Kelowna leads in percentage of bike commuters??

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My attention was recently drawn to a four page .pdf document put out by the City of Kelowna called “City of Kelowna Sustainability 2008”. You can find it here:

http://www.kelowna.ca/CM/Page1338.aspx

Look on the right hand side of the web page and click on “Sustainability Update 2008”. It is a document outlining all of the “sustainable things” the city has done for us.

The most intriguing thing about this is the one line paragraph at the bottom of the Transportation Demand Management Initiatives” section (bottom right page four). The line says

“One in seven Kelowna residents commutes by bike”.

That equates to 14.28% of Kelowna’s population commuting by bicycle – absolutely stunning. We beat the heck out of Vancouver which has 3% of commute trips by bike and Greater Vancouver which has 1.9%. We have almost three times as many residents commuting by bike as Victoria.

See this page for source of the above stats and a good discussion of same.

I must admit that this was totally intriguing as I often feel like a lone soul in the wilderness when out biking on our City streets. Is it the time of day – maybe a huge influx of Kelowna residents cycling by night, resting during the day when I am out and about? Maybe during the summer months we have such huge participation that low participation in the winter doesn’t matter? Maybe my reality is much different than that of the “statistician” at the City?

Can you imagine the numbers once students can safely cycle to the UBCO campus – add another couple of thousand commuters and we could be at the 16 or 17% mark!! How exciting. A little more work and we can compete with Amsterdam.

You will also see a small photo of two cyclists on a bike path or lane, next to the line mentioned above. It looks as if it is a two way bike lane but I can’t recall anything similar in town. If anyone recognizes it please let me know. Being the cynical soul that I am, I have a call in to the Communication Dept. at City Hall to try to track down the source of their statistics and the photo. Once they respond, I will update this post.

Note: the bottom left of page 2 of the documents has the obligatory reference to Kelowna’s 220 km of bike lanes.

John.

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