Active Transportation

Urban Systems will be nicely represented at the CITE conference – June 5th to 8th

The 2016 Canadian Institute of Transportation Engineers (CITE) Conference will be held in beautiful Kelowna BC from June 5th to 8th. The conference program theme – Connecting Lifestyles – is very well suited to the Okanagan region as it will focus on how the transportation profession is proactively connecting our lives with our communities and economies.

4 Urban Systems professionals, Sarah Freigang, Brian Patterson, Ian Roth and Jeremy Finkleman will be speaking at the conference. Each presentation abstract is listed below.


Vancouver Cycling Safety Study and Action Plan: How the City of Vancouver is Pro-Actively Improving Cycling Safety Throughout the City

Monday June 6th, 1:30 – 3:00 PM

Sarah Freigang – Transportation Planner

This study is one of the most comprehensive analyses of cycling collision data that has ever been conducted, and provides a critical, evidence-based safety rationale to improve cycling infrastructure throughout the City of Vancouver. The study provided insight into the nature of cyclist-involved collisions that in some cases supported City staff’s previous understanding of how, where and when these collisions were happening and in other cases provided new insight.

Sarah’s presentation will share the findings of the Cycling Safety Study, with a focus on what other communities can learn from the results and how they can conduct similar analyses and/or apply the findings from this study to improve safety in their communities. This study was recently recognized by the Planning Institute of BC (PIBC) and awarded a 2016 Gold Award of Excellence

BIKETORIA – How The City of Victoria is Rapidly Implementing a City-Wide Network of All Ages and Abilities Bikeways to Connect the City

Monday June 6th, 1:30 – 3:00 PM

Brian Patterson – Transportation Planner

The City of Victoria has always been supportive of cycling; however, the City’s current Council has made an unprecedented commitment to building a multi-modal and active transportation network that is safe and comfortable for people of all ages and abilities and that connects all neighbourhoods and destinations in the City. To reinforce their commitment, Council has approved the largest financial investment in cycling infrastructure in the City’s history. In addition, Council recently adopted the City’s Strategic Plan which states that “by 2018, Victoria will be a national leader for cycling infrastructure and complete streets planning, with completed all ages and abilities cycling network connecting all neighbourhoods and village centres.” By building a complete All Ages and Abilities cycling network that connects major destinations throughout the City, Victoria can be one of the world’s most active, healthy, and happy small cities.

#BIKETORIA is a project that is bringing City Council’s bold vision and commitment to life. Through this project, the City is planning a city-wide network of All Ages and Abilities bicycle facilities, and developing detailed conceptual designs for 8 priority corridors for rapid implementation by 2018.

We’ve recently produced a video titled, “What is #Biketoria”, Brian describes our role in the project.

Planning a Complete Streets Project in the City of Castlegar

Ian Roth will be co-presenting with Chris Barlow, Director of Engineering for the City of Castlegar
Tuesday June 7th, 1:30 – 3:00 PM

Ian Roth – Transportation Engineer

The City of Castlegar is a relatively small community with big plans for enhancing the quality of life for its residents through active transportation design. Columbia Avenue (Hwy 22) is a vital corridor that runs the length of Castlegar within both the City and BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI) jurisdictions. A number of underground utility and above ground upgrades are needed to maintain and support this key connection.

As with many provincial highways, this corridor is mainly oriented around the automobile with limited infrastructure for pedestrians, cyclists, scooters, and other forms of active transportation. Further, there are few alternative routes for active modes and none provide a continuous route to travel across the community. With mounting evidence surrounding the economic, social, and environmental costs of the automobile and the impacts to health, the City is taking proactive action by designing and building an integrated complete streets project along Columbia Avenue with a two-way cycle track, widened sidewalks, and updated laning across the entire length of the community.

At Urban Systems, we are assisting the City in undertaking this planning process involving grant funding applications, conceptual designs, public consultation, and project planning to help Castlegar realize its vision of an inclusive and safe community to travel in. Once finished, the complete street project is envisioned to not only service as a safe, sustainable, and vibrant corridor for active modes, but also as a place where people gather, socialize, and encourage others to include active transportation in their lives.

The Fifth Mode – Trip and System Characteristics of One-Way Car Sharing

Tuesday, June 7th, 3:30 – 5:00 PM

Jeremy Finkleman – Transportation Planner

As North American cities evolve and mature, car sharing has become an emerging transportation alternative that has begun to play a much larger role in the overall transportation network. By comparison to its competitors, Car2go occupies a unique position in this new market as it is the only car sharing service that offers point-to-point (i.e. one way) travel with billing by the minute. Car2go’s business model provides travellers with the freedom of movement associated with private automobile travel without the associated burden of paying for parking. It conceptually allows trip segments to be unbundled, allowing the traveller the flexibility of using a car when it is most needed, and discarding it in favour of public transit where it is less efficient. With its ease of use, point-to-point car sharing is developing into a fifth mode of urban travel alongside walking, cycling, public transit, and the private automobile.

An essential component of Car2go’s system is its easy-to-use mobile app which maps the location of vehicles in real-time. System users are able to quickly determine the location of vehicles, find a vehicle nearest them, and make a free 30 minute booking. Real time vehicle location information can be easily downloaded by the public and forms the basis for studying the mechanics of point-to-point car sharing employed in this study.

An Urban Systems team led by Jeremy proceeded to use geo-snapshots of Car2Go’s publicly available real time vehicle location information. These snapshots record the precise latitude/longitude of available vehicles by license plate at various time intervals throughout the day. The data that emerged revealed system usage patterns, average trip distance, vehicle availability and more.

Jeremy will discuss the detailed research his team pieced together along with lessons learned and how the research could be used for broader discussions on point-to-point car sharing within the fields of transportation planning and engineering.

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