Dean A recommended this piece in the New York Times:
Among the safety measures proposed by car companies are encouraging pedestrians and bicyclists to use R.F.I.D. tags, which emit signals that cars can detect. This means it’s becoming the pedestrian’s responsibility to avoid getting hit. But if keeping people safe means putting the responsibility on them (or worse, criminalizing walking and biking), we need to think twice about the technology we’re developing. …
Peter Ladner was motivated to write this response with respect to our bike routes:
Got me thinking about son Brendan’s observation that our bike route rating system is bogus: widely-varying standards qualify as AAA, misleading those unfamiliar with the routes, misleading people looking at our city into believing we have a significant level of safe, separated routes. We actually don’t. Is there any other level? A-minus, B, D for still dangerous etc.?
How many parents would happily take their 4-year-old on all our so-called AAA routes?
And what’s with Google maps not knowing where the bike routes are when I ask for directions from Tinseltown to Lost Lagoon and punch the bike icon? It directs me to Hastings St., unsafe for riding.
Google Maps was aware of all the safe bike routes on a recent trip in Madrid, Vienna and Budapest.
Wazzup, Green Vancouver??! Or do our shared streets not qualify as “bike routes” by Google’s standards?
You may remember the post above, addressed to the Parks Board, regarding the misleading marking of the Seaside route through Kits and Jericho Parks as AAA.
I asked each Parks Board Commissioner a straight-forward question:
Should the AAA bike routes marked on the official City map above be removed?
I got only one response – from COPE Commissioner John Irwin:
… I raised the possibility of a motion highlighting ‘through’ the parks policy as many of us do love to ride through parks recreationally (we do this very often with our kids). In response staff met with HUB representatives who now feel comfortable that things have improved on this front. As a result I have postponed a motion, but I would still be willing to put one on notice if things revert back to ‘to, not through’.
We’ll know more when staff brings VanPlay forward this fall/winter.
John didn’t answer directly whether he would remove the AAA status of the current route. I would guess he, like the other commissioners, doesn’t want to say he would accept a less-than-inclusive bike-path standard for parks, but he probably doesn’t want to acknowledge the need to upgrade and design new routes to connect with the city-wide network that serves the need for safe transportation.
I heard an explanation for both Parks and City Council disinterest from a city-hall observer: “The Mayor’s office thinks bike routes are so associated with the discredited Vision Council that they don’t want to be seen as having cycling as a priority.”
So, like the Parks Board, they will avoid spending political capital to be supportive, and hope the issue can be massaged with the minimum commitment possible.