructure that connects the places where people live, work, learn and play. Transforming how we get around not only helps to reduce pollution, it can lead to healthier outcomes for people and make our communities cleaner and more livable.

Through this site, British Columbians are encouraged to bring their ideas about the ways governments can work together to build new active transportation infrastructure or better support existing network connections. Your input is valuable so please join the conversation!

Working together, we can make communities more livable with investments in cleaner transportation options that are convenient and affordable.

On the investment side, we are encouraged that the CleanBC plan states: 

Among global leaders in active transportation, annual per-person investments are growing. The Netherlands spends $48 per person per year on active transportation programs; Denmark invests $34 per person, and New Zealand recently announced an investment of $24 per person on infrastructure, education, promotion and safety. Lessons learned in these leading jurisdictions
will help to inform the new B.C. strategy.
 

Take Action

Questions will be posted on the active transportation website every two weeks.

The first question is: 

What does active transportation mean to you and how does it fit into your life? Please respond here.

Input and submissions can also be emailed to [email protected]

Support our work to make cycling safer. Please donate.

More Info

{{hide Much improved standards, policies and funding for cycling facilities on Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI) roads and bridges that prioritize bike paths and lanes separated from traffic that are both safe and comfortable for children and designed for efficient safe longer distance commuting and training.
Using MoTI right of ways for paths and cycle highways
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Richard Campbell posted an official response

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Making Roads Right for Ride-hailing Report

With smart planning, policies, taxes and regulations, the introduction of ride-hailing provides BC the unique opportunity to transform communities, making roads safer and more attractive to people walking and cycling while more effectively accommodating transit, taxis, goods delivery and automated vehicles.

Initial financing from the ride-hailing industry and an on-going tax on ride-hailing should fund the implementation, operation and enforcement of:

  • Pick up/drop off zones;
  • Protected bike lanes;
  • Transit lanes and priority measures; and
    Sidewalk and streetscape improvements.

Other measures, that will ensure that ride-hailing reduces congestion and is safe and environmentally beneficial, include:

  • Mandate or incentivize the use of small, lighter vehicles that are less likely to seriously injure people walking and cycling
  • Ensure that pedicabs, tandem bicycles & electric Low Speed Vehicles (LSV) can be used for ride-hailing
  • Require that only electric or pedal powered vehicles can be used ride-hailing
  • Mandate pedestrian and cycling collision avoidance systems
  • Enforce zero tolerance for distracted driving and stopping in bus and bike lanes
  • Enact a safer passing law, increased penalties for dooring, blanket speed limits under 50km/h and other Motor Vehicle Act updates
  • Fine the ride-hailing companies for driver infractions to incentivize them to find solutions to prevent infractions.
  • Establish distance-based insurance & mobility pricing for ride-hailing

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We update this report as we get more information. Please enter your comments below on cycling ride-hailing issues and opportunities that are not included in the report.

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Image: NACTO

 

 

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Protected Bike Lanes Less Expensive Than Painted on New Roads

Cycle tracks (protected bike lanes) separated from the roadway surface can be less expensive and maintain to build than painted or buffered bike lanes on new or widened roads. They reduce the total roadway surface area and thus the amount of stormwater generated. Runoff from the lanes can be treated via rain gardens. As a cycle track separate from the roadway surface does not have to support the weight of motor vehicles, the cost may be less than painted and buffered bike lanes that increase the total width of the roadway.

From Reevely: Ottawa looks to save builders (and buyers) millions on new subdivisions

Roads for cars and trucks are paved atop layer after layer of stabilizing foundation; they have to withstand years of pressure from thousands of pounds of rubber and glass and metal. A cyclist weighs a couple of hundred pounds at most, and there’s no point, the city has realized, in building a road extra wide only to reserve a metre on either side of it for bikes. Cycle tracks next to sidewalks, on beds built to the lighter sidewalk standards, are good enough.

Better, in fact, because most cyclists prefer to be up and away from car traffic, protected from motor vehicles by more than a line of paint. So the city can save $41 for every metre of road we build by doing what cyclists want anyway.

From Separated Bike Lanes: What are the Stormwater Implications?

The primary benefit of a protected bike lane from a stormwater perspective is that runoff from the bike lane does not mix with runoff from the vehicle lane. This can be extremely beneficial in jurisdictions that consider the bike/pedestrian area a non-pollution generating surface (although some jurisdictions will still require it to be treated like water from the roadway). Plus this option also leads to the smallest increase in impervious surface.

Debris, Snow and Ice Clearing

Especially when a painted bike lane is adjacent to a curb or a jersey barrier, debris from the travel lanes will knocking into and collect in the bike lane requiring very frequent sweeping to keep the lane free of debris. In the winter, snow, ice and sand will collect in painted bike lanes often making them unusable. On a protected bike lane separated from the road surface, road debris will not collect in the bike lane. If it is graded properly, a protected bike lane will require much less sweeping as debris will be flushed off by rain and be knocked off by bicycle tires.

A key to minimizing puddling and ice is making the surface of protected bike lane slightly higher than the adjacent grass or other material so the rain water or melting snow flows off and not onto the protected bike lane.

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Narrowed Traffic Lanes Safer in Surrey

The City of Surrey successfully reduced motor vehicle collision rates along several segments of its high-volume arterials by reducing the width of travel lanes from 4.3 metres, to between 3.3 and 3.0 metres.

From  Moving to Vision Zero: Road Safety Strategy Update and Showcase of Innovation in British Columbia (page 71) by Road Safety BC

Research studies elsewhere have found that reducing the width of travel lanes causes a decrease in driving speed by lowering drivers’ perceived margin for error. As a result, both the frequency and severity of collisions is reduced.137 One study also found that narrowing lanes to 3.0 metres does not reduce traffic capacity, and therefore has no negative effect on congestion.138

A study commissioned by the City of Surrey found a considerable effect of the narrowed lanes on driving speeds. On average, vehicles travelled at 31 km/h over the posted speed limit prior to the lane width reduction and only 11 to 18 km/h over the speed limit after the reduction. Analysis of video footage also revealed that vehicles continued to have proper lane control where lanes had been narrowed.139 Consequently, cyclists are not placed at greater danger by the risk of vehicles drifting into bicycle lanes.

The lane width reduction translated into a 6% to 12% reduction in collision rates along different roadways, and a 43% reduction in the rate of collision along 168th Street between 60th Avenue and 64th Avenue specifically. These results are consistent with findings from other jurisdictions that have employed this strategy.140,141 

137 Harwood, Douglas W (1990). Effective Utilization of Street Width on Urban Arterials. No. 330. Transportation Research Board.

138 Petritsch, T. (2013). The Influence of Lane Widths on Safety and Capacity: A Summary of the Latest Findings. Sprinkle Consulting Inc, FL, USA.

139 Petrovic, Mirjana & Klimet Kuzmanavoski (2015).Travel Lanes Modification Safety Study. Commissioned by the City of Surrey.

140 Wood, Jonathan S., Jeffrey P. Gooch, & Eric T. Donnell (2015). Estimating the safety effects of lane widths on urban streets in Nebraska using the propensity scores-potential outcomes framework. Accident Analysis and Prevention. Volume 82: 180-191.

141 World Health Organization (2008). "Speed management: a road safety manual for decision-makers and practitioners." Retrieved from:

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Active Transportation and Complete Streets in British Columbia

Complete Streets ReportThe BC Cycling Coalition has been engaging municipal officials, transportation and planning professionals, our member organizations and members of the public to determine active transportation best practices, the barriers and challenges to the implementation of complete streets and active transportation networks.

It has proven to be both an exciting and challenging time to undertake this work. In 2016, there has been significant progress in active transportation planning and implementation in a few key communities in BC and across Canada.

We will be updating this report soon. Please enter your comments below on cycling and walking progress and problems that are not included in the report.

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Thanks to the Real Estate Foundation of BC & Vancity for supporting our Streets For Everyone work and MEC & Canada Bikes for supporting the work on this report.

         

 

Support for this project does not necessarily imply Vancity’s or the Real Estate Foundation of BC’s endorsement of the findings or contents of this report.

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