Speed Limit Increases a Cycling Safety Concern

{{show_more?html=A few years ago, the Provincial Government increased speed limits on many sections of highway (listed below) covering 1,300 kilometres several of which are popular cycling routes and in many cases, the only reasonable route between communities. Unfortunately, the Safety and Speed Review did not evaluate the cycling conditions nor did it consider the impact of the speed limit increases on cyclists.

The Cycling in Cities review of cycling safety research concluded that:

Numerous studies found that higher motor vehicle speeds or speed limits were associated with increased injury severity for cyclists, including serious head injuries and death.

The B.C. Government's British Columbia Road Safety Strategy 2015 and Beyond acknowledges that:

Since 2002, there has been virtually no progress in achieving better injury and fatality outcomes for pedestrians and cyclists, who are among the most vulnerable and least protected types of road users.

The British Columbia Cycling Coalition had expected, as one of the first major safety related policy decisions made since the adoption of the BC Road Safety Strategy, the Safety and Speed Limit Review would result in actions and policies aimed at reducing injuries to cyclists and other vulnerable road users. However, we remain unconvinced that higher speed limits will improve the safety of people cycling.

We have serious concerns about traffic speeds on British Columbia’s roads and in particular their effect on the safety and comfort of people cycling.  The BCCC strongly recommends that before increasing the speed limits, the Province review the cycling conditions on these and other sections of highways to ensure that the cycling facilities meet or exceed the standards for the posted and actual speed of vehicles.

What is Needed

Adequate cycling facilities can be provided through a variety of means, including:

  • Physically separated bike lanes, preferably directional and properly integrated into intersection design;
  • High quality bike paths within highway rights-of-way, with safe and efficient crossings of intersecting roads;
  • A high quality bike path outside of a highway right-of-way could be an option if it involved no substantive increase in distance or grade.

Sufficient shoulder width should account for the following factors:

  • Speed of traffic on the adjacent roadway;
  • The volume of buses, large trucks and RV’s, bearing in mind wind turbulence and off-tracking on corners;
  • The presence of significant cross-winds and grades (cyclists need more space for weaving when climbing or negotiating cross-winds and avoiding obstacles when descending);
  • The presence and condition of rumble strips, drainage grates and road-side barriers, all of which can reduce useable space and collect debris;
  • How frequently debris accumulates and how quickly it is cleared.

For more information:

Speed Limits to Increase on These Sections of Highways

Fraser Valley and Fraser Canyon:

Highway 1 Whatcom Road (Exit 95) to junction with Highway 3 (74 km)
New speed limit: 110 (in effect today)
Previous speed limit: 100

Highway 1 East of Lake of the Woods Rest Area to Boston Bar (55 km)
Current speed limit: 80, 90
New speed limit: 100

Highway 1 Boston Bar to Falls Creek (24 km)
Current speed limit: 90
New speed limit: 100

Highway 7 Vehicle pull-out west of Haig Scale, Agassiz to Highway 1 junction, Hope (5 km)
Current speed limit: 90, 100
New speed limit: 100

Sea to Sky:

Highway 99 Eagle Ridge Interchange, Horseshoe Bay to south of the Stawamus River Bridge near Squamish (35 km)
Current speed limit: 80
New speed limit: 90

Highway 99 North of Depot Road, Squamish to Function Junction, Whistler (45 km)
Current speed limit: 80, 90
New speed limit: 100

Highway 99 South of Whistler Heliport Road to Pemberton Boundary (21 km)
Current speed limit: 80
New speed limit:90

Highway 99 East of Lillooet near the Pavilion Lime Plant to the Highway 97 junction (22 km)
Current speed limit: 90
New speed limit: 100

Vancouver Island:

Highway 1 Three 80 km/h sections between Bench Road, Cowichan Bay and Beck Road, north of the Nanaimo Airport (totalling 10 km)
Current speed limit: 80, 90
New speed limit: 90

Highway 19 Parksville to south of Willis Road, Campbell River (114 km)
Current speed limit: 110
New speed limit: 120

Highway 19 Duncan Bay Road to Menzies Road, Campbell River (4 km)
Current speed limit: 80
New speed limit: 90

Highway 19 Campbell River to Sullivan Road, Sayward (44 km)
Current speed limit: 90
New speed limit: 100

Highway 19 North of Campbell Way, Port McNeill to Douglas Street, Port Hardy (35 km)
Current speed limit: 80, 90
New speed limit: 100

Southern Interior:

Highway 1 Six Mile Rest Area near Tobiano to Savona (12 km)
Current speed limit: 90
New speed limit: 100

Highway 1 Chase to Hilltop Road, East of Sorrento (25 km, excluding 60 km/h section through Sorrento)
Current speed limit: 90
New speed limit: 100

Highway 1 Canoe (near Salmon Arm) to Highway 23 South, Revelstoke (58 km, excluding 60 km/h section through Sicamous)
Current speed limit: 90, 100
New speed limit: 100

Highway 1 Highway 23 North, Revelstoke to Anderson Road, Golden (101 km excluding parks)
Current speed limit: 90
New speed limit: 100

Highway 3 Start of Highway 3 (Exit 170) to junction with Highway 5 Coquihalla (7 km)
Current speed limit: 100
New speed limit: 110

Highway 3 Sunshine Valley to Manning Park East Boundary (33 km)
Current speed limit: 80, 90
New speed limit: 100

Highway 3 Sunday Summit to Whipsaw Creek, west of Princeton (22 km)
Current speed limit: 80
New speed limit: 90

Highway 5 Hope (Exit 177) to Othello Road (4 km)
New speed limit: 110 (in effect today)
Previous speed limit: 100

Highway 5 Othello Road, near Hope to Highway 1 junction, near Kamloops (200 km)
New speed limit: 120 (in effect today)
Previous speed limit: 110

Highway 5 Heffley to Little Fort (67 km, excluding 60 km/h section through Barriere)
Current speed limit: 90
New speed limit: 100

Highway 5A Old Hedley Road, north of Princeton to Highway 97C junction (36 km, excluding 70 km/h section through Aspen Grove)
Current speed limit: 80
New speed limit: 90

Highway 6 New Denver to Purdy Road, north of Hills (15 km, excluding 70 km/h section through Hills)
Current speed limit: 80
New speed limit: 90

Highway 6 Purdy Road, Hills to Upper Brouse Road, Nakusp (22 km)
Current speed limit: 90
New speed limit: 100

Highway 33 South of Gallagher Road to McCulloch Road (32 km)
Current speed limit: 90
New speed limit: 100

Highway 33 North of Highway 3 junction, Rock Creek to Westbridge (12 km)
Current speed limit: 90
New speed limit: 100

Highway 97 North of Willow Drive, 70 Mile House to BCR Overpass, 100 Mile House (37 km)
Current speed limit: 100
New speed limit: 110

Highway 97 Gatzke Road, north of Oyama to College Way, south of Vernon (16 km)
Current speed limit: 90
New speed limit: 100 - Pending completion of engineering assessment to determine if median barriers are required before implementation of the new speed limit.

Highway 97 Highway 97A junction near Swan Lake to Westside Road (6 km)
Current speed limit: 80
New speed limit: 90

Highway 97A north of Smith Drive, Armstrong to Highway 97B junction, Enderby (18 km excluding 50 km/h section through Enderby)
Current speed limit: 90
New speed limit: 100

Highway 97A Highway 97B junction, near Grindrod to Sicamous (33 km, excluding 50 km/h section through Grindrod)
Current speed limit: 80
New speed limit: 90

Highway 97C Merritt to Aspen Grove (22 km)
Current speed limit: 100
New speed limit: 110

Highway 97C Aspen Grove to Drought Hill Interchange, Peachland (78 km)
New speed limit:120 (in effect today)
Previous speed limit:110

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