Support for the Active Transportation Corridor on Cornwall and Point Grey Road

July 18, 2013

Dear Mayor and Council:

I fully support the development of an Active Transportation Corridor on Cornwall and Point Grey Road to create a safe connection between the Burrard Bridge and Jericho for persons of all ages and abilities. I frequently cycle through this area and it is a dangerous stretch of road.  ICBC reported that from 2005 to 2009 there have been 143 collisions along this roadway with two-thirds resulting in serious personal injuries.

Improvements to the city’s built environment for people to walk and ride bikes is one of the best ways to invite and encourage people to do these activities safely. Vancouver needs to have more improvements to the roads to promote cycling in all age groups and abilities. Road conditions need to feel and be safe enough for more women, children and older folks to ride. Women riding bikes is the fastest growing group of cyclists in Vancouver since the construction of Hornby and Dunsmuir bike paths. Countries where women are at least 50% of the cycling ridership have the largest over all ridership levels in the world like in Denmark and the Netherlands.

Riding bikes in Vancouver needs to become mainstream and an activity that is completely normal and done by everyone because it is the easiest, fastest and safest way to get around. Building a network of separated bike lanes is the next big challenge for the city. With the construction of the Hornby and Dunsmuir bike paths and with the soon to be completed Comox /Helmcken Greenway the city is well on its way to incrementally improving the built environment for cycling. The priority now is to build a bike network so folks who would never ever dream of riding a bike will do so.

There are many good reasons for encouraging folks to ride bikes. The road system in Vancouver cannot accommodate any more cars. If the city is to grow and economically thrive more people will need to walk, ride and take transit to avoid total gridlock. Bike lanes have also been demonstrated to support local business although in Vancouver this seems like a hard sell to the business community. More importantly is the issue of “urban health”. Our bodies are made to be active. Many chronic aliments are connected to sedentary lifestyles. Being more active will make us healthier. Finally our transportation choices do have an impact on climate change.

Change is always hard especially with respect to long established transportation choices. These choices do have really world consequences particularly in regards to climate change. Climate change is among biggest challenges that we face as a city.. Some of the actions to mitigate the effects of climate change need to be taken by government and others are the responsibility of residents. An Active Transportation Corridor represents an important opportunity both for the city and residents to have an impact on developing a more responsible and ethical for future generations.

Yours truly,

Brent Granby

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