Vancouver is officially on its way to becoming the urban bike capital of Canada.
A new report shows that Vancouverites now make more than 100,000 bike trips per day, tops in all of Canada. We even beat out much larger Toronto, where riders make 96,000 daily trips. In Vancouver, bike trips now account for more than 4 percent of all journeys made by any form of transportation.
The report by the Pembina Institute takes a deep look at Vancouver’s bike infrastructure (as well as cities across Canada), exploring both strengths and weaknesses. It turns out the city has plenty to be proud about when it comes to biking.
Downtown Vancouver boasts the most bike lanes of any downtown core in the country, with a total of 37.1 kilometres, including 8.5 kilometres of fully separated lanes. Overall, the city also has Canada’s “densest” bike network, with 2.5 kilometres of bike lanes per square kilometre. While other cities do have more total bike infrastructure, they also cover a much larger physical area.
Especially good news for cyclists is that Vancouver has the lowest bicycle crash rate in the country. The city reports fewer than one crash for every 100,000 bike trips. (For comparison, Montreal averages seven crashes per 100,000 trips.) Of course, this does still mean that roughly one Vancouver cyclist per day is involved in a crash, so there’s room for improvement.
The report suggests that another aspect of Vancouver cycling that needs work is the seawalls. A surge in foot and bicycle traffic along the seawalls that surround both Stanley Park and False Creek has led to increasing collisions and conflicts between cyclists and pedestrians. The report recommends widening paths, as well as routing cyclists seeking faster routes along streets that run parallel to the seawall.