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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Cartographically Speaking – Safety in Numbers: Why a Bike Lane in Kitsilano?


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Infographic courtesy of Jen Cook and Holly Foxcroft.


By Jen Cook & Holly Foxcroft

In the heart of Kitsilano, a rumbling started to occur in reaction to the city project to create a safe link between the Burrard Bridge to Jericho Beach. The project would connect the Seaside Greenway from coal harbour to Jericho beach, addressing a large gap in the 28 km cycling infrastructure. Currently cycling on Point Grey and Cornwall is dangerous as cars move too quickly, the right of way is too narrow for all the road users (cars, cyclists, and pedestrians) and conflicts between users are all too common.

A strong opposition campaign mobilized that started to speculate about cycling, generally, and cycling in Kitsilano, in particular. Speculation was along the following lines – do people really bike in Vancouver? Are separated bike lanes used, or are they a waste of space? Why would cyclists need to have another cycling route when there are two others located in close proximity?

We developed this infographic as a tool for us to tell our story in a concise and meaningful way that was accessible to everyone. It addresses the speculation and highlights the connection between safety and cycling. When safety is improved, there are more cyclists and this is especially true for women and girls.

John Pucher, an MIT professor and cycling researcher, found in his research that women are the ‘indicator’ species of cycling. In an interview with him the European Cyclist Federation noted: “In cities where a high percentage of bike trips are by women, overall rates of cycling are high, and cycling conditions are safe, convenient, and comfortable.  Where few women cycle, overall rates of cycling are low, and cycling conditions are unsafe, inconvenient, uncomfortable, and sometimes outright impossible.”

You can read more here.


Jen Cook and Holly Foxcroft are active members in our community, taking steps to shape our urban realm.