COPE on the Burrard Street Bridge and Cycling – from Ellen Woodsworth

While COPE is pleased that the Burrard Street Bridge bicycle trial is going ahead, concerns remain about adequate space for pedestrians on the bridge and the plan’s long-term viability.

Councillor Cadman and I proposed an option to have three lanes for cars into the city during morning rush hour and three lanes out in the afternoon leaving one lane split into two for bike traffic one on each side of the bridge and the sidewalks clear for pedestrians. Unfortunately, there wasn’t adequate support for this proposal, so Councillor Cadman and I supported Option A: two lanes for bikes, the sidewalks for pedestrians and four lanes for vehicular traffic. The cycling community supported this option and, based on staff and doctor reports, we feel it was the only option which could give the staff the data necessary for a long-term solution.

The Council majority voted for Option C which gives the vehicular traffic five lanes, bicyclists one lane on the West, and pedestrians the West sidewalk. It’s our hope that this trial will prove successful and we can have a significant modal shift from private cars to walking and bicycling.

At this past council meeting, we adopted some exciting new policy.

1. Council unanimously approved a motion to double spending on cycling infrastructure this year to $3.4 million by reallocating funds earmarked for car-oriented street improvements.

Changes this year will include:

* More diverters, traffic calming and bike storage;
* 30 kph speed limits on bikeways;
* Improved cycle connections to 2010 Games venues.

2. Council unanimously approved a motion calling on staff to renew the 10-year old bicycle plan as part of a new city transportation plan, with an emphasis on segregated bike lanes as the new standard for bike infrastructure.

3. Council funded at least 17 new pedestrian or cyclist-activated signal crossings to improve bikeway crossings at major thoroughfares.

4. Council approved car-free trials in four neighbourhoods – Collingwood, Gastown, Mount Pleasant and Commercial Drive.

5. Approved, in principle, a “ciclovia” event proposed by the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition, with funding of up to $50,000, subject to creation of a plan the city manager deems viable within the budget and staff resources. The “ciclovia” that could see a stretch of Vancouver’s waterfront roads opened for pedestrians, cyclists and other non-motorized traffic.

An update from your School Board Trustees

The Monday June 1st’ School Board meeting focused on the following:
–    support being given to Templeton Secondary’s students and staff and their families in light of the arrest of a Templeton students
–    a need for changes to policy regarding documents required for proof of residency in order to register children in schools
–    new Capital Plan submissions
–    levels of non-enrolling staffing in our schools (non-enrolling teachers are the teacher-librarians and resource teachers who work with students with special needs and for whom English is an additional language, as well as counsellors

Dates of upcoming meetings:

June 8th, 5:30pm: Finance Committee
June 10th, 5:30pm: Education and Student Services Committee (Chaired by COPE trustee and Board Vice Chair Jane Bouey)
June 15th, 7:00pm: Board Meeting
June 17th, 5:30pm: Personnel and Staff Services Committee (Chaired by COPE trustee Al Blakey)
June 22nd, 5:30pm: Management and Coordinating Committee
June 29th, 7:00pm: Board Meeting

All meetings are held on the ground floor of the Education Centre 1580 West Broadway.
Your COPE trustees would like to encourage COPE members and others to attend these important meetings. Meeting reminders will also be posted on the COPE website at

Summer BBQ, July 8 – save the date!

COPE’s annual summer barbeque will take place this July 8th at the breathtakingly beautiful Vancouver Rowing Club in Stanley Park. Stay tuned for more details – this event will be a little different this year!

Youth Vital signs event TONIGHT – apologies for late distribution!

During the 2008 election, your COPE candidates met with the amazing people working on Youth Vital signs. We’d like to pass on their invitation to the official launch party for Vancouver ’s Youth Vital Signs – 2009 Report Card! They’re handing out the grades, and want you to be there!

With live performances from Sweatshop Union, Kutapira and Zulu Nation Throwdown – it’s going to be good!

Thursday, June 4, 2009
Wise Hall
1882 Adanac Street (Adanac & Victoria Drive )
Vancouver BC

Doors open at 6:15 p.m.
Program and Presentation starts at 7:00 p.m
All Ages

Youth Vital Signs (YVS) is a youth-driven research and public opinion initiative that gives a fresh voice to Vancouver youth ages 15-24. Our report aims to increase the influence of youth in public policy and community investment decisions that affect their lives by encouraging dialogue, debate and action. Through the project, almost 2000 youth contributed their opinions, ideas and grades – come find out what they are!

A note from David Cadman on his work with ICLEI

As many of you know, for the past six years I have been elected to the International Executive Board, as one of three North American Representatives, to ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability. I served my first three-years term as International Vice-President, my second term as International President and have been re-elected for a third three year term as International President.

ICLEI has over 1100 member cities around the world representing about 35% of the world’s population. As cities now represent 50% of the world’s population, soon to be 75%, ICLEI has stepped forward as a coordinating voice for cities at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the United Nations Convention of Biodiversity and the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Currently our major focus is to achieve a post Kyoto Protocol agreement in Copenhagen this December. To this end, ICLEI has been working to develop a common position for cities: that we have to reduce our carbon emissions 30% below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80% by 2050. This is now the common position signed on to by ICLEI, the C40 (the 40 largest cities in the world), United Cities and Local Governments-a federation of 143 federations of municipalities from as many countries, the World Mayors Council on Climate Change, Metropolis and several other regional and continental groupings of municipalities from around the world.

Now, we are pressing for an agreement in Copenhagen that reflects these commitments and more importantly to get municipalities to develop in more energy efficient and more public transit friendly ways. We are also playing a key role in preserving Urban Biodiversity, making ethical and sustainable procurement the way that cities do business. ICLEI is working on water conservation and introducing the concept of Eco-Budgeting, where, in adopting a financial budget, cities also adopt and fund ecological goals and priorities.

I have just returned from Washington, DC where, as Chair of ICLEI USA, we brought 240 delegates from cities around the country to lobby the White House and the House and Senate Energy Committees to develop clear goals and targets to be adopted before Copenhagen in December. The goal is to give the Obama administration a level of comfort going forward to sign an agreement knowing there is congressional support. In Europe, we have been working very closely with the European Union to adopt our 220 European city delegates’ position on ethical and sustainable purchasing as the European standard.

All of these commitments mean that I do occasionally miss council meetings which I regret and apologize for, but I think many COPE members and Vancouver residents at large, would agree that moving the global environmental agenda forward at this time in the world’s history is something worthy of every municipality’s efforts and attention. I feel very fortunate and proud to have been able to contribute on the world stage and hope you too feel this contribution is as important as I do and that I am bringing value back to Vancouver, Metro Vancouver, British Columbia and Canada.

Volunteers for Car-Free Day

We need volunteers for what will be our super-awesome tables at Car-Free days in the West End, Commercial Drive and Main St on June 14. Please email

June 4, 2009: Cycling, VSB, BBQ, Cadman and ICLEI and Volunteers for Car-Free Days

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