The promotion of cycling infrastructure is a primary goal of the Mission Community Cycling Coalition. This page summarizes our response to the most frequently asked questions we've seen on the topic of bicycle projects generally, and the current Mission 7th Ave Greenway project, more specifically.
I'm concerned about the cost of Mission's Greenway project. Where will the money come from?
Does street parking have a negative impact on 7th Ave?
Where did the Greenway project come from? I didn't elect people to do this.
I don't see any bikes on 7th Ave. Why are we building something like this for no one?
What about 14th Ave?
The province provides funding through the "B.C. Active Transportation Infrastructure Grants Program". Until recently, this was known as the "Bikes BC" program. Approved projects are eligible to receive a grant for 50% of the cost of construction. In the history of this program, 2004-2021, approximately 75 communities in B.C. have received funding. Mission's municipal neighbors, including Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Maple Ridge, have received $1,645,854, $1,127,289and $899,743 respectively. An application for Greenway funding will mark Mission's first ever use of this program. The program is there - why not use it?
Yes, as a main arterial roadway, street parking impacts 7th Ave in the following ways.
Street parking takes considerable street space leading to lower street capacity for other users, obstructs first responders who need access to homes and businesses, impedes the view of motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists entering from side streets onto 7th or crossing 7th at intersections, thus creating a dangerous traffic situation, and research indicates that on-street parking does not reduce speed but rather drivers tend to shift to driving closer to the middle of the road to compensate for on-street parking, creating an increase in crash risk.
Support for cycling and pedestrian infrastructure has been embedded in the District of Mission's plans and policies since 2008. In that year, the Official Community Plan recognized the need to create a multi-modal transportation system that encouraged walking, cycling and transit use. The Parks, Trails and Bicycle Master Plan (2009) included plans for a bicycle route network with 7th Avenue identified as a priority bicycle route. The Transportation Master Plan (2016) included a "proposed bicycle network vision" (Figure 4.4) that again proposed 7th Ave for the location of a "buffered bike lane/bike lane". It was further noted that the TMP "supports cycling as an important mode of travel and moves towards a comprehensive District-wide system of trails and facilities for cyclists." (p. 4-10)
Bicyclists do ride on 7th - I'm one of them! But there should be more, and that's the point of the Greenway project. If we want to promote active transportation in Mission (and we do - see above), then we need to put some money where our mouth is. The purchase of bicycles in Canada has exploded. The health benefits of cycling and walking are well known. The evidence is that "the benefits of investments in cycle networks are estimated to be at least 4-5 times the cost." (Saelensminde 2004) Further research has documented that building bicycle lanes results in a dramatic increase in cycle use.
A multiple use path (MUP) is planned for the south side of 14th. This will be constructed in stages, together with sidewalks, beginning later this year.