Erin O’Melinn told the Georgia Straight that you’ll see “thousands of roads” built and maintained for motor vehicles.
However, if you select the option to view bicycle routes, the mapping service will display “fragments around the region that start and stop”.
“It’s just visually striking to see how few places you can reasonably comfortably bicycle, compared to the myriad ways you can get around in a motor vehicle,” O’Melinn said by phone from the HUB office in Vancouver.
On Thursday (August 7), O’Melinn will be one of the speakers at a City Conversations event at Simon Fraser University’s Vancouver campus.
The SFU event, titled “Style, Safety and River Rides: What’s New for Metro Vancouver Cyclists”, will take place in Room 1600 at Harbour Centre, starting at 12:30 p.m.
According to O’Melinn, the number one gap in the region’s cycling infrastructure is the lack of a dedicated bike route linking Braid Station, the Port Mann Bridge, and Coquitlam Centre.
Number two on her list is a nonexistent separated lane or parallel route along the Lougheed Highway in Port Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows, and Maple Ridge.
Thirdly, O’Melinn said the south ends of Cambie and Oak Street bridges are crying out for bike connections to the U.S. border and the Tsawwassen ferry terminal.
“Those three, in particular, they’re beside highways generally, so the cars are moving at a speeds where, yes, you would separate them,” she said.
O’Melinn rates public transit in the region as “relatively bike-friendly”.
She noted that bikes are allowed on buses, the Canada Line, and the SeaBus at all times. But they’re prohibited during rush hour times and directions on the Expo and Millennium lines.
“The transit system is just so full right now at those times that it’s not feasible to get bikes on there,” O’Melinn said. “It’s good for us to keep looking at ways to make that better. For people that are coming from quite a far distance, they want to ride part of the way and transit part of the way. There’s definitely merit in looking into what could be done to help them do that and free up other road space for different users.”
As far as transit goes, O’Melinn’s top request is for more secure bike parking at SkyTrain stations, like the facility that recently opened at Main Street-Science World Station.
O’Melinn noted that another such facility is planned for King George Station in Surrey. She recommends secure bike parking be installed at the east end of the Evergreen Line, which is under construction.
“That allows the people that live out there that do not have very good bus service or shuttle service to still be able to access the rapid-transit system,” O’Melinn said.