Burrard Bridge Trial Makes Bridge Safer

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City of Vancouver News Release

July 10, 2009

Burrard Bridge trial makes bridge safer

The Burrard Bridge Lane Reallocation Trial that begins Monday will
result in significant safety improvements at an affordable cost, Mayor
Gregor Robertson said today.

"The lane reallocation trial will help us determine whether a protected
bike lane and designated pedestrian sidewalk are viable, lower-cost
options for the Burrard Bridge," Mayor Robertson said.

"There have been a number of troubling incidents involving cyclists,
pedestrians and vehicles on the bridge. Our goal is to encourage
increased walking, cycling, use of transit and smart commuting
options on a bridge that protects the safety of all users."

Over the weekend, City crews will reconfigure the Burrard Bridge to
provide:
* a dedicated pedestrian-only sidewalk on the west side of the
bridge;
* new crossing signs at the Pacific and Cornwall street ends of the
bridge to direct pedestrians to the west sidewalk;
* protected bicycle access lanes on Pacific Street;
* concrete barriers establishing a curb bicycle lane on the west
side of the bridge;
* a protective concrete barrier separating the bicycles-only
sidewalk on the east side;
* three northbound vehicle lanes (no change) and two southbound
lanes; and,
* new signs directing drivers to Granville and Cambie street
bridges.

Additional information about the Burrard Bridge Lane Reallocation Trial
is in a special supplement in the Friday Vancouver Sun.

The trial does not have a pre-set end date. City crews will collect data
on the types and volume of traffic, travel times and public feedback.
This information will be presented to Council in the fall.

"Thousands of Vancouver citizens are finding new ways to commute, save money on parking
fees and gas, improve their fitness and contribute to a healthier environment," Mayor
Robertson added. "With the addition of dedicated pedestrian and bike paths, the Burrard
Bridge trial represents an affordable and positive step forward for safer, more sustainable
commuting over False Creek."

Motorists are urged to avoid the bridge this weekend to allow crews to close lanes and prepare
for Monday's reconfiguration. Motorists are also encouraged to consider alternate routes and
new modes of transit for the first days of the bridge trial next week as users become familiar
with the new configuration.

-more-
For more information, look for the Burrard Bridge Lane Reallocation Trial information on the
City of Vancouver website vancouver.ca <http://vancouver.ca/>

-30-

Contact:
Corporate communications
6045.871.56336

Burrard Bridge Lane Reallocation Trial

* The cost of the Burrard Bridge trial is estimated at $1.45 million. A 2008 report
estimated the cost of widening the Burrard Bridge sidewalks at $63 million which includes
$30 million for necessary repairs and maintenance.

* Typical summer weekday volumes on False Creek bridges:

Burrard
70,000 vehicles (six lanes)
4,000 bikes
2,500 pedestrians

Granville
60,000 vehicles (eight lanes)
500 bikes
1,500 pedestrians

Cambie
60,000 vehicles (six lanes -- pre Canada Line construction)
2,000 bikes
2,500 pedestrians

Bike and pedestrian data is based on 2009 counts. Vehicle volumes are based on
several years of data and have been stable for some time (with the exception of events such
as Canada Line construction). During the winter and on days with inclement weather, bike
traffic drops by about 50 per cent.

* Today, between 8,000 and 9,000 people cross the Burrard Bridge every hour between 8
and 9 am and 5 and 6 pm. Approximately half of the people are alone in their cars, one in
seven is traveling with others in the vehicle (e.g. car pools), one in five is riding a bus and
one in 10 is walking or cycling.

* 2006 Census data shows combined walking and cycling represent more than 40 per cent
of the journey-to-work mode from downtown and 20 per cent from Kitsilano and Point Grey.

* Between 1994 and 2004:
o Vehicle trips into downtown declined by seven per cent.
o City wide, transit use rose 20 per cent, walking increased 44 per cent and cycling
rose dramatically by 180 per cent.

* In a five-month period in 2008, a University of British Columbia study found at least
eight individuals were seriously injured on the Burrard Bridge compared to one each on the
Granville and Cambie bridges.

m2c By m2c

Sounds like things are going well on morning #1 of the trial, I don't use the bridge, I don't bike (but do scooter) to work, but I hope they do hold the line on this one, should have been done 10 years back.

Lets hope the afternoon goes as well, or at least, well enough!

Brian

Hopefully the police take this opportunity to sit at the end of the bridge and start handing out tickets for cyclist who don't wear helmets.

Yes, that is what I want the Police to be spending their time on, if we can stop the about 10% of bike riders who are going helmet-less then that should just about wrap up the last of societies problems.

On another note - See today's Metro for the news that the bike lane trial will cost $15 Million. That should help the acceptance.

m2c

They forgot a decimal place.

The line below says $1.5 million.

Editors, where art thou?

Have you ever seen the injuries caused to a biker in an accident that is not wearing a helmet? Especially when it is a cyclist in an accident with a motorist? And who's tax dollars are going to pay for their extended hospital bill? If they can allocate a traffic cop to direct traffic when a stop light stops working, i think they might be able to spare one to hand out fines for not wearing helmets.

and if you think it is only 10% that don't wear helmets, you obviously have never been to commercial drive/main street/ broadway/any bike path in the lowermainland.

I bet you would fight to the death anyone who tries to oppose this bike lane on the bridge, and the 15 million dollars in tax dollars that goes into it....But someone brings up a by-law that a lot of cyclists are breaking that could add some dollars to the pot, and protect people's well being, and that is a huge waste of time......nice.

Ummm, this issue has nothing to do with helmets. If it did, and you were worried about
cyclists' safety, then you would support any and all initiatives that separate bikes from cars
and remove the possibility of collisions amirite? Like, oh, I don't know, a separate bike lane
on the bridge into downtown that records the most hospital visits and accidents for cyclists
perhaps?

Also, want to save lives? Slow down. The difference in survivability for pedestrians and
cyclists when struck by a car jumps dramatically with every increase in speed. If you hit
someone at 50 kph instead of 60 kph, the difference can quite literally be one of life or
death.

Finally, if safe behaviour and the observance of all traffic laws was the criteria by which we
allocated road improvements, drivers would be left searching for a single lane to call their
own. Red-light running, failure to observe crosswalk procedures, speeding, dangerous driving,
driving while texting, eating, dialling, etc, etc, etc, are the real dangers on the road, not
some Commie Drive or Mt. UnPleasant hipster who doesn't want to muss his faux-hawk by
wearing a brain-bucket.

And let's nip this $15 million error in the bud. The whole six-month project is expected to cost
$1.5 million. This included communications, installation, and removal of the barriers and so
forth. As a comparison, left turn bays at Knight and 41st cost $3.2 million to install.

As to the helmet bylaw adding 'to the pot'... I don't think many people will support using the
legal system as a cash cow as it leads to rampant abuse by gov'ts seeking easy ways to
finance their operations, and further, if you DO think that's OK, you could make a lot more
money fining people for driving infractions that actually endanger other people instead of
making people pay for making a choice not to wear a helmet.

Finally, if you think it's OK to legislated personal behaviour you would also no doubt expect
people to pay for their own rescues when boating or enjoying back-country activities and you
would also have to start handing out tickets for everything from eating french fries while
overweight to drinking when one is already inebriated, as you might hurt yourself falling down
in a drunken stupor. The road to hell is paved with stupid legislation.

(Yes, I wear a helmet)

Link to Burrard Bridge FAQ below

Don't get me wrong, I am all for the new bike lane project.

I just think it is a prime opportunity to start fining people for not wearing helmets.

And i think the traffic infractions you specified above, "Red-light running, failure to observe crosswalk procedures, speeding, dangerous driving, driving while texting..." all do have fines and tickets associated with them. maybe not the texting, but thats just a matter of time. So why should it be any different for bikers? its shouldn't be a 'choice' not to wear a helmet, just like it shouldn't be a 'choice' not to wear a seat belt, its a law.

And i do think that if people are boating or enjoying back country activities and have to be rescued due not following rules, going into out of bounds area's, or just generally being stupid, then yes, they should have to pay for their own rescue.

Your right, this helmet issue has no real direct corelation to the burrard bridge bike lane....and is definitely not the worst road infraction that occurs....but i just took the chance to vent on one of my biggest pet peeves.

"And i do think that if people are boating or enjoying back country activities and have to be
rescued due not following rules, going into out of bounds area's, or just generally being
stupid, then yes, they should have to pay for their own rescue."

If you're stupid, you probably can't see the potential outcome of your poor decision. Making
people pay for their rescue will just lead to more body recoveries and fewer rescues, as
people try to make their own way to safety instead of seeking help.

Helmet laws don't make the roads safer, in fact they may make them more dangerous, as
some studies have shown drivers exhibit more care around helmet-less bikers. They do a
couple of things very well. They protect people who are mountain biking or racing, as there's
a higher risk of injury. They are effective in preventing some kinds of head injuries in certain
situations. But, they certainly don't encourage more people to ride. Further, as is evidenced
by all the places in the world where helmets aren't mandatory, there doesn't seem to be a
huge spike in head injuries when lots of people ride bikes without helmets.

Cycling is a relatively safe and easy activity. Helmet laws just perpetuate a myth that the
activity itself is inherently dangerous. Not so. The only significant dangers to a cyclist in their
day-to-day travels are unsafe motorists, insufficient or substandard infrastructure, and poor
decisions on the part of an individual. Mandating helmet use cannot address any of those
issues.

"And i think the traffic infractions you specified above, "Red-light running, failure to observe
crosswalk procedures, speeding, dangerous driving, driving while texting..." all do have fines
and tickets associated with them. maybe not the texting, but thats just a matter of time. So
why should it be any different for bikers? its shouldn't be a 'choice' not to wear a helmet, just
like it shouldn't be a 'choice' not to wear a seat belt, its a law."

All those things (and cycling without a helmet) DO have fines attached. My point is that
targeting a certain type of behaviour that's relatively innocuous as a cash grab or to deal with
someone's pet peeve is a waste of resources. Again, if you really want to make roads safe,
there's more important laws being broken routinely. If you want to punish people for choosing
not to take an added measure of protection, I think we start to hit a slippery slope. I wouldn't
go fifty feet in a car without putting on a seatbelt, but I don't think it should be the law.
Education almost always is a better route to compliance than regulation.

"If you're stupid, you probably can't see the potential outcome of your poor decision. Making people pay for their rescue will just lead to more body recoveries and fewer rescues, as people try to make their own way to safety instead of seeking help."

Which is exactly the reason why stupid actions should be punished. I have a few friends who have worked search and resuce on the local mountains....they can tell you people always will try to make their own way out of a situation, seeking hlep is the last resort. And you can't imagine the number of times countless $$ and man hours are spents in search of skiers/boarders who decide they can go ahead and ski in the out of bounds area....and if you survey the volunteers I would bet they would be the first to say that these folks should have to pay a hefty fine for their actions, to discourage more people from not following the rules. Same principle as people who don't follow the forest fire bans.....if they cause forest fires, and are caught, they are prosecuted to help cover the cost of fighting the fires.

back to the topic at hand which is a Burrard bridge closer

no kidding the morning went fine you have 3 lanes

afternoon was nowhere near as much fun. On the radio today i heard the mayor discuss how this was all a move to get people to use the Granville st bridge rather then the Burnard, as the traffic figures above show the smaller bridge is overused compared to the larger one...fair enough. the problem is for anyone living west of burrard and wanting to go anywhere your choices as far as driving are very limited. The combination of multiple construction projects and road closures downtown with this bike project made just getting from my apartment, to my friends house in kits for dinner was a logistical nightmare.

I was at the bridge and also downtown yesterday around 5:30-6pm and traffic was a little
backed up on Pacific and very light on the Burrard Bridge.

It wasn't 'all a move' to get people to use the Granville. The prime reason for this trial is to
increase safety on the bridge and encourage cycling by providing a safer space for people
young and old who don't have the confidence to ride in heavy traffic.

"the problem is for anyone living west of burrard and wanting to go anywhere your choices as
far as driving are very limited."

You're kidding right?

"The combination of multiple construction projects and road closures downtown with this bike
project made just getting from my apartment, to my friends house in kits for dinner was a
logistical nightmare."

I'm think we need to examine the merits of the protected lane trial with a view extending
beyond the narrow scope of your dinner plans on one evening. Might I ask if you ride a bike
for transportation at all... downtown to Kits is an ideal distance for using a bike as
transportation. That's why the Burrard Bridge has so many bikers and walkers on it after all.

"and if you survey the volunteers I would bet they would be the first to say that these folks
should have to pay a hefty fine for their actions, to discourage more people from not following
the rules."

Are you sure about that? That's not the official position of North Shore Search and Rescue.
Please see link.

Nelson seymour Georgia howe and homer are all currently undergoing large construction projects right now which restrict the possible commuting options when trying to drive through downtown vancouver. pacific in something that will need to be monitored as it narrows down to a one lane street from 2 which temporarly halts the throught traffic down pacific while traffic turning onto the bridge blacks the way.

and yes if you look at some of the road closures i mentioned above if you are trying to get out of the downtown core at rush hour more people are getting jammed into the same major steets resulting in more gridlock, idling, and environmental damage

No i don't bike as an alternate transportation (never enjoyed it), i do Rollerblade pretty much anywhere i need to go, however i also have the right to drive and do so when the distance or time or weather dictate otherwise. Although you are correct in stating that we need to examine the trail "beyond the narrow scope of my dinner plans for one evening" i used it as an example, simply because there are hundreds of other people with dinner engagements, ultimate games or any other purpose for crossing a bridge....which makes me wonder as someone who has crossed all the bridges in this city on blades many times, why do the trail on the safest one with the widest sidewalks?? would it not have been easier so solely justify one side of the bridge for bikes and one for people?? thereby meeting the needs of the biking community and Vancouvers motorists?

Good angle on the news last night (Global), the bike lane will cause more cars to idle, thus causing global warming. Bike lane = Bad for Enviroment. Great...

Question for those in the "know". After going Northbound on the bridge (so still 3 lanes), they have stopped people from going Right (South) from Pacific to Hornby. Why? Just curious.

Day 2 coming up.

Sean - Granville Bridge to 4th Ave off-ramp. Or Bike. Or leave 5 min earlier. Or Bike. Or something. And sorry that construction made it harder, but infrastructure will happen, better than the alternative. That is not a reason to blame the Bike lane trial.

Also, I'm not fighting to the death for this thing, I just happen to think that it makes sense. Transportation alternatives! People managed to deal with Cambie being out of commission for about 2 years, losing way more capacity then this one lane. DEAL.

m2c

"i also have the right to drive"

No, you don't. It's a privilege extended to those who demonstrate the necessary knowledge
and ability to operate a vehicle safely.

Remember, there are a total of thirty lanes into and out of downtown. One protected lane for
bikes represents 3% of the road space... which is less than the percentage of cycle
commuters in Vancouver (roughly 4%).

M2C:

I'd have to double check the reason behind no rights off Hornby, but IIRC it's to prevent
people from turning into the path of cyclists coming off the bridge. That area has traditionally
been the most dangerous part of the bridge as cars are cutting off cyclists coming off the
bridge and sideswiping them.

"would it not have been easier so solely justify one side of the bridge for bikes and one for
people?? thereby meeting the needs of the biking community and Vancouvers motorists?"

The sidewalks aren't wide enough to meet national standards for safety for two way or shared
use. That's why the city is settling out of court with people injured on the bridge rather than fight
in court. Two way bike traffic on one of those sidewalks would be a recipe for even more
accidents.

You can find many answers to the common questions regarding the lane trial at the link provided
below. Please take a moment to go through it and I think it will answer many of your question.

Gridlock is when no cars move anywhere, not minor delays of 10 or 15 minutes. It's usually
caused by accidents fouling up traffic patterns. The harsh reality is that almost all traffic
congestion is a result of drivers bringing it upon themselves, whether it's dirty driving or
choosing to drive as a single occupant of a vehicle.

Bikes, buses, walking, trains. This is the future. Not some pipe dream of an electric car in every
driveway or similar band-aid approaches. Certainly not trying some spurious reasoning (bike
lanes cause congestion by creating traffic jams) that absolves people of their personal
responsibility in a time when we need everyone to make small (and large) adjustments to their
lifestyle so as not to leave a festering, lifeless dungheap of a planet to our kids.

Also, keep in mind that this trial will last several months at a minimum. The first day or two will naturally have growing pains as people adjust, so we can't go condemning the trial (or praising its glory, either) until it becomes commonplace.

Was the main driver of not going with a new cyclist/pedestrian bridge rather than lane closure simply the cost of it?

The amount of time (years) to build a new bridge is also a factor.

My own P.O.V. is that in ten or twenty years much of our road space won't be necessary and we
will have lots of room for even more bike paths, as car use starts to diminish. Most young
people 'get it' and understand that current transportation alternatives need to become the norm
for a myriad of reasons that those of us born into the car-based Nor. Am. culture of the
twentieth century have trouble understanding.

Kudos to BikerCK.

To anyone who thinks the increased 'congestion' of the bridge will cause a net increase in GHGs: point the finger at the twinning of the Port Mann. THAT net increase will far surpass Burrard traffic emissions.

Definition of happy: Me biking past a line of SOVs along Pacific on my brand new dedicated bike lane :)

Um…I think everyone is missing the point here. This kind of
"improvement" takes all the fun out of urban cycling. I used to ride the
Burrard Bridge daily as I commuted from North Van to UBC. My route
was rife with deadly obstacles but the perils of the Burrard Bridge
crossing hold a special place in my heart. Don't get me wrong,
bombing down the Lions' Gate causeway inches from the wall-to-wall
meat grinder of the morning rush and traversing Stanley Park offramps
haphazardly employed by lost tourists was and is a true joy. However,
the variety and unpredictability of obstruction on the Burrard Bridge was
unparalleled. Oh, return me to those halcyon winter mornings when I
rode the frosted edge of the "cycling lane" nestled cosily into the warm
exhaust of Translink buses whilst dodging the random gait of iPodded
pedestrians on my 23C road slicks.

Wake up people! This kind of infrastructure planning will turn cycling
into a viable transportation alternative rather than an extreme sport. I
foresee a day when traffic will be thinned so drastically with coursing
cycling lanes that cyclists will no longer need to contend with instant
death on the road. Yawn.

Bikers beware:
VPD are ticketing bicyclists who do not come to a complete stop at stop signs (indicated by placing one foot on the ground). Ticket = $167.

This am they were on 10th between Main and Quebec.

Hopefully this 'crackdown' on cyclists will wrap up after a couple weeks, when the whiny drivers stop whining.

What if I drag my foot along the ground? And what about all of the showoffs on the fixed-gears that stand on their pedals until they go again? And when will they start ticketing drivers for the same thing, which is arguably more dangerous?

I’m a bit torn on the whole bike crackdown / handing out of tickets things. Seems to me like it’s happening because of all the whining from drivers lately (much of which has to do with the Burrard Bridge).

I’m a cyclist and don’t disagree with them handing out tickets, but it has to go both ways. I ride that bike route every day and I’ve seen way to many cyclist blow through stop signs when a car is waiting and has the right of way.

But if they are going to “target” us and have a crackdown they should have cop handing out tickets to cars on the Ontario bike route. I’d say more than 50% of them roll through stop signs and don’t come to a stop until they are a full car length into the intersection (which is scary as hell for cyclists with the right of way / no stop signs that are coming down the hill since we are never really sure if they are going to stop or not).

"I’m a cyclist and don’t disagree with them handing out tickets, but it has to go both ways."

I agree, and I think it has to be proportionate. I think cyclists should be targeted about the same
percentage as they are responsible for non-stop accidents. In other words, almost not at all.

By all means, if you see a cyclist not stop, ticket/warn them, but specifically targeting cyclists is
offensive to me (a primarily non-cyclist). I have a serious problem that the VPD feels a traffic
officer's resources are best used in focussing on cyclist motor violations.

Im obviously all for ticketing bikers for infractions. Motorist have been 'targetted' with speed traps, or cops a block away from stop signs etc. why should it be any different for cyclist. And I am sure that officer handing out tickets to cyclists not coming to complete stops will hand out the same ticket if he see's a motor vehicle doing the same thing.

If the guy is standing on a quiet lane, then I'd say his resources are far better used on streets
which have a history of accidents and deaths.

Yes both cases are illegal, but with limited resources, you have to prioritize. When prioritizing,
the benefit to public safety should be the deciding factor, not the placation of vocal whiners.

Hard to argue otherwise.

Couldn't agree more. The intersection at 10th and Quebec? Having an officer there is a joke. Would love to see the stats on how many accidents have happened at that intersection, let alone an accident at that intersection caused by a cyclist.

If cyclists want to ride in vehicle lanes, they can obey the same laws as vehicles. They are not "above the law". Not stopping, running red lights, ducking in and out of lanes to speed up your own personal commute with no regard for traffic laws should result in penalty. I really don't care what you're doing for the environment, if you're constantly breaking these rules, no matter how small or unimportant YOU think they are, vehicle drivers will continue to "whine".

Complaining that cyclists are being targeted for breaking some petty law when they should be out arresting real criminals or whatever is no different than the motorist saying the same thing when they break traffic laws. You want to play with the big boys, act like one.

"If cyclists want to ride in vehicle lanes, they can obey the same laws as vehicles. "

A bike is a vehicle. Although some laws are different for bikes than cars. In some places
rational lawmakers are going even further and changing laws so that bicycles can treat stop
signs and red lights differently than cars. See link below which goes to a great piece entitled
"The Myth of the Scofflaw Cyclist"

"You want to play with the big boys, act like one."

I don't want to play with the big boys. I'm perfectly happy to stick to bike routes and cycle
paths. Unfortunately, our transportation system is imperfect and there are times when I am
forced to ride with cars to get where I need to go.

"ducking in and out of lanes to speed up your own personal commute"

not against the law, for bikes or cars.

Not all countries require bikes to behave exactly like cars. If I remember correctly, at stop-lights in Australia, motorbikes are allowed to move up between cars to the front of the line. To me, the primary goal is efficient and safe movement of people as possible, and not everyone following exactly the same rules, even if that may upset our oh-so-Canadian sense of fairness.

p.s. excellent article, Stump.

"Complaining that cyclists are being targeted for breaking some petty law when they should
be out arresting real criminals or whatever is no different than the motorist saying the same
thing when they break traffic laws. You want to play with the big boys, act like one."

Tubster, that's a poor analogy and you can't defend it.

Automobile accidents are one of the biggest causes of death and injury. Far more than
murderers, robbery, etc. Many of those fatal or otherwise very serious accidents are a result
of seemingly simple traffic violations such as speeding, lemon squeezing, or running
reds/stops.

With limited law enforcement resources, the biggest benefit to public safety is to go after the
largest causes of death and injury. There's no hippy cyclist sentiment there. That's pure
pragmatism. Do you disagree?

The optimal use of police resources is not devoting a police officer to catching cyclists (safely)
blowing a stop sign on a quiet residential road. You're preventing almost no accidents by
doing that. I call that a failure of prioritization.

It's not wrong to give out those tickets. It's wrong that that cop isn't on Knight street or some
other habitually deadly area, preventing serious accidents. At best that's a waste of our tax
dollars, at worst is negligence.

/ Says the non-cyclist pragmatist.
// Would love to see the day when cyclists are the most serious threat to public safety.

"The optimal use of police resources is not devoting a police officer to catching cyclists (safely) blowing a stop sign on a quiet residential road."

Why do we assume that whenever cyclists blow through red lights and stop signs that it's "safe"? I only work the night shift, and could probably run every single red light and stop sign I encounter on my way to work, because the "risk/reward" is virtually negative in the "risk" category. Of course, if I get into this habit of half-assedly checking to see if the streets are clear before I run these lights and signs, will one day I not get smoked by another car due to my carelessness? Do cyclists not share the same fears? I wear my seatbelt every time I drive as well, but cyclists generally seem to think their helmet is an inconvenience?

"I call that a failure of prioritization."

Totally agree. People should still have to obey these laws, however ridiculous or "unfair" or whatever, they seem.

Cops between Main and Quebec on 10th avenue again this morning. Saw someone getting a ticket for (I'm guessing) not wearing a helmet.

"People should still have to obey these laws, however ridiculous or "unfair" or whatever, they
seem."

Like drinking in a public park for instance?

Stupid laws should be broken until the law is fixed. Take drug possession or prohibition laws.
They do more harm than good.

Regarding running stop signs and red lights, it's far more safe to roll through them as a cyclist
than as a driver because you can see and hear so much better. As to those cyclists that do so
recklessly, well, transportation mode has never been a test of intelligence.

Finally, be careful what you wish for. Based upon the behaviour of many drivers, if bikers
actually did obey the rules and came to a complete stop, the car users would find themselves
slowed down to a greater degree and would probably blow a gasket having to wait those extra
few seconds.

Tubster, you should really read the scofflaw link if you haven't already.

"Why do we assume that whenever cyclists blow through red lights and stop signs that it's
"safe"?"

Uh, because the stats bear it out. It's not assumption, it's fact. There is an order of
magnitude less deaths due to cyclists rolling through stop signs than vehicle traffic violations.
If you disagree with that, take a look at the link below.

"Totally agree. People should still have to obey these laws, however ridiculous or "unfair" or
whatever, they seem."

You're missing the point (intentionally?). Everybody should obey the laws (or be willing to
face the consequences), but our police force should be doing their best to keep us as safe as
possible. Camping out in a bike lane is not an effective use of a police officer.

Tubster, would you be happy if all cops were assigned to catching people jaywalking or
littering for a month? If not, then why? It's an extreme example, but it might be
useful for you. By all means, police should ticket/warn a jaywalker or litterer, but they should
not be assigned to that task instead of more important ones.

First, I'm totally for the bike lane, not as a trial, as a permanent fixture. I do not believe it's worth the cost of building a bike/pedestrian only bridge. I'm of the mind that if drivers don't like it, get out of the car. Adapt to the reality.

Also, on the radio one of the big complaints I've heard is "well they can pay for it themselves" as if bikers don't pay taxes, just ridiculous.

However, a few of the comments on here are equally logically tortured.

Temple, you're suggestion amounts to assuming law enforcement can only focus on a single issue at a time. Like given the bountiful resources we as a society can only investigate the most egregious crimes. Congratulations, now letting your dog poop anywhere off-leash, littering, jay walking, and property crime are now defacto legal! After all, there's always a worse crime that those resources could be applied to.

CK, the biker scofflaw article was the same in reverse. It's not OK to be unsafe and selfish just because other people break the law. It's undeniable that all of these classes of transportation break the law. It's not OK to use that as an excuse to not devote resources to bikers because they primarily just hurt themselves.

Tubster, you say "If cyclists want to ride in vehicle lanes, they can obey the same laws as vehicles." and you should have stopped there.

If you want to devote the same proportion of pavement to bikes as cars (say based on population of communing miles) then we wouldn't have this problem. It's cars commuters that want to have more pavement representation, in fact perhaps cars should have special rules for those streets that we magically make bike specific, and bikes can have special rules on car-specific. Or you know... we could all try and get along.

"Temple, you're suggestion amounts to assuming law enforcement can only focus on a single
issue at a time. Like given the bountiful resources we as a society can only investigate the most
egregious crimes. Congratulations, now letting your dog poop anywhere off-leash, littering, jay
walking, and property crime are now defacto legal! After all, there's always a worse crime that
those resources could be applied to."

Dug, you came to the party late, and you obviously didn't read the multiple times I suggested
that those infractions *should* be ticketed, but *dedicating* a police resource who's priority is
sitting on a quiet residential lane is not in the best interest of public safety.

You cannot argue otherwise. Actually, you can, but you can't using any rational means.

(Yes, this isn't funny, but c'mon, at least you'd laugh it was CK not you in the post!)

Nobody suggested they set up a police station there for the express purpose of monitoring bikers. The only suggestion was something akin to a speed trap or seat-belt check, or HOV check. All things which have "dedicated" personnel for the purposes enforcement.

Of course I don't expect you to admit how obviously incorrect you are, but maybe you could use your brand of "logic" (all rights reserved, Temple Inc.) to explain precisely where the line between *dedicating* a resource is and writing a ticket? Perhaps the officer is simultaneously cuffing a wife beater?

You know... logically and all since that's what you want.

Here you go, I'll start you off:

1) In order to write a ticket, the officer >must< dedicate some time to it.

You're completely right about one thing. It's clearly irrational to expect you to admit when you're wrong. There's nothing irrational about my position though.

Dug, an officer was assigned to a quiet residential lane for several days.

If it's a 'ticket of opportunity', you'll hear no complaints from me. However this officer has been
assigned to sit and set up a trap in a quiet residential lane. Where do you assign police? Where
they do the most good for public safety. That shouldn't be a quiet residential lane which has
little or no record of dangerous activity.

None of the things you've said have come close to defending that.

m2c By m2c

"Regarding running stop signs and red lights, it's far more safe to roll through them as a cyclist than as a driver because you can see and hear so much better" - Yes, but is it safer than if the cyclist does come to a stop?

Also, they targeted a know problem area for several days strait? So what, this is how law enforcement works. In a week or so they won't be there, they will be somewhere else. Red Light Cameras are moved around the city to problem spots, speed traps are set up in certain areas, DUI roadblocks are more common during certain times of the year. Cyclists should be happy that they are getting the same treatment, one step closer to being seen as a legit form of transportation.

On another note, after spending 5 days in LA, you really appriciate the fact that we are doing more in Vancouver to help out non SOV transportation. It is ILLEGAL there to convert existing lanes to HOV now, only new highways can have them. I can't imagine what it would take to get a bike lane only trial going there. At least they are broke now.

Brian

"Also, they targeted a know problem area for several days strait? So what, this is how law
enforcement works."

It's not how it should work. Further your analogies are poor. Police target red light running,
speeding, and drunk driving because they are major causes of accident, injury, and death.
That's a good thing. Because they have limited resources, they move around where they
target, always with the same goal of reducing overall accident, injury, and death by targeting
the leading causes. Now, if they're on the job looking to reduce those seriously dangerous
activities and they see a cyclist breaking the law *absolutely* they should be stopped.

What shouldn't happen is for the cop to stop actively targeting the serious causes of accident,
injury, and death, so that they can target relatively (by every practical definition of the
word) harmless infractions. By targeting relatively safe actions, they are *allowing* more
dangerous infractions to occur.

As a non-cyclist, I don't want cyclists "getting the same treatment" as everybody else if that
means an overall increase in accident, injury and death for users of our roadways. I can't
believe that this notion escapes some people. Suggesting police shouldn't prioritize problem
areas is foolhardy.

A cop sitting at a cyclist trap increases the risk, ever so slightly, to every motorist in
Vancouver. Drivers should realize that the principle of not spending tax dollars on activities
which serve to increase overall risk outweighs the principle of spite towards cyclists.

If safety initiatives were apportioned according to risk, there would be a crackdown on cyclists
and traffic laws for about 10 minutes one day a year (number pulled from butt). 432 people
were killed last year due to car accidents in BC alone (see Temple's link upthread). I do not
know of any incidences of a cyclist killing someone in BC (not to say it hasn't happened, but I
haven't found evidence of such an occurrence).

m2c By m2c

It's not how it should work. - No I guess it should work the way you want it too work, based on your years of experiance in Law Enforcement.

A cop sitting at a cyclist trap increases the risk, ever so slightly, to every motorist in Vancouver - Again, you are just talking out of your ASS here. You have no idea that this is true, you just assume it because it "sounds" like it is true. (Sorry, I forgot that your assumptions can't be disproven but can be used as the bases to support any of your arguments.)

Laws and Law enforcement (and the psychology there of) is WAY more complicated than the idea that IF a police officer is spending time ticketing in one area then people will suddenly start behaving badly somewhere else. If a significant number of officers, say 25%, spent 100% of their time of the couse of months doing this, then you may have a point. Lets wait to see if that happens in this case.

Brian

"Laws and Law enforcement (and the psychology there of) is WAY more complicated than the
idea that IF a police officer is spending time ticketing in one area then people will suddenly
start behaving badly somewhere else."

Who's suggesting that? Only you.

People are behaving badly *constantly*. Cyclists and motorists alike. If we accept that
ticketing reduces the rate of serious accident, injury, or death, then you want as much
ticketing of those risky infractions (speeding, DUI, running reds/stops, etc) as you can afford.
I should hope we accept that. Otherwise why ticket? Surely the cost in training, equipping,
and paying cops who work road checks and speed traps (forgetting for a moment the court
and administration fees) don't amount to nearly the net ticket revenue.

Pulling an officer off an assignment which prevents serious causes of accident, injury, or death
to put them on an assignment which prevents cyclists from blowing stops on a bike route (or
not wearing their own helmet, bell, etc) does not have the public safety in mind. I say that's
a waste.

You say I'm making unprovable assumptions. I think they're pretty safe, but let's put the
decision in your hands.

Brian, you're a taxpayer, if the decision was yours, would you have your taxes pay for 2 days
worth of a cop stopping drinking drivers, or two days of a cop stopping cyclists from blowing
stop signs on a bike route? I have a hard time believing you don't care.

Are you just being argumentative, or do you really feel that your tax dollars are better spent
with that cop stopping bikes than drunk drivers?

Oh wait I've got an idea. I submit to you short challenge. You are an excellent TD, and that
makes you expertly qualified to answer the following hypothetical:

There are two semi-final games to be played. You know from your experience and history
that the two teams who are playing Semi 1 (Teams A & B) always play with high
sportsmanship. There is pretty much never an issue when these teams play each other.

Conversely, Semi 2 features two rival teams (Teams C & D) facing off. Now, these
guys have a long history of issues when they play. Their games have regularly featured
serious disputes and complaints.

Now you've had observers at some of the games that Teams C & D have been involved in so
far, there were issues, but games were managed. You hadn't had observers at any games
that Teams A or B played, and there were no serious issues.

You have one set of Observers. Which game do you assign observers to?

Now if you can answer that you put observers on Semi 1 to watch Teams A & B, and you
briefly explain your rationale, I will bring you a case of beer on Saturday at Babes. You don't
have to convince me, I won't argue against it. Just give me your reason why that would be a
good use of resources, and you win the argument, case is closed, and the beer is yours.

Hint: In my analogy Semi 1 is the bike route, and Semi 2 is Knight Street.

Bonus hint: There's more than one set of observers.

Double Bonus hint: You don't know where Semi 2 is being played, but you know where Semi 1 is being played.

Temple, do you perhaps work for Fox News?

A serious question (for anyone other than Temple). How is the trial going? It's not part of my usual commute so I'm curious how well the traffic has adapted.

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