Saturday, May 28, 2011

Cycling Safety Through Collision Reduction

We've been working on a comprehensive safety strategy for awhile now and here it is. Let us know what you think. It is based on what has proven to be successful in countries such as Denmark and the Netherlands where, as shown in the chart below, cycling levels are really high and cycling fatality rates are significantly lower than here.

Cycling Safety Through Collision Reduction

Cycling Fatalities J Pucher 2005
The BCCC recommends that the province and municipalities implement a comprehensive cycling safety strategy focused on reducing collisions while increasing cycling levels based on best practices from around the world combined with local experience and evidence. This strategy will help make cycling safe, accessible and comfortable for people of all ages and abilities, including children and seniors, through measures including:
Infrastructure – Complete networks of high-quality facilities including bicycle paths, separated bike lanes, traffic-calmed streets and paved shoulders on rural highways that provide the opportunity for safe interaction between cyclists, motorists and pedestrians.
Education – Universally available cycling education and skills training for children and adults. Cycling safety integrated into driver training and testing. On-going safety campaigns targeted at drivers and cyclists.
Maintenance – Prompt all-season maintenance of cycling facilities, roads and shoulders including prompt debris, snow and ice removal.
Hazard Removal - The elimination of hazards including poor surface treatments, blind spots and obstacles on cycling facilities, roads and shoulders.
Legislation - Updating provincial legislation, including the Motor Vehicle Act, to provide greater legal protection and comfort for cyclists and pedestrians in order to encourage these activities and to decrease the potential of collisions involving vulnerable road users.
Speed Reduction - Motor vehicle speed reductions through lower speed limits, traffic calming and enforcement.
Enforcement - Focused enforcement campaigns that maximize the safety of vulnerable road users including cyclists and pedestrians.
Helmet Education - Encouraging the use of helmets through evidence-based education that accurately reflects the risk of cycling in different circumstances. Helmet marketing campaigns that exaggerate the risk of cycling and thus discourage people from cycling should be avoided.
Helmet Choice - As many jurisdictions which have implemented comprehensive crash reduction measures have cycling fatality rates dramatically lower than BC and also very low rates of helmet usage, we recommend allowing adults choice regarding helmet use by eliminating the mandatory helmet requirement for adult cyclists. This will enable enforcement resources to be focused on collision reduction and facilitate the successful introduction of bike share systems.

This strategy would both involve proactive measures to improve the safety of cycling routes and the skills of cyclists and motorists as well as the tracking of the locations and causes of cycling collisions, injuries and fatalities to guide targeted and effective infrastructure improvements, maintenance, education and enforcement efforts.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Vote for Worst Roads for Cycling in BCAA Survey

Surprise, yet another post on voting. BCAA has kindly included bicycle facilities in their Worst Roads survey. This is a great opportunity to highlight poor cycling facilities in BC.

When voting, under Description of road problems chose Poor/no bicycle paths

A couple that come to mind in the Lower Mainland are the Iron Workers Memorial Bridge  and United Blvd.

Vote for others here. If you place the link in the Comments, I will add it to this post.

Voting ends on May 24.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Successful Meeting in Parksville

A great meeting on a rainy day. The torrential downpour just before the event ensured that many had soggy feet. The BCCC Moving Cycling Forward forum in Parksville attracted 30 cyclists from all around Vancouver Island. The new Oceanside Cycling Coalition is off to a great start lead by Jim Swanson. It was good to see former VACC President John Fair who now lives in Parksville involved. Participants included Carrie Powell-Davidson the Deputy Mayor of Parksville and Joan Michel the Parks and Trails Coordinator for Regional District of Nanaimo. Their contributions were much appreciated. Thanks to Jim  and BCCC Vice President Rob Rao for organizing the meeting.

The meeting started off with presentations by BCCC Board members Jack Becker and Richard Campbell:
The presentations were followed by a lively discussion of local and provincial issues including:
  • Cycling tourism and BCCC's Golden Eagles Cycling Routes Proposal
  • Cycling education in schools
  • Added cycling paths to existing highways in rural areas
  • Using unused road allowances for cycling paths
  • The importance of engaging local politicians
The more we have these meetings in communities, the more we realize the value sharing of success stories, challenges and experience among cycling groups throughout the province. Joining the BCCC email discussion list is one way of sharing such information. This blog is another such opportunity. 

To get involved in the Oceanside Cycling Coalition, please go to their website.

The next BCCC forum will be in Abbotsford on July 16 hosted by the the Abbotsford Cycling Action Group. Stay tuned for details.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Politicians Interfering with ICBC Plans To Improve Safety

The response has been quick. The few reckless and aggressive drivers who cause the majority of crashes, injuries and deaths, were complaining on the airwaves this morning upon hearing about ICBC's plans to reduce rates for good drivers while increasing them for risky drivers.

Excessive speed and reckless driving are serious threats to cyclists, pedestrians and other drivers. Such measures that encourage people to obey the law and drive more responsibly will save lives.

From Solicitor-General looks to put brakes on ICBC plan to hike rates 
Under the proposed model, close to one-third of B.C. drivers can expect to pay higher vehicle insurance premiums based on a blemished driving record, with the money being used to provide discounts for the balance of drivers who haven’t been ticketed. The higher rates – as yet undisclosed – would be sustained for three years. 
“Unsafe passing, following too close, running a red light, those sorts of moving violations are going to be captured and become part of the record that we look at when we determine your insurance rate,” Mr. Jan Vrem said. He said a single ticket might not be enough to trigger higher premiums under the proposal, but much of the detail is still to be worked out. “It’ll be circumstantial, one ticket won’t necessarily mean higher rates, but you won’t get the safe drivers’ discount under the rate model we proposed,” he said.
Unfortunately, politicians are already trying to interfere, placing politics ahead of safety. Both Solicitor-General Shirley Bond and John Horgan, the New Democratic Party opposition house leader, are criticizing ICBC for this proposal.

The excuse is that that:
Ms. Clark has promised to rethink all government fees to look at reducing the total tax burden on B.C. families. 
However, most BC families would actually benefit from reduced ICBC fees. Crashes would decrease reducing ICBC fees as well as health cares costs due to injuries. Ironically, her budget includes increasing medical service plan premiums. Thanks.

More importantly, automobile injuries and deaths tend to be very family unfriendly. It is time for politicians to grow a spine and base decisions on evidence and overall benefit to society.

Write the Premier
Please email Hon. Christy Clark 

Please cc your MLA and give them a call too. You can find their email address and phone at:
As well, cc:,,,

Newspaper Letters to the Editor
Vancouver Sun -
Vancouver Province -
National Post -
Globe & Mail -
24 Hours -
Metro News -
Vancouver Courier -
Westender -

Radio Station Call in Shows
I also expect the usual suspects will be "chatting" about this on the radio for the next day or two. Please call in to provide some balance.

CKNW - 980 AM
Open Line: (604) 280-9898, Toll Free: 1 (877) 399-9898

7:30-8:30am - Phillip Till
8:30-9:30am - Bill Good
12:30 - 3:00pm - Christy Clark
3:00-7:00pm - John McComb

Comment Line: (604) 331-2784
CBC - 690 AM
7:30-8:30am - Early Edition - 604-662-6690
12:00-2:00pm - BC Almanac - Open Line: (604) 669-3733, Talk Back Line: 604-662-6104
3:00-6:00pm - Stephen Quinn - (604) 662-6979

TEAM 1410 AM 
TEAM 1040 AM
On-Air: (604) 280-TEAM
Mobile Phone - *TEAM
24-hour "Rant Line": (604) 280-1410

News 1130 AM
Listener comment line: 604-877-6332 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Moving Cycling Forward Forum in Parksville

Calling all cyclists and interested members of the public in the Parkville, Qualicum Beach, Nanaimo and Campbell River areas. The British Columbia Cycling Coalition (BCCC) in conjunction with new Oceanside Cycling Coalition are pleased to hold a cycling forum and networking meeting focused on moving cycling forward in the region and the province.

Sunday, May 15th
12:30pm to 4pm
Parksville Community and Conference Centre,
132 Jensen Ave E. Map

  • Preparing for the Third Wave of Cyclists – Designing cycling facilities for everyone from 8 to 80 Jack Becker 
  • Five is the New Twenty – The advantages of quickly completing cycling networks - Richard Campbell 
  •  Municipalities have a Choice in its Transportation Plan for the Future - Jack Becker 
  • Provincial and Federal Cycling Strategies – Increasing cycling while reducing collisions - Richard Campbell 
Networking and open discussion with Parksville cyclists
  • Local Issues and Opportunities – Open Discussion 
  • Opportunities to work together – Open Discussion 
  • Parksville Cycling Direction – Organization, Options, Purpose, Directions 
  • Soaring Eagle Cycling Routes – Cycling touring routes on North Vancouver Island, E&N Railway 

The meeting will be followed by informal discussions over dinner for whoever wishes to do so afterwards.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

VOTE May 2!

Great to see huge interest in the federal election! The Federal Election and Cycling was the most popular blog posting so far. Looks like people are convinced there is a major role that the Federal Government can play in improving cycling.

It looks to be a real nail-biter too. Some of the latest polls have the NDP and Conservatives tied in BC so your vote could really make the difference.

It should be great cycling weather, so grab a friend or six and ride to the polls. While cycling hasn't been an issue in the election, arriving to vote on a bicycle makes a statement while avoiding traffic congestion at the polls. For many, it will be the fastest way to vote.

However, voting is very important so just be sure you get there by bike, foot, transit or car. If you do drive, see if a neighbour needs a lift. Bicycles built for two or more can also carry friends and neighbours to vote. Riding4Ridings is a community-based project that transports people on election day to appropriate polling stations by a fleet of BICYCLES!

Voting is Your Right
Voting is your right and your responsibly. We are very fortunate to live in a democracy. Currently, people in other countries around the world are risking their freedom and their lives to fight for the right to chose their leaders.

Voting Information
Elections Canada is the official source for information on voting. Some of the more important info is linked to below.

Where to Vote
At your election day polling place: get the hours and location. This information is also available by calling Elections Canada at 1-800-463-6868 or by consulting your voter information card.

Voter Identification at the Polls
To vote, you must prove your identity and address. More...

Time off Work to Vote
By law, qualified electors must have three consecutive hours to cast their vote on election day. If your hours of work do not allow for three consecutive hours to vote, your employer must give you time off. More...

Even if you are not registered, you can still register and vote on May 2. More...

Last of all, a big thank you to all the candidates, their families, volunteers and supporters who make such a big contribution to our democracy. Good luck!