They’re supposed to be located on streets that don’t have a lot of cars to begin with, and where cars travel slowly enough that sharing the road feels comfortable and safe for cyclists.
Bikeways have traffic calming features that prioritize bicyclists and pedestrians.
Kay Teschke, a University of British Columbia professor who has researched what types of bike facilities encourage people to ride, set up a survey of Metro Vancouver frequent, infrequent, and occasional cyclists.
She found that all types of cyclists preferred off-street paths, traffic-calmed streets when sharing the road, and facilities that separate bikes from cars on busier streets.
That helps explain why the intersection of Union and Main was a collision hotspot for the city, and why that stretch had the bikeway’s highest number of crashes between people driving and biking.
To make the route safer, Vancouver closed Union west of Main to vehicles.When complete, Vancouver’s greenway network will total about 85 miles and have 17 routes, with particular emphasis on dense, destination-rich areas like the downtown peninsula.But the goal is for every residence in the city to be within a 25-minute walk or a 10-minute bike ride from a greenway.Teschke then studied what facilities are actually safest for cyclists and found they were largely the same.Through its Transportation 2040 Plan update, the city of Vancouver started reducing car traffic on bikeways, filling critical gaps in the cycle network, adding more greenways, and creating separated cycle lanes where motor vehicle volumes were too high to safely mix bikes and cars.While it follows pleasant neighborhood streets with few cars for most of its route, it merges with a busy freight route near downtown that carries about 5,000 vehicles a day.During the summer months, about 4,000 cyclists a day use the Union street section.The city is currently focusing on making bikeways work as intended.When vehicle volumes are too high, a spot improvement program can add traffic calming features.Between 20, for instance, bicycling was the fastest growing transportation mode in Vancouver, with 40% growth in the number of trips.Ridership by girls and women increased 93% between 20.