Author Archive

Cargo Bikes: Haul Stuff on Two Wheels

@sunrise604 hauls a Christmas Tree home by bike

@sunrise604 hauls a Christmas Tree home on her Surly Big Dummy

Cargo bikes made a bit of a splash in the news last week when the Associated Press ran a story on some Seattleites and how they use their bicycles to haul kids, groceries, and other bulky items.

Cargo bikes have always intrigued me. They seem like the logical next step for someone who uses their bicycle to commute back and forth to work: a bicycle that you can use to get things other than yourself around the city. When I drop my kids off at school, there is a parent who glides up on her Yuba Mundo with a kid or two on the back, and I look on enviously. Read more…

I Am a Cyclist

Cyclist CollageLanguage is important. Words are important. We need to refer to things with labels, and in labeling things we often pack a lot of meaning into a single word. One of these loaded words is “cyclist”.

A recent article in Gizmodo, of all places, discusses how using the word “cyclist” is dangerous and how saying “people on bikes” could be safer — safer as in improving the physical safety of people. The central argument of the the piece is that the word “cyclist” brings to mind a certain stereotype: lycra-wearing, speed-racing, law-breaking, expensive bikes and gear, hyper-competitive people. Read more…

Kitsilano Bike Path Controversy Continues

Hadden Park signI’ve purposely ignored the controversy surrounding the Park Board plan to upgrade the bike route from Vanier Park to the new on-road portions of the Seaside Greenway on Pt. Grey Road beside Kitsilano Beach Park. Earlier this week, however, the Vancouver Park Board agreed to abide by an injunction application put before the BC Supreme Court against construction in the park pending a challenge brought by Kits Point resident and historian Megan Carvell Davis.

Read more…

An Introduction to E-Bikes

Bionx E-Bike HubOver the next few posts I will be discussing e-bikes: cycles that have electric motors to assist you pedalling your bike around the city. This first post introduces the e-bikes and ICBC rules, and I will discuss the e-bike riding experience in a follow-up post.

As Vancouver continues to build more active transportation infrastructure some of the things I hear more often are comments like:

  • Not everyone can ride a bike
  • I’d use my bike more often, but Vancouver’s so hilly
  • I’d bike to work, but I don’t want to arrive sweaty
  • I’d bike to work, but it’s too far to ride

Read more…

Does Building Bike Lanes Cause an Increase in Cycling?

Today’s column takes a look the “If you build it, they will come,” phenomenon popularized by the 1989 baseball drama Field of Dreams.  An interesting graphic was circulating on Twitter last week showing the dramatic increase in cycling in New York City, and a simultaneous increase in bike lanes.

The implication in the subsequent discussion was that the increase in cycling was related to the increase in bike lanes. There have been similar discussions about increases in cycling in other cities, such as Seattle and London, and the increase in bike lanes in those cities. Read more…

Bikeway Traffic Changes in Kitsilano

Spot improvements to the Off-Broadway bike route resulted in traffic pattern changes.

About three weeks ago, three intersections on the Off-Broadway bike route had their stop-signs changed. First, the four-way stop at Stephens Street and 8th Avenue was changed from a 4-way stop to a 2-way stop, with the stop signs for north/south traffic. Next, the 2-way stop at Collingwood and 8th was switched so that there are stop signs north/south instead of east/west. Finally, the 4-way stop at Bayswater and 8th was converted into a 2-way stop, again for north/south traffic.

The net result of these changes is that there are no stop signs from Yew St. through to Alma St. along the bike route, with the exception of the Macdonald St. crossing. Read more…

And So It Begins–Realignment of Burrard/Cornwall Intersection Starts Monday, August 26

Burrard Bridge Work BeginsYou might have missed it, but on July 29 the Vancouver City Council approved the recommendations of city staff to proceed with the Seaside Greenway and York Street Bikeway. Council approved the complete staff report, with a few additions. The best overview of the staff report is the slideshow by city staff themselves (pdf).

The first step of the project is realigning the intersection at the south end of the Burrard St. Bridge. The original intersection was apparently designed in the 1930s and is a confusing assortment of sweeping curves and merges managed by an array of traffic lights. Currently, it can take as many as 5 separate crossings for a pedestrian to make it from one side of the intersection to the other. Read more…

Have Your Say on the Vancouver Public Bike Share System July 23

Bixi RepeatedIt was a busy week for cycling news in Vancouver. In addition to the Point Grey-Cornwall Active Transportation Corridor report (and upcoming city council vote), city staff released a report concerning the proposed public bike share (PBS) system.

The staff report outlines the status of establishing a public bike share system in Vancouver. It recommends contracting with Alta Bike Share, Inc., who operates the wildly successful New York City system as well as other systems in North America. Alta would then subcontract Bixi to provide the bicycles and docking stations.

The complete system is planned to include 1500 bikes, and 2850 docks at 125 stations located through the “Metro Core”. Calling the distribution area the “Metro Core” is a little generous (perhaps the Vancouver Core would be more appropriate) as the initial system extents are proposed to be relatively limited. The map below shows the rough extents of the initial system: bounded by Main St to the east, Arbutus St to the west, and 12th Ave to the south. Read more…