Sunday, January 30, 2011

If you build it, they will ride

At January's Burlington Cycling Committee meeting, Mayor Goldring asked if Burlington's newly paved trails were being used by more people.  I sensed he was really asking if the city made a wise investment with taxpayer dollars.
Burlington does not take cyclists or pedestrian counts, so no hard data is available. However, everyone around the table intuitively felt the number of people using the trails had increased.

In London (see previous post) and now in Montreal, the hard data shows that bicycle use jumps where the city invests in paths & bike lanes!

According to an article in the Montreal Gazette, "bicycle use has increased by as much as 40 per cent since 2008 in areas of Montreal where the city has invested in bike paths or lanes."  This is based on research from a study done by McGill University students.

"Ridership at the five locations went up by 20 to 27 per cent from 2008 to 2009, and by 35 to 40 per cent in 2010 compared with 2008."  Mayor Tremblay made it his mission to make Montreal a leader in bike use.  From 2008 to 2010 the city invested $25 million and added 100km of bike lanes including physically separated cycle tracks, the envy of North America!

Montreal is not resting on its laurels.  By the end of 2013, an additional ~300km will be added to the bike network.
Where there's a champion at city hall, there is a way to get cycling infrastructure done!  Burlington needs those champions.

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