Design a Bike Lane

Format
Greg Ryerson

How does this align with my curriculum?

Students will plan the development of a bike lane and explore careers associated with such a development.

Summary

Students will:

  • Explore careers related to the installation of a new bike lane in an urban environment
  • Explore some of the human components involved in transit systems
  • Propose the installation of a new bike lane for a local street 
Specific Expectations for Ontario

Grade 8 Science, Unit: Systems in Action
1.2 assess the impact on individuals, society, and the environment of alternative ways of meeting needs that are currently met by existing systems, taking different points of view into consideration
2.6 use appropriate science and technology vocabulary in oral and written communication
3.1 identify various types of systems
3.3 identify the various processes and components of a system that allow it to perform its function efficiently and safely
3.9 identify social factors that influence the evolution of a system

Setting the Stage

Urban planning and design are integral to the ways that we use and interact within our communities. Such activities include a multitude of careers across many disciplines.

Through this activity students will learn about the various careers held by people involved in transit systems, exploring through the lens of the creation and installation of a new bike lane. They will learn that these careers encompass many disciplines, career pathways, as well as post-secondary options. 

Materials & Preparation

  • Computers or tablets with internet access (1 per student)
  • Design a Bike Lane Assignment Reproducible (1 per student) [Google doc] [PDF] - provide as either paper or e-copy
  • Design a Bike Lane Journal Reproducible (1 per student) [Google doc] [PDF] - provide as either paper or e-copy

What To Do

  • Teachers could begin this activity by exploring their local roadways with their students, discussing who uses them, how they use them, and how they contribute to the overall flow of traffic within their town or city. This could be done by visiting these locations or by using local maps or Google Maps.
  • Teachers should ensure that students are able to identify various components involved in transit systems, both human and mechanical.
  • Teachers should organize students into working groups of 3 or 4 and provide each student with a copy of the Design a Bike Lane Assignment. This assignment will be used as a guide for each part of the lesson and allow for the students to pace themselves through the activities.

Part 1

  • Teachers could present a municipal or provincial cycling strategy, such as one of the ones below

Government of Ontario

#CycleON strategy

Government of British Columbia

CleanBC Active Transportation Strategy 

Government of Manitoba

Active Transportation Planning Guide

City of Saskatoon

Cycling Plans and Projects

*Note: This is not an exhaustive list. Consult your own municipality, province or territory for active transportation strategies

  • Teachers could discuss with students how this will frame their work.
  • Students should explore some careers that would be involved in this stage of the process, as indicated on the student assignment. Some students may wish to research additional careers per individual interest.
  • Students should answer the questions in Part 1 of the Design a Bike Lane Journal.

Part 2

  • Assign students the task of locating a local street that currently does not have a bike lane. This could be done by visiting these locations or by using local maps or Google Maps.
  • Students should explore some careers that would be involved in this stage of the process, as indicated on the student assignment. Some students may wish to research additional careers per individual interest.
  • Students should answer the questions in Part 2 of the student journal.

Part 3

  • Students should explore the various types of bike lanes using the Urban Bikeway Design Guide.
  • Students should explore some careers that would be involved in this stage of the process, as indicated on the student assignment. Some students may wish to research additional careers per individual interest.
  • Students should answer the questions in Part 3 of the student journal.

Part 4

  • Teachers could lead a class discussion about the benefits and concerns around the creation of a new bike lane. Students should examine various viewpoints, considering multiple stakeholders within their community.
  • Students should explore some careers that would be involved in this stage of the process, as indicated on the student assignment. Some students may wish to research additional careers per individual interest.
  • Students should answer the questions in Part 4 of the student journal.

Part 5

  • Teachers could present students with the article “How Bike Lanes Get Installed in Toronto” and lead a discussion about the process of building a bike lane.
  • Students should explore some careers that would be involved in this stage of the process, as indicated on the student assignment. Some students may wish to research additional careers per individual interest.
  • Students should answer the questions in Part 5 of the student journal.
Painting bike lane symbols on a road
Painting on new symbols for a bike lane (Source: ollo via iStockphoto).

 

Part 6

  • Students should envision the various uses of their new bike lane, considering multiple stakeholders within their community.
  • Students should explore some careers that would be involved in this stage of the process, as indicated on the student assignment. Some students may wish to research additional careers per individual interest.
  • Students should answer the questions in Part 6 of the student journal.

Career Exploration

  • Students should research one of the careers they learned about that was involved in one or more stages of the process of creating a new bike lane, thinking about the training/schooling they would need to complete to work in this career, and how this career uses STEAM.


Let’s Talk Science appreciates the work and contributions of Greg Ryerson, Crescent School, Conference of Independent Schools of Ontario in the development of this lesson.

Details

Cross-Curricular Extensions

Geography

  • Watch this video about Amsterdam's cycling culture.
How Amsterdam Became a Biking Paradise - Bloomberg (2018) 3:57

 

  • Compare and contrast this cycling culture with the cycling culture in your local area
  • How do the systems that are in place contribute to any differences?
  • Students could explore how demographic data influences the location of bike lanes within a city
  • Students could explore the environmental impacts of bike lanes on a local environment

Mathematics

  • Students could survey community members about their use of bike lanes, graphing and analyzing that data

Language Arts

  • Students could write letters petitioning their local politicians to support the creation of a bike lane at their proposed site.

Cross-Curricular Extensions

Geography

  • Watch this video about Amsterdam's cycling culture.
How Amsterdam Became a Biking Paradise - Bloomberg (2018) 3:57

 

  • Compare and contrast this cycling culture with the cycling culture in your local area
  • How do the systems that are in place contribute to any differences?
  • Students could explore how demographic data influences the location of bike lanes within a city
  • Students could explore the environmental impacts of bike lanes on a local environment

Mathematics

  • Students could survey community members about their use of bike lanes, graphing and analyzing that data

Language Arts

  • Students could write letters petitioning their local politicians to support the creation of a bike lane at their proposed site.

Assessment

  • Throughout the activity students will document their thinking and learning by answering questions in the student journal
  • Upon completion of the activities, students should complete a career exploration assignment, demonstrating their learning and research

Assessment

  • Throughout the activity students will document their thinking and learning by answering questions in the student journal
  • Upon completion of the activities, students should complete a career exploration assignment, demonstrating their learning and research

Supplementary Resources

SDG 11
United Nations Sustainable Development goal #11 relates to creating cities and human settlements that are inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. Infographic can be used to stimulate student discussion.

Sustainable Transport
This backgrounder from the United Nations provides background on the role of sustainable transport in overall sustainable development.

Supplementary Resources

SDG 11
United Nations Sustainable Development goal #11 relates to creating cities and human settlements that are inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. Infographic can be used to stimulate student discussion.

Sustainable Transport
This backgrounder from the United Nations provides background on the role of sustainable transport in overall sustainable development.

Downloads

  • Design a Bike Lane Assignment Reproducible [Google doc] [PDF]
  • Design a Bike Lane Journal Reproducible (1 per student) [Google doc] [PDF]

Downloads

  • Design a Bike Lane Assignment Reproducible [Google doc] [PDF]
  • Design a Bike Lane Journal Reproducible (1 per student) [Google doc] [PDF]