Some important statistics from the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), the provincial Crown Corporation responsible for driver licensing, registration and primary insurance coverage, came out yesterday.

If you’ve felt that driving in BC was getting a bit more dangerous, you’re right. ICBC has confirmed that, in 2017, there were 350,000 crashes province-wide. Think of that number — that means there were almost 1,000 crashes every day last year. Statistically, this also suggests (conservatively, assuming single-car crashes) that about one in every ten drivers will be involved in a crash this year.

That figure of 350,000 crashes also works out to 40 crashes every hour in the province; overall, this costs ICBC $4.8 billion, or roughly $13 million per day.

This is also $1 billion more than the cost of the proposed 10-lane Massey Bridge (last estimated in the $3.7 billion range).

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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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Vancouver continues to repurpose public space for people.

More examples, this time from Davie Street in the city’s West End. One is private, and the others are part of a 3-year pilot study by VIVA Vancouver.

The study will test a number of things, including modular design elements and curbside patios that are away from the building. These measures will test innovative features to support a vibrant patio culture and make better use of public space.

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Even BBC News picked up the absolutely unbelievable story of this “no fun” suburban neighbourhood.

The community of Chemainus (part of the District Municipality of North Cowichan on Vancouver Island) is famous for their internationally acclaimed mural festival which brings art, tourists and income to a former logging town. You would think that a place that brands themselves as an artistic hotbed would translate this creativity to other local endeavours and activities.

But no — the strata council of “Artisan Gardens”, a housing development not far from parks and a golf course, voted 15-4 in favour of a bylaw which basically prohibits any activity a child would do outside of their front door.

The bylaw prohibits using the roadway “for play, including hockey, baseball, basketball, skateboarding, chalk artistry, bicycling or other sports and recreational activities.”

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The City of Vancouver and Province of BC have given indigenous names to two of Vancouver’s more significant open spaces.

The open space on the north side of the Vancouver Art Gallery is šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énḵ Square – ‘a place where a cultural gathering occurs.’ The plaza in front of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre is šxʷƛ̓exən Xwtl’a7shn – ‘the Walks for Reconciliation‘.

The names incorporate languages of all three First Nations people — Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh. And it’s a great idea; anyone who’s been to New Zealand knows what a difference it makes to have Maori being used (‘Kia ora most obviously) by everyone.

Which then raises the question here: are these plaza names meant to be practically applied?

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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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