How many more people are cycling than driving in Victoria? – Question from CBC Radio, On the Island, Jan. 2

“In the 2016 Census we saw a five per cent increase in ‘modeship.’ In 2011, 47 per cent of people in Victoria walked, cycled or took transit to work. In 2016 Census it was up to 52 per cent. It’s a slim majority that go to and from work by some other method than a car.” – Mayor Lisa Helps

According to the 2016 Census, 37,985 people from the Victoria CMA (census metropolitan area) commute to and from work. About 45 per cent of those use a car, truck or van, and indeed, 52 per cent use sustainable transportation defined as ‘public transit, active transport or other.’ (A third of the cars, trucks and vans actually commute to a census subdivision outside the Victoria CMA).

But importantly, according to a separate census data set, only 6.6 per cent of total commuters in Victoria bike to work, up slightly from 5.9 per cent in the 2011 census. Both figures are disputed, critics arguing that the census was conducted during a good weather month (May 1-7 ) and that cycling is highly weather dependent.

There are weaknesses in the data as it’s restricted to metro Victoria and the Victoria Census Metropolitan Area (CMA). Additional metro traffic is substantial: There are regularly hundreds of cyclists and hundreds of thousands of vehicles from the Island, BC, and Canada here as tourists or just visiting.

As we head into a fall election, one of the main priorities of city council has been the controversial protected bike lanes. While Mayor Helps concedes the information includes not only cycling but also walking and public transportation, nevertheless her response is misleading and obscures the facts to make her point.


CBC Interview with Mayor Lisa Helps, On the Island, Jan. 2, 2018

Commuting Destination, Main Modes of Transportation, 2016 Census, Victoria CMA.

ONE PINOCCHIO OUT OF FOUR RATING – Some shading of the facts, selective telling of the truth, some omissions and exaggerations, but no outright falsehoods.

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