The 25 most dangerous intersections for cyclists in Vancouver

“You just always have to be careful, because cars are not looking after you,” said one cyclist.

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Yvonne Hii, who regularly bikes in the city, guesses that she is cut off by cars making right turns “probably one in 10 times” she bikes.

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“It’s usually people who cut the corner and don’t see the cyclists,” she said.

Hii said safety has certainly improved since the city widened bike paths, and as drivers, cyclists and pedestrians learned to navigate them. But she said she still has to be careful.

A new analysis of bike rides in Vancouver showed that the expanded bike network has improved overall safety, and now many of the most dangerous intersections are outside the city’s existing bike network.

The report, prepared by Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE), gives “a much better sense” of how many cyclists are passing through potentially problematic intersections, said Gavin Davidson, planning manager at HUB Cycling, a cycling advocate group associated with the report.

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“This really helps increase the research we’ve done,” he said, “by looking at the number of collisions involving cyclists across the region.”

Clark Drive and East 1st Avenue – an intersection with no bike paths of any kind – had the highest accident rate in the city with 9.3 collisions per hour. million bike rides from 2015-20. Bicycle routes cross Clark Drive north and south of East 1st Avenue, but require significant detours.

In downtown Vancouver, there were 23 accidents involving cyclists at the intersection between Dunsmuir and Hornby (approximately 7.4 accidents per million bike rides) from 2015-2020 – the highest of all intersections with existing cycling infrastructure in the study. A protected cycle path at Hornby ends at Dunsmuir, and the junction has heavy bicycle and vehicle traffic, both of which probably contribute to the high collision rate.

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“They have people coming north on a downhill, and people trying to awkwardly turn left,” Hii said. “Cars, I think they just do not know what to do with it.”

Granville Street and SW Marine Drive – where a protected bike path ends in a common street (effectively a bike icon painted on the road) – had the second highest collision rate with 7.9 collisions per day. million bike rides in the same period.

According to Dr. Melissa Lem, a family physician and newly elected president of CAPE, the most dangerous streets are typically heavily trafficked roads. “They tend to have more turning lanes, so plenty of opportunities for cars to turn into cyclists,” she said.

Four of the top 25 high-risk intersections for cyclists are along Main Street, a high-traffic route where bicycles and cars share a street with only one painted line separating the two.

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“The way to improve cyclists’ safety is to add bike paths,” Lem said.

In an email response, city officials wrote that the current bike network plan considers several factors in addition to safety, including “direct, network connectivity, delivery capability, equestrian potential, and fairness.”

Officials wrote that they would “consider the sites identified by CAPE, in addition to looking at other sites based on our own security review and all the other factors listed.”

The city has invested millions of dollars in bicycle infrastructure since 2006, including about 80 kilometers of AAA bike lanes, the gold standard for cycling infrastructure. Prices vary depending on the complexity of the project, but can run up to $ 2.8 million per mile.

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That investment has paid off. Six percent of commuting trips in Vancouver were made by bicycle in 2016, up from 3.7 percent in 2006, one of the highest rates in any major Canadian city and something both Lem and Davidson attributed to the safe and extensive bicycle network that the city has . invested in.

“We have to praise the city,” Davidson said. “They have been quite systematic compared to places where a large number of collisions with cyclists occur.”

“They’re starting to design routes that are more high-profile,” he said, “and these routes are starting to attract more people to start cycling.”

“It’s more wins,” Lem said. “Anything that gets people out of cars burning fossil fuels, up on bikes or on foot, will be good for air pollution and climate.”

ngriffiths@postmedia.com

twitter.com/njgriffiths


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