In Toronto, *days* of City Council are spent discussing a 2 km *pilot* of a bike lane. The (ultimately successful) *pilot* that had the support of 6 (!) residents associations, the majority of businesses in the 2 km pilot area, business improvement associations and countless other organizations, as well as the majority of Torontonians across the city.
What if car drivers have to drive another 30 seconds to find a parking spot? What if it takes and extra minute to drive across the city? These may sound like insane questions I’ve made up for comic relief, but they’ve been asked by pro-car City Councillors who represent the outskirts of Toronto.
Meanwhile, in Vancouver, they realize that the more people you can get on a street, the better the street will function. This means devoting to space to bikes (not to mention pedestrians and transit) instead of cars, which are incredibly inefficient at moving people.
As part of their Transportation 2040 plan, they set their sights on achieving a 7% cycling mode share by 2020. It was an ambitious goal for a mountainous, rainy city in a country with an average cycling mode share of 1.3%, nestled on the west coast of a continent with an average cycling mode share so depressingly low it isn’t even worth mentioning.
Four short years and hundreds of kilometers of new bike lanes later, the city has reached its 7% goal a cool four years ahead of schedule. When it comes to trips to work, the cycling mode share jumps to 10%, placing Vancouver firmly in the top three for bike commuting anywhere in North America.