News,discussions about Victoria and the Capital Region and the issues that affect us. My area of expertise is in active transportation, particularly cycling and walking. My recent term on Victoria City Council also keeps me interested in local issues that come up at City Hall and around the region.
I'm running again for council and the regional district. Hope you find a reason to offer support.
Monday, October 13, 2014
Johnson St. Bridge project, Victoria, BC
The view from here . .
Contrary to not so popular opinion, Victoria’s Johnson St.
Bridge project continues to move forward.
Construction on site is moving at a brisk pace and, despite
the critics, many local elements are falling into place. Bascule piers have been dropped in, roads
realigned and underground work that should have fallen into separate budgets
have also been completed on the downtown side.
To be sure, no small amount of ink has been spilled of late
as elements of the project run into turbulence.
Cost and design issues are the subject of disputes between contractors,
constructors and distant fabricators who have, at least, agreed to eat their
costs and focus on delivering the product they were asked for. Some asks remain unresolved, though the city
remains in possession of a contract, and disagreements may be sorted out
between private sector providers who can look for compensation on their side of
the ledger. The city shouldn’t have to
pay for their missteps or private disputes.
Some on council remain committed to more posturing than
problem solving, and the loss of some staff midway through the project left
some key controls unattended to. Not a
cause for celebration, no doubt, though most had the good sense to follow through
with interim project management recommendations to right the course of the
project when it became apparent that private contractors couldn’t solve issues
on their own.
All in, the time contingency, at least, remains intact, and
funding agreements with the federal government will be met, even with projected
delays. Do it fast or do it right – I would
choose the latter.
The challenges identified by the project manager, at least
for those who attended council sessions where issues were reported out, are
serious enough, though none fatal to the delivery of a bridge supported by a
majority of council and endorsed by democratic referendum before the last
election. The very specific comments of
the city’s latest hire prescribed less panic than those who are elevating their
rhetoric in the run-up to election day.
Cost dissection is a challenge for those determined to
advance their own version of the math, but the reality is that nothing of new
costs represents a bad investment or an easily foreseen circumstance such that
finger pointers can claim out of control inflationary pressures.
Protection of a secure data line feeding info to the
military was purposely left off the table until a private sector player decided
that that project could proceed, as long as the city paid the freight. Not a stretch to suggest that the risk of
higher costs for damaging the line would have exceeded by far the agreement to
pay for the work. Even more problematic
might have been the potential liability headaches the city could have faced if
the old bridge were to collapse in an earthquake. Damage to that line might have been a drop in
the bucket in the overall scheme of things, but no doubt well in excess of city
costs to move the line to accommodate the new bridge.
Extra dollars invested in protecting your investment from
larger vessels now likely sailing into the shipyard after a new federal
contract was awarded to various suppliers is also a good deal. The long term business plan now emerging for
Point Hope will return millions in new jobs and tax revenue never possible with
the old bridge. As the saying goes, the
city should be run more like a business.
On this one, at least, the business case is about as solid as it gets.
There are those who will deliberately misrepresent scope
changes as costs eating up contingencies, but that is not quite accurate. For those on council who can do the math,
choices made were deliberate adaptations to changing circumstances, not
blindsides generated by mismanagement.
It’s a steep hill to climb back to the council table, as
some have noted, though more are looking forward to a new bridge, and it is
coming, than some of those who are convinced otherwise.
I expect that, should I be so lucky to win a seat, I’ll have
the opportunity to pay more attention to the job at hand, and spend less time
looking for my next career opportunity.
Always up to the task.
Friction along the Galloping Goose and Lochside Trails
connecting Victoria and its neighbouring municipalities is not a new issue and
solutions have been the subject of ongoing discussions for years.
The recent interest generated by Victoria’s council debate
is a good time to bring real solutions back to the table. Many of those ideas critics are convinced are
new have been analyzed already and most will offer little relief.
The free associating on costs of widening versus separated
trails makes no sense. No research that
I have found supports the conclusion that building two trails is cheaper than
widening a single trail. Most often,
costs of separated trails will be higher and, in the case of the Goose, some of
those will be considerable.
The more problematic “solution” touted by some of those
offering advice is a change to protocols on the trail and have pedestrians walk
facing bicycle traffic. This needs to be
discarded, and quickly. We need to find
fixes that work, not chew over failed strategies that will offer no relief for
the very real discomfort trail users are experiencing.
Multi-use trails across North America use a tried and true
pattern of directing all traffic – on foot or on bicycle – to stay to the
right. It is a simple approach that creates
two directions of travel, albeit with differing speeds. Cyclists are obliged to pass safely and
responsibly and pedestrians need to be mindful that they are sharing a corridor
busy with faster moving bicycle traffic.
Insisting that people walk facing bike traffic creates
patterns that creates needless complexity and elevates risk.
First, the protocol would create four streams of traffic
where once were two. The need to pass
either slower moving cyclists or pedestrians using the trail demands that those
passing now negotiate their way through two traffic streams traveling in
opposite directions in the space they need to pass. Picking their way through that chaos is more
dangerous and more complex than having to find space to pass any traffic, at
whatever speed, moving in one direction.
Beyond the problems of potential collisions in a complex traffic
stream, faster closing speeds for those moving in opposing directions dramatically
increases the consequences of every unintended impact. The speed differential between quickly moving
cyclists and slower moving pedestrians is certainly a concern in a hit from
behind collision, where someone walking at 5 or 6 km/h is hit by someone moving
at 20 km/h or more. Imagine, however,
that instead of a differential of 15 km/h, the point of collision occurring at
an effective acceleration of perhaps double that figure. It’s not hard to imagine that injuries
emerging from such a collision will be much more severe than those occurring at
more modest speed differentials.
The scheme, doesn’t work anywhere else, so why would it work
A more effective fix is nothing new. I’ve been pestering the CRD for some years to
widen the trail to accommodate growing volumes of trail traffic. The city, following studies on patterns of
use, has finally paved a section of the trail south of the Selkirk Trestle,
where an experiment with crushed basalt failed to draw more than token use by
those traveling on foot.
Where the rubber hits the road, or the trail to be more accurate,
is north of the Selkirk Trestle, particularly through Cecilia Ravine. The trail is a tight three metres wide,
hemmed in by rock bluffs that buffer the creek and a steep grade up to the
Gorge – Burnside neighbourhood.
Blasting out rock or elevating the trail will no doubt be
costly, but the alternative design that would create a separate trail for
walkers could only be done alongside the creek, eroding sensitive riparian
habitat and escalating costs beyond those conceivable for widening. For reasons of directness and personal
security, many on foot would likely remain on the main trail in any event. This is one of a couple of key sections where
extra width will be critical to accommodate growing numbers of trail users.
Past the Burnside Road overpass mural, the trail widens out
to four metres, and most users can likely tell you that friction between
walkers and cyclists is much reduced.
Space for passing is more generous, and cyclists have more room to give
pedestrians a wide berth. A shorter section that reaches the Saanich
border needs some extra width also, but it will be easy enough to grub out a
base and add some pavement on the flat topography available.
The next section between Tolmie and the Switch Bridge over
the Trans Canada highway is also too narrow.
Intersections were rebuilt to
support new traffic protocols - cross-streets face stop signs while the trail
has the right of way. Trail traffic
volumes are higher than those roads and the right of way assignment follows
typical transportation hierarchies for major and minor thoroughfares. Here, the trail is the major traffic carrier. Contractors constructing the intersections
made a mistake when designs were in early stages and again I had to go back to
the municipality to have them corrected.
New curb and gutter replicated the 3 metre cross section and had to be
torn out and rebuilt to 4 metres.
Along this stretch of the Goose, a separated pedestrian
tread could be built - a more comfortable arrangement that is useful where land
is available and topography supportive.
It might mean acquiring a bit of private land to create a buffer between
cyclists and pedestrians but the physical design is achievable. None should be confused by the unsupported
notion that it will be cheaper than simply widening the trail, but it would
provide a much more appealing option for all users.
Again in Saanich, where the Lochside tracks north beyond the
junction with the Goose at the far end of the Switch Bridge, extra width is
badly needed. Raising the trail grade is almost certainly
needed to allow for extra width through the large culvert designed to
accommodate trains of days gone by, and the rest of the topography is likewise
tight, but widen we must. CRD numbers
are startling. Year round averages
indicate more than 7,000 trips a day travel the Goose and Lochside, perhaps 50%
higher in fair weather, and volumes are growing.
The city and the CRD have known for years that the trail is
becoming victim to its own success and badly needs an update. Many other projects, from repaving crumbling
sections to adding bathroom facilities at locations where longer distance
visitors need relief, are two pressing issues.
It would be nice if the work we need to do didn’t have to wait for the
sharp focus of an election campaign to generate the urgency we are witnessing
at the council table or in the editorial pages.
The solutions are easy enough, we just need to get shovels to the ground
to make them happen.
For the last few weeks I've been putting together another run at Victoria City Council and The Capital Regional District Board.
I've been hard at work in the community on issues over the last few years, but I've thought that the council table has missed my voice and the region needs practical approaches to some of the major issues and challenges we face.
People have been positively encouraging and I'm honoured to have their confidence. I hope that their support translates into the thousands of votes I will need to bring back my commitment to the city and help us build a more sustainable future.
Getting coverage is challenge in a city where the media is focused on the mayor's race and many other local politicians are working on their own campaigns. If they cover one, they have to cover them all and they sometimes lose track of how many people are out there in the field.
Getting my issues out there and giving voice to those in the community who are looking to the future means taking matters into my own hands.
I'll be profiling my agenda and the issues that our community is bringing to the campaign here on my blog and on handy, quick response facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/voteluton
I did put out a news release, always a little longer than some, I guess. Local issues are hard to cover in a sound bite, a news clip or a quick paragraph printed in the back pages of the city daily or the neighbourhood weekly.
Here's the release they missed, but I hope you don't. There is a lot of work to be done to build a sustainable city, and I hope I am up to the task. Looking forward to the campaign, the energy I get from working the issues and the task of convincing a busy electorate to take time to think about their future and that of their children and getting out to vote.
Keep your eyes on this site to find out more. Always have lots to talk about.
For Immediate Release
Luton aims to put
Victoria back to work as he enters council race
Transportation consultant and former city councillor will
contest for a seat at the table for the November 15 municipal elections in Victoria. He is also putting his name forward to
represent the city at the Capital Regional District.
Luton said that he will put his experience working on
council and in the community back to work on the opportunities and challenges
Victoria faces in term ahead. “Victoria
has a new sustainable transportation plan”, said Luton, “but we need to put our
plans into action”.
Luton also says that the city’s many other plans need to
move from the table to the street. “Livability
is key to our appeal as a destination for visitors and for new economy businesses
increasingly attracted to the Victoria lifestyle. “
He points to new developments around the Legislature, land
swaps that create new options for a people oriented waterfront and the need to
“right size” parking requirements as practical challenges a new council will
need to address on development and transportation issues.
At the same time, Luton said that we have to get back to
some fundamentals in the city and across the region on issues like homelessness. “We’re seeing seniors struggling, our
shelters oversubscribed. We can’t solve
those issues with reckless budget cuts or solve everything with barn raisings
and bake sales.”
Regionally, Luton says the sewage debate needs to move
forward. He supports a fully public
model, saying that more privatization undermines transparent, accountable
management, and threatens the essential public ownership of our water
Luton says that pressing infrastructure renewal has to be
funded by building a more vibrant city that brings people, jobs and services
downtown. “New developments we gave the
green light to created more options to live and work downtown and allowed the
current council to keep taxes affordable.”
He says that the region needs someone at the table
experienced with diverse transportation solutions that respond to changing
times and addresses the fundamental challenges of climate change. “When I last served on council and the
transit commission I tipped the balance to provide better services for students
and our “Late Night, Great Night” strategy”.
He says his energy is needed to help push regional transit solutions
critical to the city’s new economy.
“Transportation is clearly an area where an integrated regional model
makes sense. We need to build a model
that responds to local, regional needs as a counterweight to provincial control
of strategies and priorities.”
Luton has been endorsed by the Victoria Labour Council and
is working to earn the support of citizens and community leaders in the weeks
leading up to the November election.
While bike facilities will draw traffic, they must serve destinations that are trip generators for cyclists, and most will have not much tolerance for out of direction travel, unless for some compelling reason.
Recently published research suggests that those facilities not so purposeful will draw occasional or recreational use but are less likely to fundamentally alter travel choices to grow cycling significantly.
The discussion revolved around connections to the Johnson St. Bridge, a project that at its inception aimed also to improve conditions for cycling across a weak link in the regional cycling network. Many other deficiencies pointed to a new bridge over any attempt at refurbishment. Strong support from the cycling community and my own efforts to ensure, at the time, the most practical and achievable facilities on the bridge for cyclists and pedestrians, helped to confirm the decision made by council.
Some challenges were understood but not so far easily solved - I could only push so far to incorporate everything I might have wanted on deck and in the surrounding road network. None were sufficient to support the folly of delay or ill conceived rescue work aimed at preservation of a museum piece over a functional centrepiece of our transportation infrastructure.
Still, there are some now who, because they didn't get everything, may have just as comfortably settled for nothing. They would do a disservice to those many who will find the new bridge light years ahead of any levels of service hitherto enjoyed on the icon of the old blue bridge, (which, of course, was black for the first decade I was riding east from home in Vic West.
I took the morning a few days back to conduct my own count and observe the patterns of travel on the "delta" side of the bridge - where streams of traffic disperse travelers around downtown like so many rivulets depositing what the river of traffic has streamed into the core.
3 of the 445 cyclists I counted over an hour passing through my observation post were not wearing helmets. There's $75 worth of lost revenue for the police who can't, it should be noted, be everywhere all at once.
Including those leaving town - against the predominant flow of morning traffic, 13 distinct destination streams were found, though most heading outbound were coming from the south along Wharf and not so many along Pandora (a route that will show higher numbers, no doubt, when I go out again to record the afternoon patterns.) Still, that is a lot of different boxes to check and analyze. Keeping up with the count (and, as always, snapping some pics to illustrate the story), kept my fingers busy.
Of those heading into town, more than half headed south immediately upon exiting the bridge, another third continued east, though their end points could have taken them perhaps both north and south into downtown as much as they might have been headed to other destinations served by Johnson St. as it cuts through the city.
The pattern speaks to the pressing need to connect more effectively the new Goose that will spill bike traffic into downtown when the bridge (not to mention the E&N trail) are complete. That will be a new project, as will new concepts for Wharf and harbour pathway connections will be as next steps take shape. Wharf has no easy fixes, which is partly why it does not top the priority list for new investments the city's bike plan envisions.
A separated cycle track on Pandora is at the top, and two designs will be assessed, though destination travel analysis would indicate that a couplet with Johnson is a more complete network approach than the two way fashion statement some would prefer. Engineering challenges will be daunting enough given the inconsistencies in available right of way along the corridor, though it will still be worth extra work (and extra money) aimed at conceptualizing the two way option. Understanding that trip patterns will be at least as important as the symbol provided by a two way cycle track must inform the analysis. I am less certain than some that the two way concept is the silver bullet. It has many blemishes.
A sparsely attended meeting of Victoria’s council sitting in
committee heard from project managers on the progress of the Johnson St.
Bridge. Those coming to watch a train
wreck were no doubt disappointed.
Recent reports notwithstanding, budget and time lines appear
to be on track and critics are muted by the steady onslaught of the
The question had to be asked again, though answered more
than once or a thousand times, about maintenance of the old bridge. While wrestling through the forecasts for
touching up paint or recoating the bridge, the point seemingly had to be made
that, had old blue been painted more diligently, it might have lasted
longer. The answer, as always, has been
as consistent. The old bridge, was state
of the art, 90 years ago, using plate steel and rivets to create the structural
members the define the structure. Consulting
engineers in attendance, like those that had come before, schooled the studiously
uninformed, that the design rendered any scheme to coat surfaces between
plates, at best, irrelevant, and, for all intents and purposes, near impossible
in any event, at least in situ.
As those who have followed the project and who understand at
least the basics of metallurgy, the existing bridge, despite some initial
hopefulness, has never been a good candidate for refurbishment, whatever the
scheme. The steel is so compromised by
the rust and corrosion of a salty environment and the damp winters of the wet
coast that almost nothing of the original bridge would remain after the rust might
have been scraped off, lead paint and all, into the water below.
The same voices who began their term insisting that an
iconic bridge was too rich for Victoria are now as insistent that no expense be
spared to ensure that the trail crossing that will connect the E&N trail to
the Goose and the new bridge has all the architectural panache of the bridge
project they once insisted would serve as well if it were a replica of the
Spencer Road overpass.
Different storylines emerged that counter the recent and
familiar noise from other critics.
Routine maintenance and schemes for replacement of load bearing
mechanical elements of the bridge are designed into the management plan for the
future of the new bridge, not, as some might have it, a sudden and surprising
change to the lifespan project for the bridge, which remains at 100 years. Proxies at the table were left looking for
minutiae around how bearings might be replaced or paint touch up work might be
The use of one sort of grouting or another to sandwich steel
surfaces subject to loads and friction were revealed as likewise commonplace, well protected from the
elements encased within the structure where operational requirements
demand. Nothing to see here, and not so
much to report, more than that most all of the 4,000, give or take a few,
movable bridges across North America are using much the same elements of
Engineers put paid to the notion too, that the mechanics of
the bridge are untried or untested. They
went so far even as to share that the key elements of rollers and bearings,
racks and pinions and the like were so commonplace as to be available off the
shelf, should one or another piece require replacement. That too, is designed into the bridge. Due diligence will require maintenance, maybe
repairs, perhaps replacement of some of those movable parts that will wear over
time. Unlike the current structure, however,
everything is designed with maintenance and durability in mind. The old bridge, not so much.
Rail service, as much as we would have liked to include it
in the first go round, is protected, at least conceptually. The right of way remains and, should a
revival demand a downtown station, the logistics of approaches from the west
side will be easy enough to construct, even as those most attached to bringing
the train into sight of the city centre decry the expense of public space
design that might require some rearrangement should a station be required or
tracks need to be laid.
More practical approaches might be explored where a new
station location that harkens back to the ‘70s, when rail served, more practically,
deeper into Vic West. Locations have
more generous space that might be afforded a station, parking would be more
readily available, transit connections could be designed, and local development
would be anchored by passenger rail or long haul commuter services. Not that the rail is operating yet, but the
prospect of revival, however shaky, would best be served by functional
realities more so than political posturing.
All of the noise around design milestones and the impatience
with those elements still incomplete revealed some stark contrasts in
approaches. The public realm west of the
bridge that will reclaim land currently supporting the dysfunctional S-curve is
rightly unfinished on paper. As much as
the concepts of land use have been driven by community desires for more park
space, it remains most crucial that the public be involved in the more detailed
design that can follow the more immediate need to finish the bridge and road
connections that will service the new crossing.
Further on up the road, or the trail, so to speak, the
E&N rail trail continues to emerge alongside the increasingly decrepit
track bed, though many of us still hope the train will be rescued as
promised. It will connect to the project
and, truth be told, I would rather not have detailed design completed without
having a good look at both functional design and architectural expression. I’m uncomfortable enough with the continue
characterization of the link as a “pedestrian” bridge, when it will also serve
commuter cyclists and other wheeled travelers who will require different kinds
of geometrics than those needed for foot travel alone. I’m sure everyone involved understands this,
but it needs to be spelled out as a design driver as the project proceeds.
Road links and fresh works connecting Harbour Road across to
the Ocean Pointe Hotel are already in progress, and the ramp down to the road
from the current E&N trail piece are fenced off for the next several
weeks. More effort could have been made
to design better detour arrangements and more pointed communications, but it
will be very short term, and the promise of dramatic improvements to cycling
facilities that are central to the new bridge will draw more traffic despite new
ideological skepticism emerging among some in the cycling community.
Something new will be emerging as city staff and project
consultants work through the change order demanded by the contractor hoping to
squeeze more money out of their fixed price deal, but that wasn’t ready for the
council gabfest. No doubt it will be
fuel and fodder for the naysayers who aren’t much interested in the facts in
any event. While some may be journalists
in their day jobs, they’ve lost any sense of objectivity on this project,
leading the charge in opposition whilst pretending to be mere reporters. Guess you have to give them credit for being
Project team members turned aside questions that had been
raised about the ethics of designers assessing the changes. They reminded council that their r
professional credentials demanded that they provide accurate and fair
information, and that anything they turned in would be run through city staff
and were subject to audit, in any event, by federal funders who have a lot of
skin in the game and have, thus far, found everything in order.
Me too. I read all
483 pages of the report and voted yes for a new bridge. Didn’t forget also, to read page 484 too –
that’s the one where the referendum results showed the voters of Victoria made
the same choice. Haven’t seen anything
new that indicates it was the wrong one.
There's not a lot to support in the province's decision to
abandon the Capital Commission and sell off key assets to finance operational
debt. This trade of lands for those the
city owns at Point Hope, however, is one of those exceptions that make good
During my time on council I was also pressing the case that
we sell Point Hope the leased lands to give them certainty for at least some of
the investments they had then mapped out. I
hope they proceed with the graving dock they planned that would allow more and
larger vessels to come into the yard, creating new and better jobs than I am
expecting from the more shaky LNG industry that some operations will service.
There will no doubt be some who strike the match and light
their hair on fire, insisting, wrongly, that the land should be saved for
housing or a park. Both of those
soapboxes are too shaky to stand for long.
For the city, the new provincial properties along the other
side of the harbour will help to consolidate the city’s holdings on the
downtown waterfront, and make it easier to advance a harbour pathway project
that has been in the works for years.
That will be a welcome and well used public space that gives hope to the
idea that we can stop providing viewscapes for empty cars and give more of our waterfront back to our citizens.
Back on the other side, the Point Hope lands have always
been a liability more than an asset for the city. They cannot be used for housing – too contaminated
from near a century and a half of industrial activity that would make
reclamation uneconomic. For health
reasons, you simply cannot build housing on toxic sites. Why would we ask those who need affordable
housing to absorb the costs or the risks associated with who knows what buried
in the fill?
As a park, it doesn’t have a lot to offer – it would be
isolated and less appealing than the new and better park space the city has
already planned into the local neighbourhood south of the new bridge and taking
advantage of land reclaimed from the soon to be redundant “S” curve (a sticky
issue for those that insist traffic calming is so well served by preserving
For the shipyard, the lands will be an asset. They can consolidate their property, cap the
site, contain the contamination and keep on doing what they do best - serving dozens of vessels from near and far who check in now again for minor repairs or major work.
Those who might believe it’s but a pittance to fix might cast their eyes
towards the BC Hydro lands where tens of millions of dollars have been, and continue
to be spent, on one of Canada’s most toxic pieces of land. That’s not something the city needs to take
Point Hope can take this to the bank – as an owner better
than a leaseholder, to secure the financing they need to build their business
and create jobs you can count. Both the
shipyard and the city also escape the conundrum of the landlord also being the
regulator of the lands and eliminate any conflict over the watchdog role.
Not to be undersold also is the planning that went into the
bridge project – some elements of design were added late to the plan to allow
Point Hope to pull in bigger, wider vessels.
I’m sure the deal will be the “focus” of some critics but
this is a good deal for the city and for the sustainability of our community. We need to be a working city too and this is
a big boost for our marine industrial economy.
Our marine highways, despite the efforts of some, aren’t going to disappear
anytime soon, and the vessels that ply our coastal waters need their marine
garage. It’s here at Point Hope and it’s
about to tool up.
Kudos to Mayor Fortin and the city for making this work.
A couple of weeks ago the Victoria Times-Colonist published an editorial proposing that weather alone was pretty much responsible for our high levels of cycling in Victoria. Here's my rejoinder, an op-ed piece sent in soon afterwards, but never published.
Thursday June 6, 2013, on bikes and traffic safety
Your editorial on road safety issues suggests that Victoria
has done little to improve the lot of cyclists and that our high ridership is a
happy accident of climate.
That doesn’t square with the facts.
Saskatoon and Kingston, both cities with harsher winters
also enjoy high levels of cycling and in the U.S. places like Madison,
Wisconsin, and Minneapolis, Minnesota also have high levels of cycling,
challenging the notion that weather alone will generate higher levels of
Victoria, like other cities that have extensive networks of
bicycle facilities, still has work to do to fill in the gaps, but the pace of
change here has been impressive.A more
thorough investigation of what we do have will find one of the most well
developed off-road trail systems of any city in North America.Few have parallel routes that provide the levels
of service, continuity and connectivity as efficiently and effectively as do the
Galloping Goose and Lochside trails.Counts near 1,000 bikes per hour have been recorded at busy locations.
Unlike many cities, however, we do not have an extensive
grid system – something that makes easier work of the “cycle track” systems now
being seen in Vancouver or Montreal.Even those cities still rely on marked bike
lanes on major routes or traffic calming on quieter streets to support cycling
Painted bike lanes do make conditions safer and more
appealing for many and other local count projects have found a significant,
positive correlation between our on-road facilities and an observed growth in
Local governments and other agencies are looking at
separated or buffered bike lanes for numbers of routes, but they will be constrained
by local context and daunting cost issues.Solutions will not be immediate and indeed, our regional plan has a long
Your editorial also suggests that we lack for a good
education program to teach people how better to share the roads.That is incorrect.More than 2,000 cyclists have gone through a
Bike to Work commuter program that is equipping people with the skills to ride
safely in traffic and cycling advocates have worked with local authorities on
enforcement initiatives and better bike smarts for drivers.
A blip in collision numbers may make for a good story, but
actual rates show a relatively safe cycling city.Growing numbers of people are choosing bicycling
for at least some of their daily travel needs, at least where infrastructure
has been improved and all municipalities are continuing to work on further
improvements to serve local as well as regional needs.
While we need to do more, and our regional plans provide an
ambitious blueprint for how our transportation system might evolve in the
future.Your editorial misses the very
real progress we have already made, the associated increases in cycling numbers
and safety outcomes that we are building into the fabric of our transportation