“If Vancouver keeps up this positive momentum towards cycling, I’m almost certain that it could be the Copenhagen or Amsterdam of North America,” says Bernhard Ensink, Secretary General of European Cyclists' Federation (ECF), which groups together half a million cyclists across Europe.
When 1,000 cycling experts gather in Vancouver at the end of June for Velo-city Global 2012 they'll be greated with a North American city that's paving the way for bicycle commuting. In a press release, ECF highlights the city's cycling strenghts:
- Cycling is the fastest growing mode of transportation in Vancouver.
- There are currently more than 400 kilometres of bike routes in the city
- Approximately 60,000 trips are made on a bike every day in the City of Vancouver.
- More than 3,500 cyclists commute to work downtown every morning (an increase of 70% in 10 years), which is the equivalent to 65-75 full transit buses.
- In some neighborhoods, over 10% of commuting trips are made by bike and over 40% people in Downtown and West End cycle or walk to work (2006 Statistics Canada Census).
- Compared to Toronto and Montreal, Vancouver takes the lead. The city has a higher share of women cycling (37%), and has the highest number of people commuting to work by bicycle (3.7%), with Montreal trailing behind (2.4%) and Toronto seeing 1.7% of commutes by bike (2006 figures).
“I really think Europeans will be impressed by Vancouver when it hosts the world’s biggest cycling policy conference at the end of the month. Velo-city is going to create a huge push in the number of cyclists,” says Ensink, “but they [Vancouver] will have to continue spending on quality infrastructure.”
On June 13, all eyes will be on Vancouver's council chambers as two major cycling infrastructure projects are discussed. First, the director of transportation, Jerry Dobrovolny, will make a presentation on the future of a public bicycle share system for Vancouver. And second, council will review a city staff report recommending that the current downtown separated bicycle lanes become permanent with some changes to increase pedestrian and cyclist safety and comfort.
ABOUT VELO-CITY GLOBAL 2012
Velo-city Global is the world's premier international cycling planning conference. The four-day event offers delegates from around the world a chance to share best practices for creating and sustaining cycling-friendly cities where bicycles are valued as part of daily transport and recreation.
The Velo-city Global conference unites politicians, engineers, planners, architects, social marketers, academics, researchers, environmentalists, advocates, educators and industry representatives. Delegates join forces and foster international collaborations. The event also draws experts from related areas, such as health, economics and the environment.
Velo-city Global 2012 is expected to host over 1,000 delegates from around the world. The conference will be held June 26 -29 at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Center Hotel, accessible by the new Hornby Street separated bike lanes.
Visit velo-city2012.com/registration to register now.
Check back to the Countdown to Velo-city 2012 blog each week for updates on the conference, its speakers and the people on the attendance list.