The path to active and sustainable transportation in Nanaimo isn’t smooth and straight – we have bike lanes to nowhere, sidewalks that just end after a while, and missing transit links.
But a lot of people in Nanaimo, including ones in leadership positions, want that to change, and are continually making decisions to address gaps and try to get citizens moving in different ways.
With that in mind, it’s Bike to Work and School Week in Nanaimo. Often, that means five solid days of Murphy’s Law spring showers, but this week’s forecast actually calls for a clement end to May.
Bike to Work and School Week, linked to Go By Bike Week May 27-June 2, invites cyclists to register as participants and take time during their cycle commutes to pedal past one of the ‘celebration stations’ that will be set up in different locations around the city. (Visit www.nanaimo.ca for more information.)
“I encourage everyone to take full advantage of fun events, aid stations and the sense of community that comes from riding your bike to experience this beautiful city in new ways. Happy cycling,” said Coun. Erin Hemmens, in a press release.
She said at a council meeting last week that even though Nanaimo might not have been built with bicycles in mind, it’s more bike-able than people realize, and suggested that it will take more people choosing to bike to help change the culture of transportation in the city.
There is a bit of Catch-22 factor – there aren’t enough bike lanes to attract new cycle commuters, but it’s harder to justify more bike lanes if people aren’t using the ones we’ve got.
This week is a good time to bike to work. And the effort pedalling now will make some small difference in spinning Nanaimo’s spokes in creating a more cycle-friendly city.