August 29, 2014

The New Point Grey Road – 29: The Coupland Report

From Penny Coupland:


Today I counted 31 kids under 14 on bikes during my trip from Chinatown to Jericho and back (33 if you count the cute baby in a bike seat, 36 if you count the ones in bike trailers, 37 if you count the one on a trail-a-bike).





Training wheeled bikes on the road are becoming much more common now – like the small boy at the rear.



And apropos your latest post re people parking in bike lanes – I encountered only 2 today. One on PGR, one on Union at Gore, which means I only got sworn at twice for taking photos of them. Today was a good day!



Had a car pull out of a parking space on Union/Gore into the bike lane, narrowly missing me, earlier this month. He drove ahead of me further down and pulled in left, to a parking spot that suited him better. The bike store owner who saw the whole thing came out and asked the cop standing outside why he didn’t do something about it. Cop replied (quite correctly) ‘Happens all the time here’.

Saw two drivers turn into Union bike track from Gore as I was returning home!   Is there a city-wide shortage of post bollards currently? I’d happily sponsor a few!

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  1. One measure may be to paint turning lines for the car lanes.
    One place where on a couple of occasions, I’ve almost ended up in the opposing car lane is turning left from southbound Cambie to 33rd / Midlothian Way. The rise in the street and the asymmetrical allocation of lane space you are aiming for make it hard to see the lane markings.

  2. Taking the last photo of the two girls, the car owner ran up the driveway opposite to tell me to mind my own business. Asked him if he knew it really wasn’t a parking spot (there was a free spot about 8 steps away, round the corner). He said he didn’t agree with bike lanes so parked in them on purpose (expletives deleted).
    Given he and his crew had T shirts on identifying a building company, I can only hope he doesn’t ignore safety and planning regs he doesn’t like!

    1. I wouldn’t put much faith in a builder to do anything correctly, even in that neighbourhood. This past winter my father got a call from a realtor trying to sell a >$4 million house. He found numerous problems with the electrical system that suggested no formal inspection had ever been carried out.
      He has also been watching some new houses going up in Point Grey and cannot believe the bizarre things he’s seen in the framing. In one particular case the techniques are so illogical that it appears nobody at the construction company had ever put together anything as complex as a package of Lego.

    2. I would call the police after that interaction. Not only are they parking illegally, they have just verbally threatened you.

    3. Ack, in no way do I want to defend that guy or his attitude, but I ride that stretch almost daily and see vehicles parked there often (although usually curb-side). I’ve looked at all the signs posted there, and come to the conclusion that that little segment is in fact a road and not separated bike lane. There’s a sign just slightly east that says no exit and then another sign slightly west that says no vehicles except bikes. The bit in between seems to be -mind bogglingly- all-vehicle road, by design. Which in my mind seems crazy. Worth asking the city why its like that.

        1. Yes, there is. However, further west (where its clearly a bike lane) there are more houses with driveways that simply have cutouts in the separating median to allow them to cross the bike lane.

    4. He parked in them on purpose as a matter of principal? That’s so immature. That reminds me of a guy I knew who was “against recycling”. He wasn’t uncaring or lazy or uninterested. He was against it on principal. Basically it’s an adolescent male thing. “Real men” destroy things. Only sissies and girls cultivate things. It’s so tedious. Yawn.
      But you know, this kind of thing and the muscle cars intentionally revving up and down Point Grey Road is just a normal part of turning the ship around and can be expected. Eventually they’ll stop doing stuff like this and move on to bother other people.

  3. Shocking how dare he ignore the laws he does not like. Unlike the cyclists of course. Let’s look at the photos:
    – no back red reflectors on numerous bikes
    – no front white reflectors on numerous bikes
    – no bells on numerous bikes
    – one of the riders is on the sidewalk
    – riders riding parallel to each other
    – the cute child with training wheels driving down the middle of the road
    – bikes dumped next to the kids playground where they can be hazard to kids
    Indeed that cop could have done a lot of work…but he chose not to be “righteous”

      1. USB-charged LED lights with reflective lenses get recharged during the day. They get clipped on bikes (and/or helmets) at night. They are not normally left on bikes to be stolen.

  4. re: no lights and bells. I wonder how many people would order a horn with their car if it were an option rather than installed at the factory? Or seat belts? Once again we look might eastward to Europe where countries such as Germany mandate lights etc to be sold with bikes, rather than leaving it up to the customer.

    1. The challenge as I see it is that vehicle safety equipment is mandated by the federal government, and supported by the provincial vehicle acts or highway codes.
      The BC motor vehicle act does not require a bell, as an example. Neither does Burnaby. Richmond doesn’t require one, but has a bylaw warning against using a bicycle bell for anything other than “a reasonable warning”. It is Vancouver that is the outlier here, in requiring a bell. And a bell works for pedestrians, but isn’t often audible to motor vehicle operators.
      All the readers here from outside of Vancouver must be wondering what the issue is.
      I actually have a bell on my lightweight bike (since I live on the seawall and it is a good way to advise pedestrians of your presence) but I don’t think forcing Vancouver bicycle retailers to include them is workable. Same with lights. City bikes with racks, fenders, dynamo lights, etc, are available for those who want to purchase a complete package.
      The planned review of the BC Motor Vehicle Act (including, one hopes, removing the word motor from the title) is an opportunity to standardize regulations across BC and to hopefully get municipalities out of the business of regulating equipment.

    2. I am sure they could, and those that believe that we require more laws would surely welcome such a move.
      The province regulates travel on public roads, not paths. Do you see bicycle bells as a valuable warning device for drivers who may have the windows up and the radio on?

      1. Jeff, just as helmets are a preventative measure to protect cyclists’ noggins, bells and lights are preventative measures to alert pedestrians, other cyclists and motorists to the proximity and intentions of the bike rider. Personally, I always keep my driver’s window open to be able to hear emergency vehicle sirens, bike bells and other relevant traffic sounds. Awareness is the responsibility of the individual, and stiffer laws would drive home that responsibility to those who need to be told.