Have you ever been riding somewhere, along a lovely separated bike route, then gotten dumped onto a busy highway or narrow footpath? Or had a bike lane just disappear into thin air as you reach a big intersection? Unfortunately, despite the fact that over 40% of Metro Vancouver residents want to cycle more often, they don't because of gaps in cycling infrastructure like this. While the number of people cycling in Metro Vancouver has increased rapidly in recent years, the bike network remains fragmented with tons of gaps across the region preventing people from cycling more often, particularly for transportation, not just recreation.
HUB Cycling’s local committees (click here to learn more & join yours!) have already identified over 300 gaps across Metro Vancouver which are stopping more people cycling. The gaps range from minor ‘spot improvements’, such as adding signage or bike crossings, to building new bike lanes in areas of high ridership like along Powell Street in Vancouver.
In addition to identifying the routes in need of improvement, HUB Cycling is working with municipalities, the Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure, plus TransLink to highlight the priority gaps & encourage government to implement solutions that will help more people bike, more safely.
One of the solutions that HUB Cycling is championing is cycle highways: continuous paved, lit paths, separated from pedestrians & motor vehicles, suitable for people of all ages & abilities. Cycle highways have proved extremely successful in Europe & could work well on routes such as Vancouver to Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal (getting there by bike is a ridiculously epic journey--read my posts on our Galiano bike camping trip for more on that) & HUB Cycling is asking MLAs to support the introduction of them in Metro Vancouver.
People make over 131,000 trips by bike in Metro Vancouver each day but creating safe, connected routes would help many more people to get on their bikes. Just imagine how increasing that could change our cities: less air pollution, fewer cars stuck in traffic, healthier people getting exercise every day, less vehicle noise through our neighbourhoods...
So what can you do to help ungap the map? Adopt one of HUB Cycling’s identified gaps and explain how that gap is stopping you from cycling.
To find out more visit www.bikehub.ca/ungapthemap.
Follow Spokesmama here too: