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‘Bike culture’ enjoys limited receptivity among Canadians

daftandbarmy

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It looks nice hanging off the back of my pickup truck ;)

‘Bike culture’ enjoys limited receptivity among Canadians​

May 24, 2022 — A new Ipsos survey ahead of the World Bicycle Day to be celebrated on 3rd June 2022, finds that most adults across 28 countries consider cycling plays an important role in the reduction of carbon emissions (on average, 86% do so) and in the reduction of traffic (80%). While there is a global consensus on bicycles’ key role to reduce carbon emissions and traffic and there is widespread support for assigning a higher priority to bicycles in new infrastructure projects, agreement on these aspects is one of the lowest in Canada.

While Canadians are in general favourable towards bicycles as a method of transportation, only 4% prefer to use a bicycle for small distances of 2Km/1 mile, putting Canada at the bottom of the list of 28 countries in bicycle usage for small distances. Further, only 16% of Canadians ride a bicycle at least once a week, again, the lowest in 28 countries. While the long winters are likely a prohibitive factor for normalizing year-long biking preferences, Canadians also highlight safety concerns: Two-thirds feel cyclists in their area disrespect traffic rules & regulations (65%), cyclists represent as much danger to pedestrians as automobiles (63%) and are in general, a danger to drivers (60%). Half (48%) feel cycling from one place to another in their area is too dangerous.

These are some of the findings of a survey of 20,057 adults under the age of 75 conducted between March 25 and April 8, 2022 on Ipsos’s Global Advisor online survey platform.

Reducing Canada’s carbon footprint with cycling​

There is a global consensus that cycling plays an important role in the reduction of carbon emissions as well as contributes to a reduction of traffic. Looking at the opinion of Canadians specifically, although a large majority (79%) of Canadians believe that cycling has a big impact on reducing one’s carbon footprint, Canada is one of the least likely countries to believe so. Canadian opinion not only trails behind the peak consensus in countries such as China and Peru (94% each), but it is also behind the global country average of 86%. Residents of Great Britain, Norway and the United States share Canadians’ opinions at 78% each, while Germany sits last at 77%.

Interestingly, Canadian women (83%) are significantly more likely than men (75%) to say that cycling plays an important role in the reduction of carbon emissions.

Similarly, in comparison to the global country average of 80%, much fewer Canadians (63%) believe that cycling has an important part to play in the reduction of traffic. Canada and the United States are the two countries least likely to agree (63% and 62%, respectively).

Cycling as a solution in Canada​

When talking about the general opinion of various methods of transportation used in their community, 78% of Canadians are generally favourable towards bicycles. Although high, favourability toward bicycle in Canada trails behind automobiles (84%) which enjoys the first position on the list and is followed by electric bicycles (e-bikes) at 73%, motorbikes at 65%, lorries/trucks at 54% and standup scooters at 50%.

The global landscape of favourability towards various modes of transportation differs from that of Canadians – globally, cycling enjoys a higher level of favorability (82%) than do all other forms of transportation and automobiles, as well as e-bikes, are neck-in-neck at second and third spots (74% and 73%, respectively).

 

Good2Golf

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Waiting for the scale of distance to ridership factor report.

2km doesn’t even get me out of my subdivision onto anything other than a secondary regional road. I would still have 23km to go to get to where work was before COVID.
 

rmc_wannabe

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The GTA is 7100km² (give or take). Even within that 7100km², the majority of roads are not bike friendly, nor are they safe to use in our 4-6 months of winter. Add the fact that transit is often not bike friendly during peak hours, and you have a hostile environment for bike culture.

That's just in our most densely populated urban centre. Rural Manitoba would be about as bike friendly to commute in as it would be to canoe to Ireland from the Gaspé.

Until geography adapts, or we throw more money at adaptable mass transit, we will have a car culture in Canada for years to come.
 

Navy_Pete

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In Ottawa in the summer they used to have bike racks on the front of all the buses from late spring until sometime in the fall; it was great as you could easily bike to a mainline stop, bus along the crappy highway stretch, then bike to the final spot.

Nothing on the LRT trains, and you can only bring a bike on if there is room (ie outside of rush hour).

So aside from the frequent breakdowns, poorly designed stations etc it was actually a step back from the previous transit setup. Which is too bad, because there is actually a really good bike path network here for a lot of downtown and in Gatineau.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Come to Halifax! Where we create traffic congestion for bike lanes. For the 5% of Haligonians who actually ride a bike on a daily basis...
The same in Vancouver, on my street they took out 160 parking spots that had 75% usage every day, for a bicycle lane that gets 57 users in two months.

Meanwhile in the US, 89% of the cycling fatalities are male.

 

FSTO

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As a fairly avid cyclist I'd love to have a dedicated road but I know this will never happen.
But, I did ride my bike to work in Regina for an entire winter a few years back. The bike/walking paths are plowed throughout the winter and as long as you layered up you'd be fine. I also biked from Westboro to Carling during my time in Ottawa. But I had to quit during the winter since the city doesn't plow the paths.
Funny thing is, you can bike throughout the winter, Finland does it in certain places.

 

Humphrey Bogart

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That doesn't mean alot of them should cycle ... I've only almost hit a half dozen in the past month:

I've been hit twice in Victoria. Always around Millstream Rd by people trying to race to Costco or impatiently trying to get home from work.

Both times I was not breaking any rules and was operating in the designated bike lane on the road. People are impatient and don't care.

Not worth it to bike in Victoria, you're better off taking public transit for your commute. I was lucky that I avoided serious injury both times I was hit.
 

daftandbarmy

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I've been hit twice in Victoria. Always around Millstream Rd by people trying to race to Costco or impatiently trying to get home from work.

Both times I was not breaking any rules and was operating in the designated bike lane on the road. People are impatient and don't care.

Not worth it to bike in Victoria, you're better off taking public transit for your commute. I was lucky that I avoided serious injury both times I was hit.

One of my clients was killed cycling home here. I know three other people who have been struck, all experienced cyclists.

OTOH, I'd say that about half the people I see on bikes shouldn't be. They have no idea what they're doing and are some are those huge cargo bikes overloaded with kids and luggage and drifting into traffic. I call them 'refugee bikes'.

On balance, physics and safety is on the side of the car ;)
 

SeaKingTacco

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dapaterson

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One of my clients was killed cycling home here. I know three other people who have been struck, all experienced cyclists.

OTOH, I'd say that about half the people I see on bikes shouldn't be. They have no idea what they're doing and are some are those huge cargo bikes overloaded with kids and luggage and drifting into traffic. I call them 'refugee bikes'.

On balance, physics and safety is on the side of the car ;)
In Ottawa, I'd say about half the people driving vehicles should not be. Veering into the oncoming traffic lane to do a left turn on a red was perhaps the worst I've seen recently...

Regular testing and renewal (and cancellation) of licenses would be a good thing.
 

daftandbarmy

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In Ottawa, I'd say about half the people driving vehicles should not be. Veering into the oncoming traffic lane to do a left turn on a red was perhaps the worst I've seen recently...

Regular testing and renewal (and cancellation) of licenses would be a good thing.

Especially where I live.... my head's on a swivel most of the time, kind of like walking through Belfast ;)

 

FSTO

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^^
There is a car commercial out there of a Cell Phone Moron walking about staring at his phone and the car has an automatic stopping feature to limit pedestrian/car accidents. While a nice feature, I think it only contributes to more cluelessness inside and outside of cars. People will just think, oh the tech will take care of the safety and I can continue to surf my phone while driving/walking. Or maybe this is just Darwin's Revenge.
 

Humphrey Bogart

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One of my clients was killed cycling home here. I know three other people who have been struck, all experienced cyclists.

OTOH, I'd say that about half the people I see on bikes shouldn't be. They have no idea what they're doing and are some are those huge cargo bikes overloaded with kids and luggage and drifting into traffic. I call them 'refugee bikes'.

On balance, physics and safety is on the side of the car ;)
I refer to it as the law of gross tonnage. It's applicable in any situation that involves relative motion.

It doesn't matter who was at fault if you're dead.
 

OldSolduer

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Here in Winnipeg most cyclists that regularly cycle think they own the roads. Stop signs are a mere suggestion and how dare you demand I wear anything resembling hi visibility stuff and what is this making my self visible at night stuff?
 

dapaterson

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I'd say the same thing about far too many car / pickup drivers.
 

Kirkhill

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Waiting for the scale of distance to ridership factor report.

2km doesn’t even get me out of my subdivision onto anything other than a secondary regional road. I would still have 23km to go to get to where work was before COVID.

Saskatchewan, 651,900 km2, 1,180,000 people, 16 cities with populations greater than 5,000 (excepting Melville with 3,000). A lot of open ground between the neighbours. Especially when it is 40 below or 40 above.

In the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, a city is a type of incorporated urban municipality[1] that is created from a town by the minister of municipal affairs. The city form of governmental organization is created by a ministerial order via section 39 of The Cities Act if the town has a population of 5,000 or more and if the change in status is requested by the town council.[2]

In the early history of the province, the threshold for city status was much lower, with both Saskatoon and Regina achieving city status with populations in the 3,000 range. One city, Melville, currently has a population well below the current 5,000 threshold, but retains its city status even though the population criterion has changed since its current governmental form was designated.

Saskatchewan has 16 cities[1] including Lloydminster, which traverses the provincial border with Alberta, but does not include Flin Flon, which traverses the provincial border with Manitoba. With the exception of Flin Flon, Saskatchewan's other cities had a cumulative population of 595,707 and an average population of 37,232 in the 2011 Census.[3][4] Saskatchewan's largest and smallest cities are Saskatoon and Melville with populations of 246,376 and 4,562 respectively.[5]
 
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