The Cities, Health, and Active Transportation Research (CHATR) Lab, led by FHS professor Meghan Winters, has developed an interactive mapping tool that categorizes bicycle infrastructure in communities throughout B.C. Photo: Paul Krueger

Interactive mapping tool documents bicycle infrastructure in B.C. communities

October 13, 2022

People may think of Vancouver or Victoria when the phrase “bike-friendly city” is mentioned. However, a new interactive tool designed to track bicycle infrastructure across B.C. shows that different cities also stand out.

Surrey has 500 kilometres of bicycle infrastructure spanning its large land area – the most of any municipality in B.C. Per capita, Whistler offers the most bicycle infrastructure—four meters—per person, while the relatively small City of North Vancouver scores highest for density of infrastructure.

Kelowna tops other B.C. cities for proportion of road network with bicycle infrastructure, offering 149 metres of bicycle infrastructure for every kilometre of roads and trails.

Simon Fraser University (SFU) researchers launched their new interactive mapping tool to categorize bicycle infrastructure in communities across B.C.

FHS professor and CHATR Lab lead Meghan Winters

Created by SFU’s Cities, Health & Active Transportation Research (CHATR) Lab, led by Faculty of Health Sciences professor Meghan Winters, this B.C.-focused tool is based on work to map bicycle infrastructure for communities across Canada. The tool addresses a data gap that is hindering research, practice, and advocacy efforts.

“Only some communities – mainly larger ones – have capacity to maintain maps or open data of bicycle infrastructure,” says Winters. “We built this tool with the aim to address data gaps we were hearing about from municipal staff and advocates, especially in smaller communities.”

“Each community uses different names for bicycle infrastructure, which makes comparisons across jurisdictions very hard,” says Winters. “We built this tool from open data sources, so it can provide seamless coverage across municipal boundaries.”

CHATR Lab’s built their tool using OpenStreetMap, and applied the Canadian Bikeway Comfort and Safety (Can-BICS) classification, which acknowledges that certain types of routes are safer, and preferred by more people.

The classification identifies high comfort (cycle tracks, bike paths, and local street bikeways), medium comfort (multi-use paths), and low comfort (painted bike lanes) facilities.

Across B.C. communities, Vancouver has most high comfort infrastructure at nearly 250 kilometres, largely through its network of residential street bikeways.

CHATR designed this tool together with partners at the B.C. Cycling Coalition (BCCC), who work to support communities to advocate for and deliver safer cycling across B.C. “We are very excited to work with SFU’s CHATR Lab to spread the word about this tool and use it to increase local input and help local advocates learn from each other,” says BCCC executive director Mike Koski.

The beta version of the tool is available at, and the data is also open for download. Those who would like to contribute data from their communities, reach out to CHATR Lab to start a conversation.

The project was supported by the Public Health Agency of Canada.