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More than one in 10 cycle to work in some Vancouver neighbourhoods

February 11th, 2009 · 32 Comments

That’s the news from the highly anticipated, recently compiled statistics on cycling and walking in Vancouver, which comes out just in time for the pro and con sides in the Burrard Bridge debate to whack each other on the head with the numbers.

It’s also the occasion when Vancouver lords it over all the other municipalities because we just have so many more people walking and cycling here than, like, anywhere else. Take that, you SUV-driving losers, the report says. Okay, not exactly that, but it’s pretty much the message. (Actually, Victoria as a whole does better than us. The only explanation I’ve ever been able to come up with for that all the highly paid government employees and politicians can actually afford housing near their office buildings and can therefore walk.)

The report is here, with lots more numbers. The essentials:

– just over 40 per cent of people who live in the Downtown or West End walk or cycle to work. (For the city as a whole, it’s 16 per cent; for all of Metro, eight per cent.)

– in all of Vancouver, cycling accounts for 3.7 per cent of trips to work. Cycling actually decreased slightly in the Downtown and West End between 1996 and 2006, according to census stats, but walking trips there went up in the same time period.

– The Point Grey/Kits, Commercial Drive and lowers Main Street neighbourhoods had the highest rates of cycling to work, up to almost 12 per cent in some of them. I’m not surprised, since I live on a bike route in the Main Street area and see great herds of them go past my house every day.

– Summer peak hour counts along the bike routes show the highest traffic around Ontario and Prior, where the two most heavily used north-south and east-west routes intersect. The count there just over 700. the 10th Avenue route the next heaviest, with about 500.

– No numbers for the Burrard Bridge per se. In fact, the map in this report makes it look as though there is no bridge. Interesting.

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