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Should bikes be banned from major arterials or at least rapid-bus streets?

November 28th, 2011 · 159 Comments

This is an idea that Adriane Carr talked about during the election campaign, saying she had heard from bus drivers (or at least one bus driver) that it made it harder for them to keep to schedules and manoeuvre when they had to deal with bike-riders on major streets like Broadway.

I also saw this suggestion pop up in the city’s transportation-plan forums.

And I’m sure many of us have had the experience (I know I have, multiple times) of watching traffic jam up behind a cyclist who has decided to take up a lane on 12th or Hastings or Granville during rush hour, as people are too scared to swing around because of heavy traffic in the lane to their left and also too scared to try to squeeze past the cyclist in their own lane.

I can’t figure out why those cyclists do it. The one I saw yesterday on Broadway was a 50-something woman (wearing a straw hat) pedalling between a B-line rapid bus and me — something I’ve always heard all but the most testosterone-laden cyclists try to avoid.

And all she had to do was go one block over to 10th Avenue, where she could have been on far quieter and safer street that is so dominated by cyclists that cars now avoid it. But no, there she was, causing cars to swerve around her on a busy arterial. The question: Should she be banned? Or simply encouraged to move to a proper bike route?



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  • IanS

    @ mezzanine #144,

    Well, subject my qualification regarding the identification / quantification of the externality and the use of the funds raised through the fee, I think we agree. I mention that because, in my mind at least, there’s a substantive difference between a user fee and a “sin tax”.

    I also maintain that the same reasoning applies to other activities which might have such negative externalities. After all, services such as health care area also a limited resource.

  • brilliant

    @Chris Keam 150-Its blatantly obvious that the cycling lobby is anti-car, not anti-fossil fuel. If 89% of the vehicles on the road today were replaced by Nissan Leafs tomorrow the whinging would continue.

    And, just to puncture your smug tone, how much of your bike is constructed from non-renewable resources?

  • Paul T.

    Gotta love the dutch…

    Here’s what you get when you actually consult and make things SAFER.

  • Tessa

    @Paul T. 52: didn’t notice your comment. I find it sad that you consider it your right to post anecdotes and no stats whatsoever yourself when arguing that drivers are heavily policed, yet expect much more of others simply for disagreeing. I’ve provided more information than you did on your point. If you want more, go ask the cops.

    @Annette93: yes, that is my suspicion, too, especially with the Burrard Bridge bike lane trial, but it is official city policy and so it ought to be enforced.

  • Brilliant:

    You just never seem to live up to your name.

    Point 1 – Transportation systems based on automobiles have a wide range of problems associated with them far beyond fossil fuel usage. So, yes, the ‘whinging’ would continue, from urban planners, affordable housing advocates, food security experts, healthcare professionals and law enforcement… because all those groups, along with cycling advocates, can see that auto-dependency is a dead-end and in the long run, unnecessary.

    Point 2 – Comparing the 30 pounds of rubber, plastic, and steel that makes up my day-to-day bike (now in its 11th year of supplying zero-emission travel) with the resources required to build and operate an electric car is just ludicrous. As is the expectation that everything be made of hemp and recyclable unicorn farts.

  • Bikes are a good plan…Buses aren’t. Works in Denmark…it is all a mindset. North American love affair with cars. I recently took a bus mid-day from Metrotown to Market Crossing. I was just about the only person on the bus 50% of the time. That is a lot of gas and medal to take one person a short distance. Wish I had my bike it was a all downhill trip.

  • zalm

    THe City Streets Bylaw No. 2849c already prohibits slow vehicles (including bycycles) from travelling on arterials at too slow a rate of speed.

    [i]92. (2) No person shall drive a vehicle on any City street at such at rate of speed
    as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic
    except when reduced speed is necessary for safe driving or operation or in
    compliance with the law. [/i]

    Anybody for some enforcement?

  • mezzanine

    except when reduced speed is necessary for safe driving or operation or in
    compliance with the law.

    asked, answered.

  • Everyman

    @Kiki 156
    Market Crossing is one of the worst examples of the kind of development that drives people into cars. Why in heaven’s name was a shopping centre approved that is located so far away from any residential area?

    I’d agree with whomever pointed out upthread that Vancouver is going to have to step up its game on removing leaves if it wants to encourage more cycling and walking. Only now are city crews making their way slowly across the city’s roads, and sidewalks clearing is left to the goodwill of residents. Why is it that snow must be removed from sidewalks by law, but not leaves?