Friday, February 1, 2013

If you build it, they will come...

Heading off on a Critical Mass ride in 2008.
I used to be what this article called a 'committed cyclist'. To me, that means riding in all weather, to all kinds of places & any time of day. I used to commute to work daily, ride to social engagements, get groceries & haul bulky things like cat litter, a DVD player, pumpkins or a 14 lb turkey on my bike. But things changed when I got pregnant. I became much more cautious & stopped riding for at least a year until my son was big enough to fit into a helmet & a trailer.

I am no longer a road warrior. Now that I have a child, I know that if something happened to me while riding alone, even something relatively minor like a broken arm, it would make my life as a mother of a small child really difficult. I especially don't want anything to happen when I'm riding with my son. The thought of him getting hurt... So I ride defensively, we take quiet streets & designated bike routes. I don't really ride in the rain if I can avoid it. I never ride when it might be icy or frosty. We don't usually ride in the dark, either.

I am now one of those people that is encouraged by the addition of cycling infrastructure in this city. I'm more likely to ride downtown with my little boy on my bike because of the Dunsmuir & Hornby bike paths. The traffic calming on Ontario Street Bike Route makes a convenient way for me to get to Hillcrest Pool & down to False Creek & anywhere along the seawall by bike. I ride more because of the improvements that have been made in the past few years.

At Granville Island after a leisurely seawall ride.
This is why it's important that the City of Vancouver & all other municipalities in the Lower Mainland, really, should keep adding separated bike paths, bike lights, traffic calming (not to mention better pedestrian infrastructure) & bike racks. If you build it, they will come. Those cyclists like me who are a little concerned about biking in traffic downtown will now do that instead of driving or taking crowded buses. The ones who are afraid to bike at all might start riding on the weekends if you make it easier to get from their homes to the parks, waterfront & shopping areas that they want to go to.

The current project that the City of Vancouver is seeking input on is for the Point Grey Active Transportation Corridor: the area from Burrard Bridge along Cornwall to Point Grey Road. You can complete a survey here.

Follow Spokesmama here too:

1 comment:

  1. I am starting to research getting myself a used bike. Mostly to ride with my son to school on the days I don't work in an office. We go cross boundaries to school, so a bit too long to walk with a 5yo. Thankfully we can take bike routes 90% of the way to school. Cause this Mom has not been in a street bike (the ones at the gym don't count) in easily 20 years.


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