›› Tom Berkhout

Cycling is far more than a way to get from Point A to Point B. In addition to its many health, economic, community and environmental benefits, the experience of riding a bike can be one of true joy as your body relaxes while you feel, hear, see and smell the world around you.

For anyone who has ever had the good fortune to visit bike friendly cities such as Groningen or Copenhagen, you know that these experiences of joy can and do exist in modern urban places. What these cities do so well is build extensive cycling networks that are safe, accessible and easy to follow for everyone.

In Victoria, the City recently adopted a long-term goal for 25% of all trips within the city to be made by bicycle by 2038. To put this figure into context, it is not far from the current level of ridership in places such as Groningen and Copenhagen. ­However, we have a long way to go before we get there as bicycles currently account for only 4% of all trips made within Victoria.

With this goal in mind, the City is updating its Cycling Master Plan this spring for the first time in almost 20-years. Getting this plan implemented, though, will require ongoing public and political engagement for years to come.

Here are 5 ways you can help:

    1. Write or phone City Council to encourage them to develop a Plan that will make cycling safe and accessible for everyone.
    2. Visit bikevictoria.ca and sign the ­petition for safe and accessible ­cycling.
    3. Participate in the upcoming public engagement for the Cycling Master Plan. Tell the City the kind of system it needs to build in order to make cycling safe and accessible for you and your neighbours.
    4. Organize with neighbours to make your street safer and more accessible for cyclists of all ages and abilities.
    5. Join the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition and help it keep cycling high on the City’s agenda.



Feedback from Fernwood residents (collected in the Cornerstone Cafe, March 2014):

  • More connectivity on Fernwood’s many dead-end roads with sidewalks
  •  Make by Vic High a dirt jump/free ride park. Engage the youth!
    • Great idea! Look at Rathtrevor Campground; they have a bike path and rail etc. around the kids park.
      • Awesome! My kids love it!
  • More bicycle parking (covered)
    • Yes!
  • Dedicated bike lanes separated from traffic!
  • More bike lanes
  • Use community volunteers to enforce helmets, front & back lights, and bells > from a 400 km a week cyclist
  •  Denman Street labeled as a bike route
  • Pave in potholes on roads! (Gladstone Ave)
  • Have dedicated roadbike paths like on 10th Ave in Vancouver
  • More bike lockups
  • Slower traffic speeds on Fernwood itself!
  • More pro-bike gatherings
  • 15% off @ Fernwood shops if you ride your bike
  • Fernwood bike days
  • Bike air station for tires in Fernwood Square
  • Bike Kitchen (similar to UVic) > a bike fixing station with bike stand, tools on cables for the community to use
  • More bike racks
  • Signage on bike routes

Share your ideas in the comments section below…