“What we’re trying to do is see equity of public space. When you build your streets for cars, you’re actually building in the expectation that people are going to have cars. It costs $10,000 per year for a household to own and maintain a car. We’re talking about building in affordable options for people to get around. Make it easier for people to get around.” Read more
In cities that first embark on implementation of cycling facilities – whether on-road bike lanes or off-road multi-use paths or trails, local residents often speak out in concern for their property value. This concern is quickly put to rest once the cycling facilities are in place. Savvy Realtors now actively promote the value of cycling facilities, trails and greenways that make a neighbourhood more bike and walk friendly.
Updated March 30, 2016 with this new, compelling research including detailed case studies that clearly document the positive impact of active mobility facilities on real estate value. Read about the Urban Planning Institute report.
Much research has been done for the health and learning benefits of walking or cycling to school. It’s also shown that a significant “rush hour” traffic load is comprised of people driving kids to school, most often very short distances. Yet recently published research delves into the question of how harmful vehicle emissions are for young minds.
“Walkability is achieved at the scale of the neighborhood” the author of this article says, writing about many ways that neighbourhoods (and small cities!) can become more walkable, encouraging more people to walk more often. The benefits are diverse, including mental and physical health, social “community” and economic boost. Read more
Winnipeg, a city with much harsher winters than Brockville, recently added to the growing number of cities large and small that have seen positive response to cycling infrastructure. Like many cities setting down the path to a healthier community, many scoffed at the concept of latent demand. The proof is in the pudding, as they say.
In a prepared statement reported in the R&T today, opponents of the city’s cycling plan said, “We believe that bike paths off road are the way to go. That way, everyone will be safe.” The proposed plan would do just that – by turning a mostly-unused parking lane of Laurier into a protected bike lane which is separated from and fenced “off road” to cars. The opponents would seem to be acknowledging the evidence from across North America that protected bike lanes significantly reduce risk for those cycling, calm traffic, reduce risk for those driving, and encourage big uptakes in cycling activity.
A reasonable question often asked is whether there are benefits from cycling infrastructure to anyone other than those few currently riding bikes.
While there are a number of well-demonstrated benefits, let’s focus this on Laurier Blvd. Laurier is an “urban corridor” in transportation parlance, yet it didn’t start out that way. In the beginning it wasn’t connected to either California or Stewart – it was a family-friendly neighbourhood residential street. Today, it carries neighbourhood traffic, through traffic between Stewart and California and emergency response traffic from the firehall, and is described by some as a “NASCAR” track. Continue reading “FAQ: What are the benefits for those who choose not to cycle?”
Increasing the modal share of cycling and walking offers a myriad of well-documented benefits to individuals, families, neighbourhoods, retail business areas, workplaces and society at large. The full diversity of health, social, environmental and economic benefits have been studied and documented for over a decade now. (above infographic from Designed to Move)
Cycling network design takes into account local context, existing and future traffic patterns, current standards and guidelines for infrastructure design, and best practices from communities who’ve contributed to a growing body of knowledge. With all of that as a foundation, a set of design principles can further guide decisions. Continue reading “FAQ: How was the cycling network designed?”