May 4, 2012

Annals of Cycling – 55

An occasional update on items from the Velo-city.




All over the State of Victoria in Australia.  KenOhrn writes:

I have some growing admiration for those behind the Parkiteer (“Park-it-here”) bike cages.  Aside from the practicalities, someone there knows how to write an advocacy piece. 

The first para discusses 9 new Parkiteers, costing $ 1M Oz.  That’s ~ $ 110,000 per Parkiteer — compared to documented costs of up to $ 40,000 per parking spot at some stations.  A typical Parkiteer holds about 30 bikes (very roughly $ 3,700 per bike) in the space of 3 car parking spots.  Note that at least one of the Parkiteers is a second installation at the same transit station.

Apparently a single access card gets you into any Parkiteer.

It seems that bike parking is in some cases justified as a response to suburban car commuters not being able to find day parking at transit stations.  Low cost Parkiteers reduce the need for car parking space, and help Public Transit Victoria cope with its ridership increase problems.




Stossel is not my favourite reporter (well, that’s a stretch), but then it kinda depends whether you agree with him or not about helmets.




Tim Shah passes along another paper by Ralph Buehler and John Pucher that found that the presence of off-road bike paths and on-street bike lanes were, by far, the biggest determinant of cycling rates in cities. “And that’s true even after you control for a variety of other factors like how hot or cold a city is, how much rain falls, how dense the city is, how high gas prices are, the type of people that live there, or how safe it is to cycle”.

More here.




And Tenth Avenue.

Rev. TwoWheeler has put a lot of work into a proposal to repaint Tenth and Yukon:


This is a great opportunity to improve a dangerous intersection cheaply and easily, simply by repainting it differently.  The images attached show the rough idea. The presentation is here.


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  1. That 10th and Yukon proposal seems overly complex. Will a left turning bike rider really circumnavigate the intersection via the paths next to the crosswalks (and do they wait at the corners to cross the next crosswalk?) or do they simply behave like a vehicle, move to the car lane in sequence, signal their turn and take the shortest route?

    I think it would be confusing for a driver to see a left turning bike rider ride straight through the intersection (suggesting the bike rider will go straight) and suddenly turn left at the crosswalk in front of them without stopping. If the bike rider is supposed to stop before crossing the next crosswalk – it’s a real hassle for the bike rider – one that most will not execute.

    Why not install 4-way stop signs?

    Bikes turning left from 10th would leave the bike path and line up with the cars and execute the left turn in sequence.

    Is this just a problem when the throngs of City Hall employees are coming and going during rush hours?

  2. Thanks for engaging, Guest!

    Have a look at this youtube video, which might help clarify some of your questions Also, did you have a chance to look through the presentation? Some manoeuvres are described in full.

    Regarding your second paragraph question, the bike rider is supposed to stop and look before the opposite crosswalk but if the driver and cyclist arrive at the initial crosswalk simultaneously, the faster driver will be straight through before the cyclist makes the left turn. (If there are pedestrians crossing, of course, the driver will wait.)

    Of course cyclists can still behave like cars if they want to, as described in your fourth paragraph. This alternative design just makes life safer and more predictable for those that prefer riding in designated bikelanes to mixing with cars. Your argument for the simplicity of mixing traffic would also work against painted bikelanes outside of intersections (which may be your point, but doesn’t seem to be the policy of the city).

  3. Another implied question is whether this complexity is worth it. Given the low cost of paint, the opportunity of the current blank canvas, the the city’s stated transport hierarchy and its previous bike lane expenditures, I’d say the cost-benefit risk is worth it.

  4. I really like these lockers in San Francisco.
    Electronic Bike Lockers
    BikeLink is a secure on-demand parking system for small vehicles designed to make it easier to use transit and other mobility alternatives. It enables convenient and secure temporary storage of your bicycle, electric bicycle, or scooter. It also enables automated vehicle rental.

    Translink has added lockers along the skytrain network and is looking at a similar cage system:

    Erin Loxam writes on News1130 about more bike lockers at more Translink stations — this is good news.–translink-s-bike-and-ride-programs-expands

    Snider explains how they are considering expanding even further. “The contractor who runs our bike lockers has acquired the distribution rights to these ‘park-it-heres’. They hold up to 50 bikes.”

  5. Does Yukon really need to be treated like a collector road between Broadway and 12th? It’s not that busy, and it doesn’t go anywhere. I guess a similar thing could be said for Yukon north of Broadway as well. Is there a reason that it shouldn’t be treated like Ash or Ontario, with frequent stop signs, roundabouts, and narrow lanes? This would do away with the need for bike lanes and a complicated intersection treatment in this location.

    There are many other intersections that ought to be redesigned. These are intersections that are not intuitive to cyclists.
    Main and Union – the viaduct comes down between two one-way streets on one side and cyclists queue between cars headed for each on the other side
    Burrard and Cornwall – turn right to turn left off the bridge, share the lane then get a bike lane onto the bridge, does the red light apply to me if I’m turning right onto the sidewalk in the intersection?
    Burrard and Pacific – drop down off the sidewalk after the bridge then stop to go straight in that small space?
    Water and Carrall – can I go the wrong way down Alexander, turn left off Powell onto Carrall before the intersection, go all the way around to turn left off Carrall onto Water?
    Commercial and 1st – take the left side of the mostly right-turning lane or the right side, then merge left?

  6. While I’ll reserve judgement on 10/Yukon until I’ve actually ridden through it (for those diagrams on Scribd are of little help – I spent several minutes just trying to figure out which street is 10th and which is Yukon onthe diagrams, let alone which direction was north), I am somewhat sceptical. Assuming that cars (or anyone else) are going to politely and cooperatively drive AROUND painted barriers is delusional. Unless the barriers are physical, vehicle will mostly just cruise on over them, I expect. At any rate, if motorists can’t figure out how to deal with a bike box, I can’t imagine that this cryptic paint job will do anything but confuse. Who’s going to have time to decipher that safely while flying up or down the hill? A four way stop was the most obvious and practical (and economical, probably) solution.

    I was amused by this bit of text: “Narrowing streets is the surest way to slow cars.” Who wrote that bit of bollocks? Narrowing streets is the surest way to force bicycles and cars to squeeze through too little space. I’m very disappointed that the city is spending who-knows-how-much to reconfigure the intersection at Commercial and Adanac in order to make an unsafe crossing unsafe in different ways than existed previously. Great improvement! Why not just flush the money down the toilet, city council? The worst part of this reconfiguration is the narrowing of the lanes, particularly the approach to Commercial from the west, where the diversion was removed. Now cars are going to swing around the corner onto the newly narrower Adanac and immediately try to turn left in order to access Venables. Cars turning right onto Adanac from Commercial (northbound) will similarly be swinging into the path of bikes travelling west on Adanac. The addition of the traffic light will do nothing to mitigate this new design idiocy. If the bicycle advisory committee is coming up with these ideas, or approving them, I have little confidence in the future.

    A comment about one of Mike 0123’s intersections – Commercial and First. Ideally, the city would make the right lane right turn only at the intersection, and create a bike lane between the right and left lanes, such as exists on Quebec approaching Terminal. This would move the bottleneck back before the intersection, instead of having it on the other side of First, where the bus stop is, which would be much safe for bicycles travelling north on Commercial, and would help to prevent cars from blocking the intersection after the light changes because they are waiting to merge in to the only available lane.