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2017 summer sees record cycling volumes on five major bike routes across Vancouver

September 13 2017

“The City has put huge effort into building a safe and comfortable active transportation network and it’s rewarding to see these investments pay off with record-breaking cycling ridership across the city.”

Adanac Bikeway

This July and August, Vancouver saw record cycling volumes on five of the city’s 10 fully protected bike routes, including at Science World, Adanac Bikeway (at Hawks), Hornby Bikeway (at Robson), Lions Gate Bridge, and Canada Line Pedestrian and Bike Bridge.

“It’s fantastic to see people of all ages and abilities getting around by bike on Vancouver’s world-class active transportation network, whether to commute, run errands or just get out and explore the city,” says Mayor Gregor Robertson. “The City has put huge effort into building a safe and comfortable active transportation network and it’s rewarding to see these investments pay off with record-breaking cycling ridership across the city.”

Improvements to the cycling network to make it safe, convenient, comfortable and fun for all ages and abilities is a key action in the City’s Transportation 2040 Plan.

These efforts also support Greenest City 2020 Action Plan and Healthy City Strategy targets.

Improvements over the year

Over the past year, several improvements have been made to create more opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to choose to cycle to get around the city for transportation and recreation.

Improvements include: 

  • Upgrades and additions to the downtown bike network 
  • Improvements at Quebec Street and 1st Avenue
  • Improved cycling route along SW Marine Drive (Granville to University Endowment Lands) 
  • Improvements along the Adanac Bikeway
  • The addition of the Arbutus Greenway temporary path
  • The completion of the Seaside Greenway link between Volunteer Park and Jericho Beach
  • Additional separation between people walking and cycling on the False Creek Seawall

Direct and convenient access to important destinations

Cycling routes are most useful when they connect to form a cohesive network providing direct and convenient access to important destinations like schools, community centres, libraries, transit stations, and employment and shopping areas.

Of priority cycling routes identified in the Transportation 2040, the City has now completed:

  • Comox/Helmken Greenway
  • Point Grey-Cornwall section of the Seaside Greenway
  • Spot improvements to the Union/Adanac Bikeway
  • Safety improvements to SW Marine Drive

While high volumes of people cycling can be attributed to the mild weather over the summer, recent improvements to make the City’s bike network more comfortable for people of all ages and abilities have also had a positive impact on cycling in Vancouver. 

Record cycling volumes

Record cycling volumes by location in comparison to previous record years

Bike route Previous record (years vary) Current year (2017)
Record breaking in 2017    
Science World 204,000 in August 2016 227,000 in July *
Adanac Bikeway (at Hawks) 115,000 in June 2015 120,000 in July
Hornby Bikeway (at Robson)   75,000 in August 2016 80,000 in July
Lions Gate Bridge   70,000 in June 2015 71,000 in July
Canada Line Pedestrian and Bike Bridge 28,000 in June 2015 29,000 in July
Other major routes and highest volume month in 2017    
Burrard and Cornwall   195,000 in July 2014 190,000 in August
Dunsmuir Street (Union and Main)   69,000 in August 2016 66,000 in August
Dunsmuir Viaduct   76,000 in June 2015 73,000 in July
10th Ave and Clark   82,000 in June 2015 70,000 in July 
Point Grey Road at Volunteer Park  102,000 in July 2015 99,000 in July

Data is not available for August 2017 due to technical difficulties with counter equipment.

Despite extensive construction work on Burrard Bridge and Point Grey Road over the last year, cycling volumes along those routes have remained high. 

Bike counts at Science World increased more than four times

The highest record breaker in the summer of 2017 was the Science World location. 

The bike counter at Science World was installed in March 2013 when the first bike count of 53,000 was recorded.

Only four years later, bike counts at Science World have increased more than four times that amount.

The highest monthly bike volume that has been recorded to date is 204,000, which was reached at Science World last August 2016. This Science World record was broken this July reaching 227,000.  

Science World regularly has some of the highest bike volumes in Vancouver due to its connection to four other bike routes, location at the eastern edge of the public bike share zone, proximity to the Main Street Science World SkyTrain station and its secure bike lock-up facilities, and the access to bike-friendly ferry service to other locations around False Creek. 

The City has been collecting data on protected bike routes since 2009. Data is reported out monthly and can be viewed online.  

The data includes monthly two-way totals rounded to the nearest thousand, and shows mid-week averages on 10 protected bike routes.