VTC AGENDA - DEC. 7/95

                             POLICY REPORT

                                              Date: November 20, 1995
                                              Dept. File No. H193-29   

 TO:       Vancouver Traffic Commission

 FROM:     General Manager of Engineering Services

 SUBJECT:  Speed Limits on Recreational Bicycle Paths


      THAT the posted speed limit of 15 km/h on the recreational shared
      path portions of the Seaside Bicycle Route be retained.


      The Vancouver Comprehensive Bicycle Plan (1988) and the Clouds of
      Change Report  (1990) established the City's  policy of promoting
      cycling as a transportation alternative.


 On January  20, 1994, City Council passed a motion "THAT a speed limit
 of  15  km/h on  recreational  bicycle paths  be  approved as  a pilot
 project  for the Seaside Bicycle  Route and the  Stanley Park Seawall,
 and that the pilot project not exceed  12 to 18 months duration with a
 report  back  to Council  at its  conclusion".   This  report provides
 Council  with feedback on this project and recommends retention of the
 15 km/h speed limit in the areas in which it has been posted.  


 The Seaside  Bicycle Route is a primarily recreational route extending
 between Stanley Park  and Spanish Banks.   Some sections of  the route
 are  along paths  shared with  pedestrians.  Where  this is  the case,
 alternative on-road bypass routes have been designated for  faster and
 commuting cyclists.

 In  May of  1994, the  False Creek  Seawall section  of the  route was
 signed 15 km/h in response to Council's motion.

 The  Vancouver  Park  Board had  previously  signed  the  Stanley Park
 Seawall with  15 km/h signs in 1993.   15 km/h signs were installed on
 those  sections  of the  Seaside  Bicycle Route  that  traverse Sunset
 Beach, Vanier, Kitsilano Beach and Jericho Beach Parks in concert with
 the signing on the False Creek Seawall.


 The  False Creek Seawall path borders a residential neighbourhood with
 small  pockets of  commercial development.   Use of  the path  by both
 cyclists and pedestrians varies  widely depending on time of  day, day
 of week  and weather.   There  is at  present  no delineation  between
 cyclists and pedestrians.

 The results of speed checks taken before and after the installation of
 the 15 km/h signs  are inconclusive, showing little change  in speeds.
 However, very  few cyclists were observed to exceed the speed limit by
 more than 10 km/h.   The average speed of all cyclists  was between 17
 and 18 km/h.  This suggests that a 20 km/h speed limit might also have
 been consistent with appropriate behaviour.  No additional funding for
 policing of the  speed limit was  provided.  On occasion,  Police have
 given verbal warnings  to cyclists  who appeared to  be exceeding  the
 speed limit, but have not issued any tickets.

 A safe, pleasant experience for both cyclists and pedestrians  depends
 on the cooperation of all users.  The 15 km/h signs provide a reminder
 to cyclists to maintain a moderate speed in keeping with the nature of
 the facility,  even in  the absence  of enforcement.   The Park  Board
 intends to maintain 15 km/h signing on the Stanley Park Seawall and on
 the park  sections of the  Seaside Bicycle  Route.  It  is recommended
 that the 15 km/h signing also be retained on the False Creek Seawall.


 The False Creek Community Association has included the 15 km/h signing
 on  its agenda at a number of  recent meetings; however, this item has
 been deferred in favour of more pressing issues.  Staff will  continue
 to  work with the  Association in resolving  any outstanding concerns.
 Consideration  will  be  given  to installing  additional  signing  to
 encourage faster cyclists to use the bypass route.

 The  Bicycle  Advisory  Committee  has  been  consulted  and  supports
 retention of the 15 km/h signs.


 The 15 km/h speed limit on shared path sections of the Seaside Bicycle
 Route is  generally perceived as  beneficial and should  be continued.
 No negative impacts have been identified.

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