Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bomont Bridge Session, from Vincent Allard

This guy always has cool videos of the MTB action in Montreal. This one is hot off the press, and is no exception to the rule.

Check out the rest of his stuff here.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Burrard Bridge Bike Lane Proposal: The Verdict

A decision has been reached on the burrard bridge bike lane issue. Of the three options available, city council has chosen the mediocre one. Only one lane will be closed to motorists; the west curbside lane will be southbound bike-only, the east sidewalk will be northbound bike-only, and the west sidewalk with have two-way pedestrian travel.

As cyclists, this works out decently for us. Not as well as the first option, which has two full lanes being closed to motorists, but not as terribly as the second option, which would have us biking amongst pedestrians when heading north.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Burrard Bridge Bike Lane Proposal: Back From The Dead?

As some seasoned Vancouverites may remember, there was a test conducted on the Burrard bridge back in 1996, in which lanes were closed to motorists and converted into bike lanes. Well, it seems the city council has decided to give it another go.

Obviously, this is great news for cyclists in general, and cyclo-commuters in particular. There is no question this will make life easier for those of us who commute into downtown from the south side of False Creek. However, there are some concerns that definitely need to be raised.

The current proposal contains three different options for the lane closures. One of them is great for cyclists, one is decent, and one is complete rubbish. They are as follows:

1. Close both curbside lanes, resulting in a dedicated bike lane in each direction. Motorists are relegated to the middle four lanes, pedestrians to the sidewalk.

2. Close only the west curbside lane, making this a southbound bike-only lane. Motorists get five lanes, southbound pedestrians get the sidewalk, and northbound cyclists share the sidewalk with pedestrians.

3. Close only the west curbside lane, making this a southbound bike-only lane. Motorists again get five lanes, pedestrians going both ways are allowed only on the west sidewalk, and the east sidewalk becomes the northbound bike-only lane.

Clearly option 1 is most favourable for cyclists. A lane each way all to ourselves is more than adequate for even peak-hour, fair-weather cyclo-commuting periods. However, reducing the number of motorist lanes by two will make motorists markedly displeased, so this one may encounter serious resistance when it goes before council.

Option 2 should be thrown out immediately and emphatically. Multiple studies have concluded that riding amongst pedestrians is considerably more likely to result in an accident than riding amongst cars.

Option 3 seem to be the happy medium. Motorists only lose one lane, and thus raise less of a fuss; cyclists get a "lane" to themselves in both directions, though one of these "lanes" is a repurposed sidewalk. Considering the low volume of pedestrians crossing the Burrard bridge, a single sidewalk will definitely suffice for pedestrian use.

The bottom line is that as cyclists, we should all be crossing our fingers and rooting for the first option; we should also be willing to accept the third. In the end, I think this issue will prove itself an effective measuring post with which to gauge how bike-friendly Vancouver really is.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

BMXin' in California

Long time no update. Oh well, quality over quantity, right? Speaking of quality, dudes in Long Beach clearly have some quality BMX skills. Exhibit A:

(via The Come Up)