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Safety Impacts of Bicycle Infrastructure in Canada Project

Friday, June 30, 2017

The Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) is seeking additional funding partners to contribute to a new project to examine safety impacts of bicycle infrastructure in Canada.

To date, 13 funding partners have committed to this initiative. Additional agencies interested in contributing may contact Sandra Majkic. Funding partners will be invited to appoint a representative to the project steering committee.

Advanced by TAC’s Road Safety Standing Committee and endorsed by the Chief Engineers’ Council, the project will produce a report on study findings to help practitioners evaluate the safety performance of bicycle facilities within their jurisdiction. The project deliverable will be a supplement to the Traffic Signal Guidelines for Bicycles (2014) and Bikeway Traffic Control Guidelines for Canada (2012) which will provide:

  • basic requirements for evaluating bicycle facilities;
  • case studies documenting the safety performance of various types of bicycle facilities; and
  • safety heuristics for associated bicycle facilities.

Major project objectives include:

  • Identify methods and/or measures to evaluate the safety of bicycle facilities, including the impact on all road users, such as legislative changes to police reporting requirements to include bicycle collisions with other bicycles, pedestrians, and motor vehicles.
  • Identify data requirements to undertake the evaluation to help Canadian road authorities determine the safety performance of future bicycle facilities.
  • Identify major bicycle infrastructure projects that have been undertaken in Canadian cities over the past decade to improve conditions for cyclists.
  • Document impacts on the number of cyclists that use roads or ride in neighbourhoods following infrastructure improvements.
  • Quantify impacts on the safety of cyclists, and other road users, following the implementation of bicycle infrastructure improvements.

Current funding partners for this project are: British Columbia Transportation and Infrastructure; New Brunswick Transportation and Infrastructure; Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation; Ministry of Transportation, Ontario; CITE; Town of Oakville; TransLink; Region of Waterloo and the cities of Calgary, Ottawa, Montréal and Vancouver.

Background

The increasing popularity of cycling as a mode of travel in Canada is leading many municipalities to develop new bicycle infrastructure. The goal is to improve the safety and mobility of cyclists without adversely impacting the safety and mobility of other road users such as motorists and pedestrians.

Several bicycle facility planning and design guidelines and resources already exist, including TAC’s Traffic Signal Guidelines for Bicycles (2014) and Bikeway Traffic Control Guidelines for Canada (2012). However, there is a lack of understanding specific safety impacts of different bicycle facilities in the Canadian context.

For example, the use of “elephants’ feet” markings has been gaining popularity, but safety implications for road users in Canada have not been fully evaluated. Examples of other bicycle facilities and associated traffic control devices to be evaluated include: protected bicycle lanes; separated bicycle paths; shared streets; cycling boulevards; pavement markings (e.g., sharrows); traffic signs and traffic signals for bicycles.