Over 11,000 people participated in Bike to Work Week across Metro Vancouver, including those who took advantage of Surrey’s growing cycling infrastructure. See how the city is encouraging use of its bike paths, bike lanes, and end-of-trip amenities.
The 2015 edition of Bike to work week broke records again, with almost eleven thousand cyclists taking part throughout Metro Vancouver.
“We encourage people to get on their bikes and come by our celebration station and get free coffee and snacks and tune-ups,” explains Colin Stein, Director of Marketing, Communications, and Campaigns for the cycling transportation organization HUB. “So it’s a lot of fun.”
Hydro Corridors Provide Room to Ride
The event featured 60 celebration stations, like this one in Surrey, where improvements to the city’s bicycling infrastructure were being highlighted.
“We have quite an advantage in the City of Surrey in that we have (BC) Hydro corridors so we can actually construct a lot of our multi use paths along hydro corridors and that’s why a lot of people don’t even know they exist, says City of Surrey Enginerring Assistant Ehab Taha. “We currently have over 90 kilometres of off-street cycling, for all ages and all abilities and we have over 250 kilometres of bike lanes which really that’s been a huge initiative we’ve undertaken.”
Neighbourhood Bike Routes Improved
Recent major projects include the Bon Accord bridge which crosses a creek en route to the Port Mann bridge. The Province of BC funded the final connection on that route, with a Highway one overpass. Safety on neighbourhood routes has also been enhanced by installing barriers between bicycles and vehicular traffic.
As Surrey city centre continues to grow, major employers such as Surrey Memorial Hospital and City Hall are offering secure bike lockers, as well as shower and change room facilities. They also take part in a local task force whose aim is to encourage sustainable transportation choices.
“We come together on a regular basis to talk about active transportation, and information share, and promote active transportation here in the Surrey city centre,” notes Jeffery Young, Executive Director, Integrated Protection Services at Fraser Health. “And cycling being one of the major parts of active transportation, as is jogging to work, as is walking to work, and also that public transportation whether it be LRT or bus is part of your transportation choices that we’re trying to promote for all of our staff, is to take that healthy transportation, active transportation for not only an active and healthy lifestyle but also to help promote our stewardship of the environment.
Bike to Work Week organizers estimate their event prevented 115 thousand kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions from being released into the atmosphere, thereby helping to improve our air quality.
Event Attracts New Cyclists
The great thing about Bike to Work Week is not just healthy people who already ride, ride together as part of a big event, there’s also people who’ve never ridden before,” says Stein. “So what we’ve seen in the last couple of Bike to Work Weeks is about a quarter of all participants indicate they’re new to riding their bike. So right now we’ve got about 25 hundred people who’ve said’ I’m new to riding’ and we just hope that they continue to ride after ride to work week.
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