Cycling Spot Improvement Program

The traffic diverter at Union St and Hawks St on the busy Adanac bikeway benefited from a safety upgrade (photo by Pual Krueger)

As part of the Transportation 2040 plan, we have implemented an ongoing spot improvement program for existing bicycle routes. 

The program will help people arrive at their destinations more efficiently by improving:

  • Safety at identified "hotspots" with a high number of collisions
  • Comfort for all ages and cycling abilities
  • Capacity of the bicycle route network

Measures range from addressing maintenance issues, such as pavement quality, to reducing motor vehicle traffic and speeds on bikeways.

The spot improvement program will initially focus on bikeways with the highest number of riders, and the best potential to encourage more people to cycle.

View a map of completed spot improvements

How we inform and consult with you on improvements

We inform residents near an affected location before making improvements that will result in a minor change of traffic patterns.

When planning more substantial traffic changes, we engage with nearby residents and businesses on potential improvements. This ensures cycling safety and comfort are balanced with the needs of residents and businesses.

Current improvements

 Adanac Bikeway: Adanac Street and Renfrew Street intersection

Alexander Street Bikeway

We're planning to improve Alexander Street to make it safer and more comfortable for cyclists of all ages and abilities.

Ontario Greenway: Ontario Street and 16th Avenue intersection

We're planning improvements to the intersection. Share your thoughts on the preliminary design options by emailing or attend our Tuesday, October 27 open house.

Adanac Bikeway: Adanac Street and Renfrew Street intersection

We're installing a new pedestrian/cyclist activated traffic signal on Renfrew Street and improving the intersection for people walking and cycling on the Adanac Bikeway.

Arbutus Street and 7th Avenue intersection, and Off-Broadway Bikeway adjacent to St. Augustine's Elementary School

St. Augustine's Elementary School is expanding, and we're planning roadway improvements in the immediate area to keep the bikeway safe and comfortable for people on foot and bike.

Oak Street and 7th Avenue intersection, and Off-Broadway Bikeway between Spruce Street and Laurel Street

We're improving the intersection and bikeway to be more accessible and safe for people walking and cycling. Four options were presented at a public open house in May 2015. The miniparks
option is the recommended design.

Example cycling improvements

Green surface treatment

Green paint

In North America, green is the standard colour for cycling facilities.

Skid-resistant green paint is used to identify potential conflicts with vehicles such as street and driveway crossings. Watch for turning, crossing, or merging motor vehicles.

Locations include:

  • E 10th Ave at Clark Dr
  • Melville St at Thurlow St and W Pender St
  • Pacific St at Cambie St, Davie St, and Homer St
Rough pavement

Surface quality improvements

Abrupt edges, rough pavement, and potholes are dangerous for cyclists.

The City is increasingly using thin-lift overlays, a thin layer of asphalt spread over an existing asphalt surface to affordably extend the durability of bikeway road surfaces that have lower car traffic and wear-and-tear.

Locations include:

  • Adanac St between Nanaimo St and Garden Drive (under consideration)
Two-way stop sign

Stop sign reorientation/modification

On bikeways throughout Vancouver, most stop signs have been reoriented to make cycling more convenient and safer by giving traffic on the bicycle route the right-of-way. In other locations, stop signs have been replaced with traffic circles.

Crossing intersections becomes easier and safer as people cycling no longer have to accelerate into crossing traffic from a standstill.

In some locations, intersections will be converted from four-way to two-way stops to further increase cycling safety and convenience.

Locations include:

  • E 10th Ave at Quebec St and Pine St
  • W 8th Ave at Stephens St, Bayswater St, and Collingwood St
Speed humps help reduce speed and volume of traffic

Traffic calming

We will continue to add traffic calming measures to bicycle routes to make them safer and more comfortable for all road users.

Measures may include:

  • Speed humps
  • Raised crossings
  • Curb bulges
  • Traffic circles
Traffic diversion, such as one way streets, reduces motor vehicle volumes on local roads and creates a safer cycling experience (photo by Paul Krueger)

Traffic diversion

Cycling is most comfortable for people of all ages and abilities on routes where interactions with motor vehicles are limited. UBC studies confirm that people who are new to cycling prefer:

  • Off-street pathways (such as the Seawall)
  • Protected bike lanes (like Hornby and Dunsmuir Streets)
  • Low-traffic local streets (Ontario and Adanac Streets)

On local street bike routes, we strive to keep traffic volumes below 1,000 vehicles per day. On bikeways with higher vehicle volumes, we consider ways of reducing and diverting traffic while still providing access, using measures such as:

  • One-way streets
  • Medians
  • Street closures
  • Diagonal diverters

Locations include:

  • Union St at Clark Dr
  • Cypress St at 19th Ave
  • Ontario St at 41st Ave

In certain locations where traffic is high, we also consider ways of physically separating bicycle traffic from motor vehicle traffic.

A pedestrian crossing signal countdown timer (photo by Paul Krueger)

Other safety measures

We receive data from ICBC on a continuing basis about where motorist-cyclist collisions occur most frequently.

We are also performing a cycling safety study to determine how factors such as weather, time of day, or opening car doors into traffic affect cycling safety in Vancouver. Until the study is complete, we will continue to review the specific collision patterns in locations with with frequent collisions, and implement safety measures on a case-by-case basis.

Sample safety treatments at high-collision locations include:

  • Additional and more visible signage
  • Restricting right turns across bicycle lanes on red lights
  • Improving visibility at intersections

Contact the Cycling Spot Improvement Program

Learn more about the Transportation 2040 plan

Transportation 2040 Plan

Our plan provides a vision for how people and goods move in and around Vancouver for the next 30 years.