This happened in my home town:
To sum up the linked article, the City of Courtenay will get its first painted bike lane! So, I wrote the following letter to City Council:
Dear Courtenay Council,
I would like to thank and congratulate you on your decision to proceed with painting bike lanes on Fitzgerald Avenue.
I hope this is the start of a trend of even more transportation projects that address all users of our transportation infrastructure.
I also invite you all to review the following articles – all of which show that building more and bigger roads doesn’t actually work to improve traffic conditions:
I am hopeful that in the City of Courtenay we can avoid the costly mistakes of larger urban centres, and focus on improving transportation facilities for all modes other than single passenger private vehicles so as to avoid the incredible costs that supporting that mode entails.
As I have stated to council in the past, the one thing that stuck in my head from my traffic courses in university is the very counter-intuitive fact that the difference between the most highly efficient state of traffic flow and a total traffic jam is very minimal. It only takes a small percent increase in the number of vehicles on any given road to completely stop the flow of traffic. That’s why, even a small increase in non-vehicular traffic can make a significant difference in the flow of vehicle traffic.
It is due to this principle that the construction of cycling and pedestrian infrastructure such as the proposed 6th Street pedestrian bridge, bike lanes, and better sidewalks is a benefit for everyone – not just cyclists and pedestrians. Even a 5% increase in non-vehicle transportation can significantly improve the efficiency of roads for people who choose to remain in their vehicles, as the corresponding decrease in vehicular traffic moves us further away from the tipping point between efficient traffic and traffic jams. Combine this with the fact that the same number of people can be moved with non-vehicular infrastructure that costs significantly less than the equivalent vehicle infrastructure that would be required, and the cost savings begin to add up. Furthermore, removing vehicles from the road in favour of alternate modes of transportation will also decrease wear and tear on existing infrastructure, extending the life of roads we have already built and again, saving everyone money.