Ken Ohrn: Lots of stuff coming our way today.

Starting with these two on the change and growth of bicycle culture in Vancouver:

Amy Logan writes in Vancouver Metro on the continuing rise of the cargo bike (or trike) as a business.  There’s another story about personal cargo bikes (for another day).

“(Shift) was born out of a desire to improve conditions in the downtown core, to reduce pollution, and to find creative ways of using alternative transportation,” Wells said, adding that cargo trikes have a capacity of up to 500 pounds, similar to a medium-sized SUV. . . .  Responding to increased demand, they are adding three more trikes to their fleet for a total of 10 by the end of May.

In their Little Mountain application, Holborn shows how they have included the bicycle in their plans. This level of inclusion is becoming more common, which in itself is noteworthy.

  • No roadway exit/entrance onto Ontario, a busy bike route.
  • Many bike exit/entrance points to Ontario
  • Roadway exit/entrance onto 37th
  • Bike rooms with runnels on the stairways
  • 1910 class A & B bike parking places.

Based on City of Vancouver Parking Bylaw rates, 1,800 Class A (long-term storage) and 110 Class B (short term) bicycle parking spaces would be provided for the 1,350-1,450 units proposed in the development. Commercial uses would have 2 racks of six spaces each, provided in publicly accessible and visible locations. Holborn is exploring opportunities to exceed the City’s requirements, with the aim of encouraging bicycle use and promoting the site’s strategic location. . . .

. . . . The proponent will provide a “bike hub” room in each underground car park with a tool-equipped workshop – including a work bench and built-in air compressor – and may include a bike washing station, secured lockers for helmets and rain gear, and dedicated storage for bike tow trailers and tricycles for children. Each bike hub room would include seating and serve as a social meeting areas for cyclists, reinforcing the feeling of community among residents and supporting travel by bicycle by making repairs, etc., easier. Also, bike hub rooms will be equipped with an electrical outlet as per the City bylaw. Any stairways leading to and from Class-A spaces will incorporate bicycle stairway ramps along their sides to make access easy and comfortable for cyclists (Figure 6-12). Complementing the other proposed design approaches, Holborn will look to establish a collaborative relationship with HUB, a local nonprofit cycling advocacy group, to obtain assistance with the design as it relates to bicycle use, as well as advice on how to best promote cycling among residents with a component that focuses on younger and older age groups.

In the next three, motordom and its media pals have a mixed day in these articles:

Bob Mackin writes in Business In Vancouver:

For now, the Downtown Vancouver peninsula has only one gas station.

While the Chevron on West Georgia Street east of Denman is closed for renovations, the Esso on the southwest corner of Burrard and Davie streets is serving a population that was estimated at almost 55,000 in 2011.

Just when you thought this sort of thing had died out, over at the Postmedia outlet “The Province“, Gordon “Rile-em-up” Clark, the editorial pages editor, does a pretty good job of putting a record number of anti-bike and pro-motordom clichés into one article.  Prominent by its absence is “war on the car”, except as repeatedly implied.  Prominent by its inclusion is the opinion that everything Vision does to the roads is just plain wrong. Everything! Laughably, he claims to support bike lanes — just, I guess, not any that are actually put into operation.


Gordon Clark:  “Gordzilla In the City”

At the same time, as an indicator of the popularity of Mr. Clark’s opinions, and their success at keeping the money flowing to PostMedia, here’s Terry Pedwell in the Canadian Press (via the CBC) on Postmedia’s Paul Godfrey and his desperate business plan — a non-bailout by Government.  Mr. Godfrey asked the Feds for tax breaks and more Gov’t advertising, in contradiction to his editorial stance.  More fundamentally, one wonders how this ask squares with free market philosophies championed repeatedly in Postmedia outlets. Isn’t the market speaking in a loud and clear voice?  Or are all opinions and beliefs just situational?

The Liberals on the committee were quick to accuse Godfrey of contradicting himself. Postmedia has been among the strongest critics of government spending on advertising, said Liberal MP Adam Vaughan.

“There have been no fiercer critics of subsidies to the media than the Toronto Sun and the National Post,” Vaughan said of two of Postmedia’s flagship papers. “How do you square your editorial position with your corporate position?”

Godfrey responded by saying Postmedia columnists are given leeway to write articles that contradict their own company’s positions on political and other issues.

Vaughan also questioned why taxpayers would want to bail out a failing company that is owned in part by a U.S. investment group.