Lifestyle

Motivating citizens to bicycle, researcher lecture

Kelowna Area Cycling Coalition hosts leading cycling safety researcher and UBC speaker Dr. Kay Teschke, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 23 at Parkinson Activity Centre, 1800 Parkinson Way, 2nd floor Activity Room.

In Kelowna only about 2 per cent of trips are made by bicycle. How do we get more cyclists to use their bikes to get to the store or commute to work? What are the factors that would encourage more people to get on their bikes?

Teschke and her team provide some insight into these questions with new research from Vancouver and cities across Canada. They also draw on the experience of European Cities where cycling participation surpasses 30 per cent. Their research lays out the types of bicycle routes that are preferred by cyclists and how cities should be designing their infrastructure to encourage more citizens to participate in cycling in our cities

“Information gathered through research projects such as the Cycling In Cities Program help to guide communities as they move toward more inclusive cycle networks. (Mike Kittmer, active transportation coordinator, City of Kelowna, Regional Services.) It’s often noted that Kelowna has the most bike lanes per capita of any Canadian city. It’s an impressive sounding statistic that has helped make Kelowna a better city to cycle in for anyone already comfortable on the road. But what about those who are inexperienced but interested in cycling more regularly, or those who just want to get out with their children and introduce them to cycling?"

"There’s a focus North America-wide to move toward improving bike networks so that they also appeal to those who are not yet experienced cyclists. Kelowna is moving in this direction as well with the development of its separated pathway network and, likely in the future, inclusion of cycletracks into the local bicycle network framework. Future networks will meet the needs of a variety of cyclist’s experience levels.”

Cycling in Cities is a research program investigating factors that encourage or discourage bicycling, transportation infrastructure associated with increased or decreased risks of cycling injuries, and air pollution and cycling. The studies are described in more detail at http://www.cyclingincities.spph.ubc.ca

The goal of Kelowna Area Cycling Coalition is to promote safe cycling in Kelowna and area; to promote cooperation, education and respect among all road users, and to encourage more people to ride bikes more often. Coalition members believe that as cycling becomes more popular we will see improvement in the quality of communities, health and environment.

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