In 2012, Vancouver's city council set an ambitious goal to reach a bike mode split of 7% by 2020 which was achieved in 2015, 5 years ahead of the plan! And even more impressive: if you just look at just work commute mode splits, they've achieved 10% which certainly puts them in a rare category in North America.
When you ride around the fantastic network of bike lanes throughout the city, it is no wonder Vancouver, BC is experiencing a leap in ridership. Most of the city feels safe to ride in and it's fun to see all sorts of people out on bikes. And the fact that they are constantly going back to re-engineer and tweak some parts of the lanes to make them even safer is a key plot point that we need to engage all cities to do more of.
Here's just one fact from Dale Bracewell from the City of Vancouver who's our main storyteller: when the city had just painted bike lanes on Hornby Street, the share of women cycling was 28%. After the landscaped protected bike lanes was constructed and years of growth, the share of women cycling by 2015 has grown by 40% (now 39% of the total people cycling).
So sit back and watch and listen to other advocates across the nation who were in Vancouver for the 2016 Pro Walk Pro Bike Pro Place conference who also offer their observations and experience riding the wonderful network of biking nirvana (well for those of us in cities that aren't near this quality just yet.)
I'll end by reflecting on New York City, where we have had tremendous growth and very good work by our NYC DOT in the past 8 years. However, you can see here the extra mile Vancouver is putting in. When you ride in the downtown it's uncommon you'll see a bike lane with a vehicle conflict - without some sort of safety feature or paint. And I didn't see one car parked in the protected lanes in 3 days of riding. In New York, we need to take the additional steps of shoring up our bike infra. After all, we already have the real estate in many cases, we just need to make our protected lanes more bold!