March 11, 2015

Ohrn Image: Main & Union

Saw these traffic management islands at Main & Union, and don’t recall having seen them before. Presumably they discourage people driving motor vehicles from making left turns in conflict with people on bikes.



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  1. Wow, Ohrn ventured east of Main! First time I’ve seen any evidence of that.

    The dividers are intended, I surmise, to separate streams of bike traffic headed to/from the viaduct vs down to Expo Blvd. They may also have a car control purpose, but I don’t drive the intersection so haven’t observed from that perspective.

    1. My email records show it’s been almost exactly a year since I started subscribing to Price Tags. Do you have statistics of the east-west ratio in your posted photos in that time?

          1. Who says Ken has to photograph 50/50 on both sides of Main? He’s not paid by the city (or you) to take photos. You could also say he’s not taking enough photos of South Vancouver or Burnaby.

            If you want more photos of East Van (I’d love that) you could send them to PT.

          2. Umm, I don’t think Ken was objecting to your use of ‘facts’, but rather the judgmental nature by which you began the conversation.

            Many of us come here looking for interesting perspectives and debate on various issues. It’s much more enjoyable to read when folks keep their punches above the belt. If you’re looking to pick a fight, please go elsewhere.

  2. I think they would be there to prevent cars from driving down Union Street, which was once allowed.
    i.e. similar to the Howe St. on-ramp to Granville Bridge – either go onto the bridge or veer right and go down to Pacific (in this case to Quebec/Columbia).

  3. I got all passionate about that bit at one point. My designs had the intersection split in two, in an attempt to make it more placemakingey and less stroad-collision-central.

    We’ve moved since, so I use it less frequently, but when I do head through it seems to work kinda. The merging cyclists (up the hill, and off the viaduct) is a bit surprising, signals-to-govern-left-hooks also worry me, given the preponderance of amber-gambling.

    1. Neil, is that your blog about Stroads? Looks cool, will check it out now. I walked along Main from 16th down to Kingsway and I honestly can’t believe why anyone, hipsters or otherwise would want to linger in that street environment. 60-70 kmh traffic generating conversation drowning noise. Then it was onto the 2nd Avenue Freeway bordering Olympic Village, lots of new ground floor retail and new restaurants closed to the street because who the hell wants to be along that Stroad.

  4. This page from the city’s website has some documents that state the reason why.

    I guess it’s because a short section of Union street west of Main was too narrow to allow both cycle and motor traffic so it was closed to cycle traffic only. Therefore the dividers in the middle of Main. Also it might be to prevent turning left onto Union from Main when southbound.
    But I’m guessing here.

    In any case, that intersection is now much better than it was before. Presumably it will all change again when and if the viaducts are removed.

  5. In reply to “A” above: Perhaps you haven’t noticed that this whole blog is judgemental, the comments as often so as the posts. The cat box series, for example. Everything about the referendum, actually. Everything about the travelling public, in fact.
    As one of those who is judged by the blog – it’s like an insult landing in my inbox ten times a day; mixed with just enough information to keep me subscribed – I find it interesting that my comment (nothing worse than an accurate observation) is held to a higher standard.

    I’m not picking a fight. I’m responding, relatively lightly, to something that I’ve endured like a dripping tap. I subscribed to Price, not to a series of photos of Vancouver’s west side, yet here they come, often laced with sanctimonious commentary, with clock-like regularity. Even as the pattern became discernible at about 40 posts, I said nothing for a full 79 of them – until the pattern broke, at which point my response was in essence positive. I”m sure many people have endured more of them, and perhaps many people like the photos. But given that these photos piggy back into people’s inboxes, rather than being specifically subscribed to, it should be fair comment to make some observations about them even if those observations are not slavish adulation. Why would fair comment be disallowed or considered a smear? Anyone who slaps that down is not looking for debate or interesting perspectives, but for an echo chamber. And anyone who responds to fair comment by accusing a person of smearing AND without substantive engagement is the one doing the smearing.

    As for the quality of dialogue around here, perhaps you read other threads than I do. Who else of these commenters have you told to go elsewhere?

    Roger Kemble PERMALINK
    March 13, 2015 11:48 am
    “. . . while the mayors are in Buenos Aries, they can take the underground . . . ” Known locally as Le Subte [sic] the underfround [sic] is old and not particularly useful for getting around. May I suggest Gord you check . . . . . . before shooting your mouth off

    March 13, 2015 1:14 pm
    Before shooting your mouth off? You’re a rude crusty old man living off an ego built in the 60’s. You shoot your rambling mouth off more than anyone around here shamefully plugging your irrelevant blog whenever you can. Agree with Gord or not, have some bloody respect Laddy

    March 6, 2015 1:45 pm
    Thomas, just run for mayor already.
    March 6, 2015 3:19 pm
    And give us the chance to give you a landslide defeat.
    March 6, 2015 5:31 pm

    Matthew PERMALINK
    January 5, 2015 10:14 am
    Bike counters as a form of mind control, eh?
    Don’t worry, Karin, all you have to do is wrap your bike helmet in tin foil. It renders one impervious to the nefarious Bike Lobby’s mind-controlling moonbeams that emanate from these sinister bike counters.

    Ken Ohrn PERMALINK
    March 6, 2015 1:42 pm
    And {yawn}, where is that crackerjack advocate for the taxpayer, the CTF and Mr. Bateman?
    Is it possible that road-and-bridge costs must not be scrutinized, due to some political view; but transit must be opposed by any means, evil or not, due to that same political view?

    Ken Ohrn PERMALINK
    March 11, 2015 10:42 am
    Oh my. I wonder, is this the result of a struggle between a personal opinion and a constituency opinion? What, I wonder, is the influence on Mr. Sultan of West Van’s Mayor?

    1. Karin, I was too encouraged by a pompous poster to seek similitude rather than question anything. Political correctness slithers into blogs attempting to cleanse their favourite hangouts. Perhaps they have delicate hearts and are under doctors’ orders to avoid any strain at all. The Flassid Club. Please don’t send me a membership card.

    2. Karen, I wonder why you would subscribe to automatic emails for something that causes you so much distress. If you see value in Price Tags, as many of us do, why not just log on and check in online? No emails, just see the posts and read what you like. Skip those comments that are long and repetitive and predictable, if you like, or those that have photos of places you don’t want to look at. Nobody will know.

    3. “I’m responding, relatively lightly, to something that I’ve endured like a dripping tap”.

      Karin, you do realize that this tap can be turned-off, don’t you!? Just unsubscribe to automatic e-mail notifications.

      And I’m glad my response to your bizarre “mind control” comment got under your skin. If I were a troll, this would surely fan the flames of my mischief.

  6. Matthew, I didn’t say your comment got under my skin; I posted it because it was rude and judgemental; the basis on which I was asked to go elsewhere for making a comment that was much less so. The fact that you weren’t shot down for it illustrated the inconsistent standards that seem to reign here.

    Why don’t I unsubscribe – as I said earlier, there’s enough information here to keep me subscribed; I’d never get around to checking in if I didn’t get the emails. Besides, as a transit referendum “probably-no” voter and fairly frequent driver, I’m like the blog’s target audience. Surely I should be listening. And the feedback I provide COULD improve the yes campaign as well as improving dialogue about the multi-modal city.

    For the rest, well, my philosophy is that there’s always a pony in there somewhere.