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Mashing up bike trip data from the City of Vancouver along with weather statistics from Environment Canada, The Dependent examines the fickle relationship between Vancouver cyclists and our West Coast climate.
Data is from the Burrard Street Bridge separated bike lane trial, and covers the period of January 1 2010 to June 30 2011.
The results are somewhat surprising. Predictably, there’s a steep drop in bicycle traffic from dry days to wet – an immediate decline of around 30% from days with zero precipitation to those with even one millimetre. But beyond that, heavier rainfall appears to have little impact on cycling numbers, suggesting there is a core contingent of rain-or-shine riders in Vancouver.
With an average of 1,200 trips on days with five millimetres of rain or more, and assuming each cyclist completes a round-trip, it seems a reasonable estimate that there are about 600 people using the Burrard Street Bridge bike lane, rain or shine.
What about temperature?
Curiously, temperature appears to have a far more direct relationship with the number of cycling trips than rainfall; just look at that nice, smooth curve!
Please leave your irate bike lane-related analysis in the comments below.