The City of Victoria is moving in the right direction by implementing safe bike infrastructure throughout the municipality and is doing so with widespread support.
A poll conducted through Simon Fraser University of more than 800 core residents resulted in 85 per cent of respondents supporting additional safe bike infrastructure in Victoria. Sixty-eight per cent of respondents said they would like to bike more than they do now, and the lack of unsafe routes was the No. 1 reason people mentioned as to why they did not bike as much as they would like.
This research shows there is high demand for safer bike infrastructure in the core, and it shows that people believe that they have a right to safe options regardless of whether they choose to drive, walk or bike.
Furthermore, the Transportation Association of Canada recognizes the importance of safe bike infrastructure and recommends protected bike lanes on urban roads with more than 2,000 vehicles per day where the speed limit is 40 km/h or higher. This would apply to Pandora Avenue, Fort Street, Wharf Street and Cook Street.
Implementing bike infrastructure is not an easy task because it generally comes at the expense of something else, such as general vehicle lanes and parking spaces. In many cases, there are no alternatives to these tradeoffs.
It takes real gumption for Victoria’s mayor and council to push forward with providing safe routes for people biking despite these tradeoffs. They deserve our support.
Alex Nagelbach, treasurer
Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition