#WRCC12 draws to a close

As this years commuter challenge (#WRCC12) has come to an end, the question that’s most pressing in my mind is: How many new cycling commuters have we added?

The one quote from the Hans Moor kick off that sticks with me is how do we actively convert the 60% of Waterloo Region folks who state they would cycle if it was safer, easier and more convenient.

It’s a question that I’ll be pondering this summer for sure.

However, I’ll leave this commuter challenge with pictures taken in K-W which once again pushes the limits of what’s possible with a bicycle. (Thanks Eli for the pictures and let me know when you’ve rigged up your own canoe trailer.)

Also reminds me of the old Monty Python joke: American beer is like making love in a canoe …

3 thoughts on “#WRCC12 draws to a close

  1. In answer to the facebook question, “What does it say when Waterloo Region has the most participants in 2012’s Commuter Challenge across all of Ontario?”

    Well, I think all we can say for sure is that people in Waterloo Region have really attached themselves to that specific website. It could be that people elsewhere are using other websites to track their commutes, or not using websites at all. On the other hand, that so many people are getting involved in Waterloo is still a very good thing, and makes me hopeful for the future that cycle commuting will continue to grow.

    The Bike2Work challenge was pretty good as well, in terms of encouraging non-cyclists to bike for the first time. It’s so convenient that I have trouble imaginging they’ll give it up afterwards. “Once you’ve gone biking, you’ll never go back” as it were.

    The region’s planned 25% seems like a pipe dream to me. Even Portland, already described as a cylcist’s heaven, only has about 5.4% of its commuters cycling to work (http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-05-22/portland-is-top-bike-to-work-city-as-lawyers-hit-street) though I suppose 25% of trips is different than 25% of commuters. Still, it’s better to aim high. There’s certainly no reason why 25% (or more) of commuters couldn’t cycle in this city, at least during the warm part of the year.

    1. Peter, do you have a link for that “25%” number for cycling? The region Transportation Master Plan sets 2031 trip modal share targets of 12% for “cycling and walking” (up from 8% in 2009) and 15% by transit (up from < 5%). Those numbers are quoted in the TMP summary doc ( http://www.regionofwaterloo.ca/en/regionalGovernment/transportationmasterplan.asp ).

      I have observed that commuter share numbers do differ from trip share numbers. Plus, these are annualized averages across all trips (long and short) and all seasons. But still, I'd be surprised if 25% cycling in KW is being envisioned anywhere but in the feverish imaginations of… people like myself, I guess.

      1. Woops! Thanks Chris, you’re totally right! The number I saw was indeed 12% not 25% (which I guess I just imagined) and the source I saw recently was the previous blog post right here at waterloobikes. Sorry for the confusion.

        12% would still qualify as a pipe dream, in my estimation, if it was only bikes, but as you correctly point out (and as Graham did actually hedge in that previous post) it’s for all active transportation, not just cycling. I can only find pretty old data online (2007) but it looks like total AT mode share of 12% would put us among the top in the country, but that’s certainly not impossible. Then again, if 60% of residents want to cycle more, maybe 25% is a better goal. =)

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