At Second Beach, Stanley Park.
From Andy Coupland:
I thought you might like the 20 year comparisons. City of Vancouver is seeing a decline in drivers, and a big increase in bike and transit as predicted by Trip Diary numbers. Walk is up too, but far more in the city than in the rest of Metro.
So here’s Metro, and the rest of Metro. City of Vancouver is seeing most change.
- November 30, 2017, 2 pm to 8 pm.
- 511 w Broadway (west of Cambie)
The Transportation 2040 Plan, identified Cambie Bridge as an important priority project to improve walking and cycling comfort and safety. Cambie Bridge provides a critical link between BC’s two largest economic centres and high density neighbourhoods.
Currently the east sidewalk is shared by pedestrians and cyclists. The sidewalk has become busier over the last decade, and conflicts have increased between people walking and cycling.
We are proposing to install a new southbound protected bike lane on the west side of Cambie Bridge. Interim improvements will help relieve pressure on the east side shared-use path.
Things have changed since 1985, it seems.
As posted on twitter by urbanist and neuroscientist Robin Mazumder: “At what point does driver frustration with bike lanes become a non-story?” Some Edmonton motorists are not understanding Edmonton’s addition of a new bike lane in the Oliver neighbourhood. The permanent bike lane on 102 Avenue has been accompanied by a new one way motorized vehicle restriction on one block which has confused some motorists. As reported in The Edmonton Journal “some Edmonton drivers are still coming to terms with the city’s newest bike lanes. However, there have been plenty of reports of vehicles mistakenly being driven the wrong way down the bike lanes, often forcing cyclists onto the road.” And if you have a few moments to click on the article, the comments are revealing.
The challenge may be the City of Edmonton’s which only last week started a door to door campaign along the bike path to notify adjacent residents about the bike lane, and commenced handing out educational material about how to drive the street where the bike lane exists. Route maps and the city’s website have now been updated for additional information for motorists.
So how is a bike lane not seen as a bike lane? “Chris Chan, executive director with Edmonton Bicycle Commuters, who has himself witnessed vehicles going the wrong way down the bike lanes, said it was a “bit of a learning curve” for drivers.”
While the City of Edmonton had a “street bike team” educating drivers when the downtown bike lanes opened, reinforced with a police presence at downtown intersections, no co-ordinated educational component was included for the 102 Avenue section. Couple this with a typical Edmonton winter and conditions that take away from street markings. There are no permanent physical separation of the bike lane from the vehicular roadway in this location, and flexible bollards that are used in the downtown area are removed for snow clearing. There appears to be an acceptance of bike lanes, and concerns for them being safe from the City of Edmonton’s information line. “According to open data from 311 city service, since Oct. 29, 20 complaints have been made about bike lanes in the city and all but three of those fell under the snow and ice maintenance category.”
From the Seattle Times via Guest
Several months into the transportation experiment, three bike-share companies have already scattered some 4,000 bikes around the city. And, boy, are they scattered
“What I think has sadly happened is we didn’t teach the users on the etiquette how to properly leave the bikes after use. I’ve seen too many sidewalks left impassable with bikes strewn about. I can’t imagine how someone with a wheelchair or walker would deal with blocked sidewalks and an inability to move these heavy pieces of equipment.”—Kevin Clark
Most would agree that lots has changed since 1957: attitudes, fashions, diversity, communications and transportation. What has changed very little since then is the BC Provincial legislation that defines and controls the behaviour of people travelling on our streets and roads.
Starting with its title, “Motor Vehicle Act” (MVA), it is pretty clear that the MVA focuses on one group of travelers, often to the detriment of vulnerable road users — people on foot and on bikes.
THIS 51-page position paper has loads of recommendations for amending the MVA. It was written by The Road Safety Law Reform Group:
. . . a British Columbian consortium of representatives from the legal community, cycling organizations and research institutions. We support the BC government’s “Vision Zero” plan to make BC’s roads the safest in North America and eliminate road-related injuries and deaths by 2020.
We seek to make roads safer for vulnerable road users—including pedestrians, cyclists and children—by advocating for evidence-based reforms that will modernize the province’s rules of the road in accordance with the BC government’s vision. We have identified 26 recommendations for changes to British Columbia’s traffic legislation. . . .
Equality before the law is a guiding principle for law reform. This requires taking into account the capabilities and vulnerabilities of all road users, not only motorists. That legislation crafted in the 1950s fails to equally address vulnerable road users today is not surprising. It is, however, a good reason to look at meaningful reforms to the Act.
The aims of reform include the following, many of which are interdependent:
● clarifying the rights and duties of road users to improve understanding and compliance and reduce conflict between all road user groups,
● acknowledging the fundamental differences between road user groups’ capabilities and vulnerabilities, and recognizing the increased risks faced by more vulnerable classes of road users,
● aligning the law with best practices for safer road use by vulnerable road users,
● reducing the likelihood of a collision involving a vulnerable road user,
● prioritizing enforcement of laws that target activities most likely to result in collisions, injuries and fatalities, and
● reducing the likely severity of injuries resulting from collisions involving vulnerable road users.
To quote HUB’s news blurb on the subject:
The Superintendent of Motor Vehicles, and the Ministries of Justice and Transportation & Infrastructure are reviewing and researching the recommendations, and reaching out to other stakeholders.
“The name itself is biased,” said David Hay, Bike Lawyer and Group Chair. “It’s inherently favourable to people who aren’t vulnerable road users.” The committee recommends renaming it the “Road Safety Act” to be more inclusive and show the rules are about promoting safety for everyone.
The last update to the Act was in 1996 and the last major revision in 1957, but much has changed since then, including cycling growing significantly and becoming a much more viable mode of transportation, along with its benefits of affordability, health, space efficiency, and better air quality.
It took decades to move the conversation on smoking, but now it is pretty much a social faux pas to light up. Once, it was the epitome of in-crowd behaviour and carried a certain sophistication.
Will we ever get there with cars? We are, it seems to me, right in the middle of the process now. And despite progress, the outcome remains uncertain.
An article in the Oxford Academic Journal of Public Health, published in 2011, introduces the topic this way.
Caution: no words are minced in these paragraphs.
Results: Private cars cause significant health harm. The impacts include physical inactivity, obesity, death and injury from crashes, cardio-respiratory disease from air pollution, noise, community severance and climate change. The car lobby resists measures that would restrict car use, using tactics similar to the tobacco industry. Decisions about location and design of neighbourhoods have created environments that reinforce and reflect car dependence. Car ownership and use has greatly increased in recent decades and there is little public support for measures that would reduce this.
Conclusions: Car dependence is a potent example of an issue that ecological public health should address. The public health community should advocate strongly for effective policies that reduce car use and increase active travel.
CTV News Vancouver had a feature last night on the City of Vancouver’s proposal to test a separated bike lane on the west side of the Cambie Bridge using a temporary barrier. As well as a collection of Yea or Nay opinions from the street, the report features NPA councillor George Affleck providing his two cents on the city’s bike lane proposal.
Check out the video link here
Jeff Olson, a retired urban designer for the City of Vancouver, submitted this “idea on the pathway to housing affordability.” We’re pleased to post this in its entirety (lightly edited), since Price Tags welcomes considered essays on topics relevant to our readership.
The essential feature that distinguishes the following urban development concept from current urban-design practice is the elimination of the street as we currently understand it. This act results in the elimination of the car and truck as a dominate feature of the urban environment, along with the disappearance of surface and underground parking.
The elimination of the street allows us to treat the ground plane as a public pedestrian space upon which we can toddle, shuffle, walk, jog, run and dance or otherwise move using our feet. Or a variety of old inventions: the little red wagon, the baby buggy, the wheel chair, and the bicycle in all its various manifestations. Then there are all the new inventions: the power unicycle, the hoover board, the skateboard, the inline skate, the Segway, the senior’s four-wheel power scooter, and the power wheelchair, etc.
All of these inventions have common characteristics: they are tiny by car standards, generally designed for the transport of one person, with the exception of the Dutch Bicycle and the very lovely bicycle built for two. Additionally, they can be accommodated on public transit or stuffed into elevators – an important feature of their utility.
All of these machines appeal to our basic human nature: the joy to be found in motion, an experience we know from the time of conception, one that brought gleeful smiles and cheerful giggles as our fathers joyfully tossed us in the air and caught us as infants and toddlers. Surely there is something very basic and human in these instinctive acts. We fly downhill on skis and snowboards, we fly across water on surf boards, sometimes pulled by sails or parachutes. We ride the thermals on sail planes and hang gliders and, when we reach old age, we jump out of airplanes hanging by treads for happy birthday celebrations. This is the cycle of life celebration.
The neat thing about all these wheel contrivances is that they are so humanizing. These wheelie things place people in active space with other people where courtesy matters – greetings and smiles. The bicycle is the most common and ubiquitous of all these machines: a social facilitator, a wonderful motion experience and a machine to be celebrated. Welcome to Bicycle City.
Brian Gould sends along a terrific video of the spankin’ new-old Burrard Bridge from the point of view of people on a bike.
Note that each shot has a matched “before” inset from October 2015. Some of those “befores” make me anxious just watching them.
I was amazed. Having not been in Seattle for a few months, I didn’t realize what was happening with bike share – until I saw this:
And then this:
They’re Spin and Lime Bikes – two of three bikeshare companies that have, since July, started business in Seattle as private-sector initiatives after the failure of the city-subsidized Pronto system. They don’t need docking stations; they’re just standing there – free floating – waiting for a rider to come by and unlock them with a phone.
Seattle Bike Blog provides the details here.
Within the downtown and inner neighbourhoods, they’re everywhere.
There’s a third one too – ofo, which is China-based (where all the GPS-enabled bikes come from, by the thousands). Apparently they’re doing pretty well, according to the Seattle Bike Blog, (though no one I talked to could figure out the economic model):
Free-floating bike share is working in Seattle. Or at least it sure appears that way according to the city’s first analysis of anonymized private bike share data.
In just two months, people have already taken 120,000 trips on the bikes. And because companies are steadily increasing the number of bikes on the streets, the number of rides each day continues to grow at a steep rate. 6,000 bikes are currently permitted, but SDOT’s Kyle Rowe told the Committee that he estimates the actual number on the ground now is closer to 4,000 and increasingly daily.
“Mobike (a China-based bike share giant that rivals ofo), Spin and LimeBike,” according to the blog, “are launching in Washington DC. …” So, if they’re successful, is it just a matter of time before they arrive in Vancouver?
Will they displace Mobi or – like Car2Go and Evo compared to MoDo – will they complement each other, grow the market, add choice, and, once again, frustrate those who can’t believe that cycling is really a serious option and why do we need those damn bike lanes anyway …
The story in the New York Times is about the excessive number of fast-food restaurants in America:
But the picture that illustrates it tells another part of the story:
The worst of Motordom: wide, featureless, high-speed arterials; no sidewalks; no street frontage. Dangerous for kids, of course – one of whom looks to already be overweight.
“Large side,” indeed.
At the weekend’s “Design Jam“, 100 residents of Vancouver, from all ‘hoods and oodles of demographics, volunteered their weekend to thinking about the future Arbutus Greenway. People travelling on foot, people travelling on bikes, people relaxing, people playing. Lots of ideas. Nature, history. And streetcars.
And likewise, the project team gave the volunteers BACKGROUND on light rail generally, and some early thoughts about the Arbutus Greenway’s light rail.
Clearly, there is a fundamental need to put light rail (a.k.a. “streetcar”) on the Arbutus Greenway. It’s a contractual thing. But in some places the Greenway is only 15m wide, and a typical streetcar requires 4 m per direction, leaving a too-narrow space for all the rest that the Greenway should be. So what to do?
As usual, Kenneth Chan of Daily Hive Vancouver has written a detailed account of the discussion material.
Preliminary conceptual designs show that the municipal government’s non-finalized, preferred route for the streetcar segment between West 8th Avenue and West 16th Avenue will take the northbound direction tracks off the Greenway and onto the northbound curb lane of Arbutus Street. The southbound direction will continue to run on the Corridor, next to the pedestrian and cycling paths.
Click to enlarge the illustrations.
Mothers around the world have always told their children this universal truth-We live in a world of germs. That truth was right up there with being told never to run with scissors in your hand. In that world of germs you will never guess where they really survive and thrive in the daily life of the City. As reported by Monica Andrade in Mens’ Health, a handheld germ counter was used by that magazine’s editor to test the germ count of public surfaces in New York City including “a Starbucks door handle, a taxicab handle, a door knob at Grand Central Terminal, and a city-sponsored Internet kiosk. ” Using a tool that assesses germ contact based upon the bacterial and biological content on surfaces, a rating of 50 or over is something that “should not touch your food. ”
Which do you think is more germy-a hold bar on transit, or a city rental bike? The handlebars of that bike share are 45 times “less hygienic” than the hold bars on the New York City subway. And you certainly shouldn’t have your hands touch food while riding that rental bike.
Here are the counts taken below.
1. Citi Bikeshare handlebar – 1,512
2. Starbucks door handle – 1,090
3. LinkNYC Free Internet kiosk – 807
4. Taxi handle – 424
5. Grand Central door knob – 45
6. Subway hold bars – 35
The Chicago Tribune goes a step farther in identifying some things not normally thought of as being germy-escalator railings, shopping cart handles and gas pump handles. While most bacteria is harmless, regularly washing hands is always a good thing to do.
Mom was indeed right.
The third season, heritage blackberries, afternoon sunshine.
The Greenway, in Vancouver’s third season, hosting a trio of giggling school kids.
And no, it’s not cookin’ down those heritage blackberries
Instead, it’s a multi-day workshop to move closer to a “… clear and detailed design . . .” for the Greenway. Two open houses will bring the public into contact with the background material (19-page PDF) being used by the 100 volunteer “Arbutus Champions” and project team.
The Champions will work over the weekend, and then — a big public Reveal to see what they came up with.
All held at:
- Point Grey Secondary School, room 109, access from north parking lot, 5350 East Boulevard, Vancouver
Public Open Houses:
- October 28: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
- October 29: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
The Big Reveal:
- October 29: 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.
A magical place in Stanley Park.
Sunday afternoon, Sunset Beach, sunny day.
On what was once vehicle parking, there are now two docking stations for Mobi bikeshare:
These cyclists were able to access the last open spaces.
By comparison, here’s the situation on the rest of the parking lot:
Lots of empty spaces for cars. Of course, this is paid parking – but really, it’s a sunny weekend afternoon next to a busy part of the seawall, with access to the False Creek ferries. And yet the demand for car parking is abysmal. Looks like they’ll have to use some of those spaces to put in another docking station for bikes.
In 2014, Vancouver pioneered a first in North American intersection design: protected phasing. At the south end of the Burrard Bridge, each mode – vehicle, bike, ped – was separated and given its own phased lighting though Burrard and Cornwall.
Now the same thing will happen on the north end at Pacific.
The transportation engineers never hesitate in explaining why they could confidently reduce the number of lanes on the centre span of the bridge to vehicles without inducing intolerable congestion. It’s because traffic flow is determined by the capacity of the intersections – effective meters on demand – not the number of lanes between them. So they widened the north intersection to create more turn lanes while also extending the merge lane to handle the flow once on the bridge.
Vancouverites didn’t appreciate the significance of Burrard and Cornwall because all the attention was on the changes occurring further down the road – the closure of Point Grey Road to through vehicle traffic. The spillover from that controversy created a lot of sensitivity among the stakeholders when the full redesign of the bridge and north intersection was being discussed – but the success of the southern intersection alleviated a lot of anxiety.*
That gives us a reason to post one of the best videos produced by Kathleen Corey and Brian Gould – Seacycles – that shows rather than tells how it all works so beautifully.
*What happened to all the outrage over the impact of changes to Point Grey Road? It’s an old story: carmageddon predicted, and then never occurring. If anything, traffic from Cornwall to Macdonald seems smoother than ever. Lives have not been lost. Chaos has not occurred. So disappointing.