Do you have a bike? Are you thinking of getting a bike? Do you like to save money?
If the answer is yes to any of those questions then in spite of the recent brouhaha in West Vancouver over TransLink’s proposed B-Line route, you should be in favour of the new North Shore B-Line, just like Pedal Pushers. Why, you ask?
There are multiple reasons, but the biggy is money.
For every mile where the B-Line coincides with TransLink’s major bike network, municipalities will get 75 cents per dollar for improvements to cycling along the route.
Almost all the proposed B-Line route across the North Shore corresponds with TransLink’s major bike network. Basically, TransLink is helping (a lot) with tax dollars from elsewhere to make cycling safer and better in our three municipalities.
Working with the municipalities, TransLink has identified areas along the B-Line route that will be improved for cycling, including two new sections of off-street bike paths along Third Street and from Gladstone to Brooksbank.
Another reason that Pedal Pushers are in favour of the North Shore B-Line is that B-Line buses are willing to share their lane with bikes.
For people comfortable riding next to vehicle traffic, riding in the B-Line lanes will be an improvement. Less traffic, wider lanes? Bring on the spandex.
On second thought, who wants to play tag with buses? Realistically, not many people will do this.
Who wants to be that guy holding up 120 people in the bus behind him? No one. Ever. OK, maybe a few who probably can ride as fast as a bus. Not us at Pedal Pushers. Nope.
But hey, when you get tired of trying to stay ahead of the bus, you can stop and put your bike on it: yes B-Line buses will have bike racks.
Ride from Dundarave to Park & Tilford, go shopping at MEC (for a growler carrier for your bike, of course), catch a movie then take the bus back. Rode over to pottery lessons, but on the way home it starts to rain, or you get a flat tire? Put your bike on the bus and whoosh. You get the picture.
It’s great that “TransLink is committed to making cycling a realistic travel option by providing funding for municipal bike routes and making it easy to connect to transit services by bicycle.”
But why? Even at Pedal Pushers we weren’t sure. So, we did some research.
TransLink assumes that by 2040 in the Metro region we’ll have to move an additional one million people per year. That’s a lot of bicycles. No, that’s not really their plan.
According to the 2013 Regional Transportation Strategy, walking, cycling, and transit are the lowest-cost for tax payers and lowest environmental impact forms of transportation.
TransLink’s goal is to make it possible for everyone to take half of all trips by walking, cycling, and transit by 2045.
That’s a big goal. The North Shore B-Line will help.
After all, two Bs (bike + bus) are better than one.
North Shore Pedal Pushers are Heather Drugge and Antje Wahl. The guy who makes the column readable, Dan Campbell, prefers driving. See – we can all work together.