I wondered whether we could use anything cheaper so that we could build political will and raise the commitment. I believe there is.
There are several main components of getting our boom.
- The right bicycles. We don't have many Dutch bikes, but there are a number of designs that at least will work in the short run. My dad wondered whether I'd like this model: https://www.purecycles.com/collections/pure-city-step-through-bikes/products/the-melrose?variant=5511061889 before I found the model I have today. It's not perfect, not like the bike I have, but add a wheel lock and pair it with a chain or cable plug in lock and some dynamo lights and it actually works very well. Get a studded front tyre for winter and it works well enough for that weather too. The final solution would cost maybe 500 dollars a bike and it's not an unreasonable expenditure for a person, worth half a year's worth of bus fare and half of the cost of my insurance as a driver.
- Helmets cannot be promoted any longer as the means of cycling safety. Neither can high viz jackets or vehicular cycling on fast and busy roads. The police should also be made to enforce the under 18 provincial helmet law in the way that San Francisco almost enabled Idaho stops (mayor of SF, what were you thinking!?).
- We must be willing to invest money. A lot of it. Along the lines of about 50-75 million dollars per year. But given that this is about 55-80 dollars a person per year in Edmonton, that's not that expensive. It's worth about 12 km of divided four lane highway, not counting interchanges.
- We would use temporary curbs, like the kind you see in parking lots to keep you from hitting the sidewalk, still made of concrete, as well as paint and 1000 each bike signals and sensors and signs to create protected intersections, sometimes simultaneous green intersections, and those same kinds of curbs, planter boxes and plastic flex bollards, plus paint and signs, to create protected cycle lanes (not full cycle paths), paint and signs to create some cycle lane, mainly on narrow and low volume collector roads and as optical narrowing on 30 kmh zones. Sharrows, raised sinusoidal humps and volume control to make fietsstraaten in some cases, usually on service streets next to the main road.
- Using bollards, (spaced 1.8 metres apart so as to allow big bikes to come through) and paint as volume control and curb extensions, paint to make zebra crossings and speed tables and optical narrowing to make 30 km/h zones, it makes streets much nicer.
- On existing shared use paths, the curb ramps are realigned to be square to the direction of travel and to be made of asphalt with no upstand, rebuild intersections to have the cycleway crossing model where no dismounting is needed and you have clear bicycle specific signals, and stripe them so as to make them miniture roads for bikes only that you are technically allowed to walk on. Also, if pedestrian volumes ever get to the point where they interfere with the speed of cyclists, the shared use path shall be widened from the minimum of 3 metres to between 4.8 and 6 metres and the footway will be demarcated with this: kerb: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7RIjhzfeexI/UiCm0jjo8TI/AAAAAAAAA9U/3Hd1lv8k7sc/s1600/cycle+demarcation+kerb.jpg curb.
- Get rid of the stop signs and replace them with yield signs.
- 46.875 million to pay for 5000 km of protected cycle lanes, assuming 15 thousand per kilometre
- 8 million for 10 thousand kilometres of access road, assuming 8 speed humps per kilometre and 100 dollars a hump.
- 3200 kilometres of higher volume access roads using painted bike lanes, 10 thousand dollars per kilometre of cycle lane, 20 million dollars.
- 5000 access restricting bollards, each 50 dollars. 250 thousand dollars.
- 1100 intersections updated to protected intersection design, 50 thousand dollars per intersection, 55 million total.
- 40 thousand bicycle racks to hold up the wheel, each 120 dollars for three bike slots. 4.8 million.
- 1000 new raised and median refuged zebra crossings, 5000 each, 5 million dollars.
- 40 new cycle/pedestrian underpasses/overpasses to bypass difficult crossings, 1.5 million each.
All it takes would be 60 million dollars per year, and this is including extra pedestrian crossings and large grade separations, even bike racks, so we're going the extra mile with it. It costs a tiny amount per person, $63.15/person/year is childsplay. I mean, how much McDonalds do you have per year? Far more money spent on that I imagiine. You can get maybe 20 beers for that price. I'm pretty sure that you can live without that per year. It's a tank of gas less per year. If you even just replaced a tenth of your journeys, maybe even less than a twelfth of your journeys with cycling, you'd see no price difference. A choice that is very easy to make. Paying for 4 bike helmets for a family of 4, replacing every two years, costs as much as this. For the amount of money we spend on bike helmets that we almost never use (not because we ride without helmets all that often, it's that we don't usually ride often, or at all), we could pay for it. For the amount of money we are spending on Vision 0 billboards and other educational campaigns we can afford this. If we could even save 8 lives, that economically would cover it, and I'm not even counting how much we'd save by not having nearly as many serious injuries. Of course I'm not even getting into the pain, suffering and loss of life and connections from the victims of these crashes. It would be pennies compared to what we spend on the roads. There is no reason why we should not do this. Get your heads out of the myths and stop bashing them on the ground and on car bonnets, and start thinking with your brains, not your anger detection lobes!