Most things change, but some never do. It’s time for a (nearly) serious review of the World of *Mageddons™ . We’re happy to do it, so that you don’t have to, and since few others will call this type of failed prediction what it is: failed.
What this *mageddon review does illustrate is the difficulty for anyone in public life who makes decisions. While it’s easy to dream up *mageddon scenarios, it’s much harder to plan, make decisions and commit big resources amid strident choruses of negativity, and amid the usual incomplete information and the fundamentally unknowable nature of the future.
We’ve seen Cycling Santa, the Cycling NPA Mayoral Hopeful — and now, the Cycling Realtor, for whom the wheels of commerce are two in number and powered by legs alone. Note TWO (count ’em, TWO) exclamation marks in the header.
Found in the Georgia Straight, April 19, 2018.
After buying an abandoned, inacessible railroad, taking out the rails and ties, building a temporary set of paths, and holding 25 outreach events involving over 5,000 participants — it’s time to get a gander at some serious plans. Read on, indeed, to a 38-page PDF that’s chock full o’delights.
It still amazes me that there is so much within a 5-minute walk or a short bike ride of the Greenway (check out the nifty map on page 2). And I’m very pleased to see serious thought has gone into connectivity from the Greenway to the bike lanes on the north and the south — and all of them in-between.
It’s not specifically mentioned, but I really do hope that the design will find a way include those celebrated Heritage Blackberries.
Similar to YVR Airport’s approach, UBC may decide to kick in some money and other inducements and approach senior governments to help pay for running the Broadway subway from Arbutus to UBC. The distance is around 7 km, a longer distance than the currently-underway Broadway Millennium Line extension that stops at Arbutus.
Perhaps the owners and developers of the 92-acre Jericho Lands should get onboard for this ride — making their development transit-oriented, benefitting themselves and benefitting the city as a whole.
The temporary surfaces have been in place for a while; the big design jam happened, and now it’s time to look at a design concept.
April 21 12-3 pm
April 25 3:30-6 pm
April 28 12-3 pm
511 w Broadway, Vancouver
Written in 1957, with now-outdated thinking, the BC Motor Vehicle Act is ripe and ready for major update. As PT has discussed HERE, with detail as to what’s outdated.
And here’s more support:
In the kind of story that reminds how much motordom dominates over pedestrian safety and comfort , The Toronto Star reports that flex-post signs near a public school designed to slow traffic were removed . Why? Because they slowed traffic. Imagine. One week after they were installed, they were removed on the basis of one complaint. As the Toronto Star reports “the complainant, who said he submitted an email to the mayor’s office and included dash cam footage of traffic significantly slowed down in the 40km/h school zone. The dash cam speedometer registered his truck going about 30 km/h leading up to the flex-post sign, with the speed reducing by about half as he approached it.”
The complainant’s speed was reduced to 5 kilometres per hour while he slowed to manoeuvre around the flexi sign. And that is too slow for motordom, kids’ public school area or not. Even the manager of Traffic Safety and Data Collection responded that “Our initial assessment indicated that the road had sufficient clearance around the sign, but when cars parked adjacent to the sign, we observed traffic slowing significantly or moving around the sign into oncoming traffic.”
Of course this can also be seen as slowing traffic down enough that they can manoeuvre slowly around each other with lots of reaction time. But that is not Toronto’s take, and the signs were removed “in the interest of public safety.” In British Columbia 30 kilometres an hour is the speed in posted school zones. Toronto has not acquiesced to this slower, safer speed for their schools. As one local observed “The problem that I think we have in Toronto is we prioritize the convenience of people driving cars over the safety of anybody who’s not driving a car.”
The City of Toronto is having a tough time implementing their 80 million dollar version of Vision Zero, which is supposed to mean that all lives are valuable and no lives are lost due to road violence. The City has controversially suggested merely reducing their death rate from road violence by a percentage instead of completely eliminating deaths as their goal. Around this Davisville school area they are proposing installing zebra markings and school stencils as if that is something novel. It is a soft approach that does not protect vulnerable road users or slow cars down, leaving the impact of collisions still solidly on the pedestrian. The words of the general manager of Transportation Services speaks volumes about the ambiguity of being a pedestrian in Toronto: “It’s a very complex ecosystem, the area around a school, but, from our perspective, student safety is the highest priority. After the pilot is done and we’ve assessed it, my guess is we’ll come forward with it as part of our Vision Zero toolkit.”
There’s nothing complex about slowing traffic and insisting that children and adults have the right to walk safely and comfortably to schools, shops and services. Meanwhile road violence and motordom continues in Toronto~11 pedestrians have been killed in 2018 with an expected 60 pedestrians losing their lives in Toronto by the end of the year.
Sunset Beach Park, cherry trees, and a Mobi station.
This week, selected items and observations from a short trip to Victoria.
Back in 2016, Dan Ross reported on Victoria’s first protected bike lane on Pandora Street here. Since then, as reported here, the City has moved towards a complete active transportation network in the core – notably on Fort Street, just now nearing completion.
While I didn’t have a chance to get on a bike and explore it all, here are some shots which demonstrate the commitment the City is making:
Pandora at Government
Pandora looking west to new Johnson Street Bridge
Fort Street lane waiting to open
Frontage lane at 525 Superior Street – a new provincial government office building
Inside the building, there are large bike rooms with lockers – but the designers provided parking capacity based on counts of use in other buildings with departments that were consolidated in this new one. Guess what? With better facilities, the numbers of cyclists so increased that the architects are trying to figure out to repurpose space for the demand.
Another lesson: this nicely designed bike ramp in the centre of the stairs leading to the bike rooms isn’t used all that much. There’s a car ramp immediately to the left, and cyclists use it instead of having to dismount and carry their bike up the stair ramp.