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Bike centres proposed to strengthen weakest link in cycling strategy 0

Jim Morris

By Jim Morris, 24 hours

As part of the 2040 Transportation plan presented to city council Tuesday, end-of-trip facilities would provide bicycle parking and storage.

As part of the 2040 Transportation plan presented to city council Tuesday, end-of-trip facilities would provide bicycle parking and storage.

The City of Vancouver is looking at strengthening the ''weakest link'' in its strategy to encourage cycling by including bike centres in the downtown.

The idea, part of the 2040 Transportation plan presented to city council Tuesday, is for end-of-trip facilities that would provide bicycle parking and storage, said Jerry Dobrovolny, the city's transportation director.

''There's a place to lock your bike, there's a place where you could shower or store clothes, and then go to wherever your destination is downtown,'' he said.

The centres could also include bicycle rental or repair facilities. The plan envisions up to three centres in the downtown. Cost and location of the centres has not been determined.

A TransLink survey found approximately 106,500 bicycle trips per day were taken in Vancouver in 2011. About 55% were to and from work.

Erin O'Melinn, executive director for the cycling-activist group HUB, said dedicated bike lanes have increased bicycle use in the city. But people riding to work still have concerns about bike storage and change facilities.

Bike centres would help alleviate these concerns.

"If people don't feel like there is a safe space to leave their bike during the day, or if there is not a place where they can get ready for work or feel good for the day … then they may chose not to cycle,'' said O'Melinn.

''If everything else is great for their trip, but that one piece is missing, then that's the weakest link and they may not make that trip.''

Dobrovolny said the city already requires new business and residential buildings to include bike storage.

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