Bike to Work ?

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From today's Sun. Suck it cagers! (joke)

Signals of better safety
$1.9 million will be spent to install and improve traffic lights and crosswalks on busy streets

Kelly Sinoski, Vancouver Sun
Published: Friday, May 25, 2007
VANCOUVER - The City of Vancouver will spend $1.9 million this year to install and improve traffic signals and crosswalks to make it easier for pedestrians and cyclists to cross busy streets.
The city council's transportation and traffic committee has approved plans to install 10 pedestrian signals at high-traffic intersections and along recommended bike routes, where drivers "tend to ignore" pedestrians or don't yield to those on foot or bicycles.
It will also modify a crosswalk at 10th Avenue and Highbury with a pedestrian-controlled light because of increased traffic.

The city will kick in $1.4 million for the projects, with the rest coming from the Street Capital budget for Bicycle Network, ICBC and TransLink.
Another $25,000 will be spent by the city to operate and maintain the traffic program.

Jerry Dobrovolny, assistant city engineer, transportation, said the projects are part of a 1997 transportation plan to encourage more people to get out of their cars.

"All of our signal programs are basically driven by pedestrian demand and bike demand. Our priorities for the city are walking, cycling and transit with single occupancy vehicles at the bottom of the list," Dobrovolny said.

"It's not the squeaky wheel that gets the traffic signal."
But it's not for lack of trying on the public's part. The city receives about 100 to 150 requests for traffic signals every year, mainly from residents and business people worried about their safety in high-traffic areas.

Drivers at many of the targeted intersections either fail to yield to pedestrians, even at crosswalks, or "tend to ignore" them, the city report said.

There is a history of at least one pedestrian-vehicle collision in most of the new locations, with four accidents at Cambie and 17th Avenue alone.

Cambie Street, which is facing traffic snarls as a result of the Canada Line construction, will get two new signals at 14th and 17th avenues.
Each project will cost about $144,000, with ICBC contributing $95,000 to each one.

Dobrovolny said the city studied the demographics of each area before making a decision. At 49th Avenue and Dumfries Street, for instance, there are few gaps in traffic and a signal was needed to help a high number of school children cross safely.

At Denman and Alberni, which has a zebra crossing -- black and white stripes on the pavement -- a signal was approved as part of the Alberni bike route connector, which is before council.

The move will allow cyclists to press a button at the curb rather than getting off at the crosswalk.
Other factors considered are traffic volumes, pedestrian movements, nearby land use, driver courtesy, visibility conditions and safety history. The police, ICBC and TransLink all have input in the plan.

ksinoski@png.canwest.com

continued....

SAFETY FIRST AND FOREMOST
Here are the locations for some of the improvements that are aimed at making street-crossing easier for pedestrians and cyclists.
PEDESTRIAN-ACTIVATED SIGNALS
12TH AVENUE AT TRAFALGAR STREET
Total cost: $120,000
Background: The traffic and transportation committee approved the signal on April 17. ICBC will contribute $22,000 to the project.

Denman Street at Alberni.
Total cost: $149,000
Background: Located in a busy residential community near Stanley Park, the area has a zebra crossing but residents and businesses have called for a signal at the intersection. It's recommended as part of the Alberni bike route connector, currently before council. There have been three vehicle-pedestrian collisions in the past five years.

CAMBIE STREET AT 14TH AVENUE
Total cost: $145,000
Background: Business owners and residents say they're concerned for pedestrian safety at this intersection, in the middle of a mix of commercial, retail and high-density buildings. Studies show drivers generally don't yield to pedestrians at the intersection, which has two reported vehicle-pedestrian collisions in the past five years. The signal would be installed as part of the Cambie Street reconstruction following Canada Line construction.

CAMBIE STREET AT 17TH AVENUE
Total cost: $144,000
Background: Located in a busy commercial-residential intersection, residents and businesses say more measures are needed to help pedestrians cross the road safely. Prior to Canada Line construction, there was a zebra and overhead-signed crosswalk at the south crossing. Four vehicle-pedestrian collisions have occurred here in the past five years. The signal would be installed as part of the Cambie Street reconstruction following Canada Line construction.

ARBUTUS STREET AT 20TH AVENUE
Total cost: $119,000
Background: A bus stop is located at this T-intersection in a residential area on Arbutus, but the site is halfway between traffic signals at King Edward and 16th Avenue, six blocks away.
This is the only northbound bus stop on the street section and most of the pedestrian activity is related to transit use. Staff will work with TransLink to consider consolidating the stops to 20th Avenue.

CORDOVA STREET AT PRINCESS AVENUE
Total cost: $160,000
Background: Motorists generally don't yield to pedestrians at this intersection in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, where neighbourhood planning projects are underway for the area. In the past five years, there have been three vehicle-pedestrian collisions.

49TH AVENUE AT DUMFRIES STREET
Total cost: $140,000
Background: The majority of pedestrians at this intersection are children who attend Fleming elementary school, yet field studies show motorists don't tend to yield to pedestrians. Parents have asked for a signal, which would complement the Borden-Dumfries bicycle route, expected to be completed by 2009. There has been one vehicle-pedestrian collision in the past five years.

FIR STREET AT 14TH AVENUE
Total cost: $161,000
Background: Increased density in this residential neighbourhood has led to more cars and people, prompting several requests for a signal at this intersection, which already has a zebra crossing. The area consists mostly of apartment, townhomes and multi-residential units, with a long-term care facility and seniors complex nearby. There have been three vehicle-pedestrian collisions here in the past five years.

--> Look at New York - they started enforcing all of the petty crime and property crime laws and lo and behold crime of all types is down. It shows the people that you are serious about law and order when the minor crimes are dealt with. It may seem petty but the effect was enormous. <--

That may very well be true when it comes to criminal activity (not that this will mean the same correlation can be applied to traffic laws)... although I would also expect the decrease came from other related activities too; public awareness and education, for example.

Also, I would think that even Stump wouldn't attempt to suggest that petty crimes and property crime should be acceptable and the laws don't reflect what common sense should dictate.

I would expect that if the police budgets doubled, with a corresponding increase in property taxes and fuel prices to fund this increased budget, just so the cops can quadruple their efforts with traffic enforcement, including a significant increase in ticketing bicycles that don't come to a complete stop at virtually deserted areas of the city... well, I would expect we'd see public outcry of a new order, and also should find out what the public /really/ thinks about it.

"Look at New York - they started enforcing all of the petty crime and property crime laws and lo and behold crime of all types is down. It shows the people that you are serious about law and order when the minor crimes are dealt with."

Debatable. It could also demonstrate a two-tiered justice system where property owners can expect and receive a higher level of enforcement to protect their property, while violent crimes against the poor are swept under the rug.

Further, a system that will spend lots of time investigating a b & e and theft from a millionaire's mansion and no time looking for the stolen bike of a courier who needs his bike to work and be productive may well have lost sight of what's important. Food for thought.

Holy bias! That millionaire may be an extremely productive member of society (he's a millionaire, remember) and may have lost his business laptop in this b & e.

sorry, not a useful contribution - but the comment about the productive bike courier made me laugh..hee hee.

The "police crack-down" argument. Love it. Heroin and crack addicts stop doing smash and grabs, give up their addictions, start typing up resumes and soon are converted to productive, law abiding citizens. The police issue a press release showing the "statistics" of how it all worked and we all live happily ever after. Works every time ;)

I think now the crack addicts are stealing bikes tho'. By pretending they're cops enforcing stop-sign run-by's.

Perhaps we could recruit them here and let them keep the ticket revenue? That'd kill two birds with one rock: re-introduce the addicts into productive society AND get rid of the hoodlem bikers at the same time.

Remember, bike-to-work week starts Monday... just watch out for the homeless chasing you down the street with their shopping carts (now with sirens and lights) trying to pull you over.

You can combine political protest with your love for riding through red lights... tonight, at critical mass!

"The city council's transportation and traffic committee has approved plans to install 10 pedestrian signals "

Yay - more lights for the bikers to ignore.

Bikes are at the top of the planning ladder for the city and the bikers respond by ignoring the bikeways in favor of other routes, ignoring the rules of the road, riding helmetless and generally just doing what they feel is in their best interest to save a couple of seconds on their ride.

My main point before - ignored quite well....if you don't like the law - fight it - don't just ignore it. Get your ticket and fight it - write your alderman and/or MLA. But to just keep on keeping on is hypocritical. Unless all you really want to do is talk the talk.

Oh and I promise to ride to work at least once next week - if it's not raining. Let's see if I can make it to work without blowing a stop sign or will I be a big fat hypocrite!

no, you'll be a little, svelte hypocrite..!

--> Yay - more lights for the bikers to ignore. <--

Wait, you're not another of the misinformed that think bikes NEED to wait for a pedestrian light to change in order to cross, are you?

--> ride to work at least once next week - if it's not raining <--

Bah...you play in the rain...riding in the rain isn't really any different.

Not unless a car should - if you're on the road acting like a vehicle then be consistent and always act like a vehicle. If you're on the sidewalk like a pedestrian then act like a pedestrian. I am not sure what exact function these specific lights require.

My supposition was that it would be another location on a major street where cyclist would breeze through against the light signals allowing the pedestrian to cross safely.

"Cars... ignoring the bikeways in favor of other routes, ignoring the rules of the road, driving recklessing and generally just doing what they feel is in their best interest to save a couple of seconds on their drive... are consistently killing and injuring people."

Fixed it for you.

Krakenfresh for the win!

Ride on.

You apparently didn't notice that I was already paralleling this statement to your similar lines relating to cars. 'Cagers' aren't alone in their desire to save time by putting themselves ahead of other road users - cyclists are just as guilty of that bad habit.

Bikers don't kill people when they push that bad habit too far.

Cars suck. end of story. A barely-necessary evil that could be damn near eliminated with some
good planning and political will.

There's no doubt cars kill/injure more people than bikes just as bikes kill/injure more pedestrians on average.

Everyone just needs to not be a dumb ass on the road when you're driving/cycling/jogging/walking/crawling/skipping or riding a horse.

As far as a barely necessary evil that could be eliminated---wishful thinking anytime in the near future. Cars are just one of several symbols of the greater threat, our feeling of entitlement towards unending, ever expanding growth.

I say either subsidize oil so we pay pennies to fill up and run out quickly, or charge the true cost of oil thereby making it unaffordable to pretty much anyone. I realize that is also wishful thinking, but either way, we'll change our patterns/habits instead of just dragging out the inevitable like we are now...

AND, if we cut down on cars, it would also take a big bite out of our urban sprawl problem, as people living across the Fraser would no longer be able to commute easily to get into town. So we'd have to build enormous skyscrapers so that everyone could live in an insanely densely packed area. Mountains? What mountains? I don't see no stinkin' mountains. But hey, at least we can walk/take the elevator to work!

See, that's depressing. I just talked myself out of the "we can do without cars-ish" argument.

Stump, it's not that I disagree that a lot of drivers drive like complete ass hats. I know, I scoot to work every day (except today I actually peddle biked).

What I disagree with is the incredible arrogance and hypocrisy of "It doesn't hurt anyone when I break the rules" and "I'm allowed to try and save a couple seconds off my commute because I'm a biker, but cars shouldn't" or "So what, it's up to the cars to look out for ME"

I wasn't arguing that cars were worthwhile or didn't cause damage- just that bikers have the same sense of entitlement that car drivers have and that attitude more than the actual vehicle of choice will cause injury.

Cars/Bike don't hurt people - bad drivers/bikers hurt people. Generally bad driver/biker can be defined by anyone not following the rules of the road.

"AND, if we cut down on cars, it would also take a big bite out of our urban sprawl problem, as people living across the Fraser would no longer be able to commute easily to get into town. So we'd have to build enormous skyscrapers so that everyone could live in an insanely densely packed area. Mountains? What mountains? I don't see no stinkin' mountains. But hey, at least we can walk/take the elevator to work!"

Please tell me I'm missing the sarcasm???

Kermit: aye.

Though it's all true to some extent. If we made gasoline prohibitively expensive, commuters couldn't travel as far, which would result in a higher housing demand in the areas where there are jobs, which would result in higher buildings (or super-duper-sub-basement apartments), which would block out the view of the mountains. But you'd live closer to work.

Either that or the job markets would adjust and move to where the people are, rather than the other way around.

I don't understand why everyone equates higher density with super apartments that block out the sun and stars. Does anyone who is claiming that have any rational reasoning/proof to support that assumption?

I admit to not having proof, as I am not an engineer of any description, but I'd be interested to know how you would pack more people into the same amount of space without building upwards.

There's a difference between building up and the mountain blocking mega-apartments that have been described in this thread...

Is it just exaggeration for effect or do you (those who wrote it) really believe it?

emd By emd

re: more density = the solution

I am of two minds about this. I am a surburbanite. I work downtown. Would I rather work in White Rock? Yes. Would I rather live in Vancouver? Hmmmmm. We chose were we live due to the living environment (parks, quiet, friendly, close to family, etc).

I would love to live in Vancouver if I could get what I have now (small house, tiny yard for not too much money). I just don't want to raise my children in a condo/apartment. Not that there is anything wrong with that, it is just not what *I* want to do.

I would prefer that more of you get off the road so that my bus can get downtown faster!!!

p.s. this forum software sucks monkey balls

Yes, it's an exaggeration. For now. But think about how tall the buildings are downtown. Depending on where you are, you're probably not going to have a view of the north shore, and if you are, it'll be limited by the two buildings on either side of the street.

My point is that maybe in the next 10-20-50-whatever years we aren't going to have the hyperbolic bohemeths I was talking about. But if we continue to cram more people into the same amount of land mass, it'll happen.

2 points.

First, downtown isn't where the new density is going to go. It will go along parks and arterial streets. And the new density will most likely be in the form of 3-4 storey mixed use buildings or townhouses/row housing. It's just the detached, single family home that's unsustainable and will be replaced.

And we can't all have a view of the North Shore (which gets uglier by the year as those single family homes creep further and further up the slopes...), if that's your goal then you need to not only stop all growth but kick out a lot of people already here!

"My point is that maybe in the next 10-20-50-whatever years we aren't going to have the hyperbolic bohemeths I was talking about. But if we continue to cram more people into the same amount of land mass, it'll happen."

Ok, so what's your alternative?

You're right, downtown seems like an unlikely candidate for the increased population density. They'd have to tear down already existing high-rises and put in taller buildings in their stead. Not to mention the fact that most of those tall buildings are probably business buildings, as opposed to residential (I certainly can’t speak to the zoning of the downtown core). If 3-4 storey buildings were put in, eventually they would end up getting replaced, assuming the growth pattern stays the same, by taller buildings.

Re: view of the north shore. Many people feel that one of the great things about this city is its proximity to both the mountains and the ocean. I was simply using the north shore mountains as an example of one of the views that people enjoy, myself included.

As far as me having an alternative: I wish. If I had an alternative, I'd be a city planner, not a microbiologist. I'm merely saying that building up seems to be the only logical step in increasing population density in a finite space. Though I guess we could create artificial islands or landmass off the coast of West Vancouver/Point Grey/Richmond and build up there.

For an interesting urban design story, y'all should read this article:

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/15.05/feat_popup.html

"With Dongtan, Arup is testing a radical new approach to urban design, one that suggests cities across China and the rest of the developing world can actually get greener as they grow. '[other architects] are all doing better or worse design ... but they're not addressing the central problem of this age — resource efficiency — and how it relates to cultural, social, and economic development.' "

"[Previous planners designed] Dongtan as an American-style suburb with low-rise condos scattered across the plot and lots of lawns and parks in between. 'It's all very nice to have little houses in a green field,' Gutierrez says. But that would be an environmental disaster."

For Dongtan, Arup decided that 4-8 story buildings would provide sufficient density to realize efficiency gains:

"Up to about 50 residents per acre, roughly equivalent to Stockholm or Copenhagen, per capita energy use falls fast. People walk and bike more, public transit makes economic sense, and there are ways to make heating and cooling more efficient. But then the curve flattens out. Pack in 120 people per acre, like Singapore, or 300 people, like Hong Kong, and the energy savings are negligible."

In 2001, the downtown penninsula had ~50 residents per acre. It's obviously higher now, although I'm not sure how much.

http://www.city.vancouver.bc.ca/commsvcs/cityplans/CityFacts04.pdf

"Though I guess we could create artificial islands or landmass off the coast of West Vancouver/Point Grey/Richmond and build up there."

Thank god you're not a city planner!!

"Re: view of the north shore. Many people feel that one of the great things about this city is its proximity to both the mountains and the ocean."

I agree. But proximity to mountains and oceans is not the same as view of mountains and oceans.

Thank god indeed. I'd hate to have a bunch of chuckleheads on an ultimate forum tell me how to do my job. ;)

I'm not a city planner (though I know a few) so here's a couple of chuckle-headed
observations re: density.

Once upon a time people lived in smaller spaces. Siblings shared a room. The TV didn't get
its own room. In short, we lived closer together. Whether that's preferable or not is certainly
debatable, but there's a huge amount of little-used space in your avg. surburban home. A two
car garage if it didn't house the family SUV and assorted crap that folks collect over time
would probably make a nice little house for one or two people if we chose to utilize the space
in that manner instead of housing vehicles.

Don't get me started on vast expanses of parking lot that sit unused most of the time. At the
very least they should be mandated to have roofs and gardens on those roofs if only to help
with the increasing problems we are facing regarding rain run-off with nowhere to go and be
absorbed.

Further, if we could reduce the amount of cars on the road substantially we could reclaim
land wasted for roads. Two lanes of road turned into row houses or ground floor retail with a
few stories of residential overhead would go a long way towards increasing density without
the need for super-skyscrapers.

Rule #1 of the forum:

- No messages of a commercial or promotional nature

m2c By m2c

Increase density is a good thing, I agree we are wasting space, although the city is getting better at lining major routes with higher density options. I think the best option for everyone would be higher density condo type buildings (3-4 stories) with groud floor retail along most major routes (Main/Fraser/Broadway/12th etc...) with single family housing behind.

And where do you find this higher density? Along the Skytrain! This is a great example of "If you create it they will come". While many are against Skytrain, the fact is (IMO) that more people are more willing to travel on transit in Skytrain then buses (Cleaner/Faster/Nicer). I know that once the RAV line is done I will make use of it.

The Expo line keeps increasing in rider-ship. The Millennium Line will grow as Condo's are built along the line. The RAV line will go the same route. Anyone who says there is not enough people to support the RAV line just wait 10 years, the route has much potential for density expansion.

B

"Rule #1 of the forum:
- No messages of a commercial or promotional nature"

sorry. busted I guess. It seemed on-topic.

gone now.

Back on topic for a moment...

I'm promoting bike to work week as bike to school week at my school.

It has gone from my bike + 1 students bike on most days to 15 riders each day this week so far.

The principal even ponied up some cash to buy a lunch on Friday for any kids that bike more than once during the week.

Only two people biked to school before this week? What kind of lazy-ass school do you go to? What, do they all drive instead? I remember when I was a kid, the bike racks would be full with bikes. Seriously, why aren't more kids biking to school? Is it not considered 'cool' these days?

Pfft. Bike racks were for fights, not for locking your bike up.

FYI: http://www.vancouver-ecodensity.ca/

For those interested in density issues in Vancouver.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070615.wtransit0615...

and we're building a new bridge and wide highway, woo!

Well, perhaps Dalton McGuinty's government's largest donors AREN'T the Roadbuilders Assoc and
the New Car Dealers Assoc of B.C. Perhaps their Transportation Minister isn't a mortgage broker
with a financial stake in encouraging sprawl.

Follow the Money.

You're also getting the RAV line and the NE Green Line plus more money into busses etc..(if only we'd let them tax us more!!! we could have even more - oh joy!!) On a per capita and per year basis - I'd estimate that the BC commitment is similar if not greater than the Ontario commitment.

"On a per capita and per year basis - I'd estimate that the BC commitment is similar if not greater than the Ontario commitment."

Is that just wild speculation or do you have any basis for that statement?

And commitment to what?

BC Pop - 4mil
ON Pop - 12mil

BC Planned Transit Spending - Green Line and RAV alone- $2B over the next five years (excludes federal contrib)

ON Planned spending - $11B over 10 years

BC Per Capita per year - $100/person/year
ON Per Capita per year - $91.66/person/year

Commitment = amount of money being touted as spent on transit.

Notes:

1. My numbers are estimates easily googled so I won't post links. In the end unless I am out by more than 10% it's a moot point anyway.

2. I didn't include new bus spending in the lower mainlnad or other BC initiatives outside the lower mainland where the ON announcement covered a much broader provincial area.

Hi, I would like to safely bike to games at slocan from 42nd and maple tomorrow, could anyone tell me if the 37th route crosses cambie without detouring to 41st? we haven't played this far east this summer yet and the van city route maps don't mention any detours but I am dubious

thanks,
michelle

It was blocked the last time I tried crossing which was a few weeks ago. Doesn't look like it will be clear for a few weeks/months.

33rd and 41st are the closest alternatives.

On that note, 33rd seems to work nicely. If you are heading West, go up the big hill past Ontario and take 37th all the way to one block short of Cambie and cut North to 33rd.

A cursory glance at some numbers to be sure...but proves very little.

I'm sure people outside of the GTA would argue 'a much broader provincial area' is questionable.

See link for Dewar's 'broader Provincial area'.

The bike path starting at Nanaimo skytrain station will take you right there, or you can take 22nd -- starting also at Nanaimo skytrain, over to Slocan and turn south. It's (22nd) the official road bike route to go east/west in that area.

Here's a rant about my bike commute to work.......

I take the West Coast Express train in the AM and ride back to Port Moody coming home. Translink charges cyclists and extra $1 per day to load your bike into the racks on the train. I have complained to them about this, as I can see no justification for the extra charge. An additional fee levied against cyclists when it is hard enough just to get the average person motivated to ride is not exactly encouraging.

I emailed their cycling coordinator and was told that the $1 is because the bike takes up an extra seat. What? Anyone who rides the train knows that half the time there is no seat for anyone becuase it is so busy. So if my bike is taking up a space and they expect me to pay for it, then they should also charge and/or discount any excess passengers when the train is over capacity......so now I just dont pay the $1. I have been warned but I explain to the cops that I've seen three times in five years that I am presently in negotiations over the legitimacy of the fee - they dont care.

Another issue is the newest natural gas buses have headlights situated in such a manner that they are blocked by any bike on the bike rack. So if you are out late and want to put your bike on the bus, you are prohibited. I found this out the hard way after staying late downtown and then trying to ride a bus home instead of drinking and riding. I had to lock up the bike and hope it didnt get ripped off, just to come all the way back in on Saturday to pick it up. What a joke.

Translink talks the talk, but they really do nothing to encourage people to make alternative cycling arrangements......

Any suggestions?

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