Cycling and Walking: This is what we did and this is what happened. From the City of Vancouver:
Cycling and Walking: This is what we did and this is what happened. From the City of Vancouver:
This just in from the City of Vancouver:
2017 summer sees record cycling volumes on five major bike routes across Vancouver
This July and August, Vancouver saw record cycling volumes on five of the city’s 10 fully protected bike routes, including at Science World, Union and Hawkes, Hornby and Robson, Lions Gate, and Canada Line. …
Over the past year, several improvements have been made to create more opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to choose to cycle to get around the city for transportation and recreation.
Of priority cycling routes identified in the Transportation 2040, the City has now completed Comox/Helmken Greenway, Point Grey-Cornwall section of the Seaside Greenway, spot improvements to the Union/Adanac Bikeway, and safety improvements to SW Marine Drive.
Record cycling volumes by location in comparison to previous record years:
|Bike Route||Previous Record (Years vary)||Current Year (2017)|
|Record Breaking in 2017|
|Science World||204,000 in August 2016||227,000 in July *|
|Adanac Bikeway (at Hawks)||115,000 in June 2015||120,000 in July|
|Hornby Bikeway (at Robson)||75,000 in August 2016||80,000 in July|
|Lions Gate Bridge||70,000 in June 2015||71,000 in July|
|Canada Line Pedestrian and Bike Bridge||28,000 in June 2015||29,000 in July|
|Other Major Routes and highest volume month in 2017|
|Burrard and Cornwall||195,000 in July 2014||190,000 in August|
|Dunsmuir Street (Union and Main)||69,000 in August 2016||66,000 in August|
|Dunsmuir Viaduct||76,000 in June 2015||73,000 in July|
|10th Ave and Clark||82,000 in June 2015||70,000 in July|
|Point Grey Road at Volunteer Park||102,000 in July 2015||99,000 in July|
*Data is not available for August 2017 due to technical difficulties with counter equipment.
Despite extensive construction work on Burrard Bridge and Point Grey Road over the last year, cycling volumes along those routes have remained high.
The highest record breaker in the summer of 2017 was the Science World location.
The bike counter at Science World was installed in March 2013 when the first bike count of 53,000 was recorded. Only four years later, bike counts at Science World have increased more than four times that amount. The highest monthly bike volume that has been recorded to date is 204,000, which was reached at Science World last August 2016. This Science World record was broken this July reaching 227,000.
The City has been collecting data on protected bike routes since 2009. Data is reported out monthly and can be viewed online. The data includes monthly two-way totals rounded to the nearest thousand, and shows mid-week averages on 10 protected bike routes.
Old hat here, but they seem excited in SF. From Governing:
Bike commuting is the fastest-growing mode of transportation. And San Francisco can attest to that.
Every time a cyclist rolls past one of the city’s digital bike counters – or “bicycle barometers,” as they are officially called – the daily and yearly totals tick up. In 2016, there were an estimated 82,000 bicycle trips taken per day in San Francisco. That number has been steadily rising since 2006, when manual counting of bikes began.
Today, there are 75 counters – some with digital displays, some without – throughout San Francisco. City planners use the data to better understand how bicyclists use roads and bike lanes.
Did a quick visit to the new Emily Carr University on the Central Valley Greenway a few days ago. I liked the plaza out front, its big electronic display, and the bike racks everywhere. I did notice the big clear bike lanes to the west of the U, connected directly to the CVG at E 1st and Thornton St.
Glen Chernen (“Making the World Safe For Muscle Cars”) has announced his political modus operandi, in clear and unmistakable terms. He has attacked one NPA Council nomination opponent (Bremner), and asked for his disqualification. And, incidentally, has attacked the NPA itself, who must have missed all of Bremner’s alleged shenanigans.
In the background, you can find Chernan’s words on issues, many of which seem to be about combatting reduced scope for his muscle car. And “Take Our City Back”, he tweets, using a phrase that somehow seems familiar, alluding as it does to some rosy idea about a past Vancouver. Now where have I heard this kind of thing before?
Thanks to Sam Cooper in PostMedia outlet the Vancouver Sun for this:
A would-be Vancouver city council candidate has lobbed a political grenade into the Non-Partisan Association’s nomination meeting Wednesday, asking the civic party to remove energy company lobbyist Hector Bremner from its nominee ballot. . . . .
. . . “I have asked the NPA to remove Hector Bremner for the good of the party,” Chernen said. “I’m asking this based on inconsistencies and potential false declarations concerning his employment history working for Rich Coleman at the Ministry of Natural Gas Development and Housing, and lobbyist disclosures while Hector was lobbying for Steelhead LNG.”
Since this action tars both Chernen and Bremner, does it open a pathway for remaining candidate Penny Noble to get the NPA Council seat nomination, despite her association with the dreaded world of two-wheeled transportation as Exec Director of Bike to Work BC? Round and round go the wheels of delight.
The NPA’s nomination meeting is 4-8 pm tonight (Sept 6), for both School Board and City Council candidates. Location is Italian Cultural Centre, 3075 Slocan St., Vancouver.
It promised a new way of bike riding in New York City — GPS-tracked smart bikes that would rent for as little as $1 and did not have to be picked up or returned to fixed locations.
But before it could even start, the company that operates the bikes, Spin, canceled a demonstration project in the Rockaways in Queens after receiving a cease-and-desist letter from city transportation officials. …
Spin’s unsuccessful effort comes as a new generation of tech-savvy bike companies are vying to make riding less expensive and more convenient, competing with more established bike-share programs in the process. Instead of heading to a docking station full of bikes, riders tap a mobile app to locate the closest bicycle left by a previous rider on a street or sidewalk, or in another public space. They typically scan a code on the bikes or punch in numbers to unlock the rear wheels. Once riders get where they are going, they find a place to park the bike, and lock the wheels again to deter theft.
These so-called “dockless bike” programs aim to let customers ride on their own terms, and are similar to the flexible car-sharing program car2go, which allows drivers to leave cars where they can find on-street parking within an operating area. The dockless bikes can be rolled out more quickly and easily than bike-share systems that rely on a network of docking stations, which are expensive to build and take up valuable street and parking space. In Dallas, which had struggled for years to fund a bike-share system, there are now about 300 dockless bikes. …
Price Tags Vancouver really had to check the date to ensure April 1 had not crept around…but no, it’s still August. The good folks at Kitsilano.ca have posted a petition to get rid of the bike lanes on the Burrard Bridge. But petitioner Steffan Illeman is not calling it that-rather it’s called wanting “the City of Vancouver to restore the Burrard Bridge to its pre-bike lane condition.”
Surprisingly the petition which requires 2,500 signatures before going to City hall has 2,300 folks signed up so far. “In an interview with the CBC, the 40-year West End resident reiterated “we’d like the construction to be stopped forthwith, and secondly, tear down all those concrete obstructions.”
Apparently the bike lanes are a “travesty” and don’t earn enough riders to justify their placement, even though over 7,000 bike trips occur daily in summer, with over 157,000 trips by bike across Burrard Bridge in June. But never mind that. Mr. Illeman observes “They should have built just reasonable curb lanes instead with reasonable width and that would have satisfied everybody.”
Price Tags Vancouver could say more, but no, leave it to you. If you want to take a look at the “Banning bike lanes on the Burrard Bridge” petition, you can find it here.
It doesn’t take long. Abolish the roadway look with a coat of paint, add some leafy graphics, level the surface to the adjoining areas — and presto! You’ve got tourists, kids’n’strollers, bikes, folks in biz outfits, lunch shoppers — all enjoying a lovely summer day. And the new plaza seems like one big space for people, integrated with the Art Gallery’s plaza area.
Here’s your chance to weigh in with decision-makers about Bute Plaza (Bute St south of Robson), following its trial transformation into a people place. The stakes? Either a permanent plaza, or back to motor vehicle traffic.
The survey takes around 5 minutes, and closes September 18. You can review the plaza in a delightful video (Kathleen Corey and Brian Gould) linked via this July post on PT.
My opinion is a great big YES to a permanent plaza, with a clear call for many more to come. And on a larger scale.
I am also bemused that the usual suspects have not broken out howling, foaming at the mouth, about the loss to businesses of parking and movement space for motor vehicles.
Also note that bicycles are involved, in the form of a Mobi station. Why, it’s the perfect storm. It probably helps to have the support of the local Robson St. BIA. Not to forget that people places of this sort are actually good for businesses.
Pacific Centre had a problem — underground bike parking was overflowing. So the landlord (Cadillac Fairview) hired the Bicycle Valet to provide “CF Bike Valet” services, located just east of the Howe and Georgia entrance to Pacific Centre.
The service had around 40 bikes parked when I visited, with room for a few more. The bright young folks operating it told me that they’d love to attract more retail shop employees, and that if a customer rolled up on their bike, they’d probably find a spot for that bike too, while the customer went shopping.
The Economist reports on a new trend that is getting attention in China-the return of the bicycle. Unlike the conventional docking systems that are used for bike-sharing initiatives in many cities, a user-friendly approach has been taken in China where bike rental is paid for by smart phone and then the bike can be left anywhere after the ride. The use of GPS technology enables the bikes to be located with a mobile app. Since the typical bike ride by bike share is about fifteen cents or one yuan, and since bikes can move faster in areas that cars cannot, bike share has caught on.
Established in 2015, bike share company “OFO” has over 2.5 million bike share yellow framed bikes in more than fifty Chinese cities, with rival Mobike installing bright orange wheeled bikes. Things must be going well as Ofo is now commencing bike share services in Singapore and San Diego, as well as Cambridge England.
So has the dockless bike system had challenges? “Some riders hide the bikes in or near their homes to prevent others from using them. Another trick involves photographing a bike’s QR code and then scratching it off to stop others from scanning it. With the stored image, the rider can then monopolise the machine. But customers caught misbehaving can have points deducted from their accounts, making it more expensive for them to rent the bikes.”
While thirty years ago 63 per cent of people in Beijing biked, the number today is only 12 per cent, perhaps because cycling in China is dangerous-40 per cent of road accidents include bicycles. Previously installed bike lanes have been taken out to make room for cars, and bicycles are seen as causing congestion according to “some city authorities”. “This month the southern city of Shenzhen ordered limits on the number of shared bikes. Other cities, including Shanghai and Beijing, are considering similar measures.”
While bicycles are battling for their road share, the use of bikes does represent sustainability and reduced carbon emissions, both goals that China is striving for. Will Chinese cities be willing to retool their boulevards and plazas for bike lanes to accommodate the return of the bike?
Image Deal Street Asia
Riding the 2017 Cypress Challenge on Sunday, August 13. More formally known as the 10th Annual Glotman Simpson Cypress Challenge; to benefit pancreatic cancer research via the BC Cancer Agency.
Another way for a city and region to show that supporting a charity, having goofy fun, and riding a bike are all a part of the culture.
Pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate of all cancers and remains a leading cause of cancer death. Most patients do not survive the first year post-diagnosis and overall survival is only 6%. Approximately 600 people in B.C. will be diagnosed this year.
The survival rate has remained unchanged for decades. Despite being one of the deadliest cancers, a recent Cancer in Canada study reported that pancreatic cancer research is also one of the most underfunded, with only 0.1% of all charitable monies raised attributed specifically to this cause.
By raising awareness and funds, the Glotman·Simpson Cypress Challenge is helping to change the story and improve outcomes for future pancreatic cancer patients.
Thanks to Allison Duck (@ADuckYVR) for the tweet with this photo.
Combining two of my favourite things (Mobi and the Mural Festival), here’s a contest to let you (YOU!!) submit a design for a Moving Mural On a Mobi bike. Nifty prizes, too. Get your templates and whomp up a design for submission before August 20, 2017 @ 23:59.
The Vancouver Mural Festival is in full swing and we are thrilled to be part of the fun this year! VMF is the city’s largest annual free public art celebration. The festival brings together local artists who will be creating 50 new large scale murals throughout the Mount Pleasant and Strathcona neighborhoods.
To celebrate alongside VMF, we had 4 local Vancouver artists design 19 #MobiMural bikes and have released them in the Mobi fleet. However, one #MobiMural bike has been left blank for you to design! Get inspired and design your own #MobiMural bike and win a 365 Day Pass Plus!
You should, and for several reasons, one of which is your bank account.
The basis of Mr. Litman’s thinking is this: ” Urban fringe housing tends to be cheaper but has higher transportation costs, while housing in more accessible and multi-modal neighborhoods costs more, but households can save on transportation. These often offset each other, so households pay the same in total in both locations. However, urban housing tends to appreciate in value while vehicles depreciate, so Smart Growth housing tends to generate far more long-term wealth. “
Car dependency enriches the oil industry and car manufacturers, and depletes municipal budgets, but people can follow better strategies for living and for building equity and wealth. And city-builders can take note, and continue to focus on compact multi-modal development.
It looks possible that new services will arrive in the mid-term future which may provide low-cost transportation choices. But until then, the trade-off between housing and transportation costs seems like a bad one in the longer term.
CNU is the “Congress For the New Urbanism“. “The Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) helps create vibrant and walkable cities, towns, and neighborhoods where people have diverse choices for how they live, work, shop, and get around. People want to live in well-designed places that are unique and authentic. CNU’s mission is to help build those places. With seventeen local and state chapters and offices in Chicago, IL and Washington, DC, CNU works to unite the New Urbanist movement.”
Sort of a twinned tweet thing, as two views of the world of active transportation bounce around in my ever-dimming mind. Be aware, the first item is a big rigorous scientific study — so there’s little material there for cheap shots. For that, you need to look at the second item.
First, the results of a major study on transportation mode and its effect on population health. The results around bike riding are startling in their magnitude. And cast a brighter light on Bike to Work Week, a Vancouver institution, and just what it means. Plus a response from Kay Teschke, prominent UBC professor in the field of population health.
Second, a noisy attempt to reverse, delete, remove and expunge Vancouver’s bike lanes (Burrard Bridge especially), since according to the proponent, usage is low and, you know, cars cars cars.
Here We Go
To get a better understanding of what the UK could be missing, we looked at 263,450 people with an average age of 53 who were either in paid employment or self-employed, and didn’t always work at home. . . .
We followed people for around five years, counting the incidences of heart disease, cancers and death. Importantly, we adjusted for other health influences including sex, age, deprivation, ethnicity, smoking, body mass index, other types of physical activity, time spent sitting down and diet. Any potential differences in risk associated with road accidents is also accounted for in our analysis, while we excluded participants who had heart disease or cancer already.
We found that cycling to work was associated with a 41% lower risk of dying overall compared to commuting by car or public transport. Cycle commuters had a 52% lower risk of dying from heart disease and a 40% lower risk of dying from cancer. They also had 46% lower risk of developing heart disease and a 45% lower risk of developing cancer at all. . . . . [Emphasis by Ed.]
Some countries are well ahead of the UK in encouraging cyclists. In Copenhagen and Amsterdam, for instance, people cycle because it is the easiest way to get around town.
It was not always this way – both cities pursued clear strategies to improve cycle infrastructure first. Ways to achieve this include increasing provision for cycle lanes, city bike hire schemes, subsidised bike purchase schemes, secure cycle parking and more facilities for bicycles on public transport.
For the UK and other countries that have lagged behind, the new findings suggest there is a clear opportunity. If decision makers are bold enough to rise to the challenge, the long-term benefits are potentially transformative.
SECOND: a petition, with accompanying social media chatter, urging the City of Vancouver to tear out the bike lanes on Burrard and Pacific Avenue because they don’t get much use. Figures say otherwise, of course, with the bike counters tallying 157,000 Burrard crossings by bike in June, 2017, and a total of 1,285,000 in 2016.
Bike lanes, asserts the petition’s organizer, are an arbitrary attempt to “… force citizens to give up their cars . . ” . And no referendum either, or consent by the majority of citizens — although I dimly recollect the 2011 civic election, with bike lanes as a prominent issue, and 2014, when bike lanes were visible, if not so prominent. And the results were pretty clear, it seems to me.
But apparently this petition is raised in the name of democracy, and protecting freedom-loving motorists from vile predations ” . . reminiscent of public decisions made in underdeveloped Third World countries and dictatorships.”
No mention, by the way, of any benefits of bike riding — health or otherwise.
Best of luck with the petition, I say. I won’t be signing it.
From the Daily Durning, Tom Durning sends Angie Schmidtt’s article on StreetsBlog takes a chunk out of that argument that pedestrians are contributing to being crashed into by cars. Ms. Schmidtt notes ” To get a sense of the real sources of risk for people on foot, it helps to look at where fatal crashes happen, because fatality rates have a very strong geographic component. That’s true both within cities — where fatalities tend to be concentrated on a relative small share of streets — and from city to city.”
Using national travel survey and crash fatality data, researchers from the University of Wisconsin compared safety per trip, not per capita. They found that “public policies and physical characteristics separate the safer cities from the more dangerous ones”.
When lists were then compared with the “Walk Friendly Community” and “Bicycle Friendly Community” rankings, there was a connection between high rankings and low fatality rates, suggesting that investing in walking and biking improvements resulted in safer streets. The researchers also surmised that communities that historically had more pedestrian and bike friendly streets may have continued that investment of good supportive infrastructure.
The graph below illustrates that several cities in Florida are the most dangerous for walking, while cities that have “stronger transit systems and walkable street grids tend to be the safest” . You are five times more likely to have pedestrian fatalities in cities without good walking infrastructure-it is not texting that is killing pedestrians, it is the acceptance of motordom dominance on the street infrastructure. Time to change that paradigm.
At right is the VGH bike facility (click to enlarge).
Excerpt from HUB’s report, as quoted by Boffo, who sponsored it, in part:
The idea for this project grew out of HUB Cycling’s experience in recent years of being asked by developers to provide advice and insight into how their new building projects could better meet the needs of and appeal to people who ride bikes. At the same time HUB Cycling has been asked by municipal staff how cities can better engage with developers and managers to create more and better cycling amenities in buildings.
Cycling is the fastest growing mode of transportation in Metro Vancouver, and 41 percent of people in the region want to cycle more.1 Census data shows that commuter cyclists are over-represented in high-skill and high-income professions.
Some leading Vancouver commercial property developers are already recognizing the benefits of designing and installing exemplary end-of-trip facilities and are seeing the benefits in lower than average vacancy rates but there are opportunities for the broader development industry to see the value and demand more bike-friendly features from their design teams.
The 63-page report (“Not Just Bike Racks — Informing Design for End of Trip Cycling Amenities in Vancouver Real Estate”) looks at a number of examples of bike-oriented development, reviews applicable legislation, incentives and design guidelines, and offers thoughts about how to proceed during the project design process.
As with some politicos, the development community has come a long way. Why I remember (said the crotchety geezer) when any talk of bike stuff with builders and developers would usually get “<*snort*>, NEXT question” as the response.
From Willow (or St. John Paul II Way) and 32nd Ave in Vancouver. Who knew this existed?
Note the roundabout further down the street, and the large stone whose purpose, I presume, is to discourage motor vehicle operators from driving on the grassed area.
A few weeks ago, Federal NDP leadership candidate Jagmeet Singh asked for a bike tour around Vancouver. I drew up the rear on the 4-person ride, and we spent about an hour travelling on mostly protected infrastructure. [You can ride to a lot of places in Vancouver that way. Not everywhere, but a lot].
He was, I thought, sincere in wanting to see what this bike stuff was all about, and impressed with what he saw, and the way it changes one’s perspective around travelling in a city. He’s from Brampton, where my guess is that it’s close to open season on anyone riding a bike. It seems to be a generational thing, and Mr. Singh looks like he embodies a multi-modal approach to travel and transportation.
And now, this is becoming a theme in Mr. Jagmeet’s campaign. Take a look at this recent volley of tweets. [Click to enlarge].
We’ve come a long way.
With hints in the etherwaves about glimmers of possibilities being raised in idle speculation about the Arbutus Greenway, here are a few concrete and steel examples of overpasses for people on foot or on a bike from elsewhere in Metro Vancouver.
Thanks to PT commenter Ian Mass for telling me about these two overpasses in Burnaby, and “Don” for info about the Pioneer Ped Bridge in Surrey.
Pioneer Pedestrian Bridge, Surrey, BC. Check out the lighting features at the link.
. . . the bridge acts as a prominent gateway, eliminates a key missing link in the Pioneer Greenway, and connects communities and amenities together.
The design of the 3-metre-wide, 73-metre-long bridge utilizes the gentle slope of the site’s natural topography and includes careful detailing to create a light and elegant appearance. It also includes a nighttime LED lighting component that gradually changes colour over 10-minute intervals, as well as variable light shows that depend on the season and special dates.