Climate Change

Bike Lanes Against Climate Change

By Ryan McGreal
Published September 18, 2007

An op-ed in yesterday's Toronto Star by Albert Koehl of the Bells on Bloor cycling advocacy group makes a strong case for adding bike lanes to city streets.

[M]ore bike lanes, which require a mere 150 centimetres on the side of a road, would produce more bike riders. A 1998 Environics poll found that 70 per cent of Canadians would bike to work for distances that took less than 30 minutes if they had a dedicated bike lane. And where bike lanes have been created in Toronto, the number of cyclists increased by up to 42 per cent, presumably because of the huge untapped potential of Toronto's 950,000 adults who ride a bike.

Koehl's argument spans global warming, public health, simplicity and feasibility in defence of what he calls "a bicycle-friendly city". It's definitely worth a read.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted September 19, 2007 at 14:25:05

236 grand given to big box developers and we can't even find a way to spend the 200 grand cycling budget. How about using that 200 grand to at least get some lanes painted? Insane.

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By Frank (registered) | Posted September 20, 2007 at 09:17:54

150cms is a nice wide lane which will be good to help avoid catch basin drains and bad pavement edges without having to go into traffic. Seems like bike lanes might just be a good idea eh? :P Ridership up 42% is a pretty good start.

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By Frank (registered) | Posted September 20, 2007 at 09:19:21

Ok, trying this again. I posted that in Firefox and for some reason I'm Ryan. That could come in handy! Might wanna fix that guys...

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted September 20, 2007 at 09:56:47

Hi Frank,

Thanks for bringing this bug to our attention! I'll get right on fixing it.

Ryan (the actual Ryan ;)

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By sitcom (anonymous) | Posted September 20, 2007 at 15:56:33

Have just returned from an Alaskan cruise and a week in our port of departure, the magnificently beautiful city of Vancouver where close to Stanley Park are at least three bicycle rental shops. We biked on designated lanes through the park and joined the biker lanes over the Lion's Gate Bridge with its breathtaking view of the coastal mountains and then into the up-market community of West Vancouver, nestled between between ocean and mountain, and visited their fabulous and bustling Park Royal Village Shopping area (all outdoors) and left our bikes on available racks perfectly safe while we were awe-struck by the Whole Foods Store where we made some purchases, to take back to our hotel, after learning that they provided green sacks to fit our bikes. We explored the city on a single transit ticket which included above rail sky-train, subway and Seabus (small ferry) as well as the best bus system I have seen anywhere where bike racks are on the front of all busses.Bikers do have to watch out for pedestrians though for I have never seen so many joggers and walkers anywhere and all looking fit and happy, specially in West Vancouver. I could go on and on since I'm still on cloud nine.

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