Connecting the region's cycling network to build a future for bikes in Metro Vancouver
Over 40% of people want to cycle but currently don’t, and for many of them it’s because they are scared of unsafe route conditions. As a result of an inadequate cycling network, a lot of people are unable to find safe bike routes to their destinations and therefore perceive riding a bike to be a risky activity. By not cycling, this 40% are missing out on benefits including saving time and money and being healthier as a result of getting regular exercise. If these people could feel safe cycling then the local community would also benefit as increased bike use reduces the strain on the transportation network and contributes to a greener, cleaner environment.
UnGapTheMap aims to create a safer, more connected bike network that would encourage more people to cycle more often. Hundreds of km bikeways, including new protected lanes, are needed across Metro Vancouver and HUB Cycling is actively defining and prioritizing the improvements that are needed.
We're looking to the provincial government, TransLink and municipalities to work together to fill critical gaps in our cycling network, and provide the policies, laws, education and promotion needed to support the fastest-growing mode of transportation in Metro Vancouver.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is UnGaptheMap just a campaign, or is work being done to actually improve cycling?
UngapTheMap is our name for coordinated work by HUB Cycling Board, staff and Regional Advisory Committee (RAC) members, in close collaboration with 10 local HUB committees across Metro Vancouver, to define all ages and abilities (AAA) cycling infrastructure 'gaps' in the region.
These gaps are defined according to municipality, jurisdiction and type, as well as qualitative criteria related to ridership impact, utility, safety and feasibility. Using this prioritization framework, we have identified and prioritized over 300 priority gaps that if fixed would allow more people to cycle, more safely, more often.
Gaps are then mapped and our local committees work with community groups, funding partners and different levels of government to advocate for improvements to these routes.
Regardless of funding sources and levels, UnGaptheMap gives HUB Cycling a master plan for defining and prioritizing cycling network gaps across the region, something which does not otherwise exist.
What improvements does HUB Cycling want to see?
UnGapTheMap is focused on securing hundreds of kilometres of direct, paved and lit bikeways, including new protected lanes, so that people can cycle safely at any time of day, in any weather and at any time of year. Municipalities have limited funds available to them therefore it is vital that they are invested in safe cycling infrastructure that will get more people on their bikes.
As part of UnGapTheMap, HUB Cycling is identifying innovative infrastructure solutions from around the world that could be implemented in Metro Vancouver. Facilities such as cycle highways, which provide long, paved and lit routes that connect communities and are suitable for people of all ages and abilities, would solve many of the regions most pressing gaps such as the route from Vancouver to Tswwassen Ferry Terminal.
What happened to the Mayors Plan - wasn't cycling part of it?
The Mayors Plan called for 2,700km of bikeways, of which 300km would have been separated, but no routes or cycling facilities were otherwise specified. In December 2016, the Mayors' Council approved Phase One of TransLink's 10-year Vision which includes $48.95m for cycling over the next three years and a large proportion of this will be invested via a cost-sharing program that municipalities can apply for. HUB Cycling is working to ensure that this money is invested into the projects that will improve safety and increase ridership across Metro Vancouver.
Where does funding for cycling improvements come from?
It depends on the jurisdiction within which they are built.
Transportation infrastructure that passes over, under, through or directly adjacent to areas owned by the Province of BC, TransLink, First Nations or private entities will usually be funded by those entities, in whole or in part, in cooperation with relevant municipal governments.
Examples of such projects include Ironworkers Memorial Bridge, Massey Tunnel, Northwest Marine Drive, Pattullo Bridge, and Stanley Park Causeway. Rapid or mass public transit is funded by the Province of BC by way of our independent transit authority, TransLink.
With few exceptions, the balance of the region's transportation funding comes from local, municipal governments.
No matter whether you drive, take transit, ride a bike or walk, each year a portion of the property and other taxes you pay goes towards the construction and maintenance of our highways, roads, multi-use paths and trails. This includes federal and provincial taxes.
How can I help to UnGaptheMap?
We appreciate your support with UnGapTheMap and there are a number of different ways that you can help improve cycling in your local area:
- Support our work to improve one of the priority gaps that we have identified via our Adopt a Gap program. By adopting a gap and telling us why that gap is important, you will not only be lending your voice for our campaign but also helping us illustrate the problems that are caused by the gaps in Metro Vancouver's cycling network.
- Email your MLA and BC's elected decision makers and encourage them to support the introduction of innovative solutions such as cycle highways.
- Contribute your time by volunteering on a HUB Cycling local committee, helping to identify the priority gaps in your community and collaborating with your municipality to bring about change
- Tell your local elected official to #ungapthemap - let them know about the cycling network gaps that are affecting you and your community.
- Help us spread the word about UnGapTheMap using this handy postcard which summarises the problem and how we're working to solve it.