How many cyclists are using Victoria's bike lanes?
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Tuesday, April 30, 2019 3:03PM PDT
Last Updated Thursday, May 2, 2019 6:43PM PDT
For nearly a year, South Island cyclists have had access to Victoria's first two protected bike lanes.
In May 2018, a protected bike lane on Fort Street opened, becoming the second protected lane in Victoria.
A year earlier, Pandora's protected lane opened, marking the first protected cycling corridor in the capital city.
The City of Victoria has a counter set up along Pandora Avenue and Fort Street to monitor the number of trips each bike route sees in a day.
The city would not disclose where the counters are over fears the devices could be damaged or people would try to manipulate the numbers, but it did provide a daily breakdown of how many trips each bike route has seen since opening.
The city says the counters are in effect 24/7 and the data is downloaded monthly.
Between Pandora and Fort, there is no question more cyclists use Pandora.
Numbers from the City of Victoria show that in the roughly 11 months Fort Street's protected bike lane has been open, it has seen approximately half the cycling trips compared to Pandora's bike lane.
Between May 2018 and March 2019, the Fort Street bike lane averaged 577 trips per day, well below Pandora's daily average of 1,108 trips per day since opening.
Fort Street's busiest month was July 2018 when the bike lane saw more than 25,000 trips.
Following July, the number of trips on Fort Street gradually declined month-over-month from August to January 2019.
Fall and winter conditions are likely factors in the declining numbers but Sarah Webb, the city's Manager of Sustainable Transportation Planning and Development, said there are other explanations.
"Fort Street stands out on its own right now, whereas Pandora is connected to the Johnson Street Bridge and over to the Galloping Goose and E&N Trail," she said. "Fort Street sits almost in isolation as an east and west route and that's why both Wharf Street and Vancouver Street, as north and south connections, are going to be really important."
The city expects that once Wharf Street's bike lane opens in August, Fort Street may become a more preferred route.
Since opening, the lane's quietest day was Sat., Feb. 9, 2019 with just 61 trips.
In contrast, the lane's busiest day was Sun., May 27, 2018, the lane's third day in operation.
Fort Street's daily average for trips in May 2018 was 932. It was the highest daily average since it opened, however, the data is based on just seven days, since the lane route opened on May 25.
Since May 2018, Pandora's protected bike lane has seen an average of 1,108 trips per day.
Similar to the data from Fort Street's bike lane, the numbers gradually decline into the fall and winter seasons.
Pandora's busiest month in the 11-month stretch from May 2018 to March 2019 was May of last year, when the lane saw a daily average of 1,529 trips.
December 2018 was the lane's quietest month with a daily average of 664 trips.
An analysis of Pandora's protected bike lane from the last two summers shows that ridership during June, July and August declined between 2017 and 2018.
In 2017, the Pandora bike lane saw 147,930 trips during the three summer months. That number dropped to 127,154 in 2018.
On Feb. 19, 2019 the Pandora bike lane had its quietest day since opening. The bike lane saw just 78 trips in a single day.
Galloping Goose Tracker
The City of Victoria also has an eco-counter where Harbour Road meets the Galloping Goose. Data from the tracker can be viewed here.
The City of Victoria is scheduled to open up cycling routes on Wharf Street and Humboldt Street in August 2019.
Phase 1 of the All Ages and Abilities (AAA) cycling network is scheduled to be finished by the end of 2019.
Following the Wharf and Humboldt lanes, 16 more cycling corridors are scheduled to follow.
Once complete, the city expects the AAA network to consist of 32 kilometres of cycling corridors.