In Support of On Track for 2020Thursday, June 26th, 2014
Earlier this week the Halifax Cycling Coalition (HCC) announced its newest campaign, On Track for 2020. On Track advocates for 100km of protected bike lanes to be built in the Regional Centre by 2020. The PDC supports this campaign as it relates to the ongoing work of It’s More Than Buses and Switch Open Street Sundays. PDC is a champion of providing a greater variety of transportation modes The PDC itself was created to advocate and provide leadership and innovation to the development of high-quality, sustainable infrastructure. PDC is inspired by the work the HCC is doing in changing the conversation around bicycle infrastructure.
A protected bike lane is a bike lane that is separated from traffic by a physical barrier such as parked cars, plastic bollards, concrete planters, curbs, or green space. Research in other Canadian cities has shown that bicycle ridership increased dramatically when separated lanes were built, with an increase of up to 171% within one year of building protected lanes in some areas1. Protected bike lanes have also been shown to greatly improve bike safety, a key issue here in Halifax. Canadian researchers have concluded that 90% percent fewer injuries occurred per km along protected lanes, compared to comparable streets with no bike infrastructure. Risk specific to intersections is reduced by up to 75%1 when protected lanes are used.
Encouraging cycling is in line with many Municipal policy objectives from reducing pollution and road repairs to improving overall health. The 2006 Regional Plan includes a goal of doubling the proportion individuals biking to work by 2026. The City’s own research has shown that as many as 40% of residents would bike to work if safe infrastructure was built. On Track for 2020 is an effort to help the city achieve its own vision for transportation.
To learn more about On Track for 2020, please visit the HCC website: http://cyclehalifax.ca/
1. Andersen, M. (2014, June 2). The first major academic study of protected bike lanes in the U.S. is out. PeopleForBikes. Retrieved June 26, 2014, from http://www.peopleforbikes.org/blog/entry/the-first-major-academic-study-of-protected-bike-lanes-in-the-u.s.-is-out