Vision Vancouver rallys the bike-riding troops

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Mayor Gregor Robertson and Vision Vancouver are rallying the troops for Monday, July 13th at 8:15am. In anticipation of pissing off the FEW regular cyclists that are REALLY commuting to work, Vision Vancouver has chosen to do the reverse commute in the morning, traveling from downtown TO Kitsilano where they will meet up for a coffee at Bean Around the World on Cornwall.

vvJoin your electeds, Vision supporters and members of the cycling community for a fun ride to show your support for the new bike lane on the Burrard Street Bridge.

Our goal is to increase safety and capacity for cyclists and pedestrians crossing the bridge while shifting towards increased use of sustainable modes of transportation across the city.

A dedicated bike lane and improved cycling infrastructure around the bridge will ensure that the increased flow of cyclists and pedestrians is accommodated, making for a safer and a more comfortable commute.

Join your Vision Vancouver councilors, school trustees, park commissioners and supporters for a group cycle over the bridge on Monday, July 13, at 8:15 AM. We will be meeting at the north side of the Burrard Bridge (look for a group of cyclists on the northeast corner of Burrard and Pacific), cycling over the bridge and then gather for a tea or coffee at Bean Around the World (1945 Cornwall Street).

Another smart move by Robertson & team.

Last modified: July 10, 2009

8 Responses to " Vision Vancouver rallys the bike-riding troops "

  1. Kyle G. says:

    Traffic is at an all time annual low – why do a trial when the results will be meaningless?

    I predict they pull this stupid idea one-week after school starts in September.

    FAIL!!!!

  2. James says:

    I have cycled 3 times across the province and into the Rockies. In all that time the Burrard Street bridge is easily the most dangerous place I’ve been, in my view. Something simply must be done before someone dies, if they haven’t already. I feel that bridge is so dangerous that sooner or later that will happen – and that is most likely to be a child on a bike or an inexperienced cyclist.

    As a cyclist I care not what the solution is, the best thing would be to hang cycle lanes off the side of the bridge, if drivers don’t want a lane closed I hope they are willing to see the council pay for that.

  3. Chris says:

    I’ve cycled over the bridge on and off for a number of years, and pretty much every day this year since Bike to Work Week. It’s not my favourite part of my commute (I go down Cypress and then along the seawall to work), but anecdotally, I’ve never seen even a close call on the bridge. The biggest problem may be the speed of some cyclists. On the other hand, I’ve seen some reports of collisions between pedestrians and cyclists. Why not build a wall between the walking and cycling parts of the sidewalk?

    My biggest worry about the trial is that it will increase the antagonism that some drivers feel towards cyclists.

    By the way, I think the proposed design of the cycle bridge is nutty. You can see it here:

    http://bit.ly/fQkZ2

    You would have to ride half way to Bowen Island to get downtown! I wouldn’t take it; I’d rather ride in traffic on the Burrard Bridge. Why not just build a (straight) cycle bridge right beside the Burrard Bridge?

  4. Dave says:

    The cyclists are certainly the problem, not the solution. If they were willing to slow down and approach pedestrian speed, the Burrard St. Bridge would be perfectly safe for everyone.

    But that’s just not the way it works. They’d rather fly down their designated lane, damn the pedestrians, and create a more dangerous situation for anyone who chooses to take that bridge.

    I’m not sure how badly the bike-only lane is going to screw over cars, but at least it will make me, the guy on foot, feel a lot safer from these reckless cyclists.

  5. Richard says:

    Dave. The problem is not cyclists going fast. The problem is pedestrians moving into the cycling lane without looking. While cyclists going slow may help, it is far from certain that this would solve the problem.

    I know of one incident of pedestrian rage where a man got tired of waiting for a line of cyclists to pass so he pushed a woman cyclist off the sidewalk and in front of a car. The woman driving the car had to stop quickly and was scared to death that someone travelling way over the speed limit would rearend her car. She had a child in the car.

    There is also a reason why cyclists are banned from most sidewalks in the province, It is dangerous for both cyclists and pedestrians. It is a long downhill stretch on the bridge so cyclists naturally build up speed. Cyclists typically don’t have speedometres so they have no idea how fast they are going. Anyway, unless there is congestion, drivers do not obey the speed limit on the bridge so I’m not sure why you expect that people on bikes would obey a limit when they have no idea of how fast they are travelling.

    The solution is to separate the cyclist from the pedestrians as the city is doing.

  6. Chris says:

    I agree that the solution is to separate the cyclist from the pedestrian. Aren’t there simpler and cheaper ways to do this? A simple barrier between the two seems obvious.

  7. Richard says:

    Chris

    The protected lanes are in place now and they are really great. Lots of people are already using them. I suggest walking or cycling over the bridge and checking it out. I was chatting with an older gentlemen, who looked to be in his seventies or eighties. He said it was really great to walk on the sidewalk without having to worry about cyclists. He also said that the traffic won’t be a problem with the Canada Line opening up soon. Friends and family are able to walk beside each other and chat as they are walking over the bridge.

    The sidewalks are already too narrow at 2.6m. Putting a barrier between cyclists and pedestrians would allow even less space to walk and cycle.

    A bicycle needs at least 1.5 metres to travel in and an additional .5m shy distance from a barrier for a total of 2.0m.

    If the sidewalk was divided in half, there would less than 1.3 metres. The exact amount would depend on the width of a barrier. It would be impossible for cyclists to pass each other on the long uphill sections. It would also likely impossible for people in wheelchairs to pass each other. The lack of space might even make the sidewalk more dangerous for cyclists.

    When I walk over the bridge now, I have to turn sidewalks to pass oncoming pedestrians if there are oncoming cyclists. The sidewalk is very crowded. Squeezing pedestrians into a space of only around a metre would not be comfortable. Women especially might find it uncomfortable having men pass them so closely at night. Then there are the shopping cars full of bottles and cans being pushed over the bridge.

    Finally, check out Pete McMartin’s great column in the Sun:

    Chaos! Mayhem! The End of The World As We Know It! Would That Be Such A Bad Thing?
    http://www.vancouversun.com/travel/Column+Chaos+Mayhem+World+Know+Would+That+Such+Thing/1780068/story.html

  8. David Hayes says:

    There were noticably more cyclists and joggers on the bridge this morning even at 5:30am which seems to me like agood thing. There wasn’t enough space on the sidewalk for pedestrians and cyclists before they changed it, a barrie would only make this worse. I’m not 100% sure this trial is the right solution but something needed doing