Cycling
August 15, 2018

Late Summer in the City as Gym

By late summer, we’re in shape.

Good weather, longer days, more trips on bikes, more running, more hiking, more walking.

Younger people are literally using the city as a gym.   On the bike routes, cyclists are stronger, moving faster, more in control – and showing off their bodies.  Ironically, even as the air quality worsens, the city is feeling healthier.

And looking good.

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A bold-looking mixed-use Oakridge Centre is rising in the city, on 28 acres, at the site of a Canada Line transit station. Henriquez Partners Architects have designed something that is billed as the largest development in Vancouver’s history. Completion date looks to be 2025, costs somewhere around $5B, with 2,548 new residential units, and two 40+ storey towers among 12 other buildings. And it’s right in the middle of a predominantly single-family residential area, with rising density nearby.

Part of the design rationale is, however, specifically to generate density at an important transit hub.  Mission accomplished, it seems to me.

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Finalists are ready for your vote after the 450 proposed designs are now whittled down to a nifty 6.  Learn more about the process and contest HERE and HERE.

I’m hoping for the best for my favourite (“Guard Bird”), but there are merits in practicality and aesthetics to all of the finalists.

Of 450 submissions, 30 shortlisted designs, and much deliberation, a jury panel has narrowed down the final 6 designs to be prototyped and available for testing!

Visit them and vote at:

Monday, August 13, 3pm to 7pm
Adanac and Vernon Plaza

Tuesday, August 14, 3pm to 7pm
Arbutus Greenway and 10th Ave

Wednesday, August 15, 3pm to 7pm
800 Robson St

Thursday, August 16, 11am to 2pm
Helena Gutteridge Plaza in front of City Hall

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From The Atlantic, via PT correspondent Michael Alexander, one of two dozen artful (and depressing) images of the aftermath of China’s bike share boom.

The fallout of a burst bike-share bubble in China has left the country with millions of abandoned bicycles piled into “graveyards”—such as this one, photographed on April 14 in Nanning—that cities are still sorting through.

…In a few cases, plans have been announced to refurbish and distribute some of the bikes to smaller neighbouring towns; in others, wholesale recycling has begun, and bicycles are being crushed into cubes.

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Mobi by Shaw Go (Vancouver’s bike share system) has reached a new milestone — a 3-ride-per-bike, per-day average (well, 2.99 to be precise) on July 23, 2018, followed by 3.00 on July 24.

With thanks to @VanBikeShareBot, the brainchild of Mike Jarrett.

Yesterday there were approximately 4166 Mobi trips. That’s the most this year!

Active stations: 151, Active bikes: 1393, Most used station: Stanley Park – Information Booth, Least used station: Britannia Parking Lot

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The latest docking station for Mobi, Vancouver’s public bike share — across from Waterfront Station (at last).

It’s also across from one of the largest parking lots for car2go and Evo car sharing services, hidden away in Granville Square.

They’ve all been successful. Here’s the latest announcement from Mobi:

Over one million rides in two years

In its inaugural year, Mobi by Shaw Go saw exceptional uptake with over 35,000 users by fall 2017. Today, Mobi by Shaw Go boasts 154 stations, over 1,500 bikes, and over 1 million rides covering over three million kilometres …

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This past weekend, I decided to take a quick ride over to Jericho from the West End, just to see what was happening with the Folk Festival.

Along the way, I found several long-standing examples of the City of Vancouver’s Park Board indifference to cycling.  (I know the commissioners would disagree, but the lack of action over so many years, regardless of all the plans, consultations and rhetoric, speak otherwise.)

For instance the path pictured above, just to the west of the Aquatic Centre, connecting Beach Avenue with the Seaside Greenway —narrow asphalt and worn grass — is ambiguous, inadequate and unsafe.  If it were under the jurisdiction of the City’s engineering department, it would likely have been rectified by now (it’s been this way for decades).

But it’s Park Board territory — and another example of their attitude: #wedontcare.

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“But what about parking?”

“There’s lots, don’t worry”.

At the Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2018, now in its 41st year.

By the way, the infamous “Birkenstock 500” has been modified. Instead of the aggressive, early-morning free-for-all race to the main stage to claim prized spots on the grass for blankets, there is now a lottery among early arrivals, thus spacing out the action in a more civilized fashion.

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To make it easy for people to choose the bicycle as a way to get from “A” to “B”, you start by planning a network; step two is safe and effective infrastructure.

Vancouver’s 10th Avenue corridor spans Victoria Drive in the east to Trafalgar Street in the west, and connects to several north-south bike routes, like busy-busy Ontario, Heather, Cypress and the Arbutus Greenway.

The corridor sees around 500,000 bike trips per year, a good portion of which passes through the hospital precinct between Heather and Oak streets, which now has mostly-completed separated cycling and walking paths.

Here’s a gallery of some of the facility.

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Vancouver is a city with a world-wide reputation for rising mode share for transportation by bicycle and by walking.

More people continue to realize that walking or taking a bike is the easiest and best choice for some of their trips. The person and the city get major health improvement as strong side effects, and this weighs in political decisions.  And Greenways are part of the plan.

Here’s a proposal for the East Van City Greenway, which will join infrastructure like the Central Valley Greenway, 10th Avenue, Union/Adanac and others.  However, it will focus on north-east Vancouver, extending the reach of Greenway infrastructure to yet another part of the city.

The proposal is in the form of a motion sponsored by Mayor Robertson and Councillor Reimer, now on the agenda for the July 10 council meeting, starting at 0930.

The north-east part of Vancouver currently has cycling mode share of 8-13%, and walking 17-29%, despite infrastructure being limited. A Greenway would likely increase mode share for both, and promote healthy living through active transportation and increased opportunity for social interaction.

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