More cycle-friendly Burrard Street Bridge

2009-07-14

in The environment, The outdoors

The Burrard Street Bridge – one of Vancouver’s prettiest – has been modified so as to be more friendly to cyclists. One of the two sidewalks has become a dedicated corridor for cyclists heading north into downtown. Meanwhile, one traffic lane has been converted for use by cyclists heading south toward Kitsilano. Pedestrians will be restricted to the other sidewalk.

The move is a very welcome one. The bridge offers nice views of the mountains, False Creek, and downtown. Making it cycle-friendly also contributes to a beautiful cycling arc extending from the University of British Columbia, along the beaches to the Granville Island area, then across the Burrard Street Bridge and along the waterfront path to Stanley Park.

Cyclists in Vancouver should definitely give this ride a try, while the six month bridge trial is ongoing.

Report a typo or inaccuracy

{ 67 comments… read them below or add one }

Matt July 14, 2009 at 7:38 pm

I was wondering if you were going to write about this. I think it’s an incredible turn of events, and a worthwhile experiment. What’s troubling is the negativity associated with it, whipped up by the local papers, the Vancouver Sun, and particularly the sensational Province.

The city is two days into the trial. Yesterday I read a headline in the Province online “Chaos Expected.” Previously they ran a front page article “War on Wheels” with a story depicting cyclists at war with motorists. Really, the print media should stick to writing factual rather than speculative stories, and people should give the experiment some time. A large portion of cyclists are also motorists, which is why I don’t really understand the us vs. them angle the papers are trying to use. In fact, the whole idea is to convert commuters from car traffic into bike traffic.

Milan July 14, 2009 at 8:12 pm

Alas, conflict sells papers.

I wish I could be in Vancouver to try out the new bridge arrangement.

Hilary July 14, 2009 at 10:34 pm

so far traffic has been better than usual.
also I believe the trial is for three months.

Milan July 14, 2009 at 11:02 pm

The CBC article says: “The current six-month trial is being applauded by cyclists in the city.”

Apparently, making the change cost $1.3 million.

oleh July 15, 2009 at 3:10 am

I was also wondering if you were going to write about this trial.

The Burrard Bridge is the best bridge to try this trial in Vancouver. I believe it is the most scenic; it has probably the most cyclists and the sidewalks although wide were a problem as there are also a lot of pedestrians. I look forward to using the bike lane on Thursday when I cycle to the Kitsilano Pool which is also a gem.

The reality regarding the media coverage is that the media is looking for controversy and if there is not any controversy then they see the story as not newsworthy.

Alison July 15, 2009 at 2:32 pm

This is good news. A few years ago I saw a pedestrian knock (by accident) a cyclist riding on the bike lane on that bridge into traffic. The cyclist could have easily died, it was awful.

Milan July 16, 2009 at 11:17 am

Cyclist-pedestrian interactions can certainly be tricky on mixed-use paths. On the Ottawa riverside path, I have both found myself annoyed – as a cyclist – by pedestrians using up who lanes and moving unpredictable and annoyed – as a pedestrian – by how fast and close cyclists fly by.

Split paths, like the Stanley Park seawall, may be a better option where there is sufficient space.

Tristan July 19, 2009 at 3:46 pm

It might be worthwhile for someone to mention that a major motivating reason for this bicycle lane might have something to do with consistent and repetitive deaths of cyclists on the bridge? Or is cyclist safety just so far from the public eye that these statistics have been completely absent from all media attention on this issue.

Milan July 19, 2009 at 4:44 pm

Have there been a large number of cyclist deaths on the Burrard Bridge?

What about injuries caused by collisions between cyclists and pedestrians?

Some stats would be welcome.

oleh July 20, 2009 at 3:30 am

I used the Burrard Bridge bike lanes in each direction yesterday. It was a pleasure.

In the previous format I suspect the key safety issue was collisions between pedestrians and cyclists, with the pedestrians being more at risk than the cyclists.

I would also be interested in knowing the statistics.

It is now safer for cyclists as there are no post barriers placed between motorists and cyclists on both sides. If the trial does not continue and cyclists and pedestrians again the sidewalk and the barriers now installed remain, there is likely to be more collisions because the barriers reduce at least 20 cm of width to the sidewalk.

It seems to me a key factor in continuing the bicycle lane after the trial will be for us cyclists to increase the use of it as a result of the dedicated lanes.

oleh July 20, 2009 at 3:52 am

I spent a few minutes trying to find statistics on accidents. The closest I came up with was on the City of Vancouver website where it was stated “Between June and October 2008, eight cyclists were injured on the Burrard Bridge, seriously enough to need emergency care. These are the only statistics which have been tracked so far, but the actual extent of injuries may be even worse.” I also saw on average 3300 cyclists use the bridge every day. (I assume that refers to 3300 cyclist trips across. So somebody going back and forth in one day would be two trips. There were about 2700 pedestrians).

Matt July 20, 2009 at 2:37 pm

I was just reading of a bad incident near Ottawa where a minivan driver plowed into a group of 5 cyclists riding together. I read in a different article that they were in a dedicated bike lane.

Milan July 20, 2009 at 2:44 pm

I read about that. Apparently, the driver fled the scene. The police subsequently arrested someone on suspicion of the crime.

. July 20, 2009 at 3:56 pm

Ottawa police lay charges against man after van hits 5 cyclists

(CP) – 3 hours ago

OTTAWA — Ottawa police say a 45-year-old man faces charges in connection with a hit-and-run collision that left five cyclists in hospital.

Police say Sommit Luangpakham turned himself in. He faces five counts of failing to stop at the scene of an accident causing bodily harm.

Police say more charges are possible as they investigate Sunday’s crash in which the cyclists were sent to hospital in serious condition after being mowed down by a minivan.

One of 5 cyclists in hit and run clinging to life

Updated Mon. Jul. 20 2009 1:20 PM ET

CTV.ca News Staff

One of the five Ottawa-area cyclists seriously injured in a hit-and-run accident Sunday morning remains in critical condition after being struck by a minivan in the Ottawa suburb of Kanata.

. July 20, 2009 at 3:57 pm

“All the cyclists were part of a group that cycles together every weekend to train for triathalons. They were travelling together in a dedicated cycling lane on the four-lane road and all were said to be wearing protective gear, including helmets.

Darryl Wilton, Ottawa Paramedics superintendent of operations, told CTV.ca that the distance between the point of the first impact and the patient furthest away was 120 metres.”

R.K. July 20, 2009 at 4:01 pm

120 metres?

Taking that long to stop hitting a succession of cyclists makes this look pretty deliberate. Reckless driving, at the very least, if not manslaughter or even homicide, which can include “unintentional killing but with a willful disregard for life.”

R.K. July 20, 2009 at 4:11 pm

120 metres is about 394 feet.

This site suggests that is a stopping distance consistent with a speed of between 75 mph (120 km/h) and 80 mph (129 km/h).

Of course, this driver didn’t need to come to a dead stop – just to swerve out of the bike lane.

. July 23, 2009 at 5:52 pm

Driver accused of mowing down March Road cyclists gets bail

By Andrew Seymour, The Ottawa CitizenJuly 23, 2009 3:29 PM

OTTAWA — A man accused of driving the van that ran down five cyclists in Kanata before fleeing the scene has been released on bail.

Sommit Luangpakham, 45, was released on a $55,000 cash bond and several strict conditions, including not to operate a motor vehicle and to surrender his passport and other travel documents.

He was also ordered not to communicate with the five injured cyclists.

Luangpakham, who wore a white T-shirt and grey pants, stood quietly with his hands clasped in front of him after learning he would be released from jail. He has been held in custody since Sunday, when he turned himself in to police after a minivan pulled into the bike lane on the northbound side of March Road near Solandt Road at 7:48 a.m.

Police believe the driver of the van collided with the five riders — Robert Wein, 39, Mark White, believed to be in his mid 30s, Hilary McNamee, 27, Cathy Anderson, 45, and Rob Harland, 44 — before steering back into the vehicle lane.

The cyclists are believed to have been riding in a relatively tight single-file formation in the bike lane, which is clearly marked.

Tristan July 26, 2009 at 3:02 pm

I rode over the bridge twice yesterday, and I still think the same as I did before about it.

The single direction bike lanes are essential during heavy commuter cycling, which is when avoiding pedestrians costs cyclists their lives every year. This is a longstanding problem on the bridge.

However, the barriers are totally uneccesary. I tend to think the purpose of the barriers (especially on the edge of the northbound sidewalk! There was no barrier before, and cyclists had to tend with pedestrian traffic!) is to raise the cost of the project, to make it seem not worth the price. The barriers make sense if the change is permanent, but as a temporary measure they are needlessly expensive for marginal benefit.

oleh July 27, 2009 at 6:53 pm

Tristan

In your July 19 entry you state “It might be worthwhile for someone to mention that a major motivating reason for this bicycle lane might have something to do with consistent and repetitive deaths of cyclists on the bridge?”

In my July 20 entry I reported on my cursory search of the City of Vancouver website referring to “Between June and October 2008, eight cyclists were injured on the Burrard Bridge, seriously enough to need emergency care. These are the only statistics which have been tracked so far, but the actual extent of injuries may be even worse.”

On July 26 you stated “The single direction bike lanes are essential during heavy commuter cycling, which is when avoiding pedestrians costs cyclists their lives every year. This is a longstanding problem on the bridge”

Can you tell me has there been a longstanding problem of cyclists deaths on the bridge every year?

. July 27, 2009 at 7:23 pm

on the burrard bridge question (and on paternalism)
July 23, 2009
while i still have the heart of a social democrat, there is a tiny libertarian inside of me.

and that libertarian says that, for the most part, i know what’s best for me.

. July 27, 2009 at 8:05 pm

“ICBC and Vancouver police statistics demonstrate the dangers to pedestrians and cyclists currently using the bridge. From 1996 to 2006, 25 pedestrians and 80 cyclists were injured in accidents, with Pacific Avenue at the north end of the Burrard Bridge a particularly risky area for cyclists (38 injuries). More recent numbers show the problem is only getting worse. 2006 statistics document 50 casualties at this dangerous intersection.”

http://burrardbridgetwolanetrial.blogspot.com/2009_01_01_archive.html

Tristan July 27, 2009 at 9:07 pm

It’s not surprising that the Burrard Bridge’s standard configuration produces bad cyclist accidents. The sidwalk must be shared with pedestrians, and cyclists ride too quickly, try to pass pedestrians and sometime fall off the sidewalk. This would be bad enough on a normal sidewalk, but the sidewalk on the Burrard Bridge is much taller than a normal one (probably to help keep cars from jumping up onto it in the event of a car accident). This means it is very easy to lose control of a bike if you accidentally fall onto the roadway. And, in heavy traffic, there are fast moving cars right there.

If the trial is a “failure”, perhaps the best solution would be to retain barriers on the side of both sidwalks, as there is now on the northbound side, and reopen both sidewalks to cyclists and pedestrians. The problems of congestion will remain, but the barriers would make it more difficult for a bicycle to accidentally fall down onto the pavement. And, if it were done right at the end of the trial it would be cheap(er), as one set of barriers are already in place and the other set need only be moved onto the sidewalk from the road rather than trucked in.

. July 30, 2009 at 10:43 am

Facing fears in top gear

Ottawa cyclists reflect on the risks of the ride after sobering week on the roads

By Liisa Tuominen, The Ottawa Citizen
July 25, 2009

In the week since the hit-and-run accident in which five cyclists were struck, people who know I’m a cyclist have asked if I know the victims. I don’t, literally — but in many ways, I do. Like them, I’m one of an informal group of bikers. We call ourselves the Westboro Bike Gang. Our e-mail list has about 20 members, although our rides usually attract four to 10 riders. We run the gamut of occupations and our ages span two decades. We’re not racers, although the occasional sprint breaks out. We share a passion for riding — the summer start time is 6 a.m. at our coffee shop “clubhouse.” The initiation for new riders is a mythical 10,000-word essay on “What Cycling Means to Me.”

During the past three years, we’ve safely cycled thousands of kilometres, so it was sobering to hear of such a terrible accident. Six lives (I include the driver’s) have changed drastically. Most cyclists I know are now reflecting on our pastime and the perceived dangers, and are trying to figure out where we go from here.

Tristan July 30, 2009 at 12:26 pm

I think the main cause of conflict between cars and bikes in cities is speed alone. Changing city speed limits from 50 or 60 to 35 or 40km/h, and strictly enforcing them, would change the pace of cities to the point cyclists could sometimes keep up, and never be so slow to be a complete nuisance.

Higher speed limits could be restricted to roads with no on street parking, enabling a non-suicidal bike lane.

If cyclists could become part of traffic rather than something beside traffic, motorists would learn to see them just as they see other cars. It seems these Ottawa accidents are all the result of either not seeing the cyclists or not considering them to be part of traffic, not considering them to be valid (suggested by the hit-and-run aspect).

There is truth to the critical mass logic that the more cyclists motorists see,the more likely they will be to see them – however, the context in which you see them is essential to this process of recognition. (Which is why I think critical mass would be more effective at its own mission if it were just a massive “take the lane” day spread out across the city, rather than an amorphous blob of cyclists disobeying traffic laws).

As a nice side-benefit, lowering city speed limits would make electric cars already in production more viable as city driving alternatives.

Of course, there is a contradiction between lowering speed limits in a time when cars are more and more powerful. It’s not accidental that the pace of driving increases – average sedans today are as fast as sports cars from 15 years ago. This produces a real desire/need for certain kinds of satisfaction – ignoring this is just naive. Thus, either we need the state to step in to regulate performance (only example is Japan, quite a failure), or we need the state to step in to invest in facilities (I.e. tracks) where these ridiculous cars can be driven properly. Or, some scheme could be thought up where manufacturers which sell higher performance cars can do so only at the cost of investing in racing infrastructure. Such a scheme is probably the most equitable solution – since the means to satisfy the desire to drive vigorously would be paid for by the same firm that produces that desire through products and advertising.

Anonymous July 30, 2009 at 2:35 pm

I don’t see how building racetracks will encourage testosterone-fuelled motorheads to run down fewer pedestrians and cyclists. If anything, it will heighten a taste for speed, which will be seen even more on public roads.

A better option is to make drivers much more liable for accidents: for instance, with high automatic fines for collisions with pedestrians and cyclists.

oleh July 31, 2009 at 12:39 am

Lowering speed limits seems an interesting idea and one worth considering.

Does someone know what the speed limits are in bicycle friendly cities in Europe such as Amsterdam and Copenhagen?

oleh July 31, 2009 at 12:40 am

One problem on Burrard Street Bridge and safety is that us cyclists do not observe the 15 kph speed limit on that bridge. I do not.

Although 15 kph does not seem appropriate for cyclist overall, we could observe it better on the Burrard Street Bridge. As that bridge takes about two minutes to cross, and one minute is uphill, I expect going 15 kph on the downhill portiohn would only add a minute to the journey. Us cyclists could also enjoy the extra minute to enjoy the beautiful view.

Maybe I will try to remember to observe the 15 kph speed limit tomorrow morning when I cross it to go to the Kitsilano pool.

I also expect that cyclist over all would be safer if we observed the rules of the road better , eg running red lights, riding on sidewalks. I think one problem for cyclists is that we violate the rules of the road much more frequently than motorists and then we complain about motorists. tomorrow

Tristan July 31, 2009 at 1:34 am

I try to observe the 15km/h limit on the bridge. However, it’s absurd that the limit hasn’t been raised during the trial. 15km/h made sense when avoiding pedestrians is an issue. Now bicycles have lanes to themselves, the limit is absurd. This would never happen with cars – it would be like twinning a two laned road and taking out all the traffic lights, and leaving the speed limit at 60km/h.

Tristan July 31, 2009 at 1:46 am

“I don’t see how building racetracks will encourage testosterone-fuelled motorheads to run down fewer pedestrians and cyclists. ”

Really? You don’t see? Seriously?

BuddyRich July 31, 2009 at 9:50 am

I think we only have to look to Montreal (which emulated Paris I believe) to see a cycle friendly city. A separate bi-directional bike lane with curb divider. Though even this doesn’t fix the most annoying problem, the
intersection and the good old “right-hook”. That said, a curb would fix the “door prize” problem. The Ottawa Citizen ran with the story and have had a few cycling stories this past week, it includes some interesting stats in the sidebar.

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/Right+hook+drivers+knockdown+blow+cyclists/1838334/story.html

Milan July 31, 2009 at 10:18 am

I don’t see the benefits of racetracks either. Just as faster consumer cars have spawned a desire to go faster on roads – as you have identified – it seems likely that giving a people a taste for actual racing would translate into more dangerous driving.

Automobile racing isn’t something that anyone who has sat behind the wheel of a car has a right to do, nor is it something that would obviously improve the safety of pedestrians.

Automatically limiting the speed of cars in urban areas (like some scooters are now limited) would make big engines pointless for many vehicles, and probably save a fair number of lives.

Tristan July 31, 2009 at 3:05 pm

“it seems likely that giving a people a taste for actual racing would translate into more dangerous driving.”

In my experience, racing impresses on people how inappropriate the techniques applied there would be if used on the road. Racing is dangerous even in its out track situation of near-perfect information. Add the imperfect information of public road driving situations and its suicidal.

It’s my opinion that people who drive absurdly on public roads have largely never lost control of their car, never really feared overcooking it in a corner – they have invincibility shoes on. There is nothing like actual racing to dispel you from notions like “I am such a great racing driver” (you aren’t – almost no one is) or “My technique can save me in situations where others would crash” (true only if your “technique” includes driving at an appropriate speed for the conditions).

Tristan July 31, 2009 at 3:11 pm

“Automatically limiting the speed of cars in urban areas (like some scooters are now limited) would make big engines pointless for many vehicles, and probably save a fair number of lives.”

This wouldn’t work to reduce sale of powerful cars because the logic of sale is that you need the big engine for a)prestige b)situation of exception (i.e. perfect abandoned country road).

This would work to reduce urban speeding, a worthwhile endeavour. And it might even be politically possible, so long as it did not apply to rural areas.

Milan July 31, 2009 at 3:16 pm

There could even be an ‘override’ for emergency situations, with a safeguard such as automatically contacting the police if used.

Matt July 31, 2009 at 3:48 pm

There could even be an ‘override’ for emergency situations, with a safeguard such as automatically contacting the police if used.

This strikes me as hugely ridiculous. What would be better is if people exercised good judgment while driving and didn’t run down pedestrians and cyclists. For the most part, they do.

BuddyRich July 31, 2009 at 3:59 pm

Not to mention, George Orwell is rolling over in his grave!

I mean if the override is hooked up with Police HQ, it could send them all sorts of information on your not so legal driving habits, why stop at just speeding?

Milan July 31, 2009 at 4:03 pm

What would be better is if people exercised good judgment while driving and didn’t run down pedestrians and cyclists. For the most part, they do.

But to an intolerable extent, they do not.

This page says that motor vehicle collisions are the sixth leading cause of death, for Canadian men and eighth for women.

I would guess that at least 50% of all accidents that kill cyclists involve colliding with a moving car.

We accept motor vehicle deaths largely because they are familiar. Arguably, the moral outrage that surrounded them when motor vehicles were new is the more appropriate response.

Personally, I think the world would be better if motorized ground vehicles could never go faster than cyclists.

. July 31, 2009 at 4:10 pm
Matt July 31, 2009 at 4:22 pm

Personally, I think the world would be better if motorized ground vehicles could never go faster than cyclists.

Totally impractical. The whole point is to go fast.

R.K. July 31, 2009 at 4:37 pm

At bike speeds, taking the bus from Ottawa to Toronto would take an awfully long time. Around ten hours at Lance Armstrong speeds, and more like twenty at ordinary cyclist speeds. Going from Toronto to Montreal would take even longer, and a cross-country trip would take ages.

Faced with such long trips, a lot more people would fly.

Milan July 31, 2009 at 4:39 pm

The idea is just a fantasy, not a serious proposal. Still, it is interesting to think how the world might be with such a speed restriction in effect. Human geography would be very different.

As for the long journey times, perhaps an exception could be made for vehicles that run along fixed routes, such as trains.

emily August 1, 2009 at 2:59 pm

“I also expect that cyclist over all would be safer if we observed the rules of the road better , eg running red lights, riding on sidewalks. I think one problem for cyclists is that we violate the rules of the road much more frequently than motorists and then we complain about motorists.”

I agree that cyclists need to mutually respect the rules of the road. In Toronto, where there are well-established bike lanes, recognized by motorists passing by, I was irritated when I saw cyclists turning without signalling, cycling without lights, cycling on the sidewalks and sometimes just running stop signs and stop lights

I say ‘recognized’ by motorists, because that’s a key part of having bike lanes. If motorists are used to keeping an eye out for and respecting bike lanes, then there’s no reason really to break the rules if you’re a cyclist, and ride on the sidewalk (except for the possibility of tragic negligence on the part of motorists).

My problem since moving back into the ‘burbs is that we have only a couple bike lanes, and though I appreciate them, motorists don’t even know they are bike lanes, nor are they common enough there for drivers to even think about looking for them. The diamond shaped cyclist-lane markers are already worn away for the most part, and trucks passing by will often just drive partially in the bike lane for more room.

I was passed by a truck driver the other morning who apparently had forgotten that the sides of his truck were extended, carrying glass panes. I was very close to being sideswiped by one of the panes as I cycled. After that, I’ve just taken to cycling on the sidewalks with the other suburban cyclists for the most part.

I’m torn about whether I should just stomach the risks, to establish the lane, or just continue to avoid the dangerous lanes. Maybe writing a letter to the city about clearly marking bike lanes would be wise.

Or maybe I could just paint them myself and save tax payers some money. :)

oleh August 2, 2009 at 4:03 am

Emily,

The brush with the glass panes sounds scary. Did you notice the company name? Would you consider calling the company to report how close the driver came to you? They would then talk with him and raise his awarenes as he probably continues to drive the glass pane truck. If you know where you were and the time, the company may be able to figure out the driver. Or they may issue a general notice to all of their drivers.

oleh August 2, 2009 at 4:07 am

Emily

The letter to the City and perhaps from others as well can have an effect. When I was on the Parks Advisory Board of the District of North Vancouver for 4 years, I saw how such letters do bring results. Few people write letters. It also feels like you have done something.

During a ride through Richmond, myself and a fellow cyclist fell on slippery paint (at least slippery paint for cyclists) on a turn. I went to the city maintenance yard nearby and reported it with the suggestion to use less slipper paint. Within a couple of weeks , they called me and told me they did so.

On the other hand , for months I have meant to call North Van District about bad potholes at the foot of Capilano Road (very bad for cyclists), and have not yet done so.two of cyclists lost

Milan August 2, 2009 at 2:54 pm

The glass truck situation is most definitely scary.

When I was at Oxford, I actually got hit by a grocery delivery truck that wasn’t fully aware of how wide it was. The driver hit me in the arm with his passenger side mirror, smashing the face of my watch.

Tristan August 2, 2009 at 9:17 pm

“In Toronto, where there are well-established bike lanes”

These bike lanes tend to be between fast moving traffic and parked cars, which can swerve out at any time, or worse, open their door at any time. On balance, cyclists in Toronto are best off ignoring the “bike lane” and riding in traffic. If you are hit from behind, the motorist risks serious legal consequence. But, if they kill you by opening their door, they get a 200$ fine.

Tristan August 2, 2009 at 9:19 pm

Sorry about some false information in that last post. It was actually a 110$ fine:

http://bikeunion.to/clipping/deadly-door-prize-driver-faces-110-fine-death-cyclist

oleh August 3, 2009 at 12:32 pm

I have been “doored” twice. Therefore I ride far enough too the left of parked cars to avoid the opened” door”. I do not know in Toronto, but the bike lanes in Vancouver seem wide enough to avoid being doored. Where there is a bike lane, I feel safer in it. Vancouver has introduced a number in the downtown area that are quite handy.

I wonder if part of the problem in Toronto is that the main roads (eg. Bloor Street) seem to be more narrow than the main roads in Vancouver.

I also think that as cyclists if we travel in regular lanes where there is a bike lane, we undermine the efforts of those cycling advocates who are pushing for the creation of bike lanes.

Milan August 3, 2009 at 12:37 pm

If it is unsafe to ride in a bike lane (bad pavement, cars too close, obstructions, etc), I think it is perfectly fine to use an ordinary lane. Further, if taking only part of a lane is dangerous, I think it is fine to take the whole thing.

As appreciated as it is when cities put in safety features, it is also essential to manage risk well at a personal level.

Tristan August 3, 2009 at 1:29 pm

It might be the case that bike lanes in Vancouver are wider. Or, just as relevant, the parking lane to the right of it is wider, allowing cars a wider space to open doors without obstructing the lane too much. Still, I have a problem when any city paints “bike lanes” when at least part of that “lane” is unsafe to ride in. Really we should have a cross-hatched (with paint) section of road in the door-prize danger zone, and the bike lane to the right of it.

“As appreciated as it is when cities put in safety features, it is also essential to manage risk well at a personal level.”

Strongly agree.

. August 3, 2009 at 2:28 pm

Scores of cyclists ticketed for violations

Riders surprised at being stopped for running red light, police say
By Tom Spears, The Ottawa Citizen
August 3, 200

Ottawa police have given out 331 tickets to drivers and cyclists in a week-long safety campaign — and got a lot of surprised reactions from the cyclists.

“You have a lot of negative reaction,” said Sgt. Frank D’Aoust, who patrols on a bike in summertime.

“Some will go through red lights right in front of us and be shocked why they’re being stopped. We explain they have to follow the rules just like (motor) vehicles, especially after all the accidents we heard of last month. It’s for their safety.”

The campaign began shortly after a horrific hit-and-run accident last month that left five cyclists badly injured, and led to charges against the driver of the van that hit them.

“The tickets were anything from bicycling on sidewalks, rules of the road such as stop signs, red-light-running, going the wrong way on a one-way street, not having a bell, improper bicycle lighting, or for vehicles, opening the door improperly as well as failing to share the road with cyclists, cutting them off,” the sergeant said.

Most of the tickets went to cyclists, he said, but he didn’t have precise numbers available Sunday.

. August 3, 2009 at 2:29 pm

“Riding on the sidewalk is a city bylaw infraction that will cost the offender a modest $35.

But many cycling infractions involve provincial laws, with stiffer fines. Not having a bell costs $110. So does running a stop sign. And running a red light costs $180 — the same fine as running a red light in a car.”

Tristan August 5, 2009 at 2:25 am

“And running a red light costs $180 — the same fine as running a red light in a car.”

Wow, that sure makes sense. Geniuses, they are.

Milan August 5, 2009 at 8:32 am

Perhaps fines should be based on momentum: a figure for the seriousness of the event times total vehicle mass times velocity.

. August 5, 2009 at 6:57 pm

Video: Burrard Bridge bike lane

By Padraic on video

For everyone who is curious about the 3 month trial of separated bike lane on Vancouver’s Burrard Bridge, here is the first-person view

oleh August 16, 2009 at 8:40 am

Yesterday our cycle group (about 14 riders) cycled over the bike and pedestrian bridge which was opened Friday linked to the Canada Line crossing over the Fraser River. I understand that the additional costs for including the bicycle pedestrian bridge was $10 million. I encourage anyone walking or cycling across the Fraser between Richmond and Vancouver to try it . . . you will probably like it.

. August 18, 2009 at 11:34 am

What Would Get Americans Biking to Work?
Decent parking.
By Tom Vanderbilt
Posted Monday, Aug. 17, 2009, at 5:34 PM ET

Why do these measures matter? Because parking helps make commuters—a lesson long ago learned with cars. Studies in New York found that a surprisingly large percentage of vehicles coming into lower Manhattan were government employees or others who had an assured parking spot. Other studies have shown the presence of a guaranteed parking spot at home—required in new residential developments—is what turns a New Yorker into a car commuter.

On the flip side, people would be much less likely to drive into Manhattan if they knew their expensive car was likely to be stolen, vandalized, or taken away by police. And yet this is what was being asked of bicycle commuters, save those lucky few who work in a handful of buildings that provide indoor bicycle parking. Surveys have shown that the leading deterrent to potential bicycle commuters is lack of a safe, secure parking spot on the other end. (In England, for example, it’s been estimated that a bicycle is stolen every 71 seconds.)

hibou August 23, 2009 at 9:52 am

The carnage continues in Ottawa.

hibou August 23, 2009 at 9:57 am

Another cyclist mowed down from behind.

hibou August 23, 2009 at 10:03 am
hibou August 23, 2009 at 10:09 am

Sorry for the multiple posts.

Milan August 23, 2009 at 11:34 am

While I am not generally a supporter of the NDP, I do appreciate the effort that Ottawa Centre MP Paul Dewar is putting into improving cycling in this town.

. September 2, 2009 at 2:12 pm

Here, particularly in light of this week’s news, is the “learnable” thing about Copenhagen: It primarily uses “cycle track” in its network, as opposed to just a painted, designated lane.

The track, about two metres wide, is separated from the road and the sidewalk by curbs on either side.

“Segregation, I think, makes a huge difference.”

The Danish capital has about 350 kilometres of so-called cycle track and only 20 kilometres of painted cycle lanes.

Installing curbs is clearly more expensive than painting lines (15 times more) but the benefits are enormous. Safety is greatly enhanced, cycling traffic on that street increases about 20 per cent, while vehicle traffic drops 10 per cent.

oleh October 7, 2009 at 8:02 am

I am pleased to advise that the Burrard Street Bicycle trial is continuing.

I do not know where the decision on continuing stands. I heard from two former Vancouver City councillors, both avid cyclists and who stay current with municipal affairs involving sustainability, that they do not expect the trial to end.

oleh October 7, 2009 at 8:18 am

For a photographic essay on how New York City has made bicycle usage, especially in lower Manhattan , more feasible, you may want to check out the latest issue of Gordon Price’s http://www.pricetags.ca (Issue 108)

. November 9, 2009 at 4:19 pm

Vancouver Bridge Bike Lane a Success

The six lane Burrard Bridge is one of Vancouver’s most highly used, and connects the downtown core with nearby residential and commercial neighbourhoods. In July, the $1.3 million trial project converted one of the six lanes into a dedicated two-way bike lane separated from traffic by a concrete barrier (see photo).

The results of a new report on the project speak for themselves:

* 26% increase in cyclists using the bridge
* 31% increase in women riders
* 70,000 additional trips over the summer months
* A significant reduction in bicycle accidents
* Impact on vehicle crossing time: negligible.

Not surprisingly, residents support continuing the bike lane trial by a margin of 2 to 1.

Leave a Comment

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Previous post:

Next post: