One solitary person on a bicycle, commuting to work on a daily basis, will save about 6 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.
One million cyclists across a city, commuting to work or a transit hub, can save 6 megatonnes a year. That’s what they do in Copenhagen, and that’s what we need to do here.
People in Copenhagen cycle everywhere for one reason only – because they want to. The may like the fact that it saves them money, or that it’s great exercise, quality time with their kids, a much friendlier way to get around the city, or all of these things together. The bottom line is, they do it because they want to and because the city has made it safe to do so.
Canadians would also love to get out on their bikes more often if they felt it was safe. Here’s what we need …
The vision and support to help make safe cycling part of our culture:
- provincial cycling strategies, with integrated ministry support and multisectoral involvement;
- municipal safe cycling strategies to ensure safe cycling on urban streets, cycling amenities and integration with transit;
- regional cycling strategies to provide opportunities for recreation and tourism and develop regional routes for safe cycling.
Better bike lanes
Complete urban and rural cycling routes, including:
- separate paths where feasible
- shared lanes that are clearly marked
- safety zones at intersections and danger points
- adequate parking stands
- integration with public transit
- wide shoulders on major rural roads
- clear signage for urban and rural routes
Education in safety and respect for both cyclists and drivers alike.
The cyclist’s responsibility
Here’s the three things you need to know for safe cycling.
1. Know your bike.
Check your bike for safety regularly. Make sure the bike is clean, all bolts are tight, brakes working, wheels inflated, and the chain lubricated.
2. Know your route.
Plan ahead. For regular trips to work, school or shopping, find the safest route. When going somewhere new, plan your route. When touring, or on a recreational ride, check maps and cycling websites for the best routes.
3. Know yourself.
Be a safe cyclist. Keep your eyes on the road, be alert for any possible hazards, and ride safely at all times.
Related posts on Safe Cycling:
- CycleON: Ontario’s Cycling Strategy September 3, 2013
- A Wonky Wheel: Cycle ON Action Plan 1.0 April 14, 2014