Re: “Let’s park the passion over Victoria parking,” March 15.
I have been a cyclist my whole life. When I was growing up in the dusty Okanagan Valley, I was a mountain biker, and while in university and throughout my career in Victoria, I have been a road cyclist.
I used to find the risks of biking in the city a bit of a thrill, and was largely complacent when it came to advocating for better infrastructure in the city for bikes. Now I truck my two-year-old around in a baby trailer and my opinion has changed.
I came to see bike access as a key factor in a city and region’s livability: roads have to be safe for bikers of all stripes (not just the risk-takers). All generations of people in our community should feel safe taking to the roads on bikes — from the youngest to the oldest. As the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition’s recent report Bikes Mean Business makes clear, many benefits ripple outward from improved bike safety and infrastructure. Increased bike access means increased foot traffic, which means increased business.
With consultation on Victoria’s cycling master plan beginning soon, our community has an opportunity to transform our public streets from thoroughfares into community and family-friendly spaces. I applaud the efforts of citizens and organizations like the GVCC that seek to improve our shared spaces and look forward to contributing to this important conversation.