Batemyth Busters: 40 Centuries to Fund Mayors Transportation Plan with CTF Waste

Brad Cavanagh has done a great job of shredding a key premise of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation’s slick expensive looking new website notranslinktax.ca He did the math and found that all the “waste” that they found totalled $1.9 million or 1.3% of TransLinks annual budget.

To put this into perspective, it would take 3,947 years, almost 40 centuries to fund the Mayors $7.5 billion Transportation Plan with this $1.9 million assuming that a similar matching waste could be found rattling around in Provincial and Federal budgets. The Millennium Line extension to UBC would take
525 years and LRT in Surrey would take over 370 to complete with Federal and Provincial matching funds. Even the 2700km of bicycle routes would take almost 70 years. Cycling routes should be built for people 8-80 years old. We can’t wait until an 8 year old is 80 to finish the regional cycling network.

This is also a small amount relative to real B.C. boondoggles like the BC Place Stadium roof, the Fast Ferries and the Golden Ears Bridge. Taxpayers would be better served by watchdogs resisting the temptation of $30,000 poodles and instead focusing on upcoming projects like the $8 billion Site C dam and the $3 billion Massey Bridge.

It looks like it is the Canadian Taxpayers Federation that not using their money very wisely. First, they used an American calendar (maybe to please their funders) to try and make fun of TransLink, then this. They would be well advised to spend more on accountants, fact checkers and proofreaders and less on slick websites.

For more information on the Referendum or to help out with the Yes campaign, please goto: http://www.bccc.bc.ca/yes

Form and Development: What’s happening in Richmond? – 1

Richard Campbell:

Price also notes that the preservation of single­family neighbourhoods is “classist. He says it’s the lower income families who are relegated to the townhouses on the main arterials, buffering the elitists residing behind them from noise and air pollution.

Originally posted on Price Tags:

Megahouses, vacant homes, speculation and affordability aren’t just issues for Vancouver.  Reporter Graeme Wood in the Richmond News has been writing about the transformation of Richmond.  Here’s an excerpt.

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Mega Homes: Absent homeowners, foreign speculation, overdevelopment and skyrocketing land value has reached a boiling point

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New homes in single­-family home neighbourhoods are pushing the boundaries of floor space ratio, by uprooting lawns, and height restrictions, by adding a third level. It’s a result of increased land values and housing demand that has seen this resurgence of the megahome in Richmond. …

On Spires Road, one of the last bastions of “Old Richmond” is about to get a major makeover; Yamamoto Architecture Inc. has applied to develop seven market rental homes into 60 townhomes for purchase. The densification of the City Centre neighbourhood (one quarter of a major city block) is planned under the city’s Official Community Plan.  But with a rental crunch…

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Parking Study: There is an Abundance of Parking Surrounding Commercial Drive

Richard Campbell:

Car parking that is. More bike parking needed.

Originally posted on SLOW STREETS:

Parking Study: There is an Abundance of Parking Surrounding Commercial Drive
By Slow Streets

Parking is certainly important for providing delivery and customer access to businesses. However concerns about losing parking spaces on Commercial Drive if a Complete Street is implemented are unwarranted. Slow Streets conducted a parking inventory finding that there are over 700 public parking stalls surrounding Commercial Drive (between Grandview Highway and 1st Avenue). 87% of parking stalls are located off Commercial Drive and are available to the public for free, with the remaining 13% being paid meters. Implementing a Complete Street on Commercial Drive would have no impact on the total parking both on and off Commercial Drive.  What does this mean for Commercial Drive? Slow Streets will be releasing a report on January 19th with full details.

Parking Utilization Study

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All Weather Cycling Bike Café – January 13

I’m very pleased to be moderating the first Bike Café! Please join us.

All Weather Cycling

Currently, cycling levels fall significantly when in it rains. What measures, policies and infrastructure will encourage more all weather cycling?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015
6pm
Musette Caffè Chinatown, 75 E. Pender St., Vancouver | Map

The new Bike Cafés take place along major commuter cycling routes at cyclist friendly coffee bars. This new series engages with Vancouver’s cycling community and others interested in discussions regarding the sustainable evolution of our cityscape.

In collaboration with the SFU City Program.

More info on other Bike Cafés here.

Stanley Park Causeway Safety Improvements

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure just revealed its proposed plan to improve the safety of people cycling and walking along the Stanley Park Causeway.

The plan looks good in general and will be a big improvement over the current narrow sidewalks. While a wider path on the west side would be better, it would have impacted more trees.

Still, there are only two passing areas in the stretch south of the Park Drive exist. Another passing zone would improve safety and impact relatively few trees. As well, the proposed fence does have poles that are exposed. If a person cycling hits those at 50kph, the average downhill speed, a serious injury or fatality is likely. While there is a rub rail at the top, it will not prevent children or shorter adults from hitting the poles. As well, if someone sides on ice or leaves, they also could hit the poles at high speeds. At a minimum, the cables should be installed on the inside providing some protection from the poles. Also worth considering at fabrics designed to protect motorcyclists from hitting fence poles that would also protect cyclists.

As these changes involve Stanley Park, please email Vancouver Park Board PBcommissioners
@vancouver.ca
 supporting these badly needed safety improvements.

More information and a feedback form here.

Use Lights, Wear Whites at Night

First of all, even with whites and lights, don’t assume drivers see you at night. They may, they may not for any number of reasons. Night lighting conditions are very challenging for the eyes of drivers and cyclists. One moment, the road can be pretty dark. The next, one can be blinded by headlights. It is not surprising that crash rates rise significantly at night. Its a good idea for both cyclists and drivers to slow down and travel defensively at night.

Studies have shown that while they are not perfect, lights do reduce the risk of cycling crashes both at night and during the day. The main issue with bike lights is that as they tend to be small, drivers may think the bike is further away than it actually is leading to slow reaction times. Several lights or larger lights with many LEDs are probably a good idea. But please, don’t use really bright lights that blind other people. There are even some lights designed to be pointed at the rider. I suspect this is a good idea.

White is the New Yellow

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Women with white jackets and black pants standout on car-free street in Copenhagen

Like many of you, I have some dirty yellow cycling jackets lying around. I haven’t worn them in years as they are rather ugly. Turns out that yellow and other bright colours, while being highly noticeable during the day, don’t fare as well at night. In darker conditions, our eyes perceive only in levels of black and white thus yellow and other bright colours appear as grey tones that can be similar to asphalt.

Yellow can particularly poor choice, especially in the rain. Yellowish orange street lights reflect off the wet streets resulting in yellow clothes being rather more effective at camouflage than letting drivers know you are there.

One article on cycling safety started off by with the experience of a running coach saying that she happened to notice a jogger only by the whites of her shoes. For some unknown reason the article proceeded to talk about lights, reflectors and bright clothing without even mentioning white.

White bikes, white fenders, whitewall tires, a white helmet, white shoes. The more white the better. Some other colours including black, red or green can also be helpful to provide contrast to the white helping to improve visibility in the daylight. A white top with dark pants would be a fine choice.

Reflecting on Reflective

Reflectors and reflective strips are either really effective or practically useless depend on the situation. As they reflect light directly back to its source, they are well suited for cycling on long straight flat country roads enabling drivers to see cyclists from several hundred metres away.

They are not of much help at all when cycling across intersections. By the time a driver can see the reflected light, it is likely too late to prevent a collision. Reflectors are also less effective with trucks as driver’s eyes are further away from the headlight than is the case with a car. People walking don’t have headlights so reflectors will not help them see you.

Reflectors bounce the light from the street lamp straight back to the street lamp and the light from the buildings straight back to the buildings. Definitely not helpful. White clothing or gear, on the other hand, will reflect some of that light from you to the driver’s eyes where it may do some good. Unfortunately, there are too many black, grey and blue cycling jackets with a couple of reflective stripes giving the illusion that they are useful for night riding.

So, while reflective clothing and reflectors can help, they are definitely no substitute for lights and white clothing.

Protected Bike Lanes Great for Pedestrian Safety

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A recent article by People for Bikes details how street improvements made while introducing protected bike lanes have also greatly improved pedestrian safety in New York City. On streets where protected bike lanes were added, traffic injuries, the vast majority of which are suffered by people walking, fell by 12 to 52 percent. While these safety improvements are not necessarily unique to protected bike lanes, it is the risks faced by cyclists at intersections that prompted the redesigns of the streets.

This reduction in injuries is due to the reduction in the number of lanes of traffic making crossing distances shorter, the introduction of turning lanes making traffic more predictable, dedicated signal phases protecting cyclists & pedestrians from turning vehicles and reduced weaving of traffic around cars stopped for pedestrians.

Ironically, it is these safety improvements such as the protected signal turning phases that some drivers complain about. What they forget is that it crashes that are the cause of the worst delays. Traffic can be tied up for hours if a death or serious injury occurs.

These improvements are in addition to the reductions in sidewalk cycling which is not safe for cyclists or pedestrians.

Given all the benefits of protected bike lanes, it is time that communities speed up their building of all ages and abilities cycling networks.

More at: http://www.peopleforbikes.org/blog/entry/it-turns-out-that-protected-bike-lanes-are-fantastic-for-walking-safety-too