What’s in a name?

An ongoing issue when trying to improve the active transportation infrastructure in any city is getting past the “we have that” and “we don’t have any” part of the conversation. Particularly in the case of cycling infrastructure, people opposed to having more infrastructure will say “we already have that”, and they mean paved streets and multi-use paths. And those who want more put in place will say “we don’t have any”, and they mean we only have paved streets and multi-use paths and are completely lacking in separated bike lanes.

Both sides are convinced they are making clear, valid points while they use the same names with very different beliefs about what’s being named. Enter Can-BIC, The Canadian Bicycle Infrastructure Classification System! You can read more about Can-BIC by following that link.

Can-BIC classifies bicycle infrastructure into 3 categories:

High Comfort

Low stress routes are comfortable for most people.High Comfort infrastructure would be bike paths, cycle tracks and local street bikeways.

Hi Comfort

Medium Comfort

Low to medium stress routes which can be considered comfortable for some people. Medium Comfort infrastructure would be multi-use paths.

Low Comfort

High stress routes are comfortable for few people. Low Comfort infrastructure would be painted bike lanes.

Not a cycling facility

Not considered cycling infrastructure at all would be gravel trails, shared lanes, and mixed traffic streets. So Saskatoon’s “sharrow” lanes and road shoulders with a sign saying it’s a bike route don’t make the cut!

gravel shared mixed

So how do you feel Saskatoon would rank using this new classification system?

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