Thursday, December 3, 2015

Regional cycling maps not useful for majority of people

Updated:TransLink recently updated its regional cycling maps for Metro Vancouver. These maps are meant to help people choose cycling routes that they feel safe riding on. The previous versions of these cycling route maps weren't the most useful as some municipalities are very liberal in what they consider cycling-friendly. I see that this has carried through onto the most recent version of the maps.

This isn’t TransLink fault. For example, the TransLink map notes that a section of 53/51B Ave and 201A Street in Langley City have bike lanes. While that is technically true, the 53/51B “bike lane” is only about 75cm wide; I won’t risk my life in that lane. The 201A Street “bike lane” hasn’t been maintained since I’ve lived in Langley, and I would be surprise if people even knew it was there. These are just a few examples.

The new maps use a colour coding system. Purple means off-street routes, shared paths, and on-street separated bike lanes. Green means that a municipality has recognized a street as a “cycling route”, and blue means that some hard-core people use these roads for cycling.

One of the things that would makes these maps extremely useful would a clear indication of which routes are safe for people of all ages and all abilities. Using the purple routes would likely be the safest routes to take for most people.

TransLink relies on municipality-provide information. Because every municipality is different in what they consider a “cycling route”, I wouldn’t trust these maps to plot out a safe bike route without first having local knowledge of the area you are traveling in.

Metro Vancouver Cycling Map - Surrey-Langley. Select map to enlarge.

Metro Vancouver Cycling Map - Surrey-White Rock. Select map to enlarge.

1 comment:

Tim said...

Not quite true. I helped map most of the thin blue routes in Surrey and other HUB local committees had inputs into this map. Other information, namely the green routes came from municipality engineers. I agree that AAA routes need to be well marked on the map. Vancouver did a great job on their cycling map for this.