Cycle highways

As part of UnGaptheMap, HUB Cycling is encouraging the introduction of bold and innovative infrastructure to connect Metro Vancouver’s cycling network. 

One such solution is cycle highways which are getting more people biking in countries such as Denmark, Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, and the UK. Cycle highways are suitable for all ages and abilities and provide direct, safe routes across longer distances, connecting communities and major destinations, such as jobs, schools, and public transit. 

Cycle highways are:

  • Continuous paved and lit paths (5-20+ kilometres in length) which are separated from pedestrians and motor vehicles and reserved for people cycling
  • Designed for all ages and abilities (AAA) with minimum widths and curve radii
  • Include minimal stops or intersections and have grade-separated crossings Include minimal stops or intersections and have grade-separated crossings

Cycle highways can help increase the number of people cycling, while greatly reducing roadway congestion and greenhouse gases.

There are several routes throughout Metro Vancouver where cycle highways could be implemented, including:

  • Lower Lynn Interchanges (North Shore)
  • Portside Greenway, Ironworkers Memorial Bridge, Mountain Highway Interchange (Vancouver, Burnaby, North Shore)
  • Massey Bridge and Highway 99 (Delta / Richmond)
  • Parallel to Lougheed Highway, Coquitlam to Maple Ridge Ironworkers Memorial Bridge and Highway 1 (North Shore / Vancouver)
  • BC Parkway (Surrey / New Westminster / South Burnaby / Vancouver)

Cycle highways in action

Cycle highways have proved successful in getting more people to cycle both around the world and in BC. Below are some examples of what can be achieved with this innovative solution:

Lochside and Galloping Goose Trails (Vancouver Island) 

Lochside Trail, Vancouver Island

Running on old rail lines and greenways from Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal, through Saanich and Victoria, and ending in Sooke, parts of these trails resemble cycle highways, with paved, off-street pathways and grade-separated crossings;

Currently in Metro Vancouver the closest thing we have to a cycling highway is sections of the Central Valley Greenway (CVG) and BC Parkway. Both routes are long and wide enough to accomodate cycle highways, where paved, and lit paths with separation between people cycling and pedestrians could be implemented. 

 

The Abertslund Route, Denmark

This route is one of 28 cycle super highways in Denmark, running 17.5 kilometres from the Municipality of Abertslund to downtown Copenhagen. 

Spanning approximately 500 kilometres, Denmark's cycle superhighways include on-route amenties such as bike pumps, while traffic signals that priortize cycling (known as a 'green wave') reduce wait times at intersections and junctions. These new routes are especially beneficial for people who are making journeys that are over five kilometres in length and once complete will increasee the number of cycle lanes in Greater Copenhagen by 15 percent, and reduce public expenditures by EUR 40.3 million ($57 million CAD)!

 

Ruhr Region, Germany 

Cycle highways are planned throughout Germany as part of an ambitious 100 kilometre regional cycling strategy. 

Major cities beyond the Ruhr Area, including Frankfurt, Berlin, Munich, and Nuremburg are considering connecting their city cores to the surrounding suburbs with cycle highways. According to the Regional Association Rhur, Germany's cycle highway network is expected to remove 50,000 motor vehicles from the road, resulting in an annual reduction of about 16,000 tones of Co2 emmisions. 

 

How you can help 

You can support our cycle highways campaign by emailing your MLA and BC’s elected leaders and asking them to consider and allocate funding for cycle highways in all new projects.

With your support, cycle highways could play a major role in achieving the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s cycling policy objectives and significantly ungapping Metro Vancouver’s cycling network.