Experienced and Perceived Safety of Pedestrians and Cyclists on the UBC Campus

As cycling is an increasingly common mode of transportation in many cities, conflicts between cyclists and other road users present a growing safety concern. While bicycle-motor vehicle conflicts are most often studied, conflicts between cyclists and pedestrians is a growing issue, particularly where cyclists and pedestrians share multi-use paths. The University of British Columbia (UBC) Vancouver Campus and surrounding area is rapidly growing, with a 58% increase in daytime population over the past 10 years.

In response to increased travel demand, UBC Campus and Community Planning (C+CP) has sought to enhance non-automobile travel options on and around campus, including improvements to walking and cycling facilities. Along with an increase in the number of cyclists and pedestrians, there has been an increase in reported conflicts between cyclists and pedestrians on campus, including in the designated ‘Pedestrian Priority Zone’.

However, due to a reliance on anecdotal and complaint-driven data, there is not a clear picture of the scope and intensity of the problem. The lack of clear information on the extent of pedestrian-cyclist conflicts and collisions impedes the development of mitigation measures – a problem similarly faced by the City of Vancouver and many other jurisdictions with shared pedestrian-bicycle facilities. 

This research aims to quantify the extent of pedestrian-bicycle conflicts and collisions at UBC, and identify opportunities to make cycling and walking on campus safer and more comfortable through policy, infrastructure and/or programming interventions.