David Clements

GREEN BEAT: Opening ‘new roads’ in Langley makes cycling safer

HUB Langley pushed to ‘UnGap the Map’ and create more bike infrastructure throughout the community.

By David Clements

As winter finally releases its unusually tight grip here this year, chances are many of you are thinking of getting back on your bicycle.

The time is also ripe to develop better, safer, more accessible road conditions for bicycling in Langley, according to local cycling advocacy group HUB Langley.

“HUB aims to help create continuous, protected bicycling facilities throughout the Langleys,” said local cycling enthusiast Geraldine Jordan.

HUB refers to this goal as “UnGap the Map.”

Tony Bisig, chair of HUB Langley, said that the Langleys’ “piecemeal cycling infrastructure puts cyclists in conflict with motorists.”

This fragmented approach results in dangerous gaps in bicycling infrastructure, which puts bicyclists at risk as they ride.

Bisig describes a typical bicycle ride: “My bike lane just came to an end. How do I negotiate the next two blocks to get to the other bike lane? Do I ride on the sidewalk and deal with pedestrians or do I share the narrow road with cars and trucks?”

The benefits of increased bicycle ridership are “spoke-tacular!”

A bicyclist is improving his or her fitness, while at the same time reducing air pollution, curbing climate change, and saving money.

However, Canada is way behind other parts of the world.

A study by Rutgers University found that 27 per cent of trips in the Netherlands are by bicycle. Canada is not even close – at two per cent.

While the study identified factors such as topography and climate influencing the trends, government policy was also key.

Governments can make a big different by recognizing the value of investing in bicycle-friendly towns and cities.

For its part, HUB is working hard to get the wheels turning in the minds of local politicians.

This January, two HUB members, Bisig and Michelle Truong, conducted a walkaround at Richard Bulpitt Elementary in connection with a stakeholders group advocating for alternative ways for kids to get to school other than vehicular transport. The group saw the school’s morning drop-off routine and discussed ways to make the route safer for all users.

Jordan recently appeared before Langley Township council to request separated bicycling facilities along 216th Street north and, more broadly, to request that the Township’s subdivision and development servicing bylaw be amended to include separated bicycling facilities.

“It is so important to protect cyclists from faster moving motorized traffic,” Jordan said, “especially vulnerable road users. We want schoolchildren to be able to commute safety and confidently to school through active transportation modes, such as cycling.”

May the road ahead in Langley be paved with good intentions so that bicycling can thrive.

• David Clements, PhD, is a professor of biology and environmental studies at Trinity Western University.

 

Langley Cycling Hub member Mitch Nurse and his son, Jack, recently took a ride on the forest demonstration road in Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve in North Vancouver. (Jacalyn Nysetvold/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Just Posted

Mischievious characters take the stage in Seussical: The Musical

Langley’s Ahnika Barber and Lauren Trotzuk are performing the classic stories of Dr. Seuss.

Langley Anti-SOGI activist slams ban on dad speaking out about transgender son’s case

A judge has told the father to stop publicly objecting to his son’s gender

Langley firefighter climbs World Trade Centre in honour of 9/11 fallen

The local man is fundraising for the Memorial Stair Climb

Aldergrove soccer player hailed ‘hero’ for saving a life

Aldergrove resident sprang to action when elderly fan collapsed on the sidelines.

Homeless activists outside Notre Dame demand ‘a roof too’

Wealthy people have donated millions to effort to rebuild cathedral after devastating fire

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

PHOTOS: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says ‘I do’ on Earth Day

May and John Kidder got married Monday morning in Victoria

‘Ghost restaurants’ cooked up by Joseph Richard Group to meet demand of delivered food

The new Meal Ticket Brands venture aims to ‘disrupt’ the local restaurant industry

Sri Lanka invokes war-time military powers after nearly 300 killed in Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism says 39 foreign tourists were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks

Torched SUV linked to Vancouver’s fourth homicide

Manoj Kumar, 30, was found dead from gunshot wounds in the Kitsilano neighbourhood

Multiple sailing waits as BC Ferries deals with Easter Monday traffic

89 extra sailings had been added to the long weekend schedule

Ex-mayor of northern village claims its drivers are overpaying ICBC $1,800 a year

Darcy Repen says data shows Telkwa households are being ripped off for car insurance

Deadly synthetic drug found in Kamloops that puts users in ‘zombielike’ state

Interior Health warning says substance causes ‘speedy, trippy-like symptoms’ and hallucinations

Most Read