Safety and Speed Review Needs to Ensure Cycling Safety is Improved


The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is undertaking a Safety and Speed Review of highways between communities in B.C. One outcome could be the raising of speed on highways, many of which are popular cycling routes and in many cases, the only reasonable route.

The British Columbia Cycling Coalition has strong concerns about traffic speeds on British Columbia’s roads and in particular their effect on the safety and comfort of people cycling.  We strongly recommend that the Province take advantage of this opportunity to ensure that cycling facilities meet or exceed the standards for the actual speed of vehicles on highways.   Unfortunately, the majority of B.C.’s highways, including some newer ones like the Sea to Sky, provide sub-standard cycling conditions.  An increase in traffic speeds would compound the difficulties cyclists already face.  We are concerned that increased speed limits would not only affect the safety of cyclists but also discourage people from cycling for transportation, recreation and tourism. This may well affect the future growth of cycling and the large quality of life and economic benefits that cycling already contributes, and is poised to further contribute, to British Columbia.

The BCCC recommends that speed limit increases not be considered on any highway unless there are adequate facilities present for cyclists of varying abilities and comfort levels and that a review of cycling facilities, maintenance procedures and cycling collisions be undertaken in conjunction with the speed limit review.

Adequate cycling facilities can be provided by a variety of means, such as:

  • Sufficiently wide paved shoulders that are well maintained and kept free of road debris.  Some of the factors bearing on sufficient width are listed below;

  • 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.

Take Action

  1. Write Minister Stone - While the public input opportunities for the Safety and Speed Review have ended, it is still a good idea to write the Hon. Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure [email protected] regarding cycling safety. Copy Transportation Critic, Claire Trevena, [email protected] and your MLA. Please relate your personal experience regarding safety issues and speed on B.C. roads.
  2. Read and endorse our Position Statement
  3. Join the BC Cycling Coalition. Your support makes our campaigns and programs possible
  4. Share this campaign widely

This entry was posted in Action, Cycling and the Law, Safety.