The Vancouver Bike Route Planner is inspired by the old UBC Cycle Vancouver trip planning website, which was brought about by research done as part of the Cycling in Cities research program at UBC. Since the original UBC trip planner was taken offline in 2014, there has been continued demand to bring it back.
Vancouver Bike Route Planner and its underlying data updates since 2014 have been built 100% by volunteer effort to-date. Although comments and suggestions are welcome and encouraged, please be patient and understanding!. You can contact Melissa Nunes at or follow us on Facebook.
The data that the new Vancouver Bike Route Planner uses is an updated version of the original UBC Cycle Vancouver bike route data, which was originally based on data obtained from Translink. The original Translink dataset was created using municipal data and periodic cycling network validation studies. The Translink dataset supplied routes that are “designated”, meaning that they include special amenities (e.g., cyclist-activated traffic signals, signage) for the convenience of cyclists, and routes that are “alternate”, meaning routes that are commonly used by bicyclists but do not have any special amenities. The newer Vancouver Bike Route Planner uses both "designated" and "alternate" route types from the original Translink data, however, the algorithm for routing shows no preference for either type of route.
The newer data set attempts to distinguish "safer routes". Safer routes information was included to help people find routes that are appropriate for those of "all ages and abilities". Bike routes physically separated from motor traffic, separated paths, and residential bike routes are deemed as "safer". Routes which are unprotected shoulders of major roads, including painted bike lanes and routes with painted bike stencils on the pavement, are not considered "safer" - even if they are official bike routes.
Currently safer routes information in this data is limited to the City of Vancouver. Some other municipalities' bike route data do not currently contain sufficient detail to be used to define safer routes, so the Vancouver Bike Route Planner focuses on the City of Vancouver. In addition, any bike route data updates since 2014 have focused on the City of Vancouver which has relatively clean easy-to-use and easy-to-access bike route data available through their open data portal.
The safer routes data is intended to be continually improved using local community knowledge. Please contact us if you feel changes are needed to what is or isnt deemed as a "safer route" in our data.This website uses the following other data:
- Canadian Digital Elevation Model from GeoGratis
- Pollution (nitric oxide): Wang R, Henderson SB, Sbihi H, Allen RW, Brauer M. Temporal Stability of Land Use Regression Models for Traffic-Related Air Pollution. Atmospheric Environment, 2012. 64: 312-319
- Vegetation: normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) derived from August 22, 2017 Landsat 8 imagery downloaded from libra.developmentseed.org