A little over a year ago, we talked about the Vancouver-based “To Catch A Bike Thief” project, an effort to hook up some bikes as “bait bikes”, wait for them to get stolen, then track them down and confront the thief. And interesting idea, but it looks like it fizzled and didn’t get very far.
Bike theft remains a big problem in Vancouver. Over 1800 bikes were reported stolen in Vancouver in 2012, a 20% increase over the previous year. The Vancouver Police Department provided some statistics for the past few years: Read more ›
This past weekend, the City released its design proposals for improvements along Cornwall Ave and Pt. Grey Road. The proposals were presented at three public meetings (the last one is today, May 27th, at the Kitsilano VPL Branch, in the basement, 4-6pm). Staff presented the designs that were considered and set aside, as well as those designs that are likely to be proposed to city council.
The corridor was broken into five sections: Read more ›
The proposed Point Grey Road – Cornwall Avenue Corridor Project will link downtown Vancouver to Kitsilano and Point Grey providing a safe and convenient connection between the Burrard Bridge and Jericho Beach for pedestrians and cyclists. Read more ›
Crowds flocked to the Kitsilano Farmers Market on opening day yesterday. The Kits pool opens this Saturday, May 18.
Two telltale signs that summer is around the corner in Vancouver.
With the warmer weather and an increase in outdoor activity across the city, comes a spike in this site’s traffic as everyone searches for more information on their favorite local summer past-time. Whether it is Bard on the Beach, Honda’s Celebration of Light, the Kitsilano Showboat, or the Khatsahlano! Music Festival, Kitsilano.ca is a favorite destination to learn more about these events. Read more ›
There’s a bunch of news and happenings around our community these days relating to cycling. Here are a few items:
Traffic circle removal
Last week, the Georgia Straight ran an article about how the City was going to remove the traffic circle at the intersection of 10th Avenue and Pine Streeet. This traffic circle was identified in the ICBC collision data as being one of the most dangerous for cyclists. In fact, in the seven years prior to the traffic circle being installed, there were zero reported bike/motorist collisions, but in the seven years following there were 17 reported collisions. Read more ›
One of the things people often ask me when they hear that I’m a daily bike commuter is: Isn’t it dangerous? The short answer is, no, it’s really not.
There is a longer answer, of course. The longer answer starts with something like: if you stick to the bike routes, are generally aware of your surroundings, and obey the rules of the road, you’ll be fine. Read more ›
I read an op-ed last week in the Brisbane Times. The piece was about London Mayor Boris Johnson’s stunning £ 913 million ($1.4 billion Canadian) 10-year plan for new cycling infrastructure. Stop and absorb that number for a minute. $1.4 billion. Over $100 million per year. Proportionally, Vancouver would have to spend about $8 million a year to match this commitment. Instead, Vancouver is in the middle of a $25 million 10-year plan.
But that’s not what caught my attention in this article. Instead, the article focused on Mayor Boris’ remark that he wants to “de-Lycrafy cycling”. It moved on to a discussion about cycling tribes and a perceived growing divide among cyclists between those who believe cycling should be a normal, everyday activity that does not require “cycle-specific clothing” and those who stuff their body into skin-tight kit.
This divide isn’t restricted to London, or Australia. The “cycle-chic” movement manifested in Copenhagen but the North American chapters (is it a movement or a cult, I half-jokingly wonder) are quite vocal too. Vancouver, of course, has one of the more active cycle-chic organizations (see http://vancouvercyclechic.blogspot.ca). Read more ›
In Vancouver, spring break is nearly over and the weather has almost tipped from completely wet and miserable to “Rain, what rain?” This is a perfect time to dust off the kids’ bikes, pump up the tires, oil the chain, check the brakes, and bike to school (if you’re not already).
I’ve seen claims that 40% of Canadian children get driven to school. If you have school-age kids yourself, pass by a school during your commute, or live near a school, then you’re already well aware of the congestion that occurs near schools. Studies have shown, though, that kids that use active transportation to get to school — walking, biking, scooter-ing, and so on — are more attentive in school, get better grades, and have a lower obesity level. In 2006, a study showed that while over 30% of students in Vancouver said they’d like to bike to school, only 2% actually did.
Some schools in Vancouver have programs to facilitate students biking to school. Some Parent Advisory Councils (PACs) have arranged “bike trains” or “bike buses” where a group of students and adults meet at pre-designated places along a route to school and then bike together to school (and back). It’s a great way for kids to gain experience and confidence riding their bicycle. Read more ›
Some elements of Vancouver’s media stirred the pot last week over, of all things, two public bike pumps. The pumps were recently installed at Hawks Ave. and Union St. (on the Adanac bike route) and at Science World, near the convergence of the Seaside, Adanac, Ontario, and Central Valley Greenway bike routes. The pumps fit both Schrader and Presta valve types, and have been builIt to resist the elements. It’s been reported that the two pumps cost a total of $6,000.
CBC first reported on these pumps in early March. You can listen to Margaret Gallagher’s High Velocity report here. Read more ›
Mainstream media has been buzzing this past week over comments made by spokespeople for HUB: Your Cycling Connection (formerly the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition, VACC). The comments concerned HUB’s position on seeking legislation that will allow cyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs. This is sometimes called a “stop as yield” law, or an “Idaho Stop” law.
In 1982, the state of Idaho passed a law that allows bicyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs, and stop lights as stop signs (for straight through and left turns) and as yield signs for right turns. This law does not allow cyclists to “blow” stop signs or stop lights. It does not change the right-of-way rules. Data from before and after the enactment of the Idaho Stop law shows no change in cyclist injury rate.
Jason Meggs of the University of Bologna gave an interesting presentation (pdf) on the Idaho Stop law at this past year’s Velo-City conference.
Read more ›