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Burrard Bridge traffic stats posted

July 31st, 2009 · 91 Comments

Let the deconstructionist analysis begin. The city has posted the first round of stats on car, bike and pedestrian traffic on the bridge, noting that bike traffic is up 30 per cent, pedestrian is steady and car flows are fluctuating after a 10 per cent drop in the first days.

And, so as not to miss out on any of those precious cycling/driving debates that are so beloved of page-view sluts, I must note that the Critical Mass ride (you know, random bicycle ride through downtown Vancouver to promote cycling that started off as a Public Dreams-style festival on wheels and has turned into an Independence Day-style battle between the two- and four-wheeled) has generated yet another media heyday.

The Province captured the angry zeitgeist with its “Critical Mess” headline and now every media outlet/random commentator is opining away. A couple of posts from the blogosphere — citycaucus and Councillor Geoff Meggs — give you a sense of the range (i.e. “it’s all Vision’s fault somehow” to “what an interesting piece of anthropology”)

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91 responses so far ↓

  • 1 SV // Jul 31, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Whatever one’s opinion of CM I wonder what other people think of the press’ coverage of tonight’s ride? The Province in particular seems to be hoping for confict. And the comment sections on their articles are quite scary.

  • 2 spartikus // Jul 31, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    i.e. “it’s all Vision’s fault somehow”

    “Pirates attack shipping in Indian Ocean…Gregor Robertson refuses to confirm whereabouts!”

    Critical Mass: It’s part protest, part party…and I do believe in a little anarchy now and again…but perhaps the revolution has entered State 2? I was thinking just this morning if only Critical Mass got themselves a corporate sponsor – like the exponentially more disruptive fireworks – the Vancouver Province’s editorial board would be behind them 110%!

  • 3 SV // Jul 31, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    What about VANOC?

  • 4 Quatchi // Jul 31, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    That data set did not make for tasty copypasta.

  • 5 RossK // Jul 31, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    The Province ‘captured’ the angry Zeitgeist?


    Me, I thought they wound it up tighter than Woody Allen’s indigo-tinted Id in Bananas and then set it free, spinning wildly in all directions in a mockery of a travesty in a fieldwhirling melishes.

    Or some such crazy, mixed up long weekend thing.


  • 6 jimmy olson // Jul 31, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    “that are so beloved of page-view sluts,”

    Frances that’s a great line!

    So we have CM this evening, the Gay Pride tomorrow and the Fire-Works tomorrow night … all of these will disrupt the traffic in Gotham city and the Province Newspaper (sic) goes around trying to raise shit over CM?

    So just who is the Slut?

  • 7 Chris // Jul 31, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    Ugh, the province cover gave me the willies. It’s like they’re trying to incite vigilante justice. I just hope the ride went well tonight.

    CM has been happening in vancouver for over 6 years, right? Every last Friday of every month – why the huge whiny deal now?

  • 8 gmgw // Jul 31, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    I quite liked a comment made by a colleague at work today (who, I hasten to add, is a runner, while her partner is a 20-mile-a-day cyclist): “What this city needs is a Critical Mass for pedestrians”. To which I enthusiastically respond: Yes!!

    And given the tone of some recent bicycle-related discussions in this forum, I think that’s as much as I can safely get away with saying on this topic.

  • 9 SV // Aug 1, 2009 at 7:24 am

    Hey, wasn’t the world supposed to end last night? :)
    And aren’t the events listed in Jimmy Olsen’s post and indication that Vancouver has a lot-don’t forget the Police and Fire games andthe Powell Street Fesival- going on? This might be the perfect weekend to point out that Vancouver is grown up, at least special events wise.

    gmgw-does the Sun Run count?

  • 10 Todd Sieling // Aug 1, 2009 at 8:01 am

    I sit out on Critical Mass rides because of the antagonistic and militant streak that too often takes the attention away from the central issues of safe and fair access, but was happy to read that the July ride went off without problems. I’m sure that enrages the Province editors, who worked hard to imagineer conflict in the days leading up to the ride.

    I am, however, planning to join in the Critical Manners ride on August 14, organized in response to the confrontational aspects of Critical Mass:

  • 11 Todd Sieling // Aug 1, 2009 at 8:04 am

    Also, for anyone wanting to play with the data posted by the city from the first two weeks of the lane trial, I’ve stripped it out of the page as a CSV file at

  • 12 spartikus // Aug 1, 2009 at 8:07 am

    I woke up this morning expecting to see pillars of smoke downtown but, alas, I think I might have been mislead by the Vancouver Province.

  • 13 Vaneire // Aug 1, 2009 at 8:15 am

    With the oh so clever moniker “page-view sluts”, is Ms. Bula referring to the people who comment on her blog? Nice Bula!

  • 14 Michael Phillips // Aug 1, 2009 at 8:21 am

    Here’s some info on how Critical Mass works. It’s at least a very interesting pain in the @$$:

    I’m getting a little annoyed that the VPD administration seems to be selecting which laws to enforce based on convenience ie. not arresting hard drug user/possessors in the DTES (according to their latest business plan), not ticketing traffic violations during Critical Mass because it would “inflame the situation” etc.

    The situation is already inflamed. It’s a fiery flameball explosion of flame, we’re asking that you try to put it out. How is it that cyclists can commit several thousand law and bylaw infractions per ride against drivers, but if the police ticket anyone committing an illegal act then that’s just chaos? Silly.

    If the police intentionally don’t ticket/arrest those who break the law, not only does it allow wrongdoers to continue their actions and incent more people to break the law, but it degrades the very idea of law itself, the pride a person should be able to feel in playing by the rules and the taboo against committing social prohibited acts. These things are the basis of a functioning society and I would think the VPD would understand that.

  • 15 td // Aug 1, 2009 at 8:48 am

    When was the last time a driver actually complied with a posted speed limit? Our traffic behaviour typically includes calculated infractions. We slide past stop signs, ignore stop lines, run yellow or red lights, jaywalk or cross at red, overstay the time on the parking meter. It’s always been like that, and society hasn’t gone to the dogs.

    I cannot imagine that Critical Mass does anything for the political cause of getting cycling a fair shake in transportation departments, but it is a lot of fun for the participants. And yes, that is what streets are for, they are space for public life.

    For those steaming in their vehicles, try it sometimes. The next Critical Mass ride is coming soon.

  • 16 gmgw // Aug 1, 2009 at 8:52 am

    SV inquired:
    “gmgw-does the Sun Run count?”

    No. Maybe if they were to rename the event the Sun *Walk*…

  • 17 Luke // Aug 1, 2009 at 9:26 am

    I think the Critical Mass Cyclist Economic Stimulus Package is really successful, and really helping Old Media. They finally figured out something that will cause people to buy their papers. They had the choppers out, trailing CM the whole time – lots of people tuned in to traffic reports.

    To Old Media!

  • 18 T W // Aug 1, 2009 at 9:47 am

    The cycle lobby has a problem. When the protest cycle run is turned into a fun cycle run, the urban anarchists no longer have reason to complain (though they no doubt will continue to do so).

    My suggestion is that the city turn this into the cycle equivalent of the Sun Run, make it organized and encourage the cyclists to raise money for those that cannot afford bikes (ie; the homeless). In that way, the cycle lobby will get the respect they crave, the citizens will not feel thwarted by a particular lobby and those really in need, might well benefit. Talk about a win-win situation.

    It seems, surprisingly, the Vancouver Police Department is more progressive than our city officials, elected and non-elected.

  • 19 SV // Aug 1, 2009 at 10:44 am

    I’ve already “donated” several bikes to the less fortunate of my neighbourhood(Strathcona).

    And though I don’t ride in CM anymore I feel I have to point out that the “fun” aspect of the ride comes from making cyclists more visible-riding on the street in numbers is very freeing especially the feeling of safety, especially when compared to my daily commute.
    As for the rules I’m not sure what the answer might be. I’d imagine 3000 cyclists riding on the right of the road would also snarl traffic, possibly for a longer period of time.
    On a related topic the “bike lanes” that are painted on the streets downtown are ridiculous. Drivers show them no respect(while driving or parking) and I seem to recall reading in Momentum that there is no mention of them in any law relating to the road. They haven’t changed the way I ride downtown(politely assertive while following the rules of the road) which leaves me to wonder whether they’re simply the equivalent of a painted reminder that bikes use the streets too.

  • 20 Vaneire // Aug 1, 2009 at 10:44 am

    TW has an excellent point — use the event to raise money for a charity and organize it much like the Sun Run. The cyclists should show a little good faith instead of deliberately trying to ‘piss off’ motorists. Or is that the whole point? Yes, I guess it is.

  • 21 SV // Aug 1, 2009 at 11:32 am

    No, it’s not. At least not anymore than the drivers who make my commute more dangerous every day by speeding or rolling/ignoring stop signs on bike routes. They’re not doing it to piss me off they just want to get where they’re going faster.
    It’s funny, when drivers were complaining about the Burrard Bridge trial I kept hearing that there were hardly any cyclists using the bridge. Critical Mass might upset some people but it does make these phantom cyclist quite visible for a couple of hours a month.

  • 22 gmgw // Aug 1, 2009 at 11:35 am

    Back before the Hells Angels went international and seriously criminal, they used to do Christmas toy runs in California in an effort to get some good PR. If such tactics worked for even the scruffy likes of the Angels I don’t see why CM coudn’t adopt a similar approach. If they did a pass-the-helmet before each run, for instance, that would visibly raise funds for some warm and fuzzy cause(s). (Children’s Hospital is always a good one.) 3000 people, 10 bucks or so apiece– bears thinking about.

  • 23 Jonathon Narvey // Aug 1, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Just wondering, if cycling enthusiast Peter Ladner had been elected, so many Vancouverites would be casually assuming (without checking facts) that Critical Mass actually had the support of our mayor.

    Maybe, but I doubt it.

  • 24 FBT // Aug 1, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    The Hell Angel’s are just a motor cycle club and that was just proven in court when they were acquited of being what gmgw claims. Perhaps he/she should be a little more careful so Francis isn’t issuing apologies for content on her blog.

    As for the cyclists, even in the best of weather they can’t even muster more than a 30% increase of their own numbers and still represent no more than 10% of bridge traffic overall. Yawn.

    I also notice not one of you has actually bothered to critique the BB numbers for the first two weeks. Perhaps not enough success for the cheerleaders to puff up their chests over?

    As for this ride, even long-term supporters like Gordon Price find that it’s run its time and needs to change. The hard-core cheerleaders that frequent this blog and flood the comment boards are only preaching to themselves.

    If you want to raise your numbers, you need to attract people to your cause not turn them off to it. Keep up the swell effort and dialogue and see where it gets you………

  • 25 Richard // Aug 2, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    FBT, you are defending the Hells Angels yet criticizing a peaceful bicycle ride.

    As for the Burrard Bridge numbers, they are about what I expected. The city needs to improve the access to and from the bridge to get the numbers up any further. Also note that a lot of people are on vacation now. That includes cyclists. I expect the numbers of cyclists will be up come September.

    People who don’t like cyclists will find another reason not to like cyclists. The reaction to Burrard Bridge and Critical Mass was essential the same in spite of the fact that they are completely different issues. Much of this is due to all the misinformation and the hysteria by the media. Hopefully now after they have looked ridiculous twice, they will tone it down a bit. Might be wishful thinking as it seems to get them the clicks, viewers, readers and listeners that they desperately need. Looks like cycling is the new sex.

  • 26 urb anwriter // Aug 2, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    With all due respect to Michael Phillips. Get your head out of your, well, wherever it is. Cops ALWAYS choose which laws to enforce. See radar on Point Grey Rd. very often? Hmmm, I wonder why that is. I mean, it’s only posted 30 km. Or perhaps you’d like to stand at, right at, 312 Main St. Now, seeing as you’re standing there, and such a proponent of law enforcement, perhaps you’ll explain to the rest of us why the VPD fails daily to enforce the Motor Vehicle Act (Code? I’ve done forgot) with respect to u-turns.

    C0me on Micheal, step up to the plate.

    And I neither like, particularly, nor participate in, Critical Mass.

    Perhaps Micheal, you could tell us why the VPD do not enforce the laws extant on ‘right turns on red,’ or the laws about pedestrians and crosswalks?

    I could go on, for hundreds of violations, but I think I’d bore those who can think, and make no difference to those who can’t.

  • 27 Richard // Aug 2, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    As it should be, the primary concern of the police is public safety. Laws, tickets and arrests are all tools that can be used to ensure public safety. Police presence is also a very useful method.

    As there were violent acts committed by one motorist and one cyclist at the previous mass, the police were concerned that this would happen again at the one on Friday. No thanks to the hysterical article in the Province, the ride went much better on Friday.

    Now before you suggest the violence committed by a very small number of people should be a reason to stop Mass, don’t forget that there is often violence at big events, such as the fireworks or after the Stanley Cup. Problems caused by a few people is no reason to cancel an event that many people enjoy responsibly.

    As far as ticketing or arresting everyone every time they broke a traffic law, all motorists and cyclists would be in jail.

  • 28 Michael Phillips // Aug 2, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    “See radar on Point Grey Rd. very often? Hmmm, I wonder why that is. ”

    “perhaps you’ll explain to the rest of us why the VPD fails daily to enforce the Motor Vehicle Act”

    “Perhaps Micheal, you could tell us why the VPD do not enforce the laws extant on ‘right turns on red,’ or the laws about pedestrians and crosswalks? ”

    Lots of good questions. I truly don’t see why we would have a law and not enforce it. So what’s your answer?

  • 29 gmgw // Aug 2, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    FBT said, apparently straight-faced:

    “The Hell Angel’s are just a motor cycle club…”

    …And Scientology is a bona fide religion.

    Sorry, FBT, I didn’t quite catch which planet it is you’re visiting from?

  • 30 Urbanismo // Aug 3, 2009 at 6:15 am

  • 31 A. G. Tsakumis // Aug 3, 2009 at 10:17 am

    I, too, am not surprised by the lack of substantial support in the numbers.

    But we must be fair, as the current flow is NOT representative of traffic to realized for some real numbers gathering.

    Yet, Clr. Meggalomaniac and the other (feeble) spindoctors over at Vision won’t hesitate to make anything up as they are going along.

    They did the same thing with the shelters and every other failed policy or initiative.

    After the Olympic Village debacle, which they actually handled well, for the most part, it’s all been one long laundry list of failures touted as successes.

    Lots of lipstick and several silk hats for every pig they offer up.

    And when Vision Vancouver has no more use for you, they turn their collective back.

    Just ask Connie Barnes…

  • 32 Richard // Aug 3, 2009 at 11:54 am

    “But we must be fair, as the current flow is NOT representative of traffic to realized for some real numbers gathering.” Alex, this does not make any sense, something resembling English would be much appreciated. I’ve think you’ve over spun it and it ended up as a twisted mess.

    Anyway, the numbers are from staff, pretty much the same staff that has been at the city for years. I think your spin is leaving you with double Vision.

    It is too bad the city is not counting the number of children cycling over Burrard Bridge. I’m sure it is much greater than the other bridges and much greater than before the trial.

  • 33 Urbanismo // Aug 3, 2009 at 11:55 am

    Why can’t we just enjoy riding our bicycles?

    Why has CM turned it into critical militancy?

    As little people strain to be heard the latent need for celebrity status is palpable even at this low level and always from the same very small group . . . At that Chris Hedges discussion with Laura Flanders, above, has traction . . .

    If indeed the MSM wants to bad mouth CM . . . let them. No one listens to or reads the MSM anymore . . .

    Need for attention and the denial of sotto voce rage on these posts is astonishing.

    “They did the same thing with the shelters and every other failed policy or initiative.” Ummmmm interesting point of view . . . would mean spirited condo owners also be a problem? They looked pretty nasty on telly!

    OV was VV’s naiveté. They should have dumped it on VANOC!

    When I posted my experiences, on the 2010 by-law subject, with the Environment university in Curitiba Br I did so hoping it would be the basis of a mature discussion on the range of 2010 by-laws: Eco-density and Climate change being two, hopefully, of many. Instead it bogged down in fear.

    Curitiba enlightened planning is revered by many local and international planning professions. Hence the importance, in my, clearly misplaced opinion, that it would at least set a back-drop for a sensible, wide ranging by-law discussion in Vancouver: environmental sustainability being as misunderstood here as it clearly is in the state of Paraña Br.

    Are bikes supposed to a sustainable alternatives to autos?

    A back-drop for CM? The Mayor is on side . . . instead of berating VV go help ‘em . . . “Clr. Meggalomaniac!” indeed . . . clearly Bula bloggers seem unable to connect dots or walk and chew gum at the same time . . .

  • 34 Darcy McGee // Aug 3, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    > Why can’t we just enjoy riding our bicycles?

    The problem is not that we can’t “just enjoy riding our bicycles.”

    The problem is that our bicycles are our vehicles, and government keeps treating them as child’s playthings. They’ve had an attitude for years that we should “just enjoy riding our bicycles” rather than treating them as equal vehicles (though they’ve paid lip service to it, by applying the same laws.)

  • 35 A. G. Tsakumis // Aug 4, 2009 at 8:20 pm


    In case it hasn’t dawned on you…we often err (typographically) when writing on blogs. I’ve seen multiple corrections by many of your cycling brethren on this blog even…but you’re just too perfect.

    Maybe you might want to stick to your own website where a grown man gets to laud Mommy and Daddy and hail cycling as the be all and end all of civilization’s future.

    Go away, foolish man. If I learned how better to write English just from a quick perusal of your site, I might want to look for other employment. Before proffering advice to me, save some for yourself.

    My point is simple: The stats that came out are premature and prove nothing as the volume required to have an objective look just isn’t there. As for the the people you claim have been there “for years” , being the ones who took the initiative to write up the data…they’d find that quote quite interesting…

    You really are an idealistic fool.

  • 36 Chris Keam // Aug 5, 2009 at 7:19 am

    One of my freelance gigs is editing news stories for a European trade magazine that focuses on the cycling industry. After spending the past week reading about cycle industry-friendly initiatives and incentives being rolled out in other countries world-wide, it becomes crystal-clear how far behind the rest of the world we are in recognizing just how crucial bikes will be in keeping people moving in the future. The naysayers and braying columnists who know next to nothing about which they speak are actually doing our business climate and personal quality of life a disservice by trying to stamp out this logical trend. Almost all bike companies are enjoying a rise in revenues and profit as bikes come ‘on-line’ for transportation purposes. The benefits also extend to the countries which are working hard to incorporate cycling into their transportation fabric. One can venture forth all kinds of opinions about who will or won’t ride a bike, but the evidence is already in (most able-bodied folks can and will given proper education and facilities), and Canada is missing the boat.

  • 37 FBT // Aug 5, 2009 at 7:47 am

    “People often underestimate the ability to change one self, while often overestimating the ability to change others.”

    The cycling lobby appears to be as guilty of this as Vision Vancouver.

    Now onto reality.

    Worldwide sales of bikes actually DROPPED in dollars and volume after Lance Armstrong retired several years ago. Although it has SLOWLY increased since, it is not the booming industry that the advocates would have you believe.

    Although Lance’s recent comeback has provided a slight boost to bike sales, from what the ‘major’ players are reporting it is nothing substantial as yet. It’s simply too early to have sales data for this year as the Tour de France just completed this quarter.

    To quote sales on niche companies that are seeing huge increases in sales as industry norm is selling snake oil plain and simple. I also have a bridge and some swamp land to sell you as well.

    You can sell all the excessively and over-priced priced bikes to the die-hard cyclists that you like and hype your personal success. Until people start buying the cheap imports from Canadian Tire and other large retailers in droves, your movement is nothing more than a very small special interest group.

    The comment in #36 is biased and based on an ideolological belief in cycling and nothing more. This is Canada and not another country. You can continue to “think” that Canada is missing the boat, however it is you who is missing the point.

    Stop trying to change others and look into yourself for what it is that requires changing. You’ll find that you ‘may’ be far more successful in the long-run.

  • 38 Chris Keam // Aug 5, 2009 at 8:16 am

    Actually, in Europe the big gains in bikes sales are being seen in mid-priced electric-bikes and commuter models.

    Focusing on the sales figures for bikes used for racing, and cycling as sport is to completely miss the biggest and fastest growing segment of the market.

    Shimano’s position during the past market dive was helped by its dominant position in the bike industry, while its sales of fishing equipment and similar plummeted. Canada’s Dorel continues to buy up other bike companies around the world and is well-positioned to do well by this strategy as growth continues.

    The tired old ‘this is Canada’ trope is irrelevant. Canada’s transportation challenges are no different than a thousand other locales with similar geography. Further, no one mentioned a boom, or any ‘change-from-within’ philosophic nonsense. So, let’s not misrepresent what other’s are saying in an attempt to marginalize.

    My comments are based on an ideology, true, but no where do I proselytize. I’m simply stating the facts. They speak for themselves. The convoluted attempts to discredit those who speak the facts speak volumes too.

  • 39 FBT // Aug 5, 2009 at 9:27 am

    Since Chris wants to continue debating apples and oranges, let me state again:

    Worldwide sales of bikes actually DROPPED in dollars and volume after Lance Armstrong retired several years ago. Although it has SLOWLY increased since, it is not the booming industry that the advocates would have you believe.

    So in Europe, one category is doing great, while overall the worldwide industry isn’t doing as well.

    Wasn’t that my point? Did I not write: “To quote sales on niche companies that are seeing huge increases in sales as industry norm is selling snake oil plain and simple.”?

    So Chris quotes a niche market, good for you!

    And refering to Shimano, since you bring up the drop in sales of fishing equipment, should I assume then that you are informed enough to discuss the corporate strategies employed by a large company to offset those losses in categories they are already familiar in?

    Thank you for continuing your charade.

  • 40 Chris Keam // Aug 5, 2009 at 9:46 am

    Nowhere have I used the phrases ‘huge increase’, or ‘boom’, or any of the other qualifications you need to use to counter my points.

    As to niche markets, the niche for commuter bikes is much larger than that of speciality recreational bikes, hence the gains in other countries. I guess I’d like to hear from you the long list of all the bike companies suffering ‘huge losses’ and being in a ‘bust’ cycle since we seem to be focused on extremes.

    Cycling is a good investment… for companies and governments. Please explain how the corporate strategies you are referring to relate to that point?

  • 41 FBT // Aug 5, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Chris, you’ve said: “Please explain how the corporate strategies you are referring to relate to that point?”

    So is that a yes to not understanding why a corporation would target one area of their business for growth while another is in decline?

  • 42 Chris Keam // Aug 5, 2009 at 10:58 am

    If you are interested in a productive dialogue it might be helpful to spell out your position on the benefits of cycling as a public and private investment, rather than relying on cryptic allusions to one aspect of a corporations’ operations, especially since you appear to using this valuable secret as a reason for your argument that cycling isn’t growing overall, and any increase that does exist is due to a vocal lobby rather than a general trend.

  • 43 A. G. Tsakumis // Aug 5, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    FBT–you cannot win with Chris, because he is too thick to understand that he lost before he started.

    He is part of a small, miserable group of in-your-face, faux social engineers that want you to HURT because he deeply, and mistakenly, believes that global warming is entirely anthropogenic, when, in point of fact, you know better FBT.

    Stop wasting your time with this man. So disturbed was he to have his his nonsense challenged by me some months ago on this blog, that he actually invaded my privacy by calling me at home, without an invitation to do so. He was so shell-shocked that he actually scoured the internet for me number.

    Think about the mania gripping these people. They cannot be reasoned with.

    The only way to deal with them is to rid city council of Vision and install reasonable, centered, principled govt.

    This whole bike bullshit could be easily solved. Tax them to the max, make them get insurance and pay their own godamned way and build a connector right along side the Burrard Bridge, thus reopening the lanes that are a ridiculous exercise in satisfying the extremists.

  • 44 Chris Keam // Aug 5, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    It took me less than 3 seconds to google your details and come up with your cel phone number Alex, which is publicly available. Then I called you during business hours to enquire why you felt compelled to call cyclists ‘fascists’ on Frances’ blog (among other places). I see your grasp of the ‘truth’ let alone ‘facts’ remains as tenuous as when we spoke in person. Enjoy!

  • 45 Chris Keam // Aug 5, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    “He is part of a small, miserable group of in-your-face, faux social engineers that want you to HURT because he deeply, and mistakenly, believes that global warming is entirely anthropogenic, when, in point of fact, you know better FBT.”

    Actually, putting aside the name-calling and other nonsense, I would say that personally, I find the particulate emissions that create smog, injury and death rates from dangerous drivers, and wasteful requirement for large amounts of urban space are at least as compelling to me in my advocacy for cycling as any other factor.

    Even with climate change out of the equation, more cycling infrastructure still makes good sense.

  • 46 Not Running for mayor // Aug 5, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    What I find interesting is that car drivers seem more interested in a dedicated bike/ped bridge then the cyclists do.
    It’s almost as if the issue with cyclists isn’t only a dedicated lane but trying to force drivers to change their way.

  • 47 Chris Keam // Aug 5, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    Or maybe cyclists think ‘immediate and $1.5M’ trumps ‘a decade away and $50M’ when it comes to building facilities to make cycling safer.

    You want to drive. Go for it. We (to speak on behalf of all cyclists, since clearly we think as one!!!) just wish the car-huggers would stop expecting the rest of us to pay for your privilege, with our time and money.

  • 48 FBT // Aug 5, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    That works both ways Mr. Keam. Cyclists need to start paying their way and that means insurance, registration and licensing.

    Back to the topic of corporate direction, your example of shimano and supposition as to why they proceeded in the direction they have shows clearly that you should stick to your creative skills where you seem to excel.

    Leave the management and corporate direction topics to those that have more experience.

  • 49 Not running for mayor // Aug 5, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    Not sure what money “cyclists” are paying for the roads, as you might not know in Canada we have gas taxes that are high enough to pay for all roads (unlike the US) so that roads don’t need to be susbidized by general revenues.
    But that isn’t what this is about, if cyclists were arguing about increased new lanes there would be a almost no argument from drivers as there is by taking lanes away from drivers.

  • 50 FBT // Aug 5, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    Oh, and the group of cyclists that you speak for in this city is an overwhelming minority just in case you’ve forgotten.

    Again my original comment:

    People often underestimate the ability to change one self, while often overestimating the ability to change others.

    The comment from ‘not running for mayor’ seems to be as astute as a comment could be. This group is very much trying to force their will and lifestyle on people.

    It would not be the first time an extreme wingnut from the left or right camp believed they were ‘saving’ us from ourselves and imminent destruction.


  • 51 Richard // Aug 5, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    I’m not sure how providing people with safe-convenient health transportation choses is “trying to change other people”. People have been forced too long to drive whether they want to or not by the auto industry, the oil industry and old school traffic engineers.

    In one day, the number of people cycling over Burrard Bridge increased by around 30%. People are out enjoying cycling over the Bridge with their children. These people are hardly forced. They have been given the freedom to cycle that has been long denied in this city and many others around the world.

    Drivers may not even be a majority anymore. According to the 2006 Census, only 45% of Vancouver residents drive to work by themselves while another 12% carpool. By now, thanks to high gas prices, the recession, improved bicycle routes and soon the Canada Line, it is possible that less than 50% are getting to work by car.

    Change is happening. It always happens. Get used to it.

  • 52 Not running for mayor // Aug 5, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    If by providing “people with safe-convenient health transportation choice” you are taking away a lane from the drivers then you are attmepting to change people.
    Again there would be no arguement from myself and probably a good chunk of those complaining if the dedicated bike lane was a new lane as opposed to a removal of a driving lane.

    Also to counter the point about most people not driving to work, even if those numbers do swing to less then 50% remember they are taken for the city proper only and not for the metro. Remember that a large chunk of people that don’t drive to work still have cars for their other trips, I fall into that category.
    I would love to see more bike lanes, and rapid transit lanes as well, but we do not need to give up our car lanes to do so. The city is being proactive enough just by not building any new roads for cars even though our population has continued growing.

  • 53 gmgw // Aug 5, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    Richard said:
    “People have been forced too long to drive whether they want to or not by the auto industry, the oil industry and old school traffic engineers.”

    What a strange notion. Were I not married to someone who owns a car, the only way someone could force me to drive on a regular basis would be to force me to get a job that paid enough that I could not only afford to buy a car but also maintain, insure, and fuel it. Oh, and force me to pay off my other debts first, and also force me to incur no new ones. And, of course, force the loans officer at the bank to force a loan on me so that I could buy the car that I was being forced to buy, because I was being forced to drive.

    That’s an awful lot of forcing. Who’s enforcing all this, anyway? Do we no longer have freedom of choice in these matters? How have the considerable number of people who somehow live their lives without driving (often because they can’t afford a car) managed to escape the notice of the assorted enforcers?
    Just curious.

  • 54 Not Running for Mayor // Aug 5, 2009 at 6:33 pm


    I figured it out now after reading your post, we are being freed now from the car enforcers by a new super breed of bike enforcers. Personally I patiently await for the pedestrian enforcers to arrive so I can bow down to the superior overlords.

    PS I have been drinking tonight but not as much as Urbanismo usally does. :)

  • 55 Len B // Aug 5, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    I’m wondering if Richard would be willing to post the data collected by the UBC group on collisions and injury of cyclists and/or pedestrians that he and the mayor like to quote.

    I believe it would be interesting to read the circumstances surrounding the approx. 20 people that are injured each year on the bridge, including the police reports filed with respect to cause and blame as well as the types of injuries that occur.

    If this is about safety as he claims at times, I think we should all get to review the data.

    Are you willing to post the data Richard? Or would some brave sould from the mayor’s office who frequents this blog be prepared to post the data so we all can have a look at it ourselves?

    There’s nothing to hide right?

  • 56 Chris Keam // Aug 5, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    “Cyclists need to start paying their way and that means insurance, registration and licensing.”

    Why? To account for the tiny number of times a cyclist is both at fault and caused injury or damage to someone else? Simply running the system would probably cost more than it could recoup. Next come the pedestrian licences, the skateboard licences, the mobility scooter licences. Bike education makes sense. Licences and registration don’t.

    “Back to the topic of corporate direction, your example of shimano and supposition as to why they proceeded in the direction they have shows clearly that you should stick to your creative skills where you seem to excel.”

    I never suggested they were headed in any direction, simply recounted what happened in the market. Fishing gear sales dropped big time, cycling parts sales didn’t. You want to beat that dead horse go for it, but it would be nice if you actually proved your own knowledge by providing some insight into the situation, rather than simply questioning my knowledge on a topic to which I’ve not professed to have any expertise.

    “Leave the management and corporate direction topics to those that have more experience.”

    Fair enough. Why don’t you leave the reading comprehension to someone who can figure out a simple sentence such as:

    “Shimano’s position during the past market dive was helped by its dominant position in the bike industry, while its sales of fishing equipment and similar plummeted.”

    contains no reference to management decisions or direction.

    and finally, your comment:

    “Oh, and the group of cyclists that you speak for in this city is an overwhelming minority just in case you’ve forgotten.”

    tells me your sarcasm detector needs recalibration.

  • 57 Chris Keam // Aug 5, 2009 at 10:30 pm


    My understanding is that the study is incomplete. It’s not up to City Hall or anyone else to release the information, especially before it’s finished… and I doubt they have the right to do so without permission. That decision would rest with the researchers and the university as far as I know.

  • 58 Chris Keam // Aug 5, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    ““People have been forced too long to drive whether they want to or not by the auto industry, the oil industry and old school traffic engineers.”

    What a strange notion.”

    Lots of people are forced to drive by circumstances beyond their control. In fact, in most debates over bikes and cars, it’s probably one of the number one reasons people give for not switching away from a personal automobile.

  • 59 Chris Keam // Aug 5, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    “Not sure what money “cyclists” are paying for the roads, as you might not know in Canada we have gas taxes that are high enough to pay for all roads (unlike the US) so that roads don’t need to be susbidized by general revenues.”

    There are costs far beyond that of just roads that must be included in any cost-assessment of driving. You can find up-to-date information here that describes how car users are subsidized by the entire population.

  • 60 Chris Keam // Aug 5, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    “This group is very much trying to force their will and lifestyle on people.”

    What a load of bollocks. Get over yourself. Nobody gives a crap about your lifestyle. All the cycling groups are asking for is a little common sense and foresight when it comes to allocating road resources.

  • 61 gmgw // Aug 6, 2009 at 12:01 am

    Chris Keam said:
    “Lots of people are forced to drive by circumstances beyond their control. In fact, in most debates over bikes and cars, it’s probably one of the number one reasons people give for not switching away from a personal automobile.”

    Well, of course I agree, Chris, even though it feels oddly like you and I have switched our usual sides of the fence, if only temporarily. I’ve made the same argument myself and been shot full of holes for it by Darcy more than once. But just as there are folks out there who would love to get around by bike but are unable because of physical or geographical challenge, or because of pure fear, so there are lots of people who would love to be able to afford the luxury of a car but can’t. And they structure their lives accordingly. I guess if I have a point it’s that no matter how much circumstances may push one in a given direction in life, in matters large or small, some people just can’t rise to the challenge– often for perfectly legitimate reasons. And I didn’t think Richard’s comment acknowledged that.

    Hell, I’d love to go back to the days of thirty years ago, when I would spend lots of my weekends tooling all over the backroads and logging roads of Southwestern BC and Washington in my little Toyota pickup. I miss it more than I can say. But times change, and I doubt I will ever be able to afford another car of my own (I sure couldn’t take my wife’s car over the Hurley River road– and she’d justifiably murder me if I tried). So I’m going to have to plan whatever’s left of my life around that fact. Just like a lot of other people are being “forced” to do. C’est la vie, as they say.

  • 62 Len B // Aug 6, 2009 at 6:36 am


    If you’re going to quote from a study, incomplete or not, then it should be shared – period.

    The mayor used the study to talk about safety in a news piece, and Richard and yourself talk about this often.

    If you want to talk about people being hurt on the bridge, lets get the facts in the open for debate to see if it really is a problem so the hyperbole can end.

  • 63 Chris Keam // Aug 6, 2009 at 6:59 am


    This took about 10 seconds to Google:

    If you want the data explicitly for the Burrard Bridge there are these are the people to talk to.

  • 64 Len B // Aug 6, 2009 at 9:12 am

    Yes Chris it’s there I found it already and read all the supporting information. Thanks but I need more meat.

    I’m talking about more revealing information with respect to the causes of said collisions from the police reports to determine what the REAL issues are.

    Your group and the mayor love to talk about safety with respect to this trial, yet the CAUSES of these accidents are not being revealed.

    Could it be that when cause is established in each case that other solutions than lane-relocation would suffice?

    Let’s not forget the people conducting the study aren’t exactly in a neutral camp either Chris.

  • 65 Chris Keam // Aug 6, 2009 at 11:07 am

    I guess those points are yours to prove Len, rather than for Richard or I to disprove.

    I’m confident the reasons behind the lane reallocation make sense and will reduce injuries and liability issues.

  • 66 A. G. Tsakumis // Aug 6, 2009 at 11:22 am

    Chris Keam, you are a liar.

    I just played back the tape of our conversation when you stated “it took me some time to find your number, but find it I did…I think I’ll keep it, so I can call you in the future as well.”

    Queue the weirdo music…

    As for your answer to Len B…you are comical.

    An incomplete study is quotable? In fact you and the rest of the cycling fascists make it a point to refer to it as crazed, redneck Southern Baptist does from his pulpit.

    Give it rest. All your bullshit doesn’t amt to anything. You’re just a sad little fellow who wants people who don’t think like you to suffer.

    Pay for your privilege. You use the roads, hold up traffic, which increases pollution….get licenced to pay for the additional infrastructure that should not come from the rets of us.

    Cyclists, I admire, eco-freaks and zealots I do not.

  • 67 Chris Keam // Aug 6, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Oh Alex. you’re a puffed-up lump of hyperbole and bullshit successfully masquerading as a member of the press. You’re an embarrassment to the profession. You should transcribe our phone conversations and post them, so everyone can see how my attempt to engage you in a respectful dialogue was met with the same bluster and stupidity you display in print. You can’t even try to set the record straight without injecting untruths into your little screed. Every personal attack you offer up as some kind of rationale for your hate-speech just points out the lack of reasonable arguments or salient points you might bring to the debate.

    If you didn’t hate me I’d be wondering what I was doing wrong. Since you do, it’s obvious how much you fear the changes going on all around you. Grow up, learn some manners, and maybe one day you too can eat at the big table where big ideas get discussed. Until then keep scribbling your little rants. They reveal you to be little more than just another bully, deserving of nothing but contempt.

  • 68 Richard // Aug 6, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    gmgw, people are always saying they would like to drive less but there are no safe bike routes, the transit is not good enough or the distances are too far. This was caused by decades of building communities around the automobile and the investing of trillions of dollars in roads while investing little in public transit or cycling.

  • 69 Len B // Aug 7, 2009 at 6:15 am

    Actually Chris, if the mayor is going to use an incomplete study on safety as an excuse to spend $1.5M on lane re-allocation, and hide behind it’s privacy all the while his minions flood the blogosphere (see Richard) to tout the same rhetoric, he’ll have to prove it’s worth himself to voters. I don’t have to prove anything at all.

    All that’s required is to ask enough good well placed questions to make him justify spending $1.5Million to stop 20 accidents a year that may have been created by the very cyclists involved. So 20 people who may have not even been wearing helmets get head injuries while bike to fast for road conditions, and all of a sudden it’s a car driver and pedestrians fault, please.

  • 70 Len B // Aug 7, 2009 at 6:24 am

    As for your dialogue with Alex, I suggest if you believe yourself to be one of those sitting at the “big table”, where “big ideas” get discussed, that you offer up some credentials that indicate you are. Commenting on blogs within Vancouver and contract-editing a cycling magazine in Europe along with your involvement in a Vancouver cycling lobby that, in the whole scheme of things really doesn’t matter, doesn’t mean you sit at the big table and discuss big ideas.

    If you want to get down to the brass tacs, the cycling lobby in this town didn’t get gregor elected so get over yourselves.

    Who did get gregor elected were the federal liberals of this city who in their lust for power and their failure to win an election over Stephan Harper, showed everyone the whores they truly are and joined forces with the fringe groups like yourselves to create Vision.

    As soon as they get a sniff of winning at the Federal level, Vision will be an after thought and all of you will be left to run back to COPE where you belong.

    To suggest you and your cohorts have a clue of what goes on in the backrooms is laughable and shows just how little you truly know. Keep it up though, it’s entertainment for the people who really are at the big table discussing big ideas.

  • 71 Chris Keam // Aug 7, 2009 at 7:16 am

    I have no illusions about being a part of the power elite Len, or any desire to join the gang. You’ve missed my point regarding the big table. Frankly, the people I work with in the cycling lobby ARE talking about the big ideas, with respect and tolerance for all views. I haven’t seen that in AGT’s posts. It’s all bluster and hate. Childish stuff. Hence, the big/little table analogy.

    Also, there’s ICBC stats on accidents on the bridge as well as the UBC study. Perhaps you will find the answers as to who is at fault there.

    To answer your other point about spending money to protect people from events that may come about through their own poor decisions, we do it all the time, esp. with automobiles. How is this different?

  • 72 Mark A // Aug 7, 2009 at 7:58 am

    Wow, what a thread.

    Len: good luck looking for that smoking gun, mate. It’ll be like Watergate all over again, I tell you.

    Chris: after reading AGT’s comments here, what on earth possessed you to make you want to *talk* to the guy? To quote Sigourney Weaver: “Nuke the site from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure.”

  • 73 Richard // Aug 7, 2009 at 9:00 am

    Len, Bicycles are banned from most sidewalks for good reason. It is dangerous for both cyclists and pedestrians. The bridge is working great now. Lots of parents with children are cycling over the bridge now.

    The provincial government just spent $800 million on the Sea to Sky Highway because drivers because the very drivers that use the highway could not obey the law and drive safely.

    The double standards that people have are ridiculous. Billions of dollars have been spent to make roads safer because drivers insist on not driving safely yet you expect that cyclists and pedestrians somehow be much better at avoiding collisions while sharing a very substandard sidewalk. Your prejudice towards people who cycle is just not acceptable in this day and age.

    Anyway, many of the collision on the sidewalk were caused by pedestrians not looking and accidentally knocking cyclists off the sidewalk. I know that in the serious one back in 1998, this was the cause.

    Your statement about helmets is absurd.Helmets don’t prevent collisions, they only make collisions a bit safer. They don’t make any difference in high-speed collisions so if a cyclist was knocked into the high speed traffic on the bridge and hit by a car travelling almost double the speed limit (as they usually are), a helmet makes no difference.

    Anyway, most civilized countries don’t force cyclists to wear helmets. In Denmark and the Netherlands, pretty much no one wears helmets and cycling fatality rates are much lower than here.

  • 74 gmgw // Aug 7, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    Richard said:
    “Helmets don’t prevent collisions, they only make collisions a bit safer. They don’t make any difference in high-speed collisions so if a cyclist was knocked into the high speed traffic on the bridge and hit by a car travelling almost double the speed limit (as they usually are), a helmet makes no difference.”

    Obviously a helmet (especially the flimsy pieces of plastic-and-styrofoam junk that far too many riders wear) won’t do much to save a life in a serious accident. But they can save lives. Quite a few years ago a casual friend of mine was riding, helmetless, around Stanley Park, on the roadway near Brockton Point. He apparently got distracted somehow, overbalanced and crashed. He hit the curb with the base of his skull and died (he wasn’t riding very fast, and the impact was not severe– but think of Natasha Richardson). The medical examiner concluded that if he’d been wearing a helmet he very well might have lived. He left behind a young family and a promising law career.

    Since that time, whenever I see a helmetless bike rider, I make the same assumption that I do when I encounter a smoker: This person is either suicidal, or suicidally stupid. Despite all the snarky things I’ve said about cyclists in here, I fully recognize cycling’s dangers (which is one reason I’ve never been a rider). Wearing a helmet is no guarantee of survival, but it does increase your chances. Why gamble?

  • 75 Chris Keam // Aug 7, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    Why do people have unprotected sex with strangers?

    Drink and drive?

    Go boating without a life-jacket?

    I’ve yet to see the law that could improve one’s ability to assess risk and reward.

  • 76 A. G. Tsakumis // Aug 7, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    Len B:

    Stop worrying about these eco-midgets. They spend all day long trolling for normal folks to attack. When they eat it by the heapful, they can’t take it so they trot out the sticks and stones argument.

    Keam and his ilk are a total joke, who have neither the intelligence or integrity to stand down. It’s their 15 mins of fame that will never come again.

    Unless we all start reading some European cycling rag.

    Editor, writer, my foot…

  • 77 Chris Keam // Aug 8, 2009 at 8:08 am




  • 78 Richard // Aug 8, 2009 at 10:26 am


    I wear a helmet and encourage other people to do so. However, like smoking, unprotected sex, skydiving and eating French fries, it should be a matter of personal choice.

    The law is proving counterproductive by decreasing the enforcement of infractions like riding sidewalks which is a danger to both cyclists and pedestrians.

    The really is that we have to make choices. Which would you rather have, cyclists riding with no helmets or cyclists riding on sidewalks.

    Alex, personal attacks and name call are a sure sign you don’t have any valid arguments for your positions. It might sell free papers, but it does nothing to foster further understanding of issues.

  • 79 Richard // Aug 8, 2009 at 10:39 am

    I should throw driving into that list of dangerous activities above. banning Over 400 are killed and 28,000 are injured on the roads of BC each and every year. I’m sure you will agree that driving should be a matter of personal choice and not be banned.

  • 80 gmgw // Aug 8, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    I fail to see any connection between helmetless cyclists and cyclists who ride on sidewalks. What point are you trying to make?

    Moreover, the primary reason most of the reckless activities you cite are forbidden by law is the protection of others; be it against drunk drivers, unprotected sex, sidestream smoke, the discharge of firearms in a public place, or (in the case of children and non-swimmers riding in boats, for example) the wearing of lifejackets– the list goes on.

    If someone is hellbent on destroying themselves alone through reckless endangerment, far be it from me to stand in their way; the gene pool can always use a bit of cleaning and the world will be better off without them. Unfortunately and as you well know, it hardly ever works that way, and there are almost always innocents that are placed in danger by the selfish actions of a reckless fool. As I see it, a responsible society has no choice but to enact legislation that protects not only the innocent, but also the terminally stupid– from themselves, if needs be.

  • 81 Richard // Aug 9, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    gwgw. The point is there is a limited amount of enforcement resources. If the police chose to enforce a particular regulation, the helmet law, it means they are not enforcing another regulation, the ban on cycling on sidewalks for example.

    As I said, this is the case in Vancouver, with over 2,100 helmet tickets as opposed to a very small number for riding on the sidewalk (somewhere between 10 and 20 I think).

    If the chose to allocate enough resources to do both, it would mean that some other traffic law would go unforced, likely a regulation affecting motor vehicles. This would have the unfortunate effect of endangering everyone including motorists.

    I suspect there is not a good public safety argument for even the current level of enforcement against cyclists. Any increase in enforcement would not be an effective use of police resources.

    The distinction that you are missing is that it is not the laws that protect society from the reckless, it is the enforcement of the laws that protect people. Without enforcement, there is little point in having the law.

    Regarding children. In most places in the world, helmet laws are only for those 16 and under. For older people, they assume people can make decisions for themselves and as well, children are more likely to suffer head injuries from bicycle accidents.

    If you calling people that don’t wear helmets stupid, you are insulting a good portion of the world. There are much lower cycling fatality rates in Denmark and the Netherlands where pretty much no one wears helmets.

  • 82 gmgw // Aug 10, 2009 at 1:00 am

    For the purposes of my argument, I had kind of assumed it was a given that existence and enforcement of a bylaw are two halves of the same equation. Anyway, if we follow your logic, I guess we must assume that every time a cop pulls over a drunk driver, that’s taking away police resources that might help to prevent assaults. I frankly have little hope that the police will ever step up enforcement of the bylaws that allegedly forbid the riding of bicycles on sidewalks. I use the word “allegedly”, as it seems to be almost a universal practice, something I see literally dozens of times a day (I nearly got taken out by sidewalk-riders, coming silently from behind me, twice in less than five minutes on the southern downslope of the Granville Bridge the other day). I suppose the police, who have quite enough on their plate as it is, would really rather not have to bother with it; and there’s always the chance that ticketed cyclists could choose to make it a soapbox issue, loudly proclaiming that they ride on sidewalks only because the police don’t do enough to make the streets safe for cyclists. And suddenly a whole new debate could emerge.

    As for helmets, well, hell; apart from the people I care about, I don’t much care if cyclists wear helmets or not (see my comment about the gene pool); especially if, as you argue, it should be a matter of personal choice. We went through the same debate with motorcyclists many years ago, a debate that ended when the wearing of helmets became mandatory. As I recall, one of the most outspoken opponents of motorcycle helmet laws has been the actor Gary Busey, and I’ve lost count of the number of steel plates he’s had to have put in his head after near-fatal crashes. If someone’s crazy enough to think that their skull is impervious to injury– and I was hardly speaking exclusively of fatal injuries; we can talk about mere skull fractures if you like– then go for it, I say. But if I’m walking across a bridge having a conversation with a friend, and make an expansive gesture just as a helmetless cyclist comes along and I knock him/her off his/her bike and he/she lands on his/her head, I’d very much prefer that that cyclist doesn’t sue me for damages caused to their thick skull because they weren’t wearing a helmet.

    And by the way, I suppose those suffering head injuries because they refused to wear a helmet, in defiance of common sense and/or the law, are still going to demand the same level of short- or long-term medical care that’s given to the helmeted ? This is veering close to the ongoing debate over what to do about snowboarders who intentionally go out of bounds and then expect to be rescued. Personally, I think that anyone who intends to ‘board out of bounds should be required to sign a waiver absolving the authorities of any responsibility for their rescue and/or medical treatment– but then, I tend to be kind of a hardnose about this sort of thing.

    As for your ostensibly invulnerable Europeans, while I’ve never been to Denmark, I’ve spent enough time walking around central Amsterdam to know that the two biggest hazards to pedestrians in that lovely city are the crazy cyclists and the ubiquitous heaps of dogshit. Invariably a sudden move to avoid one runs the risk of a close encounter with the other. Along many of the canals the sidewalks are so narrow that parked cars render them all but impassable, so that one is forced to walk on the cobblestones, exposing one constantly to said twin hazards. And we’re not talking fancy multispeed bikes here; as often as not it’s one of those big white clunky one-speed machines that will suddenly come barreling around a corner toward you, being ridden by a young Dutch person of either gender who all too obviously believes in slowing down only in extreme emergencies and stopping for absolutely nothing. The safest course for pedestrians in such a situation might be to simply jump into the canal.

    Given this, while I don’t dispute your figures, I think they must have been compiled in the Dutch countryside, where some of the pleasantest, most laid-back cycling in Europe is to be found, in the polders and along the dikes. By contrast, I don’t know how those Amsterdam cyclists stay alive, given the way they ride. Frankly, “stupid” seems an inadequate word for their behaviour.

  • 83 FBT // Aug 10, 2009 at 7:50 am

    As someone who deals on a daily basis with all forms of injury, I find comments by Richard, to be completely asinine.

    Helmets should be as important to a cyclist as a seatbelt is to an occupant of a car.

    Anyone who suggests this should be a matter of personal preference rather than a respected law, should be quite ashamed of themselves.

    In the 70’s and 80’s when seatbelts were becoming mandatory in most places, it was law-enforcement and ticketing that garnered the most success. Now all but the completely moronic wear their belts even if just to drive a few blocks.

    The same will work with cycling and helmets. The more ticketing and enforcement, the more people will come to accept the necessity of wearing one for their own safety, especially children.

    Inevitably someone like me, has to clean up a mess by left by someone Richard knows, because they weren’t following laws created for their own safety, all the while blaming it on everyone but themselves.

    In the meantime, the lobbyists are busy spreading their nonsense to every blog and news site throughout the city, instead of actually doing something productive.

  • 84 Chris Keam // Aug 10, 2009 at 8:03 am

    It’s hard to fall off your bike. I have to chuck myself down mountains to make it happen. Cycling is inherently a pretty safe way to get around.

  • 85 gmgw // Aug 10, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    While it may be hard to fall off your bike, Chris (and I guess that puts me in an exalted minority, since I’ve done it more than once, though admittedly my spills were on gravel roads), you must concede that it’s not altogether beyond the realm of possibility, especially when encountering unanticipated external physical phenomena.
    Hence, helmets.

  • 86 Not running for mayor // Aug 10, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    It’s pratically impossible to crash your car too, I driven for almost 20yrs and have never crashed my car. I still wear my seatbelt because I know a crash is a very real possiblity.
    On my bike I haven’t been as lucky and have numerous scars including my ear being ripped right off. The helmet didn’t save that from happening but it did probably save my life.

  • 87 Len B // Aug 10, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    Although I realize Alex is onto something when he tells me not to bother, after reading what appears to be a comment from an ambulance or firefighter, back to my query:

    How many people injured on the Burrard Bridge, in the study the mayor and these cycling advocates flaunt, were wearing helmets, how many were travelling too fast or over the 15km/hour posted speed limit on the bridge for bikes, etc…etc…?

    I’m tired of the hyperbole that it’s always a car drivers fault, and the wonderfully dramatic “being thrown from the bridge into an oncoming car”.

    If the mayor is going to spend $1.5million to protect 20 people a year who may or may not get into accidents based on their own actions, I think the public should get to know this.

    Let’s not only release the study but also the police reports so we can see where the accidents occurred, and what the circumstances were around them.

    Perhaps there are other solutions to solve these problems that do not include the path the city seems intent on following.

    What are you all hiding?

  • 88 SV // Aug 11, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    Alright- let’s get into some hypothetical circumstances and solutions!

  • 89 Bill Lee // Aug 11, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    The data added a few days after Miss Bula’s initial posting, and thanks for the personn who put it in CSV style, not everyone has Excel.

    With the limited data in gross there are not many patterns yet. One has to add day of the week to see if there is a work/weekend difference. And the weather has been universally horrible and sunny throughout the trial. It would be useful when the monsoons return, to see how a 6-9 rain affects ridership. Do they start out in any weather or are fair weather cyclists?

    Why can’t we have the actual hourly data? I know that the simple Clr. Reimer promoted open data but that turned out to be yet another copycat movement, from the UK, on mapping GIS based piffles.

    The City has better previous surveys, though like cars who leave Vancouver, bikes are in a City data void when they cross a bridge or Boundary Road. Get with it people, and ask Burnaby, the North Shores, Richmond, to continue the surveys for some kilometers beyond the boundaries. This a job for MetroMan!!

    City cyclists go only short distances. Half only cycle less than 5 km, or less than 15- 20 minutes, 80 percent pedal less than 10 km.

    The February 2009 report showed

    “The 2006 Census provides statistics for Mode of Transportation to Work. The City as a whole reports 3.7% of all trips to work as having been made by bicycle; this is a 12% increase over that reported in the 1996 Census. The data has been further broken down, by census tract (sub-neighbourhood), and is shown in Figure 1. This map shows that percentage of cycling mode share varies across the City from 11.9% to 0.2%. Cycling mode share is highest south of downtown, with census tracts in West Point Grey, Kitsilano and South Cambie neighbourhoods having the highest percentage cycling mode share at 11.9% and 11.8% respectively; Grandview-Woodlands also shows cycling mode share exceeding 11%.”

    The page three census tract map corresponds with the poverty regions of the
    city. The study ignores cyclicts coming from the North Shore, Burnaby and beyond or Richmond

    Figure 3 on page 6 showing the summer afternoon peak does not count bridges at all, and shows that few climb the south slope hills, but it is east and west along Adanac or 7th and 10th to the apartment areas, fitting in with the 5 km cycle routes. Again no data is shown for those leaving the city boundaries.

    Hourly rates peak at a few hundred an hour. Burrard bridge lead routes show

    A automated study from a every 15 minute counter on the abysmal 11th and Ontario routes also made note of rainy days, but not whether it was raining in the morning or afternoon commute. I have found that people overestimate how much rain there is in the Vancouver commute compared to middday or evening when city heat or cooldown promotes rainfall.

    City cyclist only short distances. Half only cycle less than 5 km, or less than 20 minutes, 80 percent pedal less than 10 km.

    City cycling factsheet

  • 90 Darcy McGee // Aug 24, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    In Toronto, motor vehicles are responsible for 90% of all car/bike collisions.

    The most common type of crash in this study involved a motorist entering an intersection and either failing to stop properly or proceeding before it was safe to do so. The second most common crash type involved a motorist overtaking unsafely. The third involved a motorist opening a door onto an oncoming cyclist. The study concluded that cyclists are the cause of less than 10 per cent of bike-car accidents in this study.

    The available evidence suggests that collisions have far more to do with aggressive driving than aggressive cycling.

    So now who needs their own space to be safe?

  • 91 Bill Lee // Aug 30, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    Data posted up to 23 August 2009 now.
    Still no hourly stats.

    And we did have an unusually dry summer, skewing the ‘good days’ oppportunity.

    But who knew that the markets were so bad that fewer people in Point Grey had to drive downtown or had been put on “Gardening Leave”?

    No anecdotes of pedestrian flouting the ‘rules’ and walking (happily) on the south (city) side of the Burrard Bridge sidewalks.

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