LETTER – Cycling coalition member disputes city councillor’s claim

Dear editor,

Thank-you to your paper and author Scott Stanfield for your Sept. 26 article Downtown river crossing critical for cycling coalition.

The article included comments from Coun. Manno Theos, including “….he feels the three percent of traffic comprising cyclists will continue as such in the future”. I would like to share a little context on this comment:

* if one looks to the draft Courtenay Master Transportation Plan (p.18), the current cycling mode share is 4%

* mode share is a measure that tells the % of traffic using bicycles to commute to work or school. So it excludes seniors or others who do not work or go to school, and it excludes those who ride recreationally. So mode share significantly understates the the presence of cyclists on our roads.

* the 2016 census showed that in communities with over 100,000 residents (a comparison of smaller communities was not available), the overall commuter population increased by 36% over the prior 20 years, while the population using cycling as their main mode of transport increased by 88%. Clearly, as Courtenay anticipates in the Master Transportation Plan, cycling is becoming an increasingly important mode of transportation.

* finally, it is important to note that plans to double the width of the 5th Street Bridge sidewalks are not simply for cyclists. Currently, the majority of users of the bridge sidewalks are walkers, along with others such as mobility scooters. The widened sidewalks will ensure a safe crossing for all.

Gregg Strong,

Comox Valley Cycling Coalition

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