TO THE EDITOR:
Re: "Bike lanes part of city's ongoing culture shift," May 25.
In his last column, Allen Garr pointed to how the decision to stop the construction of cross-town freeways was an example of a significant "cultural shift" in the attitude of Vancouverites.
What Garr did not mention was that this "cultural shift" did not come easily. There was stiff opposition to halting the construction of freeways. In hindsight, however, this decision is seen as being very wise, but at the time it was not popular with everyone.
The opposition to bike lanes in Vancouver is much like the opposition to freeways in the 1970s. Although many Vancouverites have made the "cultural shift" away from using their car in the city, many others are not prepared to change. Their opposition to initia-
tives such as bike lanes thwarts attempts to make Vancouver a more livable city.
The shift away from the "car only" culture should not be as difficult as one may think. The city has statistics that show that 52 per cent of the trips in the city are less than five kilometres. Many of these trips are less than three km which is a comfortable bike ride of about 10 minutes.
These short trips could be made more conveniently by bike than by car.
By building safer bike lanes, the city accomplishes a "win/win" situation; car traffic is reduced while short trips are made more conveniently. A "cultural shift" is not easy, but as we have seen from the freeway debate of the '70s the results can significantly improve the livability of Vancouver.