Simon Fraser University (SFU) professor Nadine Schuurman is an avid cyclist and her passion for biking might lead to important improvements to the Sea to Sky Highway.
Five of Schuurman’s students took her love of cycling and rode with it when they decided to study the shortcomings in cycling safety on the improved highway. Through their research they have made recommendations on how to improve safety for cyclists.
Joshua Cairns, one of the students involved in the project, said one of the main goals at the start of the project was to improve bicycle safety on Highway 99.
Cairns worked with Andrew Brear, Aaron Dixon, Whitney Szabo and Michael Gamon to create the report and build a map of the cycling hazards along the highway.
A large map measuring 2.3 metres (7.5 feet) long and one metre (three feet) high will soon be posted at the school and eventually the map will be reproduced for publication to the Internet.
Cairns and his team concluded that ultimately, if the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure improved bicycle safety on Highway 99 the province would save money by decreasing injuries on the route, lowering medical costs and limiting resulting highway closures.
“Enhanced safety along the Sea to Sky Highway has the potential to further increase ridership, contribute to cycling tourism, improve local health culture, reduce traffic congestion and lower both air and noise pollution,” the team of students wrote in their summary.
“We got 95 per cent on everything,” said Cairns of the final mark for the mapping project.
The report is published online at www.sfu.ca/geog/stsbikesafe/ and you can read more about the students’ work in Thursday’s edition of Pique Newsmagazine.