Surrey cycling plan gets thumbs up from advocate
A cycling advocacy group has welcomed a new plan aimed at making it easier and safer to travel around Surrey using pedal power.
The city unveiled its official cycling plan on July 23, laying out a broad strategy for how to improve cycling in the community in the coming years.
Key priorities in the plan include upgrading the existing cycling network, improving facilities for cyclists such as bike parking, and promoting cycling as a viable and sustainable travel option.
“It’s definitely a long time in coming,” Tim Yzerman, with the nonprofit Metro Vancouver group HUB: Your Cycling Connection, said of the plan.
“I think it’ll be a really good guideline to follow and it really lays out a good plan of how to go forward,” he told the Straight by phone.
Yzerman said he is pleased the plan shows the city is interested in looking into possibly building separated bike lanes—a physical barrier on a road between cyclists and motor vehicles.
“Having that in the plan is really quite good to see,” he said.
“It’s getting the people that are newer to cycling and haven’t been doing it for a long time to really feel comfortable. And that’s what separated lanes do.”
In a news release, the City of Surrey said the new plan supports existing goals to make the region more cycling friendly by 2040. These targets include having cycling account for 15 percent of all trips of less than eight kilometres, reducing deaths and serious injuries from cycling by 15 percent, and having female riders account for half of all cycling trips.
”Our new cycling plan provides clear direction, strategies and increased focus on this active and cost-effective mode of transportation,” Mayor Dianne Watts said in the release.
“The strategy is not just about building bike routes. It addresses all the factors that are important to making cycling a safe, attractive and viable transportation choice.”
Other measures identified in the 100-page cycling plan include improving safety at intersections, adding more public bike racks, and upgrading signage.
While Yzerman is generally pleased with the new cycling plan, he suggested even more steps could be taken to improve the situation in Surrey.
He said, for example, the city should strive to meet higher standards for the design of cycling infrastructure and work with TransLink to prevent theft by providing better access to bike lockers in public places.