The benefits of safe, connected bike lanes
When cycling is safe and convenient, more people choose to travel by bicycle instead of by automobile. To make this happen, Waterloo Region needs protected bike lanes that connect in a meaningful way and get people all the way to their destination. The benefits of cycling are obvious to riders, but did you know others have a lot to gain as well?
A safer drive
In a protected cycling network, cyclists move predictably, reducing conflicts between cars and bicycles. When protected bike lanes were installed on Bloor St. in Toronto, collisions between cars and bikes fell by 71%. When everyone knows where they belong, it’s a calmer, safer experience for all.
More cyclists mean fewer cars on the road. Around the world, many cities with high bike ridership have shorter commute times by car.
Cyclists who ride on the sidewalk often do so out of fear of riding in car traffic. When cyclists have a protected lane to ride in, they don’t need to ride on the sidewalk.
Customers who travel to Uptown Waterloo by bike spend just as much as those who drive there and they’re loyal to local businesses. In other North American cities, business owners who opposed protected bike lanes became supporters once they saw the results.
Reduced noise & pollution
More cyclists mean fewer drivers, and bike lanes provide a buffer between fast-moving traffic and the sidewalk, enabling people to enjoy a more pleasant atmosphere with decreased street noise and car fumes.
Reduced road costs
Protected bike lanes cost only a fraction of taxpayer money compared to the same distance of road because—no surprise—cars take up more space and are much harder on the roads than bicycles.
Cycling has huge public health benefits, reducing the incidence of diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer, and improving mental health, lessening the burden of healthcare on taxpayers.
The most dangerous times for kids are the morning and afternoon dropoffs, which also produce a spike in road traffic. Our kids can make their own way to school with all the benefits of building independence and an active lifestyle.
Fight climate change
Increased cycling means lower greenhouse gas emissions. These reductions are necessary to meet the targets that our municipal governments have agreed to.
Citizens want to ride!
60% of residents in Waterloo Region are interested in cycling more but don’t out of concern for their safety.
Kitchener and Waterloo could get up to 9.5km of protected bike lanes in 2019. Please show your support and let local representatives know you want cycling to be a priority in Waterloo Region.
- http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2017.P W24.9
- https://www.t ransalt.org/sites/default/files/news/reports/2012/EV_Shopper_Study.pdf
- Pucher J, Buehler R. Cycling trends and policies in Canadian cities. 2005