COPE Candidates to put Bike and Pedestrian Safety FirstFor Immediate Release: Thursday, October 20th, 2011

As bicycling becomes an ever-popular mode of transportation for many Vancouverites, the question of road sharing, or sidewalk sharing, as it may be, is becoming increasingly important.

“If cyclists don’t feel safe on the roads, then they end up using the sidewalk. This in turn puts pedestrian safety at risk,” said COPE Park Board Candidate, Brent Granby. “COPE is committed to improving overall bicycle safety through education, enforcement and infrastructure.”

The City of Vancouver is currently working on a 10-year cycling master plan to be incorporated into their Transportation Plan 2040 – a longer ranging vision of the City’s future transportation development.

“COPE will ensure that bike safety education, increased cycling infrastructure and better by-law enforcement, are included in the master plan, so that we can create a Vancouver that is accessible to everyone,” said COPE City Council Candidate Tim Louis.

“Pedestrians need to feel safe on the sidewalks, while cyclists need to feel safe on the road. Stopping drivers from speeding down bike ways, and stopping cyclists from biking on sidewalks should be a priority,” said Louis. “This problem can be addressed through meaningful by-law enforcement.”

“At the same time, cyclists need to feel safe on the roads,” continued Brent Granby, COPE Park Board candidate. “That needs to happen through increased cycling infrastructure, including separated bike lanes. The fact that Suzanne Anton wants to place a moratorium on separated bike lanes is completely backwards. We should be creating a vast network of bike infrastructure that connects every corner of the city, not inhibiting it.”

COPE has also committed to providing bike safety education in the school system. “If we want to create a society of safe, respectful and committed bicyclists, we need to start educating our children about safe biking,” said COPE School Board candidate Al Blakey. “Just seven months ago New West decided to incorporate bike safety education into their education system. We can do this too.”

In March, 2011 the City of New Westminster committed to funding the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition’s Ride the Road program for all grade 7 and 8 students.

COPE is also calling on the City of Vancouver to pressure ICBC to include substantial training for new drivers on how to respectfully share the road with cyclists.

“COPE strongly believes that the bicycle is an excellent form of sustainable transportation and wants to do everything possible to make it an essential component of long-term transportation planning,” said Granby. “You can count on COPE to keep Vancouver moving safely.”

COPE Candidates to put Bike and Pedestrian Safety First