Business & Economy
June 30, 2020

Bikes and Business: The Ice Cream Indicator

Jeff Leigh of HUB reports:

My wife and I rode Stanley Park last Monday, and stopped in at the Prospect Point Café.  We spoke with the staff at the concession, who advised they had been very busy serving people on bikes through the weekend.

We typically do not stop at the top of the hill, but head right on down.  Now we have a reason to stop.

Jeff and his wife haven’t been alone.  Here’s the scene last Sunday:

Here’s the line-up just for ice cream:

Prospect Point Cafe was literally surrounded by bikes and riders – most of whom looked to be in the demographic that any restaurant would find rather attractive.  And since these were all Vancouver residents (no tourists, remember), they’re also the ones who, when out-of-town guests return, will be looking for a good place to take them, whether for ice cream or sit-down meals, whether by bike, car or bus.

Honestly, what it is going to take for businesses people to catch on?  Who can they turn to for advice?

Oh yeah, HUB.  Jeff again:

HUB Cycling is already working on promoting businesses in the park.

HUB has a program called Bike Friendly Business,  which has just the type of offerings that businesses new to dealing with people cycling can use, from Business Development services, to certification, to marketing to people who cycle.  If you have a business and want to talk, please reach out.

There are other HUB Cycling programs and events that can help businesses with marketing to people on bikes as well.  Bike to Shop comes up later in the summer.  Volunteers lead group rides to participating businesses, helping those new to transportation cycling learn how to bike to shops, restaurants, and so on.

It is important that businesses who believe their business is solely dependent on motor-vehicle traffic see that there is a whole community of people who cycle for transportation, and who spend money at local businesses.

 

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The City is now moving on reallocating road space for safe movement of walkers and cyclists:

Oddly, the City is calling this announcement “temporary road closures”.  Um, no.  The roads aren’t closed; they’re being reallocated for the safe use by more users.  Closing a road to vehicles doesn’t mean the road itself is closed.

But hey, good move, City.  Definitely necessary to provide more space to cyclists heading to Stanley Park along Beach this weekend, and to take pressure off the seawall.

But don’t stop there.  Here again is the list of possibilities from HUB Cycling’s Jeff Leigh:

DONE:

  1. Beach from Thurlow to Stanley Park to relieve pressure on the seawall paths and to provide access to Stanley Park

TO DO:

  1. Nelson and Smithe from Richards to Thurlow to connect the West End To False Creek
  2. Cambie Bridge northbound to ease congestion on the MUP
  3. Quebec near Terminal, in both directions, to ease congestion in front of Science World
  4. Pine from 1st to 7th to connect the Arbutus Greenway to 1st
  5. 1st from Creekside to Cypress, to connect the Arbutus Greenway and link the Seaside Greenway via the 1st Ave bypass, avoiding the tight spot at the end of Creekside
  6. Main St, to replace the unsafe shared lanes (sharrows) from 14th north
  7. Pender or preferably Hastings from Burrard to Cardero, to ease congestion on the Seawall path
  8. Georgia from Cardero to the Causeway, to ease congestion on the Seawall path (Georgia Gateway project)
  9. Adanac overpass at Cassiar, a known trouble spot since the removal of calming related to the Fortis gas pipeline construction
  10. Pacific at the Granville loops, a dangerous intersection
  11. the Granville bridge, to ease congestion on the narrow sidewalks
  12. parallel routes to the Arbutus Greenway, to ease congestion.
  13. Ontario, from 16th to 1st
  14. Expo Blvd in front of Costco (room to queue candidate) where the painted bike lane is often blocked with vehicles, pushing bikes on to the sidewalk.

 

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The Park Board is going to make better and safer use of the space it owns in Stanley Park:

Here’s the consequence:

Closing Stanley Park’s roads will reduce the daily number of people in the park and open up space for cyclists and pedestrians from the neighbourhood.

It won’t be just from “the neighbourhood.”  Expect Vancouverites (and those from the North Shore) to use the bikeway and greenway network to access Stanley Park too.  Indeed, recreational athletes already do.

Next step: the City can likewise reallocate road space to take pressure off the most popular (and too crowded) greenway paths.

Here’s a list of opportunities as compiled from Jeff Leigh with HUB Cycling.

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105 Avenue Connector Road, Surrey 

At the 6th Annual Bike Awards on February 28th, HUB Cycling awarded five municipalities for their efforts to #UnGapTheMap across the region.

The first category of infrastructure winners were part of the 20 in 20 Infrastructure Challenge, launched last year as part of HUB’s 20th Anniversary.

Third place went to the City of Burnaby for completing nearly 20 Quick Fixes,  ranging from re-paving parts of the Sea to River Bikeway, trimming foliage that obstructed bike lanes and urban trails, and re-painting faded lines and shared lane markings.

A close second went to the District of West Vancouver, who also nearly completed 20 Quick Fixes, including removing narrow bollards and adding reflective diamond paint along the Spirit Trail, adding wayfinding signage at Ambleside Park, and installing rapid flashing beacons for safer crossings along 27th and 29th streets at Marine Drive.

And coming out on top was the City of Surrey, who doubled the 20 in 20 target with over 40 Quick Fixes. Highlights included adding new wayfinding signage, widening narrow bike lanes, and removing and or widening several narrow baffle gates that now allow people cycling with trailers (often with children inside) to pass through.

The Cities of Vancouver and Surrey also won an Infrastructure Improvements Award for providing All Ages and Abilities (AAA) cycling infrastructure at East 1st and Quebec (below) and along 105 Avenue (above).

East 1st and Quebec, Vancouver

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TransLink has approved the routes for major new regional bike infrastructure — the Major Bike Network (MBN).

Funding is already approved, and is included in the $9.3B 10-Year Vision as $131M for “Regional Cycling”.  That’s 1.5% of total spending, showing that bike infrastructure is really cheap, and that you can do ambitious stuff, even spending less as a percentage than cycling’s regional mode share (~ 2%).

The plan calls for around 300 km of separated bike lanes, and 2,400 km of bike routes (usually in neighbourhoods with lower traffic).  The MBN will be cost-shared with the municipality.

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Over 50,000 people will bike to work and school in British Columbia beginning May 28th, as part of Bike to Work and Bike to School Weeks, hosted by Metro Vancouver’s HUB Cycling and GobyBikeBC.
It’s 100% free, including the trip tracking app, which allows you to create workplace teams and compete for prizes, plus active transportation bragging rights between companies. Every year, about one in five participants is a first-time bicycle commuter.
It’s a great way to start.

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Looking for some fun tomorrow morning (Wednesday May 25)?  Meet me at London Drugs plaza, Georgia & Granville.

Good old HUB is gearing up for Bike to Work Week (May 30 to June 5) with another Share the Road Challenge.  In this friendly competition, various groups and companies form teams, with members using different modes of transportation — transit, bike, car. Each team picks a common start point and we see who gets to the finish line first (Granville & Georgia). All in good fun — with a point to prove.

Teams last year included City of Vancouver.  Mayor Robertson (bike) came in second to Councilor Reimer (transit). Councilor Jang (car) was a distant third.

See you at around 8 a.m., when the first team members should start arriving. I’ll be interested to see whether Mr. Gauthier of DVBIA will be a team member this year, as promised to me in 2015.

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Let’s work backwards from September, 2016. Pro Walk Pro Bike Pro Place, almost always held in the US, will be in Vancouver. In fact, we’re having a whole Placemaking Week Sept 12-18 AND celebrating Jane’s 100th birthday (may she rest in peace).
Vancouver Bike Share (the temporary name until CycleHop announces a sponsor) launches in June, expands in July, and should be running smoothly by September. Inshallah.
Five protected bike lanes downtown are to be built and finished by the end of July, 2016. Yes, 2016. It sounds like more than it is. Some are little blips on the map.
Cambie, Smithe, Nelson, Beatty, and Richards.
Here’s my 2 cents: I applaud the speed and approach. We should be constructing multiple lanes at once. Building upon and expanding the current AAA network is key.
The couplets on Nelson and Smithe (one-way on each street in same direction as vehicles) are: on Nelson from Richards to Beatty (shouldn’t that go to the Cambie Street Bridge?) and on Smithe from the bridge to Richards. If Nelson/Smithe went as far as Hornby instead, people would have so many more options and we would almost have a complete All Ages and Abilities (AAA) link from Yaletown to the West End.
Linking the bike lane on Homer Street northbound for one more little block from Georgia to Dunsmuir’s protected bike lane would help. Surely continuing the bi-directional protected bike lane on Dunsmuir for one block west to Burrard – a major transit hub of Burrard Station – is also a priority. Don’t make me take the one-way painted bike lane the wrong way for a block! #ungapthemap
Some of the bike lanes in the plan could conflict with vehicles turning. Please be careful in the final design.
You have 24 more hours to email your comments on this project. You might as well take a look right now. View the information displays from the March 8, 2016, open house and email your comments to downtownbikenetwork@vancouver.ca by March 25.

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