Tops in western Canada for leaving wheels at home
RAFE ARNOTT/METRO VANCOUVER
Nearly half of all Vancouverites use their bike, feet or transit to make everyday trips to the store or work, according to a Statistics Canada study released yesterday.
The report, Dependence On Cars In Urban Neighbourhoods, found that Vancouver is the least car-dependent city in the West, but still has a way to go to catch up to the East.
It found that 71 per cent of Montrealers and 57 per cent of Torontonians leave their car at home to run errands and commute to work, compared to 48 per cent of Vancouverites.
Only 44 per cent of people in Calgary, however, opt for transit or bikes for the same situations.
David Ramslie, manager of the sustainable development program for the city of Vancouver, said there’s a correlation between dependence on cars and urban density.
"You look at the downtown core where there are the highest densities, you definitely see the lowest automobile use," he said
"We’re really trying to put people (within walking distance) of the jobs and services they require."
Kent Munro, city assistant director of planning and community planning, said Vancouver needs to provide people with more attractive transport choices than their car.
That includes improving bikeways and greenways, expanding sidewalks, lining boulevards with trees and building more bus shelters.
"The nicer you make the alternatives to driving, the more people will (get out of cars)."