How to do things right, Vancouver style

4 11 2012

I’m linking some recent posts by others to express an idea.

First on CAN‘s site is the post Cycleways needed to protect riders where Professor Simon Kingham from Canterbury University says after he researched people’s attitudes to cycling and the perception of cycling, “They want some sort of physical barrier whether it be a curb, a fence, a hedge or some planters, or a cycleway that’s completely away.”

And then on the Auckland Transport Blog they linked to this video on Melding Cycling and Transit about Vancouver’s efforts to support cycling and transit as they call it.

One part of Vancouver’s solutions are to have a coherent network of safe cycling infrastructure. Note that is a network, not just a little token bit of painted on cycleway here and there which cease to exist at traffic lights or is completely disjointed.

So the question is what does some of Vancouver’s infrastructure look like. I turned to flikr. (All attributions can be seen if you click on the image).  First up separated by planter boxes is this shot of  a street in autumn. There’s no riding in traffic or riding in the door zone, and it is bidirectional:

Next up is Hornby Street, and again no parked cars, and planter boxes:

Next is Dunsmuir Street:

There’s some roads in Wellington that could benefit from this kind of treatment – the Quays, Cambridge and Kent Terraces and Adelaide Road. Indeed I even found a mock-up of such a scheme for Adelaide Road.

If this is the standard that people actually need to make them feel safe when cycling, then this is what should be built. With the Christchurch rebuild maybe people in Christchurch should see the first projects built down there, but Wellington City Council if this is what people need then this is what should be built.

Dear readers, which roads would benefit from such a treatment? I’d argue Johnsonville Road, through the J’ville town centre should be one of the first. It’d then be safe enough that Mayor Wade-Brown could ride through unscathed.

This is the scale of transport infrastructure that the government should be funding, rather than bloated unnecessary highways with BCRs as low as 0.2. Rather than riding a bike it seems the only exercise National is getting is pissing our money away.

 

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3 responses

4 11 2012
Glen K

We’re already discussing this down in Christchurch – http://cyclingchristchurch.co.nz/general-a2b-by-bike/vancouver-separated-bikeways/. And it looks like we will get something like this soon – http://cyclingchristchurch.co.nz/cycle-infrastructure/ilam-road-revisited-submissions-due-mon-15th/.
Important to remember though that it’s not just about separation; integration done well can also be an effective part of your cycling network – http://cyclingchristchurch.co.nz/general-a2b-by-bike/vancouver-neighbourhood-greenways/

4 11 2012
Matthew

Cool. Great site too. I’ll add it to my links.

7 11 2012
sexify*bicycles

The more I look at this, the more I like the idea of using heavy planters (when the network is first put in place, at least).

It’s easier to sell (“let’s do this on a trial basis; if it fails totally, we could always move them somewhere else”).

You could even set up summer weekend bike lanes this way to give people and opportunity to try out the feeling of getting around on a protected bike path.

Adam

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