Let's UnGapTheMap and create a safer and healthier Metro Vancouver
April 5, 2017
HUB Cycling, the charity behind Bike to Work Week, has launched a new video to raise awareness of their campaign to make cycling safer and more connected for everyone in Metro Vancouver.
Over 40% of Metro Vancouver residents want to cycle more often but many are put off by safety concerns, a major barrier that HUB Cycling is aiming to change with UnGapTheMap.
While the number of people cycling in Metro Vancouver has increased rapidly in recent years, the bike network remains fragmented with hundreds of gaps across the region preventing people from cycling more often, especially for transportation and not just recreation.
The UnGapTheMap campaign is focused on identifying, prioritizing and fixing the gaps that if solved would increase safety and create a more connected bike network across Metro Vancouver, getting people to places they need to go
Speaking about the issue, Ellie Lambert, HUB Cycling's Director of Communications, said: "Bike infrastructure has improved in recent years but, due to a lack of sustained investment, we still have a disconnected network.
Anyone who rides a bike will have experienced the frustration of being dumped from your safe, enjoyable route onto a busy highway or unpaved, narrow footpath and that's what we're trying to change. UnGapTheMap is about securing a network of direct, paved and well-lit bikeways that can be ridden by anyone at any time of year", she added.
HUB Cycling's local committees have already identified over 300 gaps across Metro Vancouver which are stopping more people cycling. The gaps range from minor 'spot improvements', such as providing better signage or adding bike crossings, to building new bike lanes in areas of high ridership like along Powell Street in Vancouver.
As well as identifying the routes in need of improvement, HUB Cycling is working with municipalities, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, and TransLink to highlight the priority gaps and encourage government to implement solutions that will help more people cycle, more safely.
One of the solutions that HUB Cycling is championing is cycle highways which are continuous paved and lit paths, separated from pedestrians and motor vehicles, and suitable for people of all ages and abilities. Cycle highways have proved extremely successful in Europe and could work well on routes such as Vancouver to Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal and HUB Cycling is asking MLAs to support the introduction of them in Metro Vancouver.
Over 131,000 rides are made in Metro Vancouver each day but creating safe, connected routes would help many more people to get on their bikes. If you want to help make this happen, you can adopt one of HUB Cycling's identified gaps and explain how that gap is stopping you from cycling.
To find out more about how you can help UnGapTheMap visit www.bikehub.ca/ungapthemap.