Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Bike unfriendly Vancouver BC

Here's a photo of the latest work the City of Vancouver has done to improve life for cyclists

Yes, they filled in a gap in a cement curb that previously allowed cyclists to ride through a park and avoid the many large, toxic trucks in the surrounding area.

This is a park (Strathcona) that has a bicycle rack in the middle of it but no bicycle access, unless you stop and lift your bike up over the curb, not an easy feat for older or younger folks or those of us who carry heavy loads.

Over a decade ago, I formally requested that the curbs be cut to allow cyclists to more easily use this safer route.  It could link up the Adanac bikeway with National Avenue that runs past the Via train station to the Main Street Spytrain Station.  There's a new artificial turf park on the road (with uncovered bike racks) and the City's engineering yard (with over a kilometre of free car parking: hmm, why weren't meters put here?).

When I made my request, I was told it would take 7 years.  That's how long the queue was then for requested curb cuts, for both bicycles and wheelchairs and strollers and scooters, etc.

Well, it took longer than 7 years but they finally got to it.  Only they filled it up instead of cutting it out.  Thanks.

And while we're on the topic of making it easier to cycle in Vancouver, the by-law fining people who tie up pets outside of businesses is another case in point.

Only car drivers can legally access businesses with a pet in tow.  Pedestrians, Cyclists, Bus Riders and the rest of the non-motorized population are criminalized if we bring our pets with us.

Oh, is that it?  No, no, no.  I could fill up your hard drive with issues that criminalize or threaten my life as a cyclist every single day.  Buttons that don't change lights (why did they spend $60,000 of our money for each of these?), painted lines that don't stop cars from killing cyclists, green (bike route) signs and 30 km/h signs that most drivers don't even notice (and don't enforce safe driving on those that do), yada, yada, yada.

If you'd care to, send a word of thanks in to your local councillor or mayor for making it easier and safer to travel in the city without killing other people or the planet.  

Business is not usual, for the planet and for humans.

Frankly, Vision's Vancouver is not the one for me, thank you.

dave olsen bike@resist.ca