A History of Cycling Advocacy

Planning & Design

Nelson McLachlan, former volunteer and Bicycle Advisory Committee member, City of Vancouver

There was some strong stuff going on in Toronto before us. Not a lot in North America. 
But we were in a better position because of our design. We don't have freeways in the City of Vancouver. In Seattle, they can't do this kind of stuff because they destroyed their city with freeways. And we haven't. None whatsoever.  

John Whistler, former chair, City of Vancouver Bicycle Advisory Committee, and member of Active Transportation Policy Council

The constraints on the Burrard Bridge are not the lanes, they're the intersections. So yes, you can remove two lanes and it doesn't make a difference to the capacity of the bridge, because the capacity's determined by Pacific and Burrard, and Cornwall and Burrard.
How do you get twice the amount of traffic over the Lion's Gate Bridge in half the number of lanes? This is also a demonstration of how something that may be intuitive is incorrect.
So we knew from day one that you could remove two lanes without impacting capacity. But this was completely counter to the engineering culture of building capacity, and building monuments, and also car culture.

Antje Wahl, HUB Cycling North Shore committee member

What got me involved was a new road that Metro Vancouver built with the District of North Vancouver — Lillooet Road [2005].
They put a sidewalk in that wasn't there before — that was good. Then they ended up just painting sharrows going to the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve, which now is a huge bike route.
Even at the time there were a lot of people biking. I couldn't quite believe it. It wouldn't have cost them anything more to put bike lanes in.

Jeff Leigh, HUB Cycling Board member, Vancouver committee chair

We were doing assessment rides and picking routes and saying this is a problem, and this is a problem, and this is a problem — creating lists of where the problems were. Many people still had a mindset that when you find a problem, you just have to write a letter to the city, because they probably didn't know about it.

And by working with the city, we found out that they had a list of two or three hundred problems, they just didn't know which one was on top, and they were trying to figure out how to move some of it ahead.