Separated infrastructure in Vancouver

May 01, 2014
Separated infrastructure in Vancouver

BenL

Cecil Street, South Melbourne - It is all about political will and leadership
Cecil Street, South Melbourne – It is all about political will and leadership

Separated cycle infrastructure is the holy grail for those of us who want to see an 8-80 cycle culture. We have all seen how well it works in countries like the Netherlands and Denmark. But of course, the cities in those countries have a very different history and structure from the cities of the New World countries.

This is most often the excuse given (along with some genetic pre-disposition we English speakers have to using cars) as to why such separated infrastructure just cant be implemented.

However, cities in North America and especially Canada are slowly starting to show that this is not true. Their city scapes are very similar to those of NZ but separated cycle routes are being installed to create a great cycling experience.

This video shows one of the latest instalments in Vancouver, B.C.:

With the imminent completon of the Beach Road bi-directional cycle path, it is nice to see how well such a two way cycle street can work. I know these are not considered best practice in places like the Netherlands, but it is such a huge step up for us here in Auckland and it seems to be working well in Vancouver.

It is also interesting to note that B.C. is hilly, has a much harsher climate than Auckland for cycling and also a compulsory helmet law. Despite these handicaps, I am sure these separated facilities will see a boom in cycling in the areas they are built.

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