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Bicycle Infrastructure in Canada: Safety Performance (Present & Future)

Project Summary

Status

In Progress

Research Area

Road Safety

Responsible Council / Committee

Chief Engineers' Council / Road Safety Standing Committee

Related TAC publications

Traffic Signal Guidelines for Bicycles (2014)

Project Funding Partners

New Brunswick Department of Transportation and Infrastructure; Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation; Ministry of Transportation, Ontario; Ville de Montréal; Translink; Region of Waterloo; CITE; City of Ottawa; Town of Oakville; City of Calgary; City of Vancouver; British Columbia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure; Bunt & Associates Engineering; ICBC; City of London

Project Category

Road Safety

Staff Contact

Abstract

In Canada, transportation-related legislation and regulations generally describe people bicycling as being “vehicles”. This language was typically adopted as a mechanism to provide bicyclists the authority to travel on a roadway. However, today people who are bicycling are generally understood to be vulnerable road users having different needs than both motorized vehicles and people who are walking.

The increasing popularity of bicycling as a mode of travel in Canada is leading many jurisdictions to develop new bicycle infrastructure. The goal of these facilities is generally to improve the safety and mobility of bicyclists.

Several bicycle facility planning and design guidelines and resources already exist. These include the TAC publications: “Active Transportation – Making it Work in Canadian Communities (2010)”; “Bikeway Traffic Control Guidelines for Canada (2012)”; and “Traffic Signal Guidelines for Bicycles (2014)”. The “TAC Geometric Design Guide for Canadian Roads (2017)” also contains significant guidance in the design of these facilities.

Unfortunately, there is an overall lack of understanding within the transportation industry regarding the specific safety performance associated with different types of bicycle facilities in the Canadian context – whether currently in existence or under consideration for possible construction.