Congratulations, Courtenay, you understand the bicycle infrastructure advantage.
Do not doubt your good decision; it is time to put plans into action and build the Fitzgerald cycling infrastructure.
Build for bicycles, and everyone benefits. We all know cycling offers a non-polluting way to get around, stay healthy, enjoy the outdoors and be energy independent “off the grid.”
It is social and fun, people-friendly, and community oriented. Creating bicycle infrastructure improves quality of life, calms streets and creates vibrant city cores.
People frequently say to me that they want to cycle but they don’t feel safe cycling. It is ironic though that there are far more people injured or killed in cars than any other mode of travel, yet we somehow feel safe in a car.
Unfortunately, as we build our roads to accommodate more cars and faster speeds, more people are killed or injured in cars. The outcome of high volume car traffic is that less people then walk or cycle, perpetuating the car congestion problem.
Lerwick and Ryan roads is a case in point. More money will have to be poured into fixing the ‘crash problem’ that may not be fixable if we continue using 20th century ideology.
One has to imagine how much safer and more cost-effective this situation would be if a decision was made at the outset to design the city using the ‘complete streets’ model.
The City of Courtenay is taking steps to join the progressive cities worldwide that recognize the value to build for people, not cars alone, by planning bike lanes for Fitzgerald.
The money has already been spent on proposal writing, design time, consultation and public process. The city was successful in receiving a $44,161 Fitzgerald bike lane grant from the BC government, a grant created to help cities like Courtenay design their city for our 21st century needs.
In this information age, the evidence is undeniable that sustainable cities invest in a bicycle network, not just one trail but many integrated trails and cycle ways across the city.
A change in direction is scary for people, but the model has been tested around the world, it works. So don’t look back, bike lanes on Fitzgerald is an advantage for Courtenay.