City of North Van endorses 2012 bike plan
The City of North Vancouver formally endorsed its portion of a North Vancouver-wide cycling facilities strategy Monday, the latest step in a pedal-forward plan that began 18 years ago.
The North Vancouver Bicycle Master Plan 2012 is a joint city and district initiative that charts the bike-friendly progress both municipalities have made since the 2006 update and takes stock of where North Van wants to be down the road.
Since 2006, the city has built up its network of bike lanes and dedicated paths by about 65 per cent, growing from 20 kilometres of bike-friendly facilities in 2006 to 33 kilometres today.
Those major additions since 2006 include the city’s first separated bike lane on Larson Road, bike lanes on Marine Drive, the Harbourside West Overpass and the replacement of the MacKay Bridge near Capilano Mall.
The mandate of the new plan, according to assistant city engineer Dragana Mitic, is “to improve safety for cyclists, bring the cycling network closer to residents, build up community connections and promote cycling as a key component of our sustainable transportation system.”
Not only has the city’s cycling network grown, but over the past 10 years, the number of cycling trips and the average distance of those trips has grown as well.
“The number of cycling trips in the city has increased over 140 per cent which is way above all the other modes,” Mitic said. “As well, during the same [10-year] period, the average distance cyclists travelled increased 80 per cent from 3.8 to 6.9 kilometres.”
Thanks in large part to the North Van cycling plan, which was first established in 1994, every city resident now lives within 300 metres of a dedicated cycling route, according to the 2012 plan update.
The city's portion of the pan-North Van cycling network proposed in the 2012 plan is 107 kilometres long, counting separately those bike lanes on either side of the same road. That’s an increase of 37 per cent over the 2006 plan, which called for 78 kilometres of cycling routes in the city.