The Canadian Bikeway Comfort and Safety (Can-BICS) Classification System: A common naming convention for cycling infrastructure

Health Promot Chronic Dis Prev Can. 2020 Sep;40(9):288-293. doi: 10.24095/hpcdp.40.9.04.
[Article in English, French]

Abstract

There is no standard naming convention for cycling infrastructure across cities. Our aim was to develop a common nomenclature for cycling infrastructure in Canada, relevant to the context of public health practice. We drew on transportation engineering design guides and public health guidance to develop a bicycle facility classification system: the Canadian Bikeway Comfort and Safety (Can-BICS) classification system, a three-tiered classification scheme that groups five bicycle facilities based on safety performance and user comfort. Adopting consistent nomenclature as per the Can-BICS system will support regional and national surveillance efforts in public health, planning and sustainability.

Il n’existe pas de convention d’appellation pour les aménagements cyclables valable pour toutes les villes. Notre but était d’établir une nomenclature commune pour les aménagements cyclables au Canada qui soit pertinente en contexte de santé publique. Nous avons examiné plusieurs guides de conception technique des transports ainsi que des directives en santé publique pour mettre au point un système de classification des aménagements cyclables, soit le Système de classification du confort et de la sécurité des voies cyclables canadiennes (ou Can-BICS, de l’anglais Canadian Bikeway Comfort and Safety). Ce système à trois niveaux répartit les aménagements cyclables en cinq catégories, selon leur degré de sécurité et leur confort pour les usagers. Adopter une nomenclature uniforme comme le système Can-BICS va contribuer aux mesures de surveillance régionale et nationale en santé publique, à la planification et à la durabilité.

Keywords: active transportation; cycling; infrastructure; nomenclature; open data.

Plain Language Summary

A common nomenclature for cycling infrastructure in Canada is needed to further public health surveillance efforts on activetransportation environments. The Can-BICS system is a threetiered cycling infrastructure classification system that reflects the safety performance and user comfort of five bicycle facility types. High-comfort bikeways are lowstress routes. These bikeways include cycle tracks on major streets, local street bikeways and cycle-only off-street paths. Medium-comfort bikeways are low-to-medium stress routes. These bikeways include multi-use paths sited next to a roadway or along independent corridors. Low-comfort bikeways are highstress routes. These bikeways include painted bike lanes along busy roadways.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / prevention & control*
  • Bicycling* / injuries
  • Bicycling* / standards
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Cities / epidemiology
  • City Planning* / methods
  • City Planning* / standards
  • Environment Design
  • Humans
  • Public Health
  • Safety*
  • Terminology as Topic