This is what remained of a bicycle following a September 2018 collision on Ash Road in Saanich. Its rider, a man in his 40s, received treatment for non-life-threatening injuries at a local hospital. (Saanich News File Photo)

Collisions involving bicycles rose 25 per cent in Saanich in 2018

Authorities recorded 85 collisions involving bicycles, according to Saanich’s annual report

The number of collisions involving bicycles in Saanich was up 25 per cent in 2018 from the previous year.

That figure appears in the draft version of Saanich’s 2018 annual report. The report records 85 collisions in 2018, up from 68 in 2017. According to the same report, authorities expect a decline in collisions in 2019 with an estimated number of 76. None of the collisions involving bicycles involved fatalities, according to Saanich Police. Collisions involving pedestrians during the same time period included one fatality, a two-year-old toddler.

READ ALSO: Saanich reports 64 collisions involving pedestrians in 2018

Sgt. Julie Fast of the Saanich Police said she wouldn’t want to speculate about the reasons behind the increase.

One potential reason for the rise in collisions is the growing number of Saanich residents who ride their bicycles. Consider the share of residents who commute with their bicycles to work. In 2016, 6.3 per cent of commuters used their bicycles, according to the 2018 annual report. By comparison, the 2013 annual report pegs the share at four per cent, based on 2011 figures. In short, bicyclists represent a small but growing share of commuters.

READ ALSO: Collision in Saanich sends cyclist to hospital

Data from the Capital Regional District — which has been tracking bicycle volumes at intersections throughout the region since 2011 — underscores the pattern. Bicycle traffic has especially risen in Saanich, where two major regional cycling trails intersect: the Galloping Goose Regional Trail and the Lochside Regional Trail. In fact, they intersect near one of the busiest intersections for automobiles in the region — Saanich Road and Blanshard Street — and the Galloping Goose Regional Trail runs along the Trans-Canada Highway for a stretch, crossing McKenzie Avenue at one point. That intersection, by way of background, recorded the highest number of collisions anywhere on Vancouver Island in 2017 with 111 recorded crashes.

Other spots with high volumes of both bicycle and automobile traffic include the area near the intersection of Quadra Street and McKenzie Avenue and the intersection of Henderson Road and Cedar Hill Cross Road near the University of Victoria at the border between Saanich and Oak Bay.

Saanich continues to pursue a number of initiatives to improve the municipality’s bicycling infrastructure, as officials aim to cut the emissions of climate-change causing greenhouse gases.

Fast said the Motor Vehicle Act grants cyclists the same rights and duties on the roadways as it does vehicle drivers, along with a few additional duties specific to cyclists.

“It’s important for cyclists to understand them, as they are designed to help keep them and other road users safe,” she said. “Likewise, [drivers] need to be aware of the rights that cyclists have while on the roadway. It’s all about sharing the road and remaining aware of each other. I’d also suggest cyclists and drivers alike check out ICBC online and Bikesense.bc.ca for some great tips for sharing the road safely.”

Just Posted

Victoria student out $600 for lack of e-bike insurance blames confusing rules

B.C. regulation says e-bike motors must turn off if rider stops pedalling, or bike must be insured

Health Canada suspends Island pot producer’s licence following unannounced visit

Evergreen Medicinal Supply is working on “corrective action”

Saanich police ask for public’s help locating missing high risk youth

The 12-year-old was last seen before school on Monday morning

Flat tire, kindness of strangers, surprisingly inflate hope

Sooke mom and her daughters knocked on door of Bob and Norma Saunders seeking help

Sealand was much more than killer whales, says ex-employee

Former Sealasd trainer revisits Sealand of the Pacific in talk

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should the province step in to upgrade the road to Bamfield?

The death of two University of Victoria students on a bus bound… Continue reading

35 of 87 dogs in 2018 Williams Lake seizure were euthanized due to behavioural issues, BCSPCA confirm

The dogs did not respond to the behaviour modification and remained terrified of humans

B.C. ‘tent city’ disputes spark call for local government autonomy

UBCM backs Maple Ridge after province overrules city

B.C. drug dealers arrested after traffic stop near Banff turns into helicopter pursuit

Antonio Nolasco-Padia, 23, and Dina Anthony, 55, both well-known to Chilliwack law enforcement

B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, introduced an anti-vaping bill in April

Most Read