E-bikes are getting a lot of press these days, often negative due to the perceived laziness or "cheating" by their riders. If nothing else, the naysayers are keeping the meme generator websites busy. I've been somewhat in that camp in the past thinking technology should have a lesser role in cycling. But times are changing, and I keep seeing people on e-bikes all around North Vancouver. As a mode of transportation rather than recreation or sport, they provide a very good alternative to the single occupant vehicle for those not interested or not physically able to put in the effort required on a regular bike. I've never had the opportunity to try a proper one, and its an itch that's needed scratching for a while. This week that itch was scratched! Read on for a bit of a bike review and my thoughts on riding around Canmore...
Traffic Engineers often use Level of Service A to F to describe the amount of delay and invariably recommend wider roads. What might Level of Service be for cyclists?Maybe Quality of Service is a better measure. Unlike cars, congested facilities should almost be the objective for such facilities, to recreate the scenes we observe so often in the Netherlands or Denmark if we are successful. The graphic gives my take on what Quality of Service might look like and what cyclists often think of such facilities. Read on for close ups of the graphics...
Today I find myself responding to an RFP that will remove a 'road-diet' like cross-section, removing bike lanes, two travel lanes, and a median turn lane, replacing it with four travel lanes, all in the name of road capacity (bike facilities potentially provided off the roadway). I thought the generic part of my write-up would make a pretty useful blog post...
These days I try not to read Lawrence Solomon's articles on bikes. Its pretty much guaranteed to make obscure references and illogical conclusions. However, earlier this week I had a client forward an email from a concerned member of the public about a project we're working on that will improve one of the main streets through town. The improvements will help not just cyclists, but pedestrians, the disabled, it will formalize parking and provide facilities on both side of the road. The email contained a link to the Lawrence Solomon article about bike lanes suggesting the project is not needed.
Elon Musk has been getting a lot of flak recently for his comments about public transit, and rightfully so. On the surface, he seems to want to save the world and reduce our reliance on oil. Below the surface, is he simply a guy trying to sell cars? Regardless of his motives, A Tesla will never be as space efficient as a bus, and in a city environment, efficiency of road space is a top priority. Here's a quick comparison of a bus and a Tesla.
...and a walking city, and a transit city? The bike paths of Amsterdam and Copenhagen get a lot of praise for their role in making biking in the city so easy, and of course, that is entirely true. But do people bike because they want to? Do they bike because its the best thing ever? (Of course, it is the best thing ever!) Is owning a car so much less convenient than say in North America? So much less convenient that the bike becomes the defacto choice, or walking or transit for that matter.
They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. While that may not be the actual definition of insanity, it is quite applicable to the use of trip rates in traffic engineering. To rephrase... Approving the same type of development with the same amount of parking with the same type of road improvements, and expecting more people to walk, bike or take transit, might not be insane, but its certainly not smart!
A 30 minute train ride from the centre of Copenhagen drops you in the Centre of Malmo, Sweden, across the other side of the Oresund Strait. Malmo is another city that has been recognized for its cycling infrastructure. Lets see how it compares during a short walkabout.
The grey bike lanes are everywhere! Boring grey bike lanes! Does that sound like a insult? It's not! Copenhagen's bike infrastructure is simple, its everywhere, and in summary, a complete network is far more important than planters along bike routes. There is of course more to it, read on for a few more insights...
As cities around the world are implementing high quality bicycle infrastructure, Edinburgh seems to have stalled for the last couple of decades. Anyway, before we get started, first an intro to this series of posts.
This summers vacation included varying amounts of time in Edinburgh, Copenhagen and Malmo, with the purpose of visiting my parents and a few friends back in Scotland, visiting Copenhagen as its frequently considered the number one cycling city in the world, and Malmo because its just a short train ride over the water from Copenhagen, and also well regarded with respect to cycling infrastructure. Read on for Part 1, my thoughts on transportation in Edinburgh and a few other places around Scotland. Other two cities to follow in due course.
This tweet deserves to stand on its own, watch the mode shift from all those cars to one bus and some bikes for an excellent demonstration of how much space we could save by getting more people on other modes of transportation.
I've been thinking a lot about how autonomous vehicles (AV's) will change how we plan our roads lately. In the back of my mind, there is always the broad thought that AV's will change the world for the better, but will they? I'm starting to have my doubts...
8 spaces for every car, it sounds absurd! Listen to the parking guru Donald Shoup talk about the high cost of free parking, or read more here https://www.vox.com/videos/2017/7/19/15993936/high-cost-of-free-parking
Every time a person riding a bike is knocked off, seriously injured, or killed, by another person driving an automobile, the first thing the police and press seem to comment on is whether the person riding the bike was wearing a helmet or not. Whether they did or not is largely irrelevant to the cause of the collision which must always be the focus of such reports! The helmets (apart from the prototype automobile deflection shield equipped one pictured above) have zero ability to prevent a collision.
This blog post started out as a series of tweets as I was going through the new Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) Geometric Design Guide (GDG) for Canadian Roads, Chapter 5 - Bicycle Integrated Design. While the tweets become nested and confusing to follow, I figured it was worth recreating here. So read on for a quick overview of the new guidelines for bicycle infrastructure in Canada.