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.
- 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
- Greenwaves - Traffic signals synchronized to average cycling speeds
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
More on Cycle Super Highways here.
Our recommendations to the BC Government include:
- Develop guidelines and best practices for Cycle Super Highways
- Work with regions and municipalities to plan and implement Cycle Super Highways
- Include Cycle Super Highways when building and upgrading Provincial highways and bridges
- Provide regions and municipalities with assistance to design Cycle Super Highways
- 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
Norway has just announced a new network of bicycle highways to fight GHG emissions. They will connect inner cities to outer suburbs enabling long distance cycling commuting. From City Lab: As part of a plan announced last week, the country will spend a massive 8 billion Norwegian Kroner ($1.25 billion CAN) creating 10 broad, two-lane, cross-country bike tracks in and near Norway’s nine largest cities, allowing longer-distance cyclists to travel with a speed and safety hitherto impossible. A key component of plans to slash Norway’s transit emissions by half, the bike highway scheme still faces some resistance. Not only is cycling in Norway relatively uncommon by Scandinavian standards, but the new highways will be constructed in a mountainous country that is cold and dark for much of the year. These broad, twin-lane tracks will do more than offer protection, per se. They’ll allow cyclists to speed up safely, riding at up to 40 kilometers (25 miles) per hour and thus making longer commutes feasible. If they succeed, they should take pressure off roads and public transit and help to cut Norway’s fossil fuel use. The investment should be worth it—if healthier Norwegians cycle around an increasingly car-free country with low- or zero-emission vehicles as a standard, schemes like the bike highway may end up paying for themselves. Norway has around 5 million people, only around 10% more than BC. Plus the climate is similar and their current levels of cycling are not that much higher than ours. Time for BC to follow Norway's lead and invest $1 billion in cycling including similar bicycle highways to help address Climate Change and reduce congestion. Please sign the petition and share it with your friends.
Germany is building an Autobahn for bikes as a way to help nourish its growing cycling culture among commuters. When completed, the Radschnellweg (translation: "fast bike path") RS1 will be 101 km of dedicated bike path, running between the cities of Duisburg and Hamm. "The RS1 is not only a pioneer project for modern transport policy in North Rhine-Westphalia, but for all over Germany and beyond," says Ulrich Syberg, of the ADFC (a German bike association and advocate group). "When it’s ready, the world will look upon the Ruhr area and wonder, how many people can you motivate to switch from the car to the bike, and much this will relieve congestion in city centers." More at: http://bigthink.com/natalie-shoemaker/germany-is-building-a-62-mile-bicycle-highway We need Cycle Super Highways like this in BC. Help make them happen. Please sign the Cycling and Walking for Everyone petition and share it with your friends, family and co-workers.
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