Several positions. Check ’em out HERE.
Bike Mechanic; Brand ambassador; Rebalancing Crew.
Several positions. Check ’em out HERE.
Bike Mechanic; Brand ambassador; Rebalancing Crew.
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“.
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.
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.
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.
Elections take place at HUB’s AGM on September 23; orientation sessions will be available in early July if you want more info; applications due by June 30.
Here are the skills and interests HUB Cycling is seeking in new Board members:
HUB is a smart, active and effective non-profit organization, with great people. My thoughts are that joining the Board is a great way to contribute your time and skills to your community. And the time commitment is real — you’ll be involved in lots of interesting stuff.
If you are a bit on the fence, why not edge inwards with little commitment by attending a HUB local committee meeting in your part of Metro Vancouver.
More design elements of the finished PGR are coming in to view. Here, a decorative lamp post, reminiscent of the Burrard Bridge upgrade, amid the wide flat sidewalk, cherry trees, seating area and grassy boulevard. The crow lurking nearby seems to be eyeing the pristine lamp, thinking: “Mine, all mine”. (With thanks to cartoonist Gary Larson).
The Greenway, now steadily emerging from derelict railroad tracks, has it’s first Vancouver Biennale art installation: “Rainbow Rocks On the Greenway”. It’s temporary, like this version of the Greenway. Designed by Grade 2 students, the 800 or so coloured rocks have messages written underneath them — for that welcome element of interactivity.
Click any photo for a large slide show of them all.
Here “Rocks” is a noun, and not a verb. Although the whole installation definitely rocks. The kids really get it, too. A few rocks are message-side up, and one (see photo) says “False Creek to Fraser River”.
We often see Clark Lim’s comments on Price Tags. But here is a view of Vancouver’s transportation situation from Quebec City journalist Stephanie Martin, with a contribution in it from Mr. Lim.
The Google translate version of the article is fairly clear but clearly a bit funky in places.
Vancouver has built its success by saying no to the domination of the automobile. Its congestion decreases and its prosperity increases.
While Quebec is rethinking the future of mobility on its territory for the umpteenth century, Le Journal spent a few days in the British Columbia metropolis, where the volume of cars in the downtown area has been steadily declining for 20 years, As the population and economy continued to grow. Even at peak times, traffic is surprisingly fluid for a metropolis of this size.