Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Study comparing the costs of Bicycle vs Car Traffic

This study, comparing the costs and benefits of Bicycle versus Car traffic in Vienna won the Eltis award for best paper submitted at the recent Velo-City Conference.

Well worth looking at, it is well presented and illustrated. Not boring, even for those who aren't statistical wonks.

If the presentation (attached) is not available on your system, click on the link to view or download it.

Ron Richings
Vancouver, BC

Friday, April 15, 2011

International Trails Day/Weekend - June 4 and 5

To our trail enthusiasts:

Below is an invitation for you to join us on a number of Trail Challenges on International Trails Day. It's free. Some of you have already registered after having received our Newsletter. Those joining the guided trip will need to register early because we need to limit the registration for this activity. Thank you.

A special invitation to participate in Trail Activities on...

International Trails Day/Weekend - June 4 or 5, 2011

Trails BC Southwest is offering the opportunity to trail enthusiasts to sign-up for one of 5 cycle loops to be done on ones own or on one guided loop on International Trails Day/Weekend, June 4 or 5. Each of these cycle trips are between 58 and 66 km in length. Other walking, cycling and equestrian activities on the Trans Canada Trail are also encouraged.

The following blog will be used to update, allow participants to join others for a particular cycle, to comment on experiences while doing the cycle loop of ones choice and any other comment before the day itself
Trails Day Blog

The loops are the same ones offered in 2010, the Five Golden Rings, and an additional guided loop will take in the Crescent Beach area, White Rock, Peace Arch Park, Campbell Valley Regional Park, Redwood Park, and the Semiahmoo Trail to name a few highlights. Of note, some of you who have done one these loops in 2010 may be willing to help guide others to do it with them by communicating this on the blog.

Almost all the loops take in a portion of the Trans Canada Trail, some of them being alternative routing. It is a way of experiencing the Trans Canada Trail other than as a linear trail.

There is also an opportunity to register for a section of the Trans Canada Trail anywhere in the province that is not listed above. In this instance the activity does not need to be restricted to cycling. Walkers, cyclists and equestrians are all welcome to register.

Registrants will receive a Google Earth track by email of the loop for which they registered. This track enables one to look at the whole course in detail and also allows for the printing of sections that may be a bit confusing. Tracks may also be requested of circuits or sections of trail that you are not doing or may wish to do at another time.

Hopefully, many will see this as a great opportunity to experience the Trans Canada Trail and associated trails.

It is worth noting that the 5 cycle loop trails forming the 5-Golden-Rings in the year of the Olympics was great fun and was enjoyed by many.

It is important that you register even if it is free.

Click here for more information and to register.

Looking ahead

We will possibility be putting on a Major Trans Canada Trail Challenge Event on Vancouver Island September 24th to celebrate the opening of the Kinsol Trestle in the Cowichan Valley. Keep checking our website or become a friend on our Facebook,, to find out more in a few months from now.

Léon Lebrun
& Southwest Regional Director
Trails BC

Thursday, April 14, 2011

April 7 edition of Oceanside Star

Cycling a tough sell, advocate warns new coalition
Brian Wilford, Oceanside Star
Published: Thursday, April 07, 2011

Cycling is healthy and environmentally friendly and cycling infrastructure doesn't cost a lot.

"These are things that should be easy to sell to the politicians," cycling legend Ed Schum told the Oceanside Cycling Coalition last Thursday, "but don't count on it."

Schum, a national and provincial cycling coach who has cycled across Canada and Europe, said decades of automobile-centric planning have created communities that are one-third roads, one-third parking and one-third buildings, with little room for trees and cycling.

The new priorities, he said, should put pedestrians, cycling and public transportation first and the single-passenger automobiles last.

Cycling infrastructure, such as dedicated lanes, signs and parking, is cheaper to build and maintain than that for cars and trucks, he said, but it takes a lot of public pressure to develop the political will and to overcome bureaucratic resistance at all levels.

Ministry of Transportation officials in Nanaimo and Victoria are particularly resistant, he said.

The Province likes to say it's doing a lot for cycling, he said, "but they're really not."

Past-president of the Comox Valley Cycling Coalition, Schum said members are still fighting to get safe river crossings in Courtenay but they've made some progress in terms of road surfaces and converting car lanes into cycling lanes.

Safety is the biggest barrier to cycling, he said. Most people don't cycle because they don't think it's safe, he said, and they don't let their kids cycle to school, either.

But there are big cities, like Paris and Portland, where lots of people cycle because there are beautiful, dedicated cycling paths, safe cycling routes to school, safe intersections, secure parking and a cultural recognition that cyclists have a rightful place.

Portland, Schum said, is "the most cycling-friendly city in the world."

He likes to quote Portland Mayor Sam Adams from a city planning document (available at "You just can't get a better transportation return on your investment than you get with promoting bicycling."

Schum urged the 40 or so people at the Oceanside meeting to form a public advocacy committee, offer instruction, hold special rides (like a Mother's Day ride), and work with schools to offer things like bike rodeos.

"That's the best way to develop a cycling culture," he said.

Oceanside Cycling Coalition members voted to join the BC Cycling Coalition and to elect a formal board at their next meeting.

Schum said a cycling coalition in Nanaimo is active once again and people in Campbell River and the Cowichan Valley are interested in forming coalitions in their areas as well, creating the possibility of an Island "cycling mecca."

For more, see or email

© Oceanside Star 2011

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Workshop in Parksville on Transportation Demand Ideas

Is your small or rural community trying to reduce GHGs and wondering which TDM methods might actually work for you?

Perhaps you provide a social, health, or commercial service in a rural area and see some of your clients struggle with transportation issues?

Do you wonder how rural residents and communities will adapt to a post-cheap-oil world?

This learning event will bring together transportation, land use, health, recreation and other practitioners on Vancouver Island and the Coast

who would like to hear about TDM innovations and successes, and talk about how to take action together.

Tentative Agenda:

Setting the Context: Regional District of Nanaimo
• Transportation Demand Management: A Small and Mid-Sized Communities Toolkit - Fraser Basin Council
• Innovations with Transit, Car Use, and in the Pedestrian and Cycle Realms – Salt Spring Island, Nanaimo Car Share Coop, Duncan Car Free Zone, and more!
• BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and Your Community GHG Reduction Goals – MoTI Regional Manager, Programming, Partnerships & Planning
• Dialogue: what are the untapped opportunities for TDM in your community? On the Island? What do we need to make it happen?

Tues. April 19, 2011

9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p-.m.

Parksville Community & Conference Centre

$15 at the door


Angela Evans, MCIP

Sustainability Facilitator, Vancouver Island

Smart Planning for Communities

Fraser Basin Council


Smart Planning for Communities Webpage

social well-being supported by a vibrant economy and sustained by a healthy environment

Monday, April 4, 2011

Comparing BC Communities - Emissions and Transportation

Check out the website in the Links section of the website comparing all BC communities for such things as emissions and transportation.

It's called BC Emissions -