Vancouver’s First Potential Bicycle Playground

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Our project highlights the importance of implementing a bicycle playground in the City of Vancouver. A bicycle playground could act as a safe, inclusive, and accessible space for children to learn to cycle while increasing their traffic safety skills and confidence. It could also serve as a place to encourage children to get outdoors, build community, and foster connections.

School:

UBC

Course:

Policy Analysis (POLI 450)

Instructors:

  • Kathryn Harrison

City of Vancouver:

  • Alyshia Burak
  • Matthew Callow

Student Team:

  • Madalen (Maddie) Sides
  • Ashika Harman

Term:

Fall 2022

Summary

* HUBBUB 19 3rd Place Winner

With growing traffic congestion and population density in Vancouver, safe spaces for children to participate in outdoor activities such as safe cycling are increasingly more difficult. Vancouver’s bustling nature emphasizes the importance for children to have a designated safe space to learn to ride bicycles and learn about traffic safety in a safe environment. Our project investigates whether a bicycle playground should be implemented in the City of Vancouver. Bicycle playgrounds are designated spaces for children to learn and practice cycling skills and road safety knowledge in a mock “miniature city,” which acts as a safe and low-stakes learning environment. Creating a space like this in Vancouver would help increase the health and safety of children in Vancouver and the surrounding areas while also increasing equality of opportunity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and fostering community.

The policy analysis of bicycle playgrounds we have conducted has allowed us to form recommendations for implementing a successful bicycle playground in the City of Vancouver. These recommendations include measures such as:

  • Contemplating an indoor or outdoor playground
  • Contemplating a mobile versus permanent playground setup
  • Having scheduled workshops facilitated by instructors
  • Providing bicycles and safety equipment for children to use at the park
  • Providing asynchronous learning resources and materials to be used when workshop instructors are not present at the park
  • Creating incentives such as certificates, badges, stickers, and pins to encourage children to use the playground consistently and facilitate the continuation of learning while providing positive reinforcement and helping to build community.

The potential implementation of this project also supports the City’s goals of being committed to active transportation.

 

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