Edmonton’s Downtown Protected Bicycle Network – CARSP Conference – Sarah Freigang
Sarah Freigang is an award winning Transportation Planner who works in our Vancouver office and specializes in multi-modal transportation planning, active transportation, and road safety. Sarah will be presenting at this year’s Canadian Association of Road Safety Professionals (CARSP) conference that will be held in Calgary from May 26th to 29th. The theme of this year’s conference is Vision Zero. What is Vision Zero? From the CARSP website, “Vision Zero got its roots in Sweden, where the approach has resulted in noteworthy successes – Sweden has one of the lowest annual rates of road deaths in the world (2.8 out of 100,000 as compared to 6.0 in Canada and 10.6 in the United States).” The transportation safety studies Sarah has worked on focus on road safety for people walking and cycling, while reviewing the impact of active transportation infrastructure on safety of all road users. For more information about Sarah’s important road safety work in Edmonton that she will sharing on May 29th, read more below.
Edmonton’s Downtown Protected Bicycle Network – In-Service Road Safety Review
In 2014, Edmonton’s City Council approved the 2014 – 2018 Bicycle Infrastructure Plan, which identified the need to build high quality bicycle facilities in the core areas of the city to encourage more people to cycle. In 2016, the City commissioned a feasibility study that investigated the rapid implementation of a downtown grid network of ‘All Ages and Abilities’ (‘AAA’) bicycle facilities using relatively low-cost ‘adjustable’ infrastructure. The resulting Downtown Bicycle Network was installed between June and August of 2017. Upon installation, an In-Service Road Safety Review (ISRSR) was commissioned to monitor and evaluate the operations and safety for all road users (including people cycling, people walking, and people driving) in a variety of seasonal conditions and at different times of the day.
This ISRSR documents the identified safety issues and presents possible mitigation measures for the City’s consideration. The mitigation measures focus on addressing safety issues associated with the existing bicycle facilities, including potential adjustments to the current treatments, and considerations for future all ages and abilities cycling projects. The intent is to provide safe and comfortable facilities for all road users.
The purpose of this study was to conduct an independent and objective review of the safety performance of the Downtown Bicycle Network that was installed in 2017 using the ISRSR methodology. The methodology included:
1. Conducting on-site observations on four separate occasions in different seasons, weather conditions, and in daylight and nighttime conditions. Observations were made from a variety of user perspectives at each site visit (by motor vehicle, on foot, and on bike).
2. Conduct video analyses at select locations (seven).
3. To obtain input from key internal and external stakeholders and to review survey and 311 feedback from the general public about their experience with the safety of the Downtown Bicycle Network.
4. To review and analyze collision and ridership data before and after installation of the Downtown Bicycle Network.
5. Use the information collected to identify safety issues and develop mitigation measures.
Based on a review of pre and post installation collision data provided, Edmonton’s Downtown Cycling Network is operating very well with significant safety benefits observed for all road users. Over the first year of operation the Downtown Cycling Network saw a 36% decrease in monthly collisions for all road users along the network.