Cycling is one of the fastest ways to get around Vernon. It's also one of the cheapest, healthiest environmentally friendly modes of transportation available.
The City of Vernon is committed to making cycling easier for residents and visitors by providing an extensive network of cycling routes around the city and by promoting safe and healthy travel.
As a follow-up to the East Hill Active Travel Plan, Council directed staff to apply and receive a grant from Healthy Communities BC to gain additional community input for the Pedestrian Cycling Master Plan and Transportation Plan, which will become a part of the Official Community Plan. The Healthy Communities Capacity Building Fund is a partnership between BC Healthy Communities Society and Healthy Families BC. This partnership supports local government engagement and partnerships across sectors for creating healthier communities, and provides learning opportunities, resources, and leading-edge practices for collaborative local action.
After consulting with the public and key stakeholders during 15 community input sessions in 2013 and 2014, the City of Vernon was able to consult the public on best route mapping for cycling and walking and finalize the Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan in August 2014. In September of 2014 this plan was endorsed by Council for inclusion in the Master Transportation Plan, currently under development. To view the Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan webpage, click here.
In November 2014, the best routes maps for cycling were finalized and printed in late December. These maps can viewed here. Free copies of the community identified cycling map are located at Vernon City Hall (3400-30th Street) and Community Services Building (3001-32nd Avenue), the public library, the Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Vernon Association, Skyride and Sun Country Cycle shops and at your Vernon coffee shops. The best routes maps for walking will follow once the downtown way finding project is completed.
Heads Up Cyclists! Be Seen, Be Safe!
City of Vernon’s Heads Up campaign is asking drivers, pedestrians and cyclists to keep their heads up as it is a
shared responsibility to prevent collisions.
Be lit! Wear or carry a light at dusk, in low light or poor weather.
Wear white, bright, reflective clothing.
Cross with care. Make eye contact with drivers and wait until traffic has stopped before you cross.
Pay attention. Avoid distractions like listening to music.
Be predictable. Use bike lanes, shoulders and yield to pedestrians on multi-use paths.
Heads up at intersections!
Stop, look and listen! Look both ways.
Only cycle in crosswalks that have cycle signals or signs with the bike image included.
Cycling and Safety
There are five basic principles of safe cycling, according to BikeSense, the British Columbia Bicycle Operator’s Manual:
- Maintain your bicycle in good working order.
- Be as visible as possible to others. Be lit in the day and night.
- Learn the skills needed to control your bike.
- Cycle in traffic safely and predictably.
- Know and obey the rules of the road.
In addition to these principles, there are a number of specific tips for safe cycling:
- Always be visible to drivers by wearing bright reflective and coloured clothing (white, red, orange, yellow, fluorescent colours), particularly at night. In the summer, wear a light breathable reflective vest. In the cooler months, use a reflective jacket.
- Make sure you have a bright white light on front of your bike (or use a head lamp) and use red flashing lights at the rear of your bike (attached to your helmet, bike post and/or rear panniers)
- Always cycle on the right side of the road in cycle lanes when possible or cycle on multi-use paths
- Yield to pedestrians, as they have the right of way at intersections and on multi-use paths. Use a bike bell to alert pedestrians when you are approaching them. Ring once at a distance from them, and again as you pass.
- Wear an approved bicycle helmet that fits properly, is in good condition and approved. Hockey helmets and other types of sports helmets are not designed to protect against cycling injuries.
For additional resources please visit:
Bike Sense Manual
BikeSense has been written and reviewed by professional cycling skills instructors, cycling advocacy organizations, bicycle trained police officers and provincial authorities responsible for making and interpreting our traffic laws.
Pathways and Safety
Tips on how to ride your bicycle safely on pathways shared by pedestrians, rollerbladers and other users. (Courtesy of City of Kelowna Smart Trips)
How to Not Get Hit by Cars
Information on the different causes of cyclist/motorist collisions and how to avoid them.
Kids and Bicycle Safety
Bicycle riding is fun, healthy, and a great way for kids to feel independent. This guide provides safe riding tips for kids and summarizes the rules of the road.
Cycling Safely in a Roundabout (the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Government of BC)
Roundabouts are becoming more and more common in Vernon. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure,Government of BC website offers a good graphic design as well as video options for cars, cyclists and pedestrians. They describe a roundabout as a circular intersection without stop signs or electronic signals. Traffic flows counter-clockwise around a central island. Roundabouts are growing in popularity across Canada and the U.S.; Roundabouts reduce vehicle speeds through an intersection; and as a result improve safety for all road users - pedestrians; cyclists and motorists.
HUB: Your Cycling Connection
HUB is a non-profit society that works to address cycling issues in the Metro Vancouver area. Their website is a useful resource that provides links to even more information about cycling.
Why the Focus on cycling?
During community consultation for various projects in recent years, Vernon residents have consistently expressed a desire to ride bicycles more, but have SAFETY CONCERNS. The City of Vernon has responded by making cycling a high priority in all of its transportation plans.
Benefits of cycling:
- No greenhouse gas emissions
- No sticker shock at the pump
- More efficient use of road space
- Higher levels of fitness and lower levels of stress
- Safer streets