Research Papers

Safety Review: Edmonton's Downtown Protected Bicycle Network

Version 1
Date added June 18, 2019
Downloaded 0 times/fois
Category 2019 CARSP XXIX Calgary
Tags Research and Evaluation, Session 6B
Author/Auteur Freigang
Stream/Volet Research and Evaluation
Slidedeck Presentation Only:



Background/Context: In 2014, Edmonton's City Council approved the 2014 - 2018 Bicycle Infrastructure Plan, which identified the need to build high quality bicycle facilities in the core areas of the city to encourage more people to cycle. In 2016, the City commissioned a feasibility study that investigated the rapid implementation of a downtown grid network of All Ages and Abilities (AAA) bicycle facilities using relatively low-cost adjustable infrastructure. The resulting Downtown Bicycle Network was installed between June and August of 2017. Upon installation, an In-Service Road Safety Review (ISRSR) was commissioned to monitor and evaluate the operations and safety for all road users (including people cycling, people walking, and people driving) in a variety of seasonal conditions and at different times of the day.

Aims/Objectives: This ISRSR documents the identified safety issues and presents possible mitigation measures for the City's consideration. The mitigation measures focus on addressing safety issues associated with the existing bicycle facilities, including potential adjustments to the current treatments, and considerations for future all ages and abilities cycling projects. The intent is to provide safe and comfortable facilities for all road users.

Methods/Targets: The purpose of this study was to conduct an independent and objective review of the safety performance of the Downtown Bicycle Network that was installed in 2017 using the ISRSR methodology. The methodology included:

  1. Conducting on-site observations on four separate occasions in different seasons, weather conditions, and in daylight and nighttime conditions. Observations were made from a variety of user perspectives at each site visit (by motor vehicle, on foot, and on bike).
  2. Conduct video analyses at select locations (seven).
  3. To obtain input from key internal and external stakeholders and to review survey and 311 feedback from the general public about their experience with the safety of the Downtown Bicycle Network.
  4. To review and analyze collision and ridership data before and after installation of the Downtown Bicycle Network.
  5. Use the information collected to identify safety issues and develop mitigation measures.

Results/Activities: Based on a review of pre and post installation collision data provided, Edmonton's Downtown Cycling Network is operating very well with significant safety benefits observed for all road users. Over the first year of operation the Downtown Cycling Network saw a 36% decrease in monthly collisions for all road users along the network.

Based on discussions with stakeholders and observations by the ISRSR team, it was the conclusion of the ISRSR team that that the implementation of the Downtown Bicycle Network (the installation of protected bicycle lanes, shared spaces and shared pathways) has improved both real and perceived safety for all road users along the study corridors. While the two-way cycle track design on a two-way street is not necessarily best practice, the current design functions well except at a few localized locations. In addition, the Downtown Bicycle Network has resulted in significant increases in cycling volumes in the City's downtown.

Discussion/Deliverables: Based on observations and stakeholder feedback, the final report documented the identified safety issues and presented suggested prioritized mitigation measures to address the safety issues for the City's consideration. The suggested mitigation measures focused on addressing issues associated with the existing facilities, but also considered opportunities associated with potential upgrades to permanent facilities, and considerations for potential future cycle track projects.

Conclusions: Concern for safety is one of the most important deterrents to increasing cycling. By conducting this project, the City is demonstrating its commitment to a sustainable transportation system and the high degree of importance placed on vulnerable road users in creating a safe, multi-modal transportation system. By focusing on targeted improvements to improve cycling safety, the City can help to make cycling more convenient, attractive, safe, and normal way to travel through the City. This project will help the City to achieve its targets related to increasing the mode share of sustainable transportation and reducing traffic related injuries and fatalities."