The who’s who in the cycling intelligentsia and those generally in the know cycling-wise were in attendance at the second annual Metro Vancouver Cycling Action Forum at TransLink’s new headquarters in Sapperton on Wednesday (the first forum was held at the SFU Segal Graduate School of Business last year).
The theme of this year’s forum was “Cycling – Prescription for a Healthy Mind, Body and Region.” The aim for the five-hour meeting of minds was to connect the health and transportation sectors. Cycling advocates, journalists, bloggers as well as health, education, provincial, municipal and industry representatives were in attendance.
Everything was kicked off by well known blogger and Director of the City Program at Simon Fraser, Gordon Price. He asked what each participant wanted to achieve from the day. That info was written down and discussed after some opening presentations.
Dr. Meghan Winters, Assistant Professor, Simon Fraser University, presented a lot of information about health and cycling.
Besides obvious figures that cyclists have much better safety statistics compared to other modes of transportation, Winters spoke about studies in Europe and Japan show that people over fifty are heavy users of devices like e-bikes and that they are becoming more popular in Canada.
Winters finished off her talk noting that with the population of North America getting older, more focus should be placed on older adults, as well as children, when planning cycling infrastructure.
Following a short break, a panel of speakers, including Mayor Mussatto of the City of North Vancouver, discussed the importance of cycling in terms of economic benefits and public health.
I’m afraid I had to duck out during this discussion, but there’s a good post on BC Business that touches on some of what was discussed, including some links to research.
After the formal portion of the forum, participants broke into small groups based on their opening statements about what they wanted to achieve during the afternoon.
Popping into a few of the discussions, the groups were freely throwing out ideas and conversing with a lot of passion about what needs to be done in getting the word out about working together on agreed upon goals concerning cycling and health.
During the afternoon a collection of infographics were posted on screens, which illustrated the health benefits of cycling. At the end of the day, participants left the forum to keep their discussions going at a more informal venue (check the inforgraphics below)
The day seemed to be well received by all who participated. As usual, with every possible solution to cycling-related issues, more questions arose – leaving more room for still more discussions like these next year and at the next forum.