Friday, June 25, 2010

Vancouver: Preparing a Cycling City


A Cycling Campaign Talk with Bonnie Fenton, former Chair of the City of Vancouver's Bicycle Advisory Committee

When: Friday, 2nd July 2010, 7 pm
Where: Darlington Media Workshop (Arts Centre)

How does Darlington compare with other towns and cities around the world that are starting out, from a low base, to make cycling a popular everyday means of transport? Vancouver, in British Columbia, Canada, is a city with a similar transport history to ours. But a new regime is trying to change things. On entering office at the end of 2008, Vancouver's centre-left local government pledged to make Vancouver the greenest city in the world by 2020 and cycling is part of that plan. Vancouver currently has a cycling mode share of about 4% and has set a goal of 10% by 2020.

Cycling advocacy was a rather slow slog for many years in Vancouver but the seeds that have been sown seem finally to be bearing fruit. Bonnie will take a look at the development of cycling in Vancouver (and the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition) over the past 10-15 years. She will touch on issues like:

* getting started: making friends at city (town) hall
* knowing what you want: with car traffic or separated facilities?
* reaching the non-converted: education and promotion
* the money question: can we afford (not) to do it?
* "the next Paris": public bike sharing
* signs of progress: peer pressure forces and two Vancouver city councillors to take a cycling skills course

Many of these issues are central to Darlington as well, and reflect much of the work of the Cycling Campaign here:

* consulting with the council over infrastructure
* cycling in the Pedestrian Heart
* arguing for good cycling infrastructure on main and busy roads
* the film and book "Beauty and the Bike“ (which has already been screened in Vancouver!)
* our Bike Hire scheme Darlovelo (10 bikes, rising to 30 bikes soon)

Come along and meet Bonnie next Friday evening, July 2nd, at 7pm, and enjoy a rare chance to meet a cycling advocate from across the ocean.

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