My motion on expediting and enhancing the Phase 1 cycling network was passed tonight at Council.
In short, the motion seeks to:
🏫Add safe routes to schools
🚝 Improve connectivity to Skytrain stations
🚲 Address “orphan” cycling paths — paths that are built as per developer obligations, but come in a piece-meal and unreliable fashion
⏰ Provide prioritization and timelines for completing the enhanced Phase 1 cycling network
Personal transportation is approximately half of Burnaby’s GHG emissions — this means that getting more folks who can, out of their cars and into alternative forms of transportation is something that is squarely in municipal jurisdiction that can significantly reduce our GHG emissions. But we can’t ask Burnaby residents who don’t bike to do so, if we don’t provide them safe infrastructure to cycle on. Investing in safe cycling infrastructure not only reduces GHG emissions, but also reduces traffic congestion too, for those who have to drive. There are innumerable social benefits too — from creating safer streets to improving air quality. This is why this motion intends to expedite the current Phase 1 cycling network — so we can get to that vision faster.
Another key objective of this motion is to protect children by creating safe routes to schools. This is because children are some of the most — if not the most — vulnerable road users. I’ve also heard extensively from parents that they don’t feel that the safe infrastructure currently exists for their children to get to and from school safely by active transportation.
The motion also looks at protecting users from “orphan” cycling paths, which are cycling paths that end suddenly built through developer obligations. This can be incredibly dangerous for users who don’t realize they’re on a path that may spit them out into fast-moving automobile traffic where they find themselves with no protection from cars.
Finally, the motion also intends to improve connectivity to all the Skytrain stations in the city to allow for longer trips to be made via bike + public transit — making it safe and possible for those who want to leave their cars behind.
With numerous studies showing that a per dollar investment into cycling infrastructure sees an average of $4-$5 back to the community and businesses, and with how far Burnaby’s fallen from decades of inaction, the time is now to expedite the Phase 1 Cycling network’s completion while building upon it.
You can read the full text of the motion below.
WHEREAS the Transportation Plan’s current Phase 1 Cycling network is approximately 80km and focuses on major connectors, which, while critically important for current cycle commuters and adults who do not currently commute due to lack of safe infrastructure, may risk leaving behind children;
WHEREAS personal use of modes of transportation other than the automobile will reduce GHG emissions, help Burnaby meet its climate change targets, benefit the community at large, reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality, and more;
WHEREAS the implementation of cycling paths in Town Centres is dependent on development, and is therefore piece-meal with no reliable timeframe of completion, which can endanger the safety of cyclists who utilize these paths without the knowledge of their discontinuation;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that staff provide a feasibility report for enhancing and expediting the Phase 1 Cycling network by adding safe cycling routes to schools, by developing a strategy that addresses “orphan” cycling paths, and by ensuring improved connectivity to Skytrain stations, work places, and other places of gathering; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that staff include in the report prioritization and timelines of completing the enhanced Phase 1 cycling network.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that staff include costing and recommendations of where funds should come from.