Vancouver Is 'True North' for Seattle Bike Lane Advocates

In Seattle, securing every new bike lane seems like a "tooth and nail" fight. But across a border to the north, vigorous initial opposition melted away as a connected system took shape.

1 minute read

May 1, 2018, 10:00 AM PDT

By Philip Rojc @PhilipRojc

Vancouver Protected Bike Lane

Paul Krueger / Flickr

"In Seattle," David Gutman writes, "every bike lane, whether it's just a painted white line or a fully separated, landscaped bikeway, seems to be fought tooth and nail, in a never-ending battle over precious street space." But in Vancouver, the battle's over. Bike lanes have emerged triumphant.

Weaving together a connected system, rather than simply installing isolated bike-friendly stretches, has been integral to increased use. "As recently as nine years ago, not a single protected bike lane existed in downtown Vancouver. Now, you can stand downtown at the corner of Hornby and Dunsmuir streets, in the heart of the city's financial district, and bike for miles in almost any direction, physically separated from car traffic."

Two decades ago, motorists and businesses ridiculed Vancouver's halting first attempts. But over time, a "sea change" in public opinion took place as advocates and the city kept pushing bike lanes and studying their effects. Gutman notes that Vancouver cyclists don't have to contend with Seattle's hills. "But with similar weather and a similar culture, the city is pushing forward — haltingly — hoping it can build a network of connected bike lanes as successful as Vancouver's."

Monday, April 23, 2018 in The Seattle Times

Green rapid transit bus pulled into station in dedicated lane.

Indiana Once Again Considering Ban on Dedicated Transit Lanes

The proposed legislation would impact the construction of planned IndyGo Blue Line, the third phase of the city’s bus rapid transit system.

February 25, 2024 - Fox 59

Aerial view of New York City architecture with augmented reality visualization, blue digital holograms over buildings and skyscrapers

4 Ways to Use AI in Urban Planning and City Design

With the ability to predict trends, engage citizens, enhance resource allocation, and guide decision-making, artificial intelligence has the potential to serve as planners’ very own multi-tool.

February 20, 2024 - ArchDaily

View from shore of Sepulveda Basin water catchment basin with marsh plants along shore.

LA’s ‘Spongy’ Infrastructure Captured Almost 9 Billion Gallons of Water

The city is turning away from stormwater management practices that shuttle water to the ocean, building infrastructure that collects and directs it underground instead.

February 25, 2024 - Wired

White Honolulu Skyline train on elevated track.

Hawai’i Transportation Projects Receive Federal Grants

State officials say they need around $15 billion to mitigate the impacts of rising seas.

6 hours ago - Honolulu Civil Beat

Close-up of office building with windows and sign for Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, D.C.

Feds Announce Over $3 Billion in Homelessness Assistance Funding

The Continuum of Care grants are directed to programs that provide supportive services and boost housing stability.

7 hours ago - Building Design & Construction

Power plant infrastructure against a sky at dusk with a virtual white globe overlaid on top.

AI’s Growing Threat to Climate Justice

Emerging technologies like AI have great promise for climate innovation, but also a hidden environmental footprint could lead to disproportionate harm to low-income and marginalized communities.

February 28 - Brookings Institution

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.