Impacts of Bicycle Infrastructure in Mid-Sized Cities

The Context

Governments are currently considering making major investments in transit, cycling and walking infrastructure, in order to alleviate the pressures of congestion, emissions, and population growth. The City of Victoria (BC, Canada) with support from the Provincial government, committed $11+ million to build an AAA active transportation network (AAA meaning “All Ages and Abilities”) of safe connected bicycle routes across the entire city to support and encourage more people who live, work, play and visit Victoria to ride bikes.  More information on current construction and future plans for the network buildout can be found on the City of Victoria website.

Research Overview

This project presents a real-world opportunity to study changes in population health, transportation patterns and spatial equity over time when a local government makes a large investment in bicycle infrastructure. Rather than looking at larger urban centers where such investment and research has typically focused in the past, this study will uniquely focus on mid-sized citiestaking a detailed look at Victoria and two comparable mid-sized cities in Canada (Kelowna and Halifax).  

The study team is interested in making the questions and answers from this study relevant and useful to local governments, city planners, related not-for-profits, cycling advocacy groups, researchers, policy-makers, and other interested stakeholders.  Findings will be shared back to municipal leaders from each study city and made available through presentations, reports and academic publications. 

Our Partners

The IBIMS team have partnered with the following local government bodies and not-for-profit groups to make this research most impactful:

  • City of Victoria
  • CRD
  • Island Health
  • Halifax Regional Municipality
  • City of Kelowna
  • Capital Bike
  • Victoria Placemaking Network
  • Halifax Cycling Coalition
  • Bicycle Nova Scotia
  • Ecology Action Centre

Funding & Support

This team has received funding from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research to carry out research activities over the years of 2016-2022 through administrative support from Simon Fraser University.  The study's Principal Investigator is Dr. Meghan Winters, lead of the Cities, Health & Active Transportation Research (CHATR) lab.

Victoria's AAA cycling network (2023).