Vancouver is the second most “bikeable” city in Canada, University of B.C. researchers said Monday.
Researchers from UBC’s school of population and public health, along with Seattle-based Walk Score and Simon Fraser University researchers, developed a “Bike Score” for 10 Canadian and 10 U.S. cities.
Bike Score ranks a city’s bikeability on a scale of 0 to 100 based on availability of bike infrastructure such as bike lanes and trails, amenities such as shops, attractions and restaurants, the hilliness of the area, and road connectivity.
The team used the data to create “heat maps” — a new measuring tool to gauge bicycle-friendliness.
Walk Score, which was founded in 2007, is known for ranking cities and neighbourhoods on how walkable they are. They launched the bike version Monday during National Bike Month in the U.S. and ahead of June’s Bike Month in Canada.
Victoria, Vancouver and Montreal rate highest among Canadian cities, while Minneapolis, Portland and San Francisco are the top three in the U.S.
“Bicycling is a form of healthy, active transportation,” said UBC public health professor Mike Brauer in a release. “We wanted to provide a user-friendly tool to gauge the bikeability of cities and neighbourhoods that would help planners identify areas that would benefit from additional infrastructure, while encouraging people to hop on a bike.”
Cycling rates in Canada and the U.S. are low in comparison to those of many European cities, Brauer added, citing differences in urban form and cycling infrastructure.