An Astonishing Traffic Problem Quantified

From May 13-22, fourteen resident volunteers took a total of forty-five 15-minute traffic counts of 16 modes of transportation. The open-source data is available for anyone to analyze on counterpoint.org using the neighbourhood filter Kitsilano. The results were astonishing.

Our Kits Point traffic count measured a peak rate of 212 cyclists in a 15-minute increment, equivalent to 8,500 per day! This puts a Kits Point local street bikeway on par with the busiest cycling facilities in Vancouver—Beach Ave, Burrard Bridge and the Science World Greenway, each of the others being protected bike lanes.

71% is Active Transportation

We counted 3,477 bikes, 2,502 pedestrians, 2,625 car/trucks and 15 oversize vehicles. In total, 8,619 mode counts. Within the pedestrian total, 600 pedestrians per hour shared peripheral streets, not counting those using the Seawall, and there were five physically impaired persons, three visually impaired and four in wheelchairs. As shown below, 71% is active transportation.

Counts are a Lot Higher than Expected

As you would expect, all modes of transportation are highest on the weekends, peaking between 1:00 pm and 7:00 pm. The following are the highest 15-minute counts recorded on May 15, 16 or 22 at various intersections, streets or Seawall locations on the Point.

To convert to hourly data, multiply by 4; for daily approximation, multiply by 40.

Safety Guidelines are Exceeded by 600%

About 600 vehicles per hour are doing the Parking Circle-Dance in Kits Point. CoV transportation guidelines specify that local street bikeways with up to 100 vehicles per hour may be considered AAA (All Ages and Abilities) after carefully considering speed, parking turnover and passing opportunities. Kits Point exceeds this guideline by 600%.

Our count shows 8,500 bikes per day (850 bikes per hour) are sharing local streets with cars and pedestrians. On routes where it is not possible to achieve low motor-vehicle volumes, CoV transportation guidelines require separation of bikes from vehicles. Widths of 4.5 metres are recommended where two-way bike volumes are expected to be greater than 7,500 bikes per day (750 bikes per hour).

How Do We Resolve This?

To examine alternatives, vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian traffic monitoring programs are critical to gather the volume data needed for high-quality safety-performance analysis, both to address immediate issues and to establish a baseline prior to the arrival of our new neighbours at Sen̓áḵw.

Over the next few weeks, we hope to add to this dataset so that we may constructively discuss traffic impact assessments and Greenway alternatives with the Park Board, CoV and Vancouver Plan staff. Please contact traffic@kpra.ca if you too would like to help count.