Sunday, April 21, 2024

Councillors look to officially dub Victoria as ‘Cycling Capital of Canada’

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Victoria City Councillors Matt Dell and Jeremy Caradonna have united once again on a cause they want to garner public support for. 

They seek to have the city council officially declare itself as the “Cycling Capital of Canada.”

“Around the year 2000, the City apparently declared itself the cycling capital of Canada. We have found photos from the event, but little additional information,” the councillors wrote in a media release regarding the designation. 

Dell and Caradonna seek to have council vote in favour of the council member motion that would make the declaration official this Thursday, February 8th. 

Prior to the Committee of the Whole meeting in which this vote will take place, the councillors will be celebrating cycling along with Capital Bike who are launching their bi-annual Go By Bike Week campaign in which they incentivize cycling and other forms of active transportation. 

“Victoria is an international tourism hot spot for travellers looking for an authentic and sustainable travel experience,” said Councillor Dell. 

“By confirming Victoria as the Cycling Capital of Canada, we can ensure that Victoria is on the map for travellers looking to visit a city with wonderful cycling opportunities, which will be a great boost for local businesses.”

According to Walk Score, a website that takes into account several factors to calculate how bikeable or walkable a city is, Victoria is indeed the most bikeable major city in Canada with a score of 80.

Victoria is followed closely by Vancouver with a score of 79 and Montréal has a score of 71. 

In recent years, although Greater Victoria has been expanding, the region’s all ages and abilities (AAA) cycling network has also been growing. 

Fort Street just recently completed a continuous protected bike lane connected to Foul Bay Road on the East end and Wharf Street on the west end, Esquimalt just connected Lampson and Tillicum Streets to Saanich’s recent protected Tillicum bike lanes and in Vic West the Kimta Road expansion has just been completed, connecting the Galloping Goose and downtown access to the E&N Trail. 

The councillors say that the city now has a total of 92.5 kilometres of cycling lanes/infrastructure and that 95% of Victorians live within 500 metres of a AAA cycling route.

Councillor Caradonna says these and other successes over the last 20 years deserve celebrating.


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“That achievement is testament to the investments that the City and regional district have made in cycling, including extensive AAA cycling facilities and the bike valet,” said Caradonna.  

“But it’s also due to the essential work that Capital Bike and other advocacy groups have done to raise awareness, increase education, and push for positive change.” 

“Traditional cycling, e-bikes, and diverse forms of micro mobility are here to stay in Victoria,” he concluded.

On top of the official declaration of Victoria being the Cycling Capital of Canada, Caradonna and Dell are looking for the support of city council to re-commit to further expansion of the AAA cycling network and endeavours which would help people choose to bike instead of drive.

mm
Curtis Blandy
curtis@victoriabuzz.com

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