Cycle Highways


Cycle Super Highways (also know as Bicycle Superhighways) are high standard and continuous paved bicycle routes designed to reduce travel times and thus facilitate long distance (5-20 km) cycling trips. They connect communities and major destinations including residential areas, concentrations of jobs, schools and public transit.

Especially when combined with the use of electric bicycles, Cycle Super Highways can dramatically increase the distances people are willing to ride thus significantly reducing the use of motor vehicles.

Features include:

  • Separate, high standard paths reserved for cycling separated from pedestrians and motor vehicles
  • Two-way cycleway, separate lanes, 3.0 to 4.0m wide depending on volumes
  • Design speeds of up to 40km/h on flat sections, higher on downhill
  • Requirements for maximum grades and minimum curve radii.
  • High operating and maintenance standards including frequent snow, ice and debris removal
  • Grade separated crossings (overpasses or underpasses) of major roads and highways
  • Few stops
  • Lighting
  • Greenwaves - Traffic signals synchronized to average cycling speeds

Cycling Embassy of Denmark

Keys to success is cost-sharing funding from senior levels of government and a coordinating body that can help ensure that routes are of a consistent high quality across jurisdictions.

While even with Cycle Super Highways, the mode share of longer trips by bicycle will likely be lower than that of shorter trips, the benefits of longer trips by bike are much greater both from a transportation and an environmental point of view. For example, one 15km bike trip replacing a car trip has 5 times the GHG emissions reductions as a 3km. Basically getting 4% of 15km trips by bike will have pretty much the same benefits as 20% of 3km trips by bike.

Cycle Super Highways have been implemented or are being planning in countries including:

  • Netherlands:15 implemented, 20 planned
  • London: 12 planned
  • Australia: planned in Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane
  • Germany: 1 under construction, Munich: 14 planned
  • Copenhagen

More on Cycle Super Highways here.

Our recommendations to the BC Government include:

  1. Develop guidelines and best practices for Cycle Super Highways 
  2. Work with regions and municipalities to plan and implement Cycle Super Highways
  3. Include Cycle Super Highways when building and upgrading Provincial highways and bridges
  4. Provide regions and municipalities with assistance to design Cycle Super Highways 
  5. Provide funding for  Cycle Super Highways

Possible Cycle Super Highways for British Columbia include:

  • BC Parkway
  • Central Valley Greenway
  • Portside Greenway, Ironworkers Memorial Bridge, Mountain Highway Interchange
  • North Shore Spirit Trail
  • Lochside Trail
  • Galloping Goose
  • E and N Trail
  • Massey Bridge and Highway 99
  • Ironworkers Memorial Bridge and Highway 1

Share your ideas for Cycle Super Highways in BC and examples of Cycle Super Highways elsewhere

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A Billion for Bikes - Cycling for Everyone Petition

I call upon the Government of BC to enable everyone in BC to cycle & walk in safety as part of their daily lives by implementing an Active Transportation Strategy that includes:

  • Investing $1 billion over the next ten years to:
    • Upgrade cycling & walking facilities on provincial roads & bridges
    • Complete cycling & walking networks in communities across BC
    • Provide safe routes to school for children
    • Build trails & routes for cycling & walking tourism
  • Ensuring that paths & protected bike lanes can be safely shared by people using wheelchairs, skateboards & in-line skates
  • Enhancing cycling education for children & adults
  • Promoting cycling & walking
  • Encouraging electric bike use by eliminating the PST & providing rebates
777 needed to reach 6,000

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