Building protected bike lanes in Canada isn't as controversial as it once was. Maybe there's hope for the United States?
The Globe and Mail's editorial board dares to ask if the "war against bike lanes" is finally coming to end in Canada—with people on bikes emerging as the unlikely victor in this battle for public space.
The latest bike lane projects in Vancouver, under construction on Richard and Smithe streets on the city's downtown peninsula, moved forward without attracting controversy, , according to the editorial board—the opposite of bike lane projects in the late 2000s.
Take, for example, the opening of the city's first protected bike lane on the Burrard Bridge:
‘Chaos’ feared, blared one headline. “Doomed to failure,” opined a columnist. All that proved incorrect: The Burrard Bridge bike lane, billed as the busiest in North America, saw 1.4 million rides in 2020, 40 per cent more than its first full year a decade earlier.
The relative peace of the two latest projects in Vancouver tell a story that repeats all over the county, according to the editorial board:
Penticton, in the British Columbia Interior, this summer opened its Lake-to-Lake bike lane; it plans to invest $15-million over the next five years. Sarnia, Ont., is extending its bicycling network. In Halifax, about a third of a planned 57 kilometres of protected bike lanes is complete. It includes Hollis Street through the heart of the city. Montreal last November opened a long north-south route on Saint Denis Street as part of its Réseau express vélo network.
Toronto, spurred by the pandemic, has installed protected lanes across the city. One new segment on Bloor Street East opened in late September. These lanes are billed as temporary, but it would be a short-sighted mistake to reverse course.
What was once a "political flashpoint" and an "ideological signifier" is now "standard-issue" civic infrastructure.
Redesigning Streets for Livability: A Global View
An excerpt from the introduction of the recent book, “Streets For All: 50 Strategies for Shaping Resilient Cities,” edited by Vinayak Bharne and Shyam Khandekar.
The Right to Mobility
As we consider how to decarbonize transportation, preserving mobility, especially for lower- and middle-income people, must be a priority.
Bend Eliminates Parking Minimums
The city is complying with an Oregon state mandate that some cities have challenged in court.
How To Prevent ‘Green Gentrification:’ Lessons from the BeltLine
For one author, the key is focusing on affordable housing from the start.
Push and Pull: The Link Between Walkability and Affordability
The increased demand for walkable urban spaces could make them more and more exclusionary if cities don’t pursue policies to limit displacement and boost affordability.
El Paso Freeway Cap Linked to Road Expansion
A deck reconnecting neighborhoods divided by the interstate is part of a controversial freeway expansion proposal.
HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research
Harvard GSD Executive Education
Harvard GSD Executive Education
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.