Thursday, March 22, 2012

Urge Premier Clark to Approve Funding for Transit and Cycling

Unfortunately, it looks like Premier Clark may be getting cold feet regarding funding for transit and cycling. The Metro Vancouver mayors have requested that the province give the region the authority to implement funding measures for transit and cycling including a vehicle levy, road pricing or a carbon tax. This is in spite of promises to work with the region's mayors to fund funding solutions.

With by-elections just announced and the provincial election just a year away, it seems like Premier Clark may be greatly overestimating the political risk of supporting funding for transit. Sure, there is a very vocal anti-tax minority who clog the airways and Internet but it certainly appears as if the average voter supports transit. The large majority of mayors who championed funding for transit just before the elections won by landslides.

The last Premier who rejected a vehicle levy approved by regional politicians, Ujjal Dosanjh, faired very poorly, losing by a landslide. Rejecting transit funding certainly appears to be a bad political move.

Giving people transportation choices by improving transit and cycling is good for everyone. Reductions in motor vehicle traffic reduces collisions and the associated health care and insurance costs. The economic cost of motor vehicle collisions is around 3% of GDP costing the regional economy billions of dollars a year. Congestion is also reduced meaning drivers can get where they need to go faster. For only $30 dollars a year, it seems a bargain.

Cycling and transit are also affordable transportation options that help cushion the high cost of housing in the region.

In addition to increasing the funding for cycling from $3 to $6 million a year, according to TransLink this funding will significantly improve transit around the region. "By 2014, annual bus and SeaBus service will increase by 415,000 hours, or 7%, providing more service around the region toimprove reliability, reduce crowding and serve new demand frompopulation growth and the expanded U-Pass BC program."

Email Premier Clark
Please email Premier Clark and urge her to support the vehicle levy, carbon tax and other funding for transit:
Hon. Christy Clark and cc:

Please cc your MLA. You can find their email address at:

Sunday, March 11, 2012

World Invited to Salt Spring Island to Experience Bicycle-Heaven-on-Earth

British Columbia looks to be the centre of the cycling universe this June. In addition to Velo-city Global 2012 in Vancouver from the 26-29, Salt Spring Island will be hosting Velo Village.

Island Pathways organizers today announced that registration for all Velo Village activities is now open. “Velo Village celebrates rural cycling,” said Island Pathways President, Brenda Guiled, “Between June 21st and 23rd, Salt Spring Island will be bicycle-heaven-on-earth – the most welcoming place on this planet to be on a bike.”
Guiled noted that “there will be fun, games and knowledge exchange – all at an affordable price.” In addition to bicycle-themed performances, art exhibits and workshops, Velo Village will demonstrate the joy, wonder, and value of rural cycling in British Columbia. In development for almost a year, festival highlights include:
·     June 18th to 25th – Bike photography, sculpture, paintings, mixed media and working bike exhibits will be on display at Art Spring
·     Thursday, June 21st – a solstice themed Film-at-the-Farm. Cyclists enjoy the longest evening of the year powering the sound and projection systems for acoustic acts and a feature film presentation at this zero-footprint event.
·     Friday, June 22nd – more than 200 delegates attend the Cycling and Rural Mobility Conference – a think tank and networking event for bringing the interests of city cyclists and their country cousins closer together. That evening,  Islanders join delegates for an Art auction supporting World Bicycle Relief and the Spoke ‘N Song Gala, featuring human-powered adventurers Colin & Julie Angus.
·Saturday, June 23rd – At 10:00 am BC’s first cyclist-only ferry leaves Swartz Bay for Fulford Harbour. Carrying 400 cyclists, the BIKE FERRY will be the point-of-departure for a day of family-oriented events: rides, workshops, musical acts and more.
Jean Gelwicks, a Velo Village organizer, describes the festival as a transformational event. “As beautiful as our Island home already is,” said Gelwicks,  “Velo Village will reveal an entirely new dimension. Nearly a hundred beautifully painted bikes will line the cycle routes, Islanders will wave to and welcome visiting cyclists, and merchants will make  special offers available to cyclists during the three days of the event.”
Persons wishing to attend the event are advised to register and book accommodations early (