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Sustainable Transportation on the Rise in CoquitlamCity of Coquitlam
COQUITLAM - About 30 per cent of trips in Coquitlam are expected to be taken on foot, bicycle and transit by 2031, suggests a new City report.
Presented to Council Nov. 25, a progress report on the City’s Strategic Transportation Plan (STP) shows Coquitlam is on track to meet its key STP goal for sustainable travel.
Making Informed Decisions
Adopted in 2012, the STP emphasizes transit, walking and cycling in the future of Coquitlam’s transportation system.
The City regularly assesses the progress made on the STP to assist with planning and decision making. The monitoring program relies heavily on statistics from other agencies – such as TransLink, Statistics Canada and ICBC – but will in the future be augmented by data the City began collecting in 2019 through automated technology.
Growth in Sustainable Travel
Coquitlam’s sustainable transportation network has grown significantly since 2011, thanks to the opening of the Millennium Line Evergreen Extension, improved bus transit, as well as construction of new pedestrian and cycling amenities. Since 2012, Coquitlam has added 42 kilometres of new sidewalks (up eight per cent), 11 kilometres of multi-use paths (up 46 per cent), 12 kilometres of shared bike facilities and seven kilometres of bike lanes (up 35 per cent, combined).
More residents than ever live in or closer to pedestrian zones (77 per cent, up 25 per cent from 2011), bicycle routes (75 per cent, up 88 per cent from 2011) and frequent transit networks (33 per cent, up 33 per cent from 2011).
Other main findings:
- Walking, cycling and transit trips rose from 15 per cent in 2011 to 20 per cent in 2017.
- Transit use (bus, SkyTrain and West Coast Express) grew 34 per cent from 2016 to 2018 and is expected to further rise with the new Lougheed B-Line bus in 2020.
- Walking trips grew 130 per cent from 2011 to 2017 – the highest percentage increase of all modes of transportation.
- The number of accessible bus stops has increased 65 per cent to 117 since 2013, while the number of stops with benches grew 46 per cent and those with shelters grew nine per cent.
The overall number of trips has increased, and although more people are walking, cycling and taking transit, most are still driving trips.
Adjusted for population growth, the number of vehicles in Coquitlam increased by seven per cent from 2013 to 2017. As well, its residents typically have longer trip lengths than the Metro Vancouver average – not surprising given the City’s location. On average, Coquitlam residents are driving more compared to the rest of the region.
The good news is that more drivers are carpooling and turning to greener vehicles. Use of hybrid vehicles increased by 60 per cent while use of electric vehicles (EVs) increased 11-fold from 2013 to 2017. The City has two public EV charging stations and will be adding six more in 2020. As well, vehicle ownership in neighbourhoods close to SkyTrain stations dropped by 17 per cent from 2014 to 2017.
Changes that could encourage more people out of their cars included:
- Helping people access transit by continuing to build walking and cycling facilities, adding more feeder transit services, and proactive park-and-ride management;
- Promoting cycling by filling gaps in the cycling network and increasing the connections between greenways; and
- Increasing the capacity of the transportation network by encouraging more trips in off-peak time periods and traffic directions.
View a snapshot of the City’s progress report. For more information on sustainable transportation options, go to www.coquitlam.ca/transportation.