Comments

  1. I was stopped at the light on Burrard and 10th Avenue yesterday when literally dozens of bikes crossed in front of us – so many that my passenger expressed shock at the number. But it’s just another typical sunny Sunday afternoon in Vancouver.

  2. Lovely to see everyone out and about enjoying the sunny days. But are we enjoying sunny ways?
    Our journey to and from the North Shore on Saturday, May 27 (via Stanley Park and English Bay, across the Burrard bridge and out to 10th Avenue, and then to Granville Street and through the city) was an exercise in defensive driving against, as always, other drivers, and of course construction, and also to cyclists, who seem oblivious to pedestrians and vehicles.
    On this route, we saw no cyclists stop at intersections, however they were marked. We dodged cyclists riding two and three and four abreast, weaving in and out of those patterns at will. We witnessed altercations between drivers and cyclists.
    And just to clarify that no Lower Mainland community is spared the experience – the North Shore attracts packs of cyclists riding at top speed on the two-lane roadways on their own weekend Tours.
    At a recent presentation by a cycling group, the speaker focused on working with the municipalities to build bike lanes and improve access for cyclists.
    His response to concerns about pedestrian safety, about dangerous habits of cyclists, about lack of compliance with the laws governing all people who use the roadways was zero. In fact, he seemed surprised that the issues were raised.
    This real-life version of cyclist Pacman is the norm now. So yes, we had the vision, built the infrastructure and now we use it. Everyone out and about, getting fresh air and exercise.
    I hope this note clarifies why others who share the road, and comply with the rules of the road that were created to ensure public safety, are exercised too.

    1. I can assure you, Laura, that if you got out of your car and rode your bike you’d have quite a different impression about who constitutes a danger on the road.
      A Vancouver city staff report found that in collisions between motorists and cyclists, the motorist was at fault 90% of the time. So much for “oblivious” cyclists.
      Furthermore, motorists (except motorcycles) ALWAYS ride two abreast and often don’t even have the decency to have someone actually occupy their passenger seat. Why shouldn’t cyclists ride two (or more) abreast? It is just another way in which cyclists are treated as second class citizens – a law put in place, not for anyone’s safety, but to ensure MVs dominate our roads.
      “Cyclist Pacman” ??? Sheesh! We can tell where you’re coming from.

      1. Mr van der Eerden,
        We have never met, yet you seem sure I have a bike that I do not ride. You seem equally sure my point of view would switch to yours if I ever rode that bike.
        Some among us drive, ride and walk. We choose our modes of transportation for various reasons. And there are at least as many points of view about sharing the public thoroughfares as there are drivers and cyclists and pedestrians.
        Everyone who travels from one place to another in the course of a day can participate in resolving these issues by sharing observations, experiences and most important, constructive suggestions.
        By simply posting our points of view, without including a constructive contribution, you and I have increased the division between opposing points of view. We are not part of the solution.
        I am sure the common goal is to find a balance we can all live with while driving, cycling or walking on a sunny spring day.
        I appreciate the Price Tags forum where all voices, and points of view, can be expressed.

        1. Ms Anderson, Is this how you reduce the division? By exaggerating your experiences and implying fault. By using language that suggests motorists can be forgiven while cyclists must be berated?
          “…and also to cyclists, who seem oblivious to pedestrians and vehicles.”
          (As noted above, they aren’t oblivious.)
          “On this route, we saw no cyclists stop at intersections, however they were marked.” (none???)
          “We dodged cyclists riding two and three and four abreast, weaving in and out of those patterns at will. (You had to dodge cyclists? Really? How many hours did this go on? Did you ever get by?)
          “We witnessed altercations between drivers and cyclists.” (Altercations? Plural? Whose fault? [Hint: It’s implied in your story.])
          “…attracts packs of cyclists riding at top speed on the two-lane roadways on their own weekend Tours.”
          (“packs of cyclists”, like wolves on the attack, perhaps? “riding at top speed”, were they actually even breaking the speed limit?…. as is the norm for those in multi-tonne vehicles? in fact, Ms. Anderson, do you ever creep over the speed limit when you drive? Always come to a full and complete stop at every stop sign every time?
          “This real-life version of cyclist Pacman is the norm now.”
          (What can I say?)

        2. Oh Ron! I did get a chuckle out of someone who frequently refers to the “stench and carnage” of motorists pleading for moderation of language!

        3. You’re welcome Bob,
          Just to be clear, it’s “the noise, stench and carnage of cars”. I don’t think motorists usually smell that bad. That cars are noisy, foul our air and kill hundreds of people in BC each year is actually just fact.
          I never pretended that I don’t poke people who need it sometimes. That was Ms. Anderson’s claim.

    2. Contrary to some commentators, despite that you are speaking as a driver your comments are correct. I drive and cycle, and I dont follow all the rules on my bike. Here’s why:
      – The social message I get is that ultimately my safety is my responsibility because I can die. Fair enough, but I’ll do what i think is best then.
      – The law doesn’t address the reality on the street. The laws worry about helmets and riding two abreast. They do nothing to give cyclist rights, and the police enforce the minor infractions while starting a car/bike investigation with the question; “why werent you in the bike lane?” This diminishes their credibility and the credibility of the law.
      – Regarding cycling rules/laws/norms, no one cares. Every day cars duck through the bikes only street. They dont obey the laws, neither do the bikes. If we as a group obeyed road rules that would build the social norms and mores.
      – Finally as pointed out by other posters, when a cyclist breaks a rule it rarely results in their death and even more rarely the death of someone else. Car drivers constantly kill people, but if they broke a rule we hand them a ticket and hold them liable for insurance costs. Even though their negligence killed someone. In short, the stakes are different.

    3. Laura, newsflash: Motorists break the roading laws all day, everyday:
      1.) No Motorist comes to a complete stop behind the stop line at a Stop Sign. This is called a rolling stop. This is ILLEGAL.
      2.) No Motorist matches or drives slower than the posted speed limits. This is called Speeding. This is ILLEGAL.

  3. In seeing the increased demand for cycling, and therein conflicts with cars and pedestrians on streets and paths that allow one to be mixed with the other, the more I am convinced that a dedicated, fully-separated commuter bike road system is needed throughout the Metro. The above comments perfectly illustrate this.
    The routes need to be direct, signalized and able to meet future capacity and a high regional design standard. Recreational cycling and multi-use paths would not be included, but would certainly require connectivity.

    1. Some may wonder where a dedicated bike commuter road network could feasibly be located. With about 260 km2 (260 million m2) of urban land taken up by motor vehicle infrastructure in the Metro, much of it dead storage known as “parking,” it’s a no brainer.
      The land occupied by roads is already a sunk cost, and the maintenance with such lightweight vehicles would be extremely negligible. Cost is not a legitimate roadblock, so to speak. Car drivers will object, of course, but many of the arguments and design details have already been hammered out by Vancouver which, as usual, courageously led the way and is light years ahead of other Metro cities on this issue.

      1. Civic politicians, including Vision, have shown themselves all to addicted to parking revenue. Which is why on Seymour at most of the times of the day you have two of four available lanes consumed by parking, which is ridiculous. There is plenty of offstreet parking in the downtown core.

        1. Funny, I cross Seymour at least twice a day (on foot at Pender) and it’s amazingly absent of traffic most of the time. I wonder why two travel lanes are actually even necessary.

        2. Really Ron, really? Is it 2am? I could say the same as the Hornby Cycle Track which is used at rush hour but very quiet the rest of the day.
          Regardless I would rather see one curb lane of Seymour taken over as a bike land that have it used for short term vehicle storage.

  4. As lifelong driver, an occasional bicycle commuter, a frequent fair weather cyclist and a visitor several times to cities like Vienna and Amsterdam, and someone who’s had a couple of close calls with a car here in Vancouver, I’d like to offer the following respectful comments.
    Drivers have had 50+ years to learn to interact with cars. However for most of us, our ‘bikes moving with cars’ experience is recent.
    Like driving in general, sharing the road with cars or bikes, takes time to learn for each person, and for our community.
    This is especially the case because our decisions on the road are influenced by what we see others do. If everyone is ‘swerving back and forth’, vs. ‘strictly within the lines’ there is a tendency to ‘do the Romans do when in Rome’.
    The first time I cycled in Amsterdam, I caused near accidents at almost every major traffic circle intersection. Why? Because I didn’t believe the cars would stop, and the other cyclists behind me didn’t expect me to stop!
    I was not ‘educated’ to their pattern and their bike bells let me know! That pattern of behaviour, like the one evolving here, evolved over 30 years as it became common and understood.
    In my early commuting days, there were no cycle routes, and ‘unconventional routes’ around intersections and along roads were part of my everyday commute.
    However, rapid response signal lights, more cyclists on the road with me, and bike routes where I felt safer, mean I am much more living by ‘the rules of the road’ now.
    I admit I still have a streak ‘independence’ on my bike, but as things improve, so do my cycling manners, and I’m trying to restrain myself, and do better.
    My observation so far this year, is that drivers are getting it, and getting better too.
    I’m not ready to risk my life cruising through traffic circle intersections as I learned to do in Amsterdam, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised that many more cars are considerate of cyclists than even two years ago, and I appreciate that.
    Good signage, dedicated bike lanes, and time, will all help. No cyclists can deny that the city is changing fast for cyclists, and perhaps we can be a bit understanding of drivers and remember that they sit bumper to bumper in a lineup at a signal light while we sail past them.
    For sure, we bicyclists need to learn their manners too. They will naturally, and some may need encouragement, like drivers do, to get it. But I certainly feel that things are improving.
    So, let us be a bit forgiving toward each other when they err, it’s part of the learning process. We all are learning to get along, and adapt to this important change in the way we travel.

    1. One thing about having greenways out of sight all these years is that the increase in cycling the past few decades wasn’t noticed by many. When it came time to come out from “underground”, it appeared to those who hadn’t noticed before to be sudden.
      Just curious how a bit of understanding look like? (I’m not sarcastic. I really don’t know what to do here.)

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