The Fraser Valley’s most dangerous roads to bike and walk

We crunched the numbers. Here are the Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Langley, and Mission roads with disproportionately large numbers of pedestrian and cyclist collisions.

By Tyler Olsen | September 29, 2021 |6:30 am

This story appeared in the September 27 edition of the Fraser Valley Current daily newsletter. To get access to every story we write as soon as they’re published, subscribe below.

If today is like most days in the Fraser Valley, cars will collide with at least two pedestrians and one cyclist. And where those collisions occur is hardly random, according to data from ICBC analyzed by the Current. While only around 15% of all crashes involve a pedestrian or cyclist, some roads see a much higher rate—and on one artery such incidents make up more than half of all ICBC claims.

Pedestrians were struck hard enough to warrant an ICBC file 773 times in the Fraser Valley last year. There were another 428 ICBC-reported collisions involving cyclists in Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Langley, and Mission. (In July we reported on the region’s most crash-prone roads; in total there were 7,000 total collisions involving vehicles.)

Across the valley, no road saw as many pedestrian and cycling collisions as South Fraser Way in Abbotsford. The key Abbotsford artery saw by far the most collisions involving cyclists, and it and Fraser Highway in Langley were tied for the highest number of pedestrian collisions.

The figures are influenced by the amount of pedestrian and cycling traffic on certain roads. But they can also indicate where roads may need improvement, with pedestrian and cycling collisions making up a higher share of all vehicle incidents on some roads than others.

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The figures clearly illustrate why Mission is looking at building a separated bike-and-pedestrian trail on 7th Avenue. On that east-west corridor, more than three-quarters of all collisions reported last year involved pedestrians. There were six such crashes resulting in an injury at Cedar Street and 7th Avenue alone. No other major corridor in the valley even comes close to that ratio. (Although the data is broadly unclear about whether all cyclist/pedestrian and car collisions involve an injury, being hit by a car tends to hurt.) We reported last month that while Mission council expressed support for the 7th Avenue “greenway,” they were also seeking more details on the project and wanted to visit the site as a group.

In Chilliwack, just under half of collisions along First Avenue involved bikes or pedestrians. Young Avenue also saw a relatively high share of car-bike collisions given the total traffic on that road. The highest total numbers of pedestrian and bike collisions occurred on Yale Road. That artery also had the second highest number of total vehicle collisions, just behind Vedder Road.

In Abbotsford, Ware Street and Peardonville saw higher rates of pedestrian and cyclist collisions, as did South Fraser Way, where one in four of collisions reported to ICBC involved a pedestrian or bike (higher than the city average of 15%). Old Yale Road had a particularly high volume of pedestrian collisions; most of those took place either near the road’s terminus at Clearbrook Road or near the McMillan Road intersection.

Pedestrian and bike collisions represented a smaller share of crashes in Langley. (It’s hard to know if that’s because of infrastructure or because there are fewer bikers and walkers.) In that city, 200 Street saw the most pedestrian and cycling collisions. However, those incidents actually comprised a smaller-than-average share of all collisions on that road, which had the most crashes in the entire region.

Although the total number of all collisions in Abbotsford and Langley was almost identical, Abbotsford had 20% more pedestrian incidents and 18% more collisions involving cyclists.

This story appeared in the September 27 edition of the Fraser Valley Current daily newsletter. To get access to every story we write as soon as they're published, subscribe for free above.

Tyler Olsen

Managing Editor at Fraser Valley Current

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