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Port Alberni chapter joins bike ride to mark Earth Day

Twitter photo by @AlberniNews

The Council of Canadians Port Alberni chapter joined a cycling action in their community on Earth Day.

Alberni Valley News reports, “Canada is lagging behind the rest of the world in terms of cycling, Courtenay-Alberni [NDP] MP Gord Johns told a crowd of well over 100 people during Earth Day celebrations in Port Alberni, Saturday afternoon. Johns, Mid Island-Pacific Rim [NDP] MLA candidate Scott Fraser and about 40 other people left Harbour Quay for a quick bike ride around the area before returning to the Quay for a party.”

Chapter activist Colin Frazer notes, “Most of our chapter members were at this event. Cycling is going places in our city!”

Johns has noted, “Cycling advocates have long called for a national strategy where the federal government would work with provinces and municipalities to increase commuter, recreational and tourism cycling across Canada. This private Member’s bill will bring all levels of governments together with cyclists and industry to build a plan that will encourage and facilitate more Canadians on bicycles.”

And he highlights, “A National Cycling Strategy will lead to a healthier society, more livable communities, safer cycling options, reduced congestion, and significant savings for our healthcare system. Additionally, Canada’s unique landscape is a perfect draw for cycling tourism.”

David Suzuki Foundation transportation policy analyst Gideon Forman says, “Research done by Transportation Alternatives in the U.S. found that if just five per cent of New Yorkers who currently commute by car or taxi switched to cycling, it would save 150 million pounds of carbon dioxide a year. If the bike lane encourages even a small shift toward cycling, it can make an important contribution to climate protection.”

And a McGill University study states, “A statistically significant association is found between the index of bicycle infrastructure accessibility and bike mode choice – an increase of 10% in the accessibility index results in a 3.7% increase in the ridership. …A reduction of close to 2% in GHG emissions is observed for an increase of 7% in the length of the bicycle network. Results show the important benefits of bicycle infrastructure to reduce commuting automobile usage and GHG emissions.”

The Earth Day event in Port Alberni also included live music and a vegan burger barbecue.