Science, Well being and Know-how

Metro Vancouver can safely combine most new electrically-powered mobility units, research finds

Love them or hate them, new mobility units just like the e-bike are right here to remain.

In one of many first large-scale research to measure real-world use of those units, UBC Transportation researchers discovered that almost all different street customers are comfy sharing cycle lanes and off-street paths with these new modes of transport. – Regardless of some misconceptions about how briskly these units really run.

The map exhibits 12 areas in Metro Vancouver the place the UBC researchers carried out their research. Supply: Amir Hasanpur

Take electrical bikes, at the moment having fun with a increase in Metro Vancouver and different cities.

Headshot of Amir Hasanpur

Aamir Hasanpur

“Many individuals desire electrical bikes however others fear that they journey at greater speeds, though the truth is they don’t – at the least not in keeping with the observations in our research,” stated UBC researcher Amir Hasanpour, Transportation PhD pupil in Engineering. College of Utilized Sciences.

Hasanpour says, “Most of the individuals we surveyed thought that electrical bikes really go quicker at 4km/h, however in actuality, many of the e-bikes we noticed really hit 32km/h. Was touring under the velocity restrict.”

Hasanpour and his colleagues arrange statement stations at 12 areas in Metro Vancouver, put in GoPro cameras and laid pneumatic tubes on the street to rely automobiles and decide automobile sort and velocity. In addition they carried out a survey to find out how comfy customers (together with pedestrians and other people on standard and electric-powered tools) felt when utilizing comparable roads and trails.

A significant false impression was that surveyed path customers believed power-assistance units had been 3 times extra prevalent than they really had been. Hasanpour makes these assumptions to account for the truth that e-bikes are comparatively new, so we keep in mind them extra vividly and start to suppose that they’re much extra prevalent than they are surely. “It is known as the frequency phantasm — when you encounter a newly rising automobile, impulsively you see it in every single place.”

Pie chart showing percentage of non-motorized vehicular traffic in observation sites.  90.5% conventional bicycle, 4.2% electric bicycle, 1.9% shared bicycle, 0.8% e-assist device, 0.7% skateboard, 0.7% skates, 0.4% kick scooter, 0.9% other

Standard bike vehicular site visitors dominated the locations visited. Supply: Amir Hasanpur

He believes that these psychological biases can even have an effect on perceived velocity. In actual fact, the common velocity of electric-powered units was round 20–22 km/h, barely quicker than standard bicycles.

UBC digital camera stations noticed over 25,000 automobiles representing 25 completely different mobility units, starting from pedal bikes, push scooters and curler skates to moped-style scooters and even golf carts.

Their findings—printed for the primary time immediately—paint a picture of relative consolation and security for customers of those shared paths and bike lanes.

Headshot of Dr. Alex Bigazic

Dr. Alex Bigazic

“Most individuals—regardless of underestimating the velocity of others—really feel comparatively comfy utilizing shared paths, with low ranges of unfavorable interactions or real battle and harm,” says Hasanpour. “An exterior motorized sit-down scooter, or moped, is what individuals take into account to be extra harmful than different electric-assist units, maybe as a result of they’re considerably bigger and heavier in addition to quicker.”

The excellent news is that the findings help insurance policies to legalize a wider vary of recent mobility units, in keeping with UBC transportation knowledgeable Dr Alex Bigazzi, an affiliate professor of civil engineering and planning who supervised the research.

“The biking comfort and multi-use path can comfortably accommodate a wider vary of apparatus than we anticipated,” he stated. “On the similar time, we should proceed to set velocity limits for these units, together with different constraints. We should additionally work to eradicate sit-down e-scooters from cycle lanes and pedestrian walkways.

The report recommends some modifications, together with separating pedestrians from different path customers at services that permit power-assist units when a sure degree of site visitors is reached.

“We imagine this work can present necessary data in order that we might be able to design higher biking services as demand for them grows,” says Dr. Bigazzi.

The research was funded by TransLink’s New Mobility Lab. Click on right here to entry the complete report.

Interview Languages: English (Hasanpur, Bigazi), Persian / Farsi (Hasanpur)



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