There are already cyclists pedalling the city’s streets. Many of the streets have bike lanes. The Galloping Goose stretches from the Johnston street bridge to Leechtown, north of the Sooke Potholes Regional Park. Someone I met outside a coffee-house on Fisgard street said his only means of transportation, for the past twenty years, has been a bicycle. So what is the significance of Victorias first dedicated bike lane?
Contrary to what some urban business owners expected, the global shift to alternate transportation has not adversely effected their revenue streams. A study from Portland, Oregon, found that “cyclists spent less than drivers on grocery trips, but more at restaurants, bars, and convenience stores.” The average pedestrian or cyclist in Manhattan’s East Village spends $15 to $20 more per month. A University of Melbourne report pointed out (pp 38, 39) that as six bikes fit into one car park, car drivers need to spend six times as much as cyclists to produce the same economic benefit. A new report shows the transition taking place in British Columbia, where pedestrians & cyclists contribute to Vancouver’s downtown businesses.
Bicycles have dominated Vancouver’s Rush Hour Challenge ever since the event began, in 2009. According to statistics from HUB Cycling, bikes came in first 73.3% of the time, while cars have been first 16% and transit 11% of the time. This year, bicycles once again triumphed in Vancouver’s Annual Rush Hour Challenge.1
Vancouver just held its’ Eighth Annual Share the Road Challenge. There were 13 teams, each composed of someone driving a car, someone with a bike and someone using transit. They started from different locations throughout Vancouver and North Vancouver, anywhere from 2.4 to 10.4 kilometres from the finish line at the downtown London Drugs. The distance did not matter, as long as each team started from the same point, because this was a race to see which form of transportation moved through rush hour traffic faster. This was the first year in which all the bicycles triumphed over cars and transit .
Portland has long been been North America’s #1 bike-friendly city. According to the Portland Bureau of Transportation, 7.2% of “commuters go by bike.” That figure is taken from the 2014 census, which also shows the closest U.S. competitors as Minneapolis (4.6%), San Francisco (4.4%) and Seattle (3.7%). Now a new report shows Vancouver challenging Portland as North America’s #1 biking city.