Vancouver Bike Volumes

By daniel - Posted on 06 April 2011

Vancouver Bike Traffic Map

When I returned home after being away on a three-month contract, one of the big changes around my block was the addition of a protected bike lane on my street. It's part of Vancouver's move toward being the greenest city in the world. *thumbs up*

Vancouver also makes a bunch of its data available for free, including aggregate readings from bike traffic counters. Daily totals for different segments of the protected lane are shared through the Open Data Catalogue.

For this data visualization lines are drawn along the bike lane. The thickness varies according to the number of riders recorded by the traffic counters. Mouse over the segments to see the actual count.

In the overview, you can see that Burrard Bridge gets much more traffic than the rest of downtown. The Dunsmuir Viaduct only gets about half the traffic.

You can also filter by the day of the week to see how bike traffic changes. Downtown traffic is much lower on the weekend which probably means a lot of commuters are using the protected lane. Unlike the other segments, Burrard Bridge traffic stays pretty high on the weekend.

The map displays readings from January 14 to February 13 because more data was available during that period. It would be cool to see how traffic changes over the course of the year—I'd be looking for much higher use in the summer.

One of my favourite things about data visualization is it raises more questions:

  • Is one direction favoured more than the other? Do people ride to work and bus back or vice versa?
  • How much of the weekend Burrard Bridge traffic ends up on the Sea Wall? During the week?
  • Is there more traffic coming from the East that doesn't use the Dunsmuir Viaduct? How much?
  • How does the weather affect ridership?