COPE Focuses in on Bus Riders, Cyclists, Pedestrians

Selected images from the Spacing Vancouver Flickr pool. Images courtesy of Philip Tong and Ben Johnson.

Over the past week, the Coalition of Progressive Electors have rolled out plank after plank for their transportation platform, setting the bar higher than any other party is willing to jump at this stage in the campaign. The October 20th release is an all-too-rare case of politicians acknowledging the causes of poor cyclist behaviour (especially riding on sidewalks). The solution, as put by Park Board candidate Brent Granby, is “increased cycling infrastructure, including separated bike lanes. The fact that Suzanne Anton wants to place a moratorium on separated bike lanes is completely backwards. We should be creating a vast network of bike infrastructure that connects every corner of the city, not inhibiting it.”

The October 17th and October 23rd releases focus on transit, mainly buses. On the service improvement side, COPE wants to expand general bus service and bring transit signal priority to Broadway (an idea and plan so old – and obvious – it’s easy to forget it hasn’t been done yet). On the cost side, COPE councillors pledge to lobby TransLink to freeze fares and create a U-Pass equivalent for neighbourhoods that would be opt-in. Tim Louis’ particular enthusiasm for Bus Rapid Transit on Broadway rather than rail – a plan intended to pay for the others in savings – may turn many voters off, but the detail is there to make an informed decision.

By contrast, the NPA and Vision campaigns are still frustratingly vague on the transport front, epitomized by Suzanne Anton’s promise to “endorse transportation diversity.” An NPA council would prioritize the downtown streetcar and kibosh bike lane expansion, with a Vision council continuing to favour cyclists over trams. Both seem to rank the UBC Line down Broadway higher in any accounting, but the NPA has been able to avoid explaining what “fixing” the separated lanes would consist of, and Vision haven’t provided much of their namesake for cyclists either.

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Spacing Vancouver will continue to bring you periodic updates as the race progresses – you can find the complete list here.