Several positions. Check ’em out HERE.
Bike Mechanic; Brand ambassador; Rebalancing Crew.
Several positions. Check ’em out HERE.
Bike Mechanic; Brand ambassador; Rebalancing Crew.
Now that the GreeNDP cabinet is in place, with Metro Vancouver well represented, here’s the brand new Parliamentary Secretary for TransLink looking for input. Via Twitter, of course.
Just a thought in passing — does anyone here have any ideas? Freeways? Gigantic bridges? More cars? Referenda on everything?
What do the Mayors think, I wonder?
Bowinn Ma, P.Eng @BowinnMa
….. mins ago
As your ParlSec for #TransLink, thinking long term is essential. What do u want to see for the future of #PublicTransit in #MetroVancouver?
From a standing start at zero bikes and zero stations a year ago on July 20, Vancouver’s Shaw and Vancity-sponsored bike share system has become just another get-me-around choice that you can make. And people are using it a lot.
Here are a few numbers to describe Mobi’s start-up year.
For me, the telling bike-share operational statistic is “average number of rides per bike per day“. Since the number of bikes has been growing steadily to around 1,200 today, from zero a year ago, I can’t do useful math without a whole lot more fine-grain detail.
However, we do know that on the peak day (July 1), the rides per bike was around 3.3. This is OK, if not spectacular. My guess is that the big ride-per-bike-per-day numbers occur in big mature systems with broad geographical spread. Vancouver’s Mobi is new, comparatively small and operates in a limited size area.
It’s also worth noting, for a moderately complex system startup like this, that operational glitches have been small. What I tell people is this: “It just works“.
There is a little more Dutch in Winnipeg these days as that city welcomes its first “Woonerf”. As reported in the Metro News this is a street innovation for pedestrians before vehicles, and achieves “calming the street down through design”.
A typical Dutch woonerf
The location of the woonerf at John Hirsch Place used to contain an old rail line. Now there is a curbless lane that allows for slower vehicular traffic and no delineation between bikes, cars and pedestrians.
There are bollards near the edge of the lane to keep people from driving on the landscaping (and I have seen bollards in Amsterdam that retract to allow for emergency vehicle entrance). There is seating for walkers which as soon as it was placed became a place to be with the locals.
Besides providing a pedestrian link between Waterfront Drive and a park and further trails, the woonerf has become a new public space. Similar to the “DeepRoot” cell system installed in Vancouver’s Olympic Village for the ongoing sustenance of the street trees, Winnipeg has installed a similar system for increased street tree soil volume and rain water capture.
While this is only a demonstration project, we all toast Winnipeg for their first woonerf-and suspect with citizen use and demand, it won’t be their last.
Here’s Pete Meizsner’s take on the new PGR, complete with bafflement about a few residents’ opposition to the changes.
Point Grey Road used to be a busy commuter route between downtown Vancouver and UBC, with thousands of cars using the route daily to avoid traffic on West 4th and Broadway. Now it’s a low-traffic street, which improved property values and quality of life.
It begs the question, what are the vocal minority of naysayers really concerned about? Is it really the cost of the upgrades, or is it the hundreds of cyclists and pedestrians now passing by? Would these homeowners prefer a seawall along the waterfront in front of their properties (and their views)?
There’s no shortage of issues city hall deserves criticism for, but an improved cycling and pedestrian route in one of Vancouver’s most spectacular settings isn’t one of them.
Personally, I do understand commuter motorists’ problems at having their high-speed high-volume arterial turned into a traffic-calmed neighbourhood street. But the remaining arterials on 4th Avenue, Broadway, 12th Avenue, 16th Avenue and 25th Avenue seem to have survived quite nicely and absorbed the 6,000 – 8,000 motor vehicles that formerly used PGR per day. Who knows, maybe a few people have even changed their commute to involve a bike or a bus.
There was a recent twitter flurry about able-bodied planners and engineers using wheelchairs for a few hours on their city streets to comprehend what it is like to use a wheelchair daily. Some disability advocates balked at this, pointing out that being able bodied in a wheelchair for a few hours on a well-lit and intersectioned street does not replicate the actual experience of those who are truly disabled, and should not be used as a substitute to involving, talking with, and understanding the issues of disabled users themselves. The disability advocates’ point is very valid-in order for universally accessible environments, we need to actively involve and listen to all users, no matter their ability. It just makes sense, and people in wheelchairs should also have the same access to public spaces and a range of housing types.
The American Disabilities Act (ADA) estimates that 70 per cent of Americans will have a temporary or permanent disability in their lifetime. They also estimate that 21 per cent of people over 15 and half of people over 65 years of age have some type of mobility disability. We just are not yet designing our urban spaces to accommodate and understand these specialized needs.
The Vancouver Courier and Jessica Kerr report on a simple but elegantly universal concept-while the Vancouver Park Board has beach wheelchairs for wheelers, these need to be reserved in advance and are not motorized. Recognizing that disabled folks may not be able to transfer to these chairs or may actually prefer their own, a large beach mat will be installed with platforms on English Bay by August. This mat would enable people with strollers, canes and walkers to go down to the high tide line using their own mobility aids. One disability advocate Gabrielle Peters notes:“It means we can go out there with our friends,” she said. “It means we can participate. It means we have access to that very special part of Vancouver… This is a wonderful thing. It’s literally opening up a space that hasn’t been accessible in any shape or form. Being at the beach is so much a part of being in Vancouver.”
And this article from Australia’s Gold Coast contains a short video of the installation on weekends of a similar mat that allows disabled users to go to the shallows of the ocean. Costing $20,000, the plan is for more of these mats to be installed on Australian beaches to allow more wheelers and those with mobility devices beach access, a universal right for any citizen living in a city on the water’s edge.
Recently released numbers show that, in a 12-hour period, 2,000 people on bikes and 700 people on foot used the temporary, under design, but steadily improving Arbutus Greenway.
I am so pleased that a variety of Vancouver residents are taking advantage of the evolving Greenway for everyday travel. I hope that lots of us will think about what we’ve experienced, and bring those thoughts to the design team.
Thanks to Naoibh O’Connor at the Vancouver Courier for the information.
Features along the nine-kilometre route include an all-weather hard surface that’s divided for walking and cycling, a bark mulch path for walking and jogging, washrooms, benches and MOBI bike share stations. . . .
. . . There’s also some lighting that will be installed before the fall, along with signals at 12th, Broadway and Marine Drive — at this point signs direct users to the nearest intersection.
More features such as art or sustainable green ideas around habitat could be added over the coming months. Dobrovolny said the city has adopted the concept of “action while planning.”
“While we’re in the design process and the consultation process, if good ideas come up, we’d like to try them out,” he said. “So if [residents] have got some great ideas over the next while, we’ll try to get them in.”
And there are some nifty pix in the article, including this one, from the twitter note about a recent Price Tags post:
Summer’s signs on a lovely evening: picnic dinner on the beach, and brown grass in the park.
Around the world municipalities are starting to understand that speed does kill. Merely slowing vehicular speed from 50 km/h to 30 km/h is the difference between a pedestrian having a ten per cent chance of survival in a crash, to a ninety per cent chance of survival. When you think that we live in a country where we nationally subsidize health care, it is a simple no brainer-slow traffic saves lives, and saves health care costs too.
The City of Vancouver has been surprisingly reticent in not directly addressing the pedestrian carnage on Vancouver roads. There is not even a separate pedestrian advisory committee of council, instead those issues are rolled neatly into an appointed active transportation advisory body also charged with cycling. The pedestrian fatality and accident statistics are very upsetting and Price Tags has quoted them before. Last year almost one pedestrian a month died on the streets of the City of Vancouver. Statistics show that most of the dead were seniors. And the majority were correctly crossing the street at a marked intersection. It is just not acceptable in any kind of society, but somehow we see pedestrian deaths as some kind of forgivable disturbance caused by cars. Even the penalties given to drivers that kill by car are surprisingly light, to the sorrow of grieving families.
Despite the carnage the Mayor of Vancouver who champions the Green City model says in a report by the CBC that the city is considering reducing speed limits on more municipal roads, but wants to see what other municipalities are doing. Last year there were no cyclist deaths on Vancouver roads-but there were eleven pedestrian deaths. Surely that is enough to take more decisive action. “We’re watching other cities that are going to 30 kilometres in residential areas,” said Robertson at a media event on Wednesday.” But somehow the Mayor can’t commit to doing the prudent sustainable act of universally lowering speeds on all streets. And in Vancouver, arterials are also residential streets for many people-why can’t we accept the inconvenience of drivers adding a minute or two to a driving trip to save lives of pedestrians travelling more sustainably?
Meanwhile in Toronto Kate Allen of the Toronto Star observes that the Mayor of Montreal has announced “plans for a city-wide reduction of speed limits to be implemented next spring, lowering speed limits to 30 or 40 kilometres per hour on most city streets. The move is modelled after Sweden’s Vision Zero Initiative, aimed at putting an end to traffic fatalities.” And in Toronto itself an Angus Reid Forum poll found that 81 per cent of citizens were willing to trade lower speed limits for safer streets.
That means that four out of every five citizens will accept slower travel times to reduce collisions and save lives. As Toronto Councillor Mike Layton stated “I think people understand what the city is trying to do, and that is create safer streets for everyone that allow for different modes of transportation. We all want to get home safely to our families or to our places of work or school at the end of the day. If it’s a matter of safety over convenience, I think you’ll find that most people agree that we need to make sure our streets are safe.”
And that is what universal slower vehicular speed limits will do.
From an early morning walk along English Bay Beach.
When in Melbourne’s CBD, check out this spot, where transportation priorities are seen with laser-focused clarity. And, to the surprise of absolutely no one, illustrating that no place is perfect, even if it’s mostly pretty good.
Thanks to Stephen B (@BicycleAdagio).
Hornby and Helmcken, with emergingly iconic travellers — one on a Mobi, the other delivering lunch via Foodora.
Out for a walk on a lovely summer morning.
Luke Ohlson of Brooklyn, NY has posted this video that contrasts the activity at a Citibike bike-share station with the motor vehicle storage area across the street.
It really does pointedly ask the question: “Which is the better use of the city’s space?”
Note the replenishment of bikes that happens at around the 8 second mark of this time-lapse video, and again at the 18 second mark. Also note the inoperative bike, identifiable by its seat turned backwards. And the vast number of people travelling on foot.
A higher-res Vimeo precursor of this is dubbed “Flatiron”, and the cross street appears to be E 22nd Street.
Build it; they come; business follows; and people turn around.
Vancouver’s separated bike lanes have attracted new people in new demographics to travel by bicycle. But now, based on members’ opinions, Vancouver’s top business association has solidified their bike lane support and used terms like “evolution” and “competitive edge” to explain their reasoning. Perhaps other business groups (Commercial Drive — are you following this?) will take note.
Tina Lovegreen on CBC News covers a story that regular PT readers know already. But this tangible landmark move signals a big step. The Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association (DVBIA), led by CEO Charles Gauthier, has partnered with Hub Cycling to the tune of $ 15,000 per year as a platinum member.
Gauthier said many employers, especially those in the tech sector, are interested in office spaces that accommodate different types of transportation, such as cycling or car sharing.
“They want those options available so it’s easy for their employees to get to work by bike or transit or to be able to walk to work,” Gauthier said. “Parking of private vehicles is less of a top priority and building owners want to attract those employers,” he said.
“I think it provides us with a competitive edge.”
. . . Gauthier said there might be a few retailers that won’t be pleased with the move to support cycling, but he said those businesses that rely on street parking will most likely move out and be replaced by other tenants. That’s what happened on Hornby Street when the bike lanes were built there, said Gauthier.
Occasional PT contributor and full-time Langley City councilor Nathan Pachal writes about recently released plans for the Surrey light rail projects, and much more. Incidentally ever-more likely to happen, too, given the increasing likelihood of referendum-free local funding.
For example, the plans includes changing King George Boulevard to a tree-lined multi-modal corridor.
Today it’s a six-lane urban arterial — almost a freeway in its design and usage. The change incorporates the “complete street” approach, where those who choose their feet or a bike will have a safe, useable and pleasant place to make their trip.
As usual, let’s all prepare for yet another round of “Carmageddon“, the consequence-free game of predicting near-complete societal collapse as a result of changes to the existing allocation of road space.
The plan’s map shows two lines, with a combined total of 19 LRT stops over 27 km of travel.