Increasing cycling for transportation in Canadian communities: Understanding what works

This article looks at the different factors that contributed to an increase in utilitarian cycling between 1996 and 2015 in ten communities of various sizes and locations across Canada. Interviews with engineers, planners, activists, politicians and academics were conducted to assess which factors were more important in changing cycling practice in ten case studies areas that witnessed very large increases in their cycling commuting mode shares between the censuses of 1996 and 2011. The results show that although the story varies from case to case, some factors had more impact on cycling behaviour than others. Factors beyond the control of local actors, such as cultural, demographic and economic changes, have contributed significantly to an increase in utilitarian cycling in all case studies. In addition to these macro-trends, locally adopted measures have also been effective: the development of pro-cycling policies and programs, as well as the expansion of cycling infrastructure, seem to have heavily influenced cycling in several communities. In some case study areas, the activities and advocacy of cycling groups have been very influential. In a few cases, such as two small mountain communities, a specific event triggered the increase in cycling in the area. More often, however, it was a combination of government-controlled factors and larger macro-trends that created an environment favourable to cycling for transportation in the studied municipalities.


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  • Accession Number: 01691434
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jan 13 2019 3:04PM