A cyclist utilizing a separated bike lane on Ontario Street in Kitchener. (James Chaarani/CBC) A new study out of the University of Waterloo says that some municipalities are creating cycling infrastructure based on data from Statistics Canada, which looks only at people who commute to work, subsequently leaving other riders — particularly women and those from underrepresented groups — under served.
Rebecca Mayers, a postdoctoral candidate in the school of planning at UW, says without enough information about trips taken by older adults, service workers, people living with a disability or those unstably housed, it can underestimate the value of cycling in society.
"If all cycling trips were taken seriously, including those that do not end at work, fall outside of regular business hours, take place through alleys or recreational trails instead of streets, decision-makers would have more information to inform and justify cycling plans," Mayers said in a release about her study, which was published in the journal of Leisure Sciences.
But the cities in Waterloo region say they go beyond the Statistics Canada data when making decisions about bike lanes and other infrastructure.
Darren Kropf, the active transportation and development manager at the City of Kitchener, told CBC News the census data is certainly a data set that they look at and they consider, but they don’t stop there.
"We do have other data sources that we consider to give us a more broader and holistic look at how people get around," he said.
"So for example, when we developed our cycling and […]