Cycling improvements drive 35 percent trip increase in Vancouver

Translink’s announcement yesterday that bike trips are up 35 percent in Vancouver since 2008 underlines the value of investment in safe cycling infrastructure, particularly separated bike lanes.

Vancouver’s strong performance pulled up Metro’s overall cycling mode share to 4.5 percent of all trips, but the regional average is less than half that. Even potentially bike-friendly cities like Burnaby and New Westminster are trailing the regional average.

Clearly there’s room for major growth. In Vancouver, that is more likely to come from improvements to existing routes than expansion of the system, according to city engineers who presented the city’s draft transportation plan to council today.

Although Transportation 2040 proposes important improvements to the city’s bike network, future growth will come predominantly from upgrades to existing routes.

Metro’s cycling mode share, meanwhile, will continue to lag as long as Translink is forced to cut cycling funding and other municipalities struggle with automobile congestion.