David Finnis who is on Twitter @ilovethearts says:
“This is one of the reasons many people don’t feel safe cycling in Vancouver. If drivers can’t slow down and avoid hitting a stationary object.And this slow street sign is on a quiet residential street!”
Which also brings up who is managing the pandemic response of Slow Streets 30 km/h infrastructure in Vancouver, and why there is not someone that can go out and check that the infrastructure is where it is supposed to be. And as we go into Year Two of the pandemic, why are we not making these barriers a bit more substantial so they stay in place? Why can’t they be filled with water or sand?
While Vancouver Slow Streets was introduced several months behind programs in other Canadian cities, it consisted of jersey barriers of different kinds either on the street or at the street’s side, indicating that it is a slower street, with repurposing for walkers, rollers and cyclists to maintain physical distancing.
There were two reasons for doing this: one, to facilitate destination oriented routes for people not in vehicles; and second, to provide a way for families and others to exercise in a safer environment with physical distancing that could not be met on the sidewalks.
This presentation on the Covid-19 Mobility and Public Life Response which was given to Council in May 2020 provides more background and rationale for the City’s response. In a survey conducted in April 2020 the City found that walking downtown had declined by 40 to 50 percent, commuter cycling had declined by 35 to 50 percent, and transit usage had declined by 80 percent.
At that time there were 48 percent less vehicles coming in and out of the downtown, with a 39 percent decline of vehicles coming in and out of Vancouver as a whole compared to April 2019.
The City’s three pronged approach included “Room to Move” which included Slow Streets, “Room to Queue” which provided expanded street space for people to queue outside of businesses. This also meant taking over the parking lane if needed outside of businesses. “Room to Load” was to assist deliveries to businesses, with the offshoot of allowing outdoor restaurant dining to spill onto city owned streets and sidewalks.
As we go into another pandemic Spring, a program of ensuring the barriers are in their correct places will assist everyone in getting outside and enjoying the designated Slow Streets safely.