A new report presented to Vancouver city council this morning shows that 10 percent of Vancouverites ride their bicycle to work—pointing to the fact that Vancouver may soon overtake Portland for the highest cycling commuting rate in North America.
While cycling is still a somewhat dangerous activity on the Lower Mainland and the road rules regarding cyclists are still largely misunderstood, the dedicated 10 per cent continue to grow as Vancouverites begin to switch to cheaper, greener transportation alternatives.
This comes as a breath of fresh air for Mayor Gregor Robertson, whose development of bike lanes in the past has been met with a wide mix of criticism and praise.
“These new biking records clearly show that the city’s investments in Vancouver’s active transportation network are paying off big—reducing car traffic and making it safer and more affordable for people to get around,” Robertson said in a news release. “There’s more work to do, and council will continue working to make Vancouver an even more safe, accessible and vibrant city for residents of all ages and abilities.”
Other items highlighted by the new report include:
- walking rates are high and stable at 27 percent;
- vehicle kilometers travelled by Vancouver residents continues to fall and is 27 percent below 2007 levels;
- Car-share memberships increasing with 26 percent of Vancouver residents participating in these programs;
- along the Comox Helmken Greenway alone, cycling trips increased by 49 percent and vehicle trips were down by 35 percent.
This June, the city expects to launch its public bike share program after almost eight years of delays. The program will reportedly include up to 1,500 bicycles spread across 150 stations, all available for short-term public use, with the city likely hoping to boost the percentage of two-wheeled commuters even further.