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Bike to Work Week turnout lower than expected

Here’s a little math problem for you. If 4,000 people ride their bikes to work for a week, traversing 190,000 km, how many carbon emissions will be offset?

Ding! The answer is 37,000 kilograms of CO2, according to the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition which just wrapped up Bike to Work Week.

The group had hoped that 30,000 people would participate across the province during the week but the actual turnout was closer to 16,500.

Metro Vancouver saw 3,312 registered cyclists and another 1,000 who were not registered hit the streets, according to the Vancouver BTWW website.

“We were expecting a slightly higher showing in Victoria and a much higher showing in Vancouver,” said Stephanie Johnson, Victoria BTWW executive director. “Thirty thousand was a little ambitious for this year.”

Despite the lower than expected turnout, Johnson said her organization still declares the event a success. “It’s a huge step forward and a huge indication that this event has become a part of the community.”

More people biking to work not only cuts pollution, but it also promotes health, said Lawrence Frank, Bombardier Chair of Sustainable Transport at the University of British Columbia.

Bike To Work Week is a good start, he said, but “that alone won’t solve our green house gas problems. It’s a collective effort. It’s one of many starts that we need to be looking at."

The VACC plans to use information they collected during the week to compile a report they will send to the provincial government and TransLink.

Morgan J. Modjeski reports for The Tyee

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