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As the temperature drops, so do the number cyclists. This year however, there are more two-wheeled commuters on the roads of Vancouver year-round.
According to The Province, the city has seen a major increase of new cyclists sticking to their bikes even in the rainy, dark winter months. The number of daily mid-week bike trips over the Burrard Street Bridge topped at 6,800 in mid-July this year. The September average is up to 4,500 from 3,800 in 2013.
“It’s really all about the rain gear,” said Erin O’Melinn, executive director of HUB, in The Province. “Cyclists find they’re drier when they get home after riding than when they walk or take the bus because they’re dressed better.”
During HUB’s Bike-to-Work-Week from October 27 to November 2, 4,300 bikers registered compared to 3,200 last year. 740 were new riders, compared to 268 in 2013.
“It’s just nice to be outside, doesn’t matter what the weather is”, “I wanted to commute in a more environmentally-friendly way” and, “I don’t want to take transit” are just a few reasons why some Vancouverites have chosen bikes as their main mode of transportation.
Interested in joining this community of winter riders? Check out Winter Riding in BC for tips on how to get started.
Last February I wrote about how The Ministry of Transportation began surveying the Stanley Park Causeway with plans to reveal a design last spring. Instead, the Ministry hopes to gain more insight from the public during a consultation session.
The Stanley Park Causeway is 2.2-kilometres of Highway 99 that connects Vancouver and the North Shore. The redesign project was introduced following the death of a 61-year old woman. She was commuting by bike when she veered onto the roadway to avoid a pedestrian and collided with a bus.
Cycling in Cities is a research program at the University of British Columbia’s School of Population & Public Health. The goal of the program is to create useful tools for policy-makers, planners, and the public to evaluate the “bikability” of their city. Included in the research program is the BICE Study that looks closely at the trip and personal characteristics of injured cyclists.
The BICE Study surveyed 690 adults injured while cycling in Toronto and Vancouver. Data collected included trip characteristics like weather conditions, season, time of day, and personal characteristics like age, sex, and education.