2021 Abstracts – Research & Evaluation Stream

January 19, 2021   |   Categories:

2021 Research and Evaluation Abstracts/Papers


Title of Abstract

Floating bus stops – Are they improving the safety of all road users?

Background

In 2016, the City of Victoria constructed a 1.2-kilometre bicycle facility on Pandora Avenue from Cook Street to Store Street and replaced the curbside bus stops with ‘floating bus stops’. Floating bus stops are transit stops where the boarding platform is separated from the sidewalk by a bicycle facility. The bicycle facility installed on Pandora Avenue is bidirectional and separated from the adjacent motor vehicle lanes. This configuration requires pedestrians to cross the bicycle facility to access the floating bus stops, which exposes them to potential conflicts with cyclists. Nine marked and raised crosswalks are installed across the bicycle facility on Pandora Avenue, comprising five midblock crossings and four pedestrian crossings at the floating bus stops. These marked pedestrian crossings are controlled with PEDESTRIAN CROSSWALK signs, giving the right-of-way to pedestrians over cyclists.
On July 4, 2018, a complaint from Oriano Belusic on behalf of the members of the Canadian Federation of the Blind (the ‘Class’), was filed to the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal alleging that the floating stops discriminated against blind people.

Aims

In response to this complaint filed against the City of Victoria, I (Alexandre Nolet) was engaged to provide an expert opinion on the safety of the bicycle facility on Pandora Avenue. Following the submission of the safety review, a human rights tribunal hearing took place in August 2020, as part of which I testified over two days as an expert in the area of road safety with special expertise in Active Transportation.

Methods

This project involved the review of the documents provided by both parties (plaintiff and defense), a review of design standards, guidelines and policies, and a detailed safety assessment of the subject corridor.

Results

A court decision was rendered on November 13, 2020 (Belusic obo Canadian Federation of the Blind v. City of Victoria and another (No. 4), 2020 BCHRT 197). The decision concluded that the bicycle facility on Pandora Avenue is compliant with the most recent design guidelines but that the available design guidelines do not consider the safety of visually impaired, who are unable to hear cycle traffic. The court decision found that the City of Victoria has discriminated against the blind people at the floating bus stops and indicated that pedestrian activated audible flashing beacons are to be implemented until technologies that provide “fully guaranteed protection” of blind pedestrians become available.

Discussion

The use of floating bus stops is a type of facility that is becoming more common in Canada as it minimizes conflicts between bicycle movements and the bus boarding/alighting operations and improves transit operations. However, this decision could significantly slow down the implementation of this type of facility in British Columbia and require additional treatments to be installed at other existing facilities. Another potential implication of this decision is that it may require various transportation associations and authorities to review and change their design guidelines to better consider the safety of blind pedestrians.

Conclusions

This presentation will focus on the following items:
- Present the key findings of our safety review, which concluded that the implementation of separated bicycle lanes on Pandora Avenue improved connectivity, access to popular destinations, and conflict frequency.
- Discuss the implications of the decision on the existing configuration of Pandora Avenue.
- Describe the potential implications of the decision on similar facilities and on existing active transportation design guidelines.


What do you intend to be your final submission? Slide Deck Presentation (e.g. PowerPoint)

What Topic does your paper relate to? Traffic Engineering/Road Design


Abstract Review

2021 Abstracts - Research & Evaluation Reviews







Because you are recommending that the author switch streams, if the majority of reviewers agree, we will be asking the author to re-submit the abstract in the recommended stream. We will then ask you to review the revised abstract. If, however, the majority of the reviewers do not recommend this, we will at that time ask you to review the current abstract. Thank-you.

Review Questions

Where 1 is Not Acceptable, 3 is Acceptable and 5 is Excellent

Where 1 is Not at all relevant and 5 is Highly relevant

Where 1 is Not at all useful, 3 is Somewhat useful, and 5 is Very Useful