Car and bus use by people living within 300m of the Comox Greenway has decreased significantly according to a UBC study. The resulting 21% reduction in GHG emissions really helps make the case for investing in cycling and walking improvements as part of the new BC Climate Plan.
University of British Columbia (UBC) researchers surveyed people living near Vancouver’s Comox-Helmcken Greenway the year before and after its completion in 2013. About half of the 585 participants lived within 300 meters of the greenway, and the rest were within a 500-meter radius. Results showed that the closer group (300 meters) reduced their daily car or bus travel distance by 18 per cent after the greenway was built.
“These participants logged 2.8 kilometers of car or bus travel per day, compared to 3.4 kilometers the year before,” said Victor Douglas Ngo, the study’s first author and a researcher at the health and community design lab at UBC. “Less commuting also meant they generated 21 per cent less travel-related emissions, producing 520 grams of emissions a day, from 660 grams the previous year.”
The group that lived more than 300 meters away did not show the same reductions in car or bus travel. Their motorized travel actually increased by 37 per cent to an average of 2.6 kilometers per day per person, from 1.9 kilometers previously. In addition, their average individual carbon emissions grew to 510 grams per day, from 330 grams previously.
This research along with the increases in cycling to work in BC communities further helps build the case for significantly increased investment in biking and walking as part of BC's new climate plan.
Please the Premier know that you want cycling to be a big part of the plans to address climate change. Let them know what greatly improved cycling would mean for your family and community.
Image: City of Vancouver