On August 14, 2012 a cyclist was hit from behind by an SUV while he was riding up East Keith Road in North Vancouver. A bike lane that had been planned for this section of road would likely have prevented the collision. The bike lane was cancelled by North Vancouver District Council despite community support, extensive traffic studies and being part of the Bicycle Master Plan. On the same day, two other cyclists were struck by cars in North Vancouver.
The current bike network in the District of North Vancouver is a patchwork of incomplete, poorly signed bike routes and dangerous intersections. District Council does not seem to understand the benefits of cycling to health, the community, local businesses, the environment and public finances, and they do little to keep cyclists safe or to encourage cycling. A large and growing number of North Shore residents of all ages cycle in North Vancouver, along with people coming by bike to the North Shore from Vancouver, Burnaby and beyond.
Please sign this petition if you would like to see faster progress towards a safe and complete bike network in North Vancouver District. HUB: Your Cycling Connection is advocating for better cycling infrastructure in North Vancouver, but District Council also needs to hear from people who bike and from their families and friends who want to keep them safe.
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The majority of the Bicycle Master Plan has not been implemented to date in the District of North Vancouver. As a result, it is impossible to go almost anywhere in the District without having to navigate dangerous intersections and major roads that lack cycling facilities. The recent collisions on August 14, 2012 in which three cyclists were struck by cars in separate incidents in North Vancouver show how real the dangers are.
The North Shore has the second-highest share of people riding for transportation in the Lower Mainland, after Vancouver, despite the disjointed and often unsafe bike routes. Residents of all ages choose to ride bikes for many reasons such as improved health, convenience and sustainability. North Vancouver attracts active, outdoor-oriented people, more so than any other municipality in the Lower Mainland, and they are clearly not deterred by hills. Many more would ride if we had safe bike routes that connect destinations throughout the District.
There are numerous benefits of more people cycling, such as less traffic congestion and fewer expenses for transportation and road maintenance. This is why cash-strapped towns and cities around the world are investing heavily in cycling infrastructure.
Cancelling the East Keith Road bike lanes that were recommended by transportation engineers is a missed opportunity to move ahead with the Bicycle Master Plan. Without bike lanes, East Keith remains a big gap in North Vancouver's bike network. Cyclists take their lives in their hands every time they ride up or down East Keith Road, as the recent rear-ending of a cyclist by an SUV shows. The same is true for other important connectors without cycling facilities, such as Upper Capilano Road, Queens, Lynn Valley Road, Mountain Highway and Dollarton Highway.
You shouldn't have to be a hero to ride a bike in the District of North Vancouver. It's time to move the District's transportation system into the 21st century and speed up the implementation of the Bicycle Master Plan. A first step is to reinstate the proposed bike lanes on East Keith Road.