Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Improving and Enhancing Cycling & Pedestrian Services on BC Ferries

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and BC Ferries Corporation (BCFC) are asking ferry users to provide feedback on how to make the service relevant, affordable and sustainable in the years to come. After years of building ferries suited to automotive traffic, BCFC is considering how cyclists, pedestrians and transit will fit in its modal mix. BCCC has submitted a Position Paper on Improving and Enhancing Cycling and Pedestrian Services (.pdf) (or see below).

Take Action
You can communicate your support for these changes by completing the BCFC on-line survey: https://surveys.givingopinions.ca/s/coastalferries/. If you prefer to only comment on cycling & pedestrian access you can go directly to section 3 and complete question (e).

You can also write Hon. Mary Polak - Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, mary.polak.mla@leg.bc.ca and cc Harry Bains - Transportation Critic harry.bains.mla@leg.bc.ca and your MLA http://www.leg.bc.ca/mla/3-1-1.htm

Here is the BCCC's submission:

Improving and Enhancing Cycling & Pedestrian Services on BC Ferries

BCCC members use public transit, municipal road and cycling facilities, MOTI bridges and roadbed and BCFC facilities and vessels to travel to and from coastal communities. They observe that BCFC wayfinding, marketing, terminals, and vessels neither encourage cyclist traffic, nor meet cycling standards and requirements.
BCCC welcomes this opportunity to participate in the BC Coastal Ferries Consultation and Engagement process and submit this Position Paper for your consideration and feedback.


Assumptions

  1. The case is often made that BC Ferry Corporation (BCFC) is a component of the public system of highways, BCCC wishes to reinforce BCFC’s complementary and critical role within the public transit system.
  2. The motor vehicle orientation that the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) and BCFC share represents a significant blind spot in its vision for delivering an affordable, accountable and sustainable service.
Position
BCCC is pleased that MOTI and BCFC are considering how cycling and pedestrian traffic can be better accommodated within its service model. On a per capita basis, the Cascadia region (British Columbia, Washington and Oregon) is home to the largest concentration of commuting and recreational cyclists in North America. Our temperate climate, active lifestyle, wellness orientation and increasingly expensive and congested roadways situate cycling as both a viable and intelligent transportation choice within a multi-­‐modal world.
Accordingly, BCCC urges MOTI and BCFC to incorporate cycling requirements in its capital and operational plans and adapt to the needs of cyclists and pedestrians who use its facilities and vessels. Within the context of the coastal engagement process BCCC supports...
  • (3e) improving major route linkages between ferry terminals and communities with better cycling connections and better public transit service.
  • (3a) the use of smaller footprint vessels oriented to pedestrian and cyclist traffic. 
BCCC considers these changes to be a formative step towards expanding and enhancing ferry services for cyclists and pedestrians. Specifically, BCCC encourages BCFC to go further. We recommend that...

  • MOTI provide ongoing funds to BCFC’s terminal upgrade master planning process to construct amenities for bicycle commuters (storage) and ensure safe cycling and pedestrian access to BCFC terminals (e.g. bike lanes, sharrows, advisory lanes and signage).
  • BCFC reduce the travel burden for cyclists using its major terminals such as Tsawwassen, Horse Shoe Bay, and Swartz Bay, and establish bike share/rental facilities at its terminals or on its Spirit and Coastal Class vessels (e.g., http://www.nshispeed.nl/en/to-­‐and-­‐from-­‐the-­‐station/rent-­‐a-­‐bike)
  • BCFC include cycle tourists within its marketing mix and on-­‐line wayfinding materials, e.g. http://www.nywaterway.com/BikeOnEastRiverFerry.aspx
  • BCFC engage its major transit partners (Translink and BCTransit) to coordinate rapid, integrated and diverse transit options to and from major BCFC terminals
  • BCFC investigate new terminal sites for pedestrian and bicycle ferries in proximity to major population centres, rapid transit and rail. Examples of such locations include Bridgeport Station, Marine Drive Station, Waterfront Station, and downtown Victoria and Naniamo.
  • BCFC implement a cycle storage standard on its vessels
  • MOTI devise and implement a long-­‐term and scalable method for cyclists to
    safely cross at the Massey Tunnel.
    Conclusion
    BCFC operates one of the largest integrated marine transportation networks in the world. It also owns and operates some of the largest parking facilities in the province. BCCC encourages the Ministry and its ferry service to take the opportunity afforded by this engagement process to shift its primary mission from providing a passenger vehicle transport service to establishing a critical link in a world class system of public transit. 





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