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Big win for Vancouver, BC cyclists

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Big win for Vancouver, BC cyclists

Old 05-06-10, 02:29 PM
  #1  
J B Bell
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Big win for Vancouver, BC cyclists

Vancouver City Council voted unanimously to spend $25 million over the next two years on cycling infrastructure, including separated lanes. The budget represents 30% of the spending for all road maintenance and construction. Wow!

Articles:

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-col...vancouver.html
http://www.vancouversun.com/Video+St...342/story.html
http://www.ctvbc.ctv.ca/servlet/an/l...ritishColumbia
http://www.straight.com/article-3225...n-improvements
http://www.theprovince.com/technolog...768/story.html

--JB
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Old 05-06-10, 02:46 PM
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Congratulations Vancouver! And I was thinking about bringing my bike up there for a trip this summer...
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Old 05-06-10, 02:50 PM
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Awesome! Also a cool coincidence that this comes through in the same period of time that FL is getting it in the kiester.... Kinda like the Morton Grove, IL, handgun ban, followed shortly by the Kennesaw, GA, handgun REQUIREMENT. Granted, Kennesaw did their thing as a symbolic protest as much as anything, but still....

GO, VANCOUVER!
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Old 05-06-10, 04:20 PM
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I don't see how this is a win.
It is like the jews in poland cheering that the germans are providing dedicated housing.
Bike lanes are bike ghettos.
First they build them then change the law forcing you to ride in them (aka Florida).
I will take a trafic citation over riding in a bike lane anyday.

Enjoy
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Old 05-06-10, 07:02 PM
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I Don't Think there's much danger of vancouver turning into florida any time in the near future.

Anyone else from up here in the cycle-friendly northwest noticing that it tends to be the marginalized cyclists from car centric areas with minimal numbers of cyclists that are the biggest naysayers when it comes to bicycle infrastructure?
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Old 05-06-10, 07:25 PM
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Would it help if out of state people called?
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Old 05-06-10, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by kludgefudge View Post
I Don't Think there's much danger of vancouver turning into florida any time in the near future.

Anyone else from up here in the cycle-friendly northwest noticing that it tends to be the marginalized cyclists from car centric areas with minimal numbers of cyclists that are the biggest naysayers when it comes to bicycle infrastructure?

absolutely. "keep people off bikes if they can't handle raging cagers" epitomizes the hysterical rhetoric of the naysayers.

as vancouver encroaches on double digit ridershare with a few, select, preferred class right of ways, the 1 percent solution committee will continue to decry what works to normalize cycling as a mode of transportation.
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Old 05-06-10, 09:23 PM
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Can I say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!!!!
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Old 05-07-10, 08:54 AM
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From Fridays Globe and Mail:

Vancouver driven to reallocate road space



Steamrollering cars or paving the way of the future? City aims to make life better for walking, cycling, riding buses and skateboarding.

Frances Bula

Thirteen years ago, Vancouver set an explicit policy of not creating any more road space for cars – a policy that has earned it admiring attention abroad and some alarm at home that it was going to strangle itself economically.

This fall, city councillors, as they debate a new long-term transportation plan, will be contemplating something even more radical: A road diet to reduce the space for cars, especially single-driver cars.

“I hate to ring the bell on reducing the road space but the trend has been clear that we are not seeing the increase in other modes that we expected,” Councillor Geoff Meggs said this week.

“We were supposed to get to a 10-per-cent cycling goal by now but we’re only at 3.7 per cent. It may be that some major reallocation is necessary.”

In advance of that, Vancouver has been pushing on several non-car fronts, as it attempts to make life better for walking, cycling, bus-riding, car-sharing, skateboarding and taxi-riding streams of traffic.

Councillors approved a generous $25-million, two-year plan Thursday to improve its bike network and kicked off discussions about a master cycling plan for the next 10 years, with more millions to be spent on that. They also reduced parking rates for two-wheeled vehicles such as electric bikes and motorcycles.

On Tuesday, councillors okayed spending $2-million to enhance “pedestrian collector” routes in the city.

In the past month, city planners have started work on creating a separated bike path through downtown Vancouver. And that’s after having created lanes protected by concrete barriers on two bridges leading to the downtown peninsula, including the heavily used Burrard Bridge.

That move was expected to be controversial. It was until it opened and then opposition vanished.

“It just happened. I could almost feel the end of an era,” said Councillor Andrea Reimer. “That was a strong signal to me that we’re ready to move to a new level in talking about sharing the transportation network.”

That new level will be front and centre as councillors update the city’s 1997 transportation plan this fall, to make it more coherent than the patchwork of efforts of the last few months.

Ms. Reimer said she expects the reduction of road space for cars to be prominent in the debate.

The controversy over streets is part of an international trend to re-examine what to do about a valuable piece of real estate in cities.

“We were a little bit shocked when we were told that about 30 per cent of the city is paved,” Ms. Reimer said.

Vancouver isn’t unusual. It’s even doing a little better than the average. Urban-planning research has found that roads typically account for about 35 per cent of a city’s total land area.

The days when cars had free rein in that era are long over. Planners and city politicians look at which stream of locomotion should get priority and where.

They are also looking closely at how much room cars take. They require 140 square metres when they’re travelling, 37 square metres when they’re parked. And, Ms. Reimer said, one recent calculation she heard was that there are four parking spots for every one of the 1.5 million cars in the region.

“If you could figure out a more efficient use of allocating all this pavement, you could do all kinds of things,” she said.

But it will undoubtedly be difficult figuring out who will get what proportion of space.

Vancouver residents have heard a lot about cycling in recent months, but cyclists are only one of the groups tussling for a share of the pavement.

Taxi drivers, who formed a new lobbying group this week, are conducting an energetic campaign to get access to bus lanes.

Pedestrians don’t have a lobby group, but many councillors say they need to get more attention.

“It’s worrisome because we’ve achieved some of the cycling improvements lately, not at the expense of cars, but at the expense of pedestrians,” Mr. Meggs said.

And businesses everywhere are going to be campaigning to ensure that there’s enough room built in for commercial traffic.

Charles Gauthier, the executive director of the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association, said businesses downtown are concerned that the city doesn’t seem to be following its own policies any more. The downtown got its own separate transportation plan in 2002 that specifically spelled out no removal of street parking, no removal of road space.

That seems to have been abandoned as planners map out a Dunsmuir Street bike lane that takes away space and parking.

“Where is the master plan?” Mr. Gauthier said. For downtown businesses, taking away road space has a definite practical consequence because it makes commercial deliveries more difficult.

Vancouver’s dilemma is going to be figuring out the right solution for all those interest groups. But it doesn’t look as though it will have a serious political fight.

Councillor Suzanne Anton, the city’s lone representative of the centre-right party, said she hasn’t heard a lot of complaining so far about bike lanes and doesn’t expect to hear an outcry when even more road space is reallocated.

“I think people will be okay with it if it’s a system that works for them.”
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Old 05-07-10, 09:37 AM
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Save the money and paint sharrow signs on the road. Just have a plan that says any time re-striping work occurs they will also lay down some sharrow icons. Done and done. No need to re-engineer entire roads, tear out lanes, take away parking, etc. etc. etc. I agree about the bike lanes. Too often they are filled with debris and placed in door zones and are used as some propaganda drive to pretend a city is bike friendly. With sharrows, you would decrease right and left hooks and would save a ton of money and grief.

I am constantly amazed that both cyclists and city planners see bike lanes in such a positive light. IMO, they are a blight and shouldn't be allowed.
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Old 05-07-10, 10:05 AM
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Even if you're not a big fan of bike lanes, isn't the remarkable thing that road space is being taken away from motorists and reallocated to cyclists? That there's a change in the dynamics of transportation?
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Old 05-07-10, 12:14 PM
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Thanks for posting the Globe and Mail article.

I don't think it's that surprising that Vancouver has a policy of not creating more road space for cars ( space is limited in general, and they aren't making any more of it ... ), and even that it's starting to be shifted around. The writing's been on the wall for 50+ years. It's a great thing that it's happening, and it is surprising that we didn't have to wait another 50 years for even some movement. And Vancouver is at least a generation ahead of most North American cities on this.

Real estate is expensive in urban cores. If you added up every square foot of roadway in Vancouver, I wonder how much it would be worth, say, to developers for housing? Half the population of BC lives in the greater Vancouver metro area, and the birth rate is about 30 % higher than the death rate ... Malthus would say there might not be any room left for cars 100 years from now.
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Old 05-07-10, 10:55 PM
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I don't know where the $$$ will be spent for cycling infrastucture in Vancouver. I am thinking mostly in the peninsula area. As it is, more and more businesses are already moving out of that area and the residential space has increased over the years. Surrounding areas like Richmond, Burnaby and Surrey are the hotbed of large corporations. Therefore folks are actually commuting out of the peninsula Vancouver area for work.
This may be driven by the fact that the mayor of Vancouver itself is a cyclist (yay!) and it could be some sorta green-washing campaign. Either way, I am glad I don't need to drive into Vancouver core much if at all.
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Old 05-07-10, 11:01 PM
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road diets on bridges with protected lanes for bicyclists is a lesson from vancouver that many cities should emulate.
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Old 05-08-10, 06:19 AM
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Already first in the PNW, Vancouver just keeps on improving.

Which of the three largest Cascadian cities is the greenest?

The answer? No contest: Vancouver, BC.

Vancouver has, among large Northwest cities, the highest urban density, the most cycling, the most walking, the most transit ridership, the fewest cars—and the least driving—per person, [and] the lowest greenhouse gas emissions per capita by far...
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