Vancouver’s Multi-Modal Success Story

Listen up San Francisco: It can be done!

Vancouver is way ahead of other western cities in bike/transit mode split. Photo: Melissa and Chris Bruntlett
Vancouver is way ahead of other western cities in bike/transit mode split. Photo: Melissa and Chris Bruntlett

One of the best transportation stories of 2016 comes from Vancouver, British Columbia, which achieved its goal of having transit, biking, and walking account for 50 percent of all trips a full four years ahead of schedule. Bicycling is a big part of that shift, and now one of every 10 work trips is by bike.

Vancouver is a city that prides itself on rejecting freeways in the 1960s and 70s. It is the only major city in North America without freeways in the core. Recently the city set out to build on the achievements of previous generations by increasing “sustainable modes” to account for two-thirds of all trips by 2040 (read up on the city’s goals).

I was in Vancouver for the ProWalk ProBike ProPlace conference this summer and spoke to several people involved in the effort to make Vancouver a more multi-modal city, including former chief planner Brent Toderian, Manager of Transportation Planning Dale Bracewell, and Melissa and Chris Bruntlett, the activist couple behind Modacity.

I hope this Streetfilm provides a taste what it’s like to have so many different options at your disposal — bike, bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus, and more. And don’t miss our short from earlier this year: Vancouver’s Breathtaking Network of Protected Bike lanes.

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