CYCLING  BLIND  SPOTS  AND  MISSED  OPPORTUNITIES  IN  THE  SALT   SPRING  ISLAND  MASTER  PLAN  FOR  UPGRADING

 THE  FULFORD   HARBOUR  TERMINAL     SUBMITTED  BY:  ISLAND  PATHWAYS’  BICYCLE  WORKING  GROUP     SUBMITTED  TO:  BC  FERRIES,  CAPITAL  PLANNING  &  ANALYSIS  

           

This   is   one   of   a   series   of   photographs   of   Fulford   School   children   that   have   been   mounted   on   buildings   in   the  Village.  They  are  part  of  a  larger   inside/out  project  that  gives  voice  to  unheard   communities.   Nik’s   wish  is  simple:  “I  want  bike  paths  on  island  because  hopefully  more  p eople  will  ride  bikes!”     http://www.insideoutproject.net/#/sp/2cPYVW

    September  2011  

DATE:         FROM:       TO:           SUBJECT:    

15  September  2011   Brenda  Guild  &  John  Rowlandson,  Bicycle  Working  Group   Emma  McWalter,  Manager,  Capital  Planning  &  Analysis   British  Columbia  Ferry  Services,  Inc.       CYCLING  BLIND  SPOTS  AND  MISSED  OPPORTUNITIES  IN  THE  SALT   SPRING  ISLAND  MASTER  PLAN  FOR  UPGRADING  THE  FULFORD   HARBOUR  TERMINAL  

  Background     On  10  July  2011,  BC  Ferries  (BCF)  and  Ministry  of  Transportation  &  Infrastructure  (MOTI)   staff  attended  an  Open  House  to:  a)  present  a  draft  Master  Plan  (MP)  to  upgrade  the   Salt  Spring  Fulford  and  Vesuvius  terminals  and;  b)  solicit  resident  feedback.  The  Master   Plan  spans  a  20-­‐year  period.       Although  the  MP  addresses  terminal  upgrades  in  Vesuvius  and  Fulford,  this  brief  relates   only  to  the  Fulford  Harbour  facility.  The  Fulford  terminal  –  and  the  MOTI  roadbed  which   augments  motor  vehicle  access/egress  to  ferries  –  is  the  busiest  of  all  BCF  minor  routes.        On  average  about  640,000  passengers  –  including  5,000  cyclists  –  travel  through   Fulford  each  year  (Table  1).      Thousands  more  cyclists  augment  their  on-­‐island  holiday  experience  by  bringing   bikes  here  on  their  vehicles.      The  Island  Pathways  2010  Cycling  Survey  shows  that  most  resident  (76.4%)  and   visiting  cyclists  (61.4%)  enter  and  leave  Salt  Spring  Island  from  the  Fulford  terminal.   Table  1:  Fulford  Terminal  Passenger/Cyclist  Volumes  2009-­‐10  &  2010-­‐11  

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The  majority  of  cyclists  come  to  Salt  Spring  between  May  and  September.  Their   presence  corresponds  with  the  largest  volumes  of  pedestrian  and  motor  vehicle  traffic   through  Fulford  Village  and  the  highest  levels  of  terminal  congestion.       Current  State     The  MP  is  a  response  to  longstanding  demands  for  improvement  to  the  facility  by  Salt   Spring  Islanders  and  itinerant  terminal  users.  Specifically,  it  highlights  four  motor  vehicle   and  pedestrian  challenges  and  proposes  solutions  across  two  phases  of  work  (Table  2).1     Table  2:    Challenges  &  Solutions  Identified  by  BC  Ferries  for  the  Fulford  Terminal   Challenge Proposed  Solution Limited  holding  compound  capacity Phase  1:  widen  road  and  establish  3  lanes  (one   holding  lane  2  active  traffic  corridors) Safety  of  foot  passengers Phase  1:  improve  foot  passenger  access  and   exit  to/from  terminal No  designated  pick-­‐up  and  drop   Phase  2:  create  pickup  and  drop  off  area off-­‐area Limited  parking  for  customers Phase  2:  create  short-­‐term  parking   It  assumes  that  traffic  volumes  (the  number  of  passengers)  and  modal  split  (the  ways  in   which  ferry  users  travel  on  vessels  –  e.g.  walking,  cycling,  driving  motorized  vehicles)  will   remain  more  or  less  constant  across  the  20-­‐year  planning  horizon.     Future  State     Overall,  the  MP  proposes  to  expand  the  existing  parking  area  and  the  appropriation  of   public  roadbed  for  use  as  a  holding  lane  and  pedestrian  walkway  (Figure  2).  The  Plan   anticipates  that  these  measures  will  mitigate  current  safety  and  transportation  demand   issues  at  the  terminal,  i.e.  they  will  reduce  risk  of  personal  injury  and  decrease   congestion  for  users  and  residents.       Gaps  Analysis     No  consideration  is  given  to  cyclists  or  cycling  access/egress  challenges  in  the  MP.  Other   than  the  depiction  of  the  existing  bike  lane  within  the  Phase  II  completion  drawings   (Figure  1),  cyclists  are  not  represented  in  conceptual  or  engineering  drawings  nor  are   cycling  solutions  identified.      
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Unless otherwise noted, references are to the PowerPoint slide deck presented by BC Ferries staff at the 10 July meeting. Copies of the Master Plan were unavailable.

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Figure  1:  Phase  2  Completion  –  Proposed  Parking  Lot  Expansion  and  Incorporation  of   the  Existing  Bike  Lane  into  the  Upgraded  Terminal  

  The  absence  of  cyclists  and  cycling  issues  in  the  MP  is  startling.  The  MPs  failure  to   identify  cycling  risks  or  benefits  suggests  that  good  fortune  will  prevail  and  that  serious   cycling  accidents  will  be  averted  as  a  result  of  BCF  inaction.       This  void  also  reflects  the  incorrect  BCF  assumption  that  modal  split  and  modal  volumes   on  its  vessels  will  remain  more  or  less  constant.  A  growing  body  of  evidence  supports   the  view  that  cycling  as  a  day-­‐to-­‐day  and  commuting  activity  is  growing  in  Canada  and   across  North  America:2        Increasing  numbers  of  Canadians  are  cycling  for  health  and  fitness.  Seniors,   particularly  in  the  Greater  Victoria  and  Vancouver  areas,  are  adopting  cycling  as  a   strategy  to  improve  and  maintain  cardio-­‐vascular  fitness.      Municipalities  are  creating  new  bike  lanes  to  meet  carbon  reduction  requirements    Individuals  are  using  their  bikes  to  reduce  their  personal  carbon  foot  print    The  electric  bike  is  being  adopted  as  a  way  for  new  and  old  cyclists  to  cope  with  the   undulating  terrain  and  long  distances  common  to  BC    Buses  and  other  forms  of  mass  transit  throughout  British  Columbia  have  adopted   bicycle  carriers  and  many  municipalities  actively  encourage  users  to  make  multi-­‐ modal  (bike/walk/transit)  travel  choices    Mass  production  and  marketing  of  bicycles  make  them  the  most  affordable  form  of   transportation  in  North  America  
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The City of Vancouver, for instance, cites cycling as its fastest growing method of transportation: nearly 60,000 trips are made by bike each day (http://vancouver.ca/engsvcs/transport/cycling/stats.htm).

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In  addition  to  these  regional,  national  and  global  trends,  the  MP  fails  to  acknowledge   Salt  Spring  as  one  of  North  America’s  most  promising  cycle  tourism  destinations.  Salt   Spring  Island  is  in  proximity  to  4  of  the  top  5  cycling  cities  on  the  continent.  Cycling   mode  share  in  Victoria  is  5.6%  (the  highest  in  Canada).  Vancouver  is  close  behind  with  a   3.7%  cycling  mode  share.  Similarly,  Portland,  Oregon  has  the  highest  cycling  mode  share   in  the  United  States  at  5.7%  and  Seattle  is  third  highest  at  2.99%.       The  economic  impact  of  cycle  tourism  is  significant.  More   than  65%  of  cycle  tourists  earn  more  than  $60,000  per   year.  Cycle  tourists  stay  in  areas  longer,  tend  to  purchase   more  disposal  goods  –  because  of  their  limited  carrying   capacity  –  generate  no  carbon  and  no  traffic  congestion.       Accordingly,  conservationists,  recreational  cyclists,  and   equestrians  have  worked  alongside  Cowichan  and  Capital   Regional  District  planners  to  develop  the  Salish  Sea  Trail   Network  (SSTN).  Once  complete,  it  will  be  among  the   Salish  Sea  Trail  Network   most  sought  after  cycle  tourism  routes  on  the  planet  and   Salt  Spring  will  be  the  jewel  in  this  particular  ring.  Research,  however,  shows  that   natural  beauty  and  quality  accommodations  are  not  enough  to  attract  cycle  tourists.  The   area  must  also  demonstrate  that  cyclists  are  welcome  and  that  they  are  able  to  safely   share  the  road.  The  BCF  inability  to  perceive  cyclists  does  not  auger  well  in  this  regard.     Impact  of  Gaps     In  general,  the  MP  fails  to  apply  transportation  demand  management  principles  and   approaches.  It  neither  addresses  nor  anticipates  cycling  behaviour,  does  nothing  to   reduce  the  risk  of  car/cyclist  collisions  and  does  not  improve  cycling  safety  within  the   BCF  services  footprint3.  Rather,  BCF  proposes  to  collaborate  with  MOTI  to  repurpose   public  road  resources  to  increase  a)  storage  capacity  for  parking  lot  overflow  and  b)   provide  pedestrian  access/egress  to  the  terminal  (Figure  2).  

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The BCF services footprint (the area in which the company plans to store overflow parking on public roadbed) extends north from the intersection of Morningside and Fulford-Ganges Roads to just beyond the intersection of Fulford-Ganges and Beaver Point Roads, a 300m long by 10.75m wide traffic corridor.

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Figure  2:  Proposed  BCF/MOTI  Repurposing  of  Public  Roadbed  

Specifically,  the  MP  allocates  10.75m  of  MOTI  roadbed  across  five  use  categories:   cement  barrier,  northbound  traffic  lane,  southbound  traffic  lane,  parking  lot  overflow   lane  and  pedestrian  walkway.  Proposed  roadbed  repurposing,  however,  excludes   cyclists  from  the  modal  mix  and  introduces  cycling-­‐specific  barriers  (Figure  3).       Barriers     Southbound  Cyclists     Cyclists  heading  to  the  ferry  terminal  must  navigate  around  the  holding  lane  and   pedestrian  pathway  and  into  the  southbound  lane.  At  the  corner  of  Morningside  and   Fulford-­‐Ganges  Road,  cyclists  must  then  stop  traffic  behind  them  until  it  is  safe  to  cross   through  the  northbound  ferry  vehicle  exhaust  lane  where  it  joins  the  existing  in-­‐terminal   bike  lane  (Figure  1).       Northbound  Cyclists     Cyclists  exiting  the  existing  in-­‐terminal  BCF  bike  lane  are  challenged  at  the  intersection   of  Fulford-­‐Ganges  and  Morningside  Roads  (Figure  3).  Here  they  encounter:     a. an  immediate,  steep  and  continuous  cycling  grade  out  of  Fulford  Village   b. sudden  integration  with  a  large  volume  of  multi-­‐directional  vehicular  traffic  (to   their  rear  –  up  to  120  motorists  exiting  the  ferry;  into  their  path  –  motorists  

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c.

d. e.

turning  right  from  Morningside;  across  their  paths  –  those  turning  left  onto   Morningside)     disorientation:  a  general  unfamiliarity  among  visiting  cyclists,  including  lack  of   judgment  about  terminal  traffic  flow  norms,  little  knowledge  about  local   directions  or  landmarks,  ferry  pick-­‐up/drop-­‐off  behaviours  by  visiting  and  on-­‐ island  motorists  and  extreme  measures  taken  by  motor  vehicle  drivers  and   pedestrians  when  congestion  is  most  acute   the  ‘crowding  effect’  on  cyclists  of  a  1m  high  cement  abutment  as  they  climb   northbound  out  of  Fulford  Village     the  absence  of  any  BCF  personnel,  prominent  signage  or  dedicated  facilities  to   guide  cyclists  through  the  BCF  services  footprint.     Figure  3:  Cycling  Hazards  proposed  by  BCF/MOTI  Roadbed  Repurposing  

Barriers  to  Blind  Spot     BCF  barriers  constitute  a  cycling  blind  spot  in  the  Master  Plan.  Together,  these  barriers   reduce  cycling  safety,  increase  the  risk  of  personal  injury  and  car/bicycle  collisions,   enhance  traffic  congestion  and  encourage  aggressive  and  unpredictable  behaviours  by   motorists,  cyclists  and  pedestrians.  The  absence  of  designated  southbound  and   northbound  bike  lanes  within  the  BCF  services  footprint:      violates  the  spirit  and  intent  of  the  1992  MOTI/Islands  Trust  Letter  of  Agreement   (http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/tc/pdf/orgagrdec081992pro.pdf)  and  1999  Cycling   Route  Inventory  to  “build  bike  lanes  on  both  sides  of  the  road  separated  from  

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    Proposed  Solution     The  proposed  solution  to  cycling  gaps  in  the  MP  is  to  incorporate  cycling-­‐specific   infrastructure  (bike  lanes)  and  infostructure  (signage,  standards  and  business  processes)   to  encourage  cycling  as  a  safe  and  convenient  mode  of  transportation.       Figure  4  presents  one  such  solution.  The  graphic  reconfigures  the  10.75m  space   proposed  by  the  MP  and  incorporates  key  cycling  requirements  by  reallocating  lane   widths  and  making  the  following  assumptions:      Pedestrians  and  cyclists  can  share  a  1m  lane  along  either  side  of  the  road    At  3m,  the  overflow  [holding]  lane  is  too  wide.  Existing  holding  lanes  in  the  Fulford   BCF  parking  lot  average  2.49m.  Car  lanes  on  the  Skeena  Queen  are  2.6m    A  cement  barrier  bordering  the  northbound  lane  unnecessarily  narrows  the  road   and  restricts  pedestrian  access  to  small  businesses    A  dedicated  northbound  bike  lane  will  eliminate  traffic  congestion  currently  caused   by  cyclists  who  ‘slow’,  ‘wiggle’  and/or  ‘dismount’  their  bicycles  when  climbing  the   hill  out  of  Fulford  Village    Painting  the  bike  lanes  and  showing  that  they  are  for  multiple  users  will  make  it   easier  for  cyclists  to  move  safely  and  seamlessly,  in  single  file,  to  and  from  the   Fulford  terminal  

vehicle  lanes  by  painted  lines  when  upgrading  roadbed  on  designated  cycling   routes.”4     does  not  consider  the  safety  and  congestion  problems  that  the  physically   challenging  hill  climb  out  of  Fulford  Village  poses  for  cyclists  using  the  northbound   lane,  particularly  for  those  cyclists  engaged  in  family-­‐oriented  holidays  with  young   children   fails  to  anticipate  high  levels  of  unfamiliarity  and  disorientation  among  cyclo-­‐tourists   visiting  the  island  for  the  first  time  and  the  impact  that  their  disorientation  may  have   on  traffic  flows  and  potential  for  collision  and  injury   suggests  that  BCF  wishes  to  discourage  cyclists  from  using  its  vessels  and  facilities   disregards  the  provincial  coda  to  ‘share  the  road’  

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The Island Trust completed a Cycle route inventory on Salt Spring in 1999. This document was updated by the CRD in 2005. In that same year, Salt Spring aligned with Cowichan and Capital Regional District plans to interconnect with the Salish Sea Regional Trail Network. Salt Spring cycling routes were formally designated within the Official Community plan in 2008 (Appendix A).

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Figure  4:  Bicycle  Friendly  Solution  to  Fulford  Harbour  Access/Egress  

Conclusion       BCF’s  MP  does  not  reflect  current  demographic  trends  and  lifestyle  preferences  towards   cycling  nor  does  it  align  with  views  of  bicycle  utility  and  value  within  the  transportation   demand  management  community.  The  MP’s  near  exclusive  concern  with  motor  vehicles   demonstrates  an  acute  blind  spot  in  its  20-­‐year  vision.     The  volume  and  variety  of  cyclists  will  continue  to  increase.  This  will  reflect  a  large  and   growing  population  base  of  cyclists  living  in  regional  urban  centres  and  adjacent   municipalities  as  well  as  cyclists  coming  from  farther  afield  to  travel  portions  of  the   Salish  Sea  Trail  Network.  Should  BCF  continue  to  increase  the  cost  of  motor  vehicle   access  to  its  vessels,  additional  numbers  will  adopt  bicycles  as  more  affordable  modes  of   transportation  for  commuting  and  recreational  activities.       While  there  may  not  be  a  causal  relationship  between  “if  you  build  it  [then]  they  will   come”  there  is  no  doubt  that  infrastructure  has  a  significant  capacity  to  anticipate,   shape,  accelerate  and/or  constrain  demand.  By  failing  to  adopt  fundamental  bike  lane   principles  established  between  the  Islands  Trust  and  MOTI  almost  20  years  ago,  BCF  is   situating  itself  as  a  spoiler.    

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Choosing  not  to  enable  or  even  perceive  cycling  as  a  legitimate  mode  of  transportation   will  increase  the  risk  of  injury  and  the  intensity  of  traffic  congestion.  Specifically,  BCF   failure  to  include  bicycles  as  a  modal  standard  will  limit  the  capacity  of  Island-­‐based   businesses,  institutions  and  individuals  to  fully  engage  the  recreational,  economic  and   health  benefits  of  cycling.  Simply  put,  residents  and  visitors  will  most  certainly  suffer   economically  and,  perhaps  mortally,  from  BCF’s  inability  to  adapt  to  a  changing  modal   environment.     Recommendations     We  make  the  following  recommendations:     1. BCF,  as  a  MOTI  partner,  must  adopt  a  public  service  commitment  to  both  serve   cyclists  and  keep  them  safe.  Modification  of  a  public  roadbed  must  follow   longstanding  provincial  mandates,  policy,  vision  and  requirements,  incorporate   standards  embedded  in  historical  agreements  (such  as  the  1992  Islands   Trust/MOTI  LOA)  and  practices,  such  as,  allowing  narrower  vehicle  corridors  to   accommodate  bicycle  lanes,  and  allowing  variances  to  road  width  in  keeping   with  the  Island  character.       2. Dedicated  north  and  southbound  bike  lanes  must  be  included  in  the  Master  Plan   guiding  the  Fulford  terminal  upgrade.   a. Cycling  access  and  egress  shall  be  seamless  from  the  ferry  ramp  to  the   intersection  of  Beaver  Point  and  Fulford-­‐Ganges  Road  (the  termination   point  of  the  proposed  overflow  parking  [holding]  lane).     3. BCF  must  engage  the  cycling  community  as  part  of  its  Master  Planning  process.   Specifically,  BCF  should  invite  representative  cycling  organizations  (e.g.  the  BC   Cycling  Coalition,  the  Greater  Victoria  Cycling  Coalition,  Island  Pathways…)  to   participate  in  a  Cycling  Working  Group  (CWG).  The  purpose  of  the  CWG  would  be   to  review  and  provide  advice  on  cycling  requirements,  standards  and  measures   related  to  investment  in  and  upgrading  of  BCF  terminals       4. BCF  should  require  its  road  engineering  and  traffic  management  staff  to   complete  certificate  programs  in  transportation  demand/mobility  management.     5. BCF  should  adopt  community  benefit  as  a  criterion  within  its  Master  Planning   process.  

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APPENDIX  A:  CYCLING  ROUTES  AS  DESIGNATED  IN  THE  OFFICIAL  COMMUNITY  PLAN  

 

 

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