I normally keep this blog pretty generic when it comes to project work but the work we've been doing with the City of Nanaimo is worth sharing. At the end of October, the City held an open house to reveal the Metral Drive preliminary design. Metral Drive will be the first project to include draft recommendations from Nanaimo's Complete Street Design Guide which we're nearing completion on. A key part of the guideline is the raised intersection with continuous sidewalk and bike path on collector streets where they pass local streets.
I recently had the pleasure of spending five days in Victoria on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. If you read this blog often you'll know I like to collect pictures of bike infrastructure wherever I go. I often have to wait to get pictures of cyclists using cycling infrastructure, but that was never a problem in Victoria, no matter the time of day, there were cyclists frequently passing by, it felt somewhat Euro and it really was a pleasure to ride around there. Read on for some thoughts and images from Victoria.
This is probably one of the best descriptions of induced demand due to road widening i've seen and it comes from an Australian satire! If you are involved in the planning of new transportation infrastructure you should be familiar with this concept. In my earlier career, I used to do a lot of traffic modelling and had no education on such principles. I'm not sure even today this is commonly taught. But we can make induced demand a positive thing! You can also induce demand for other modes by making walking and biking safer, making the wait for transit more comfortable, and the service itself more frequent and reliable.
Nova Scotia, or New Scotland... the big question is... is it better than the old Scotland? It's just as windy for sure, but possibly had more sun while we were there than in my whole last year in the old one! The past two weeks we've been exploring a small piece of Nova Scotia, starting out with a quick stop in Peggy's Cove, a few days riding bikes from our base in Lunenburg, then a week in Halifax for the Transport Association of Canada technical meetings and conference. Read on for some insights into transportation in Nova Scotia...
This is a bit of a public service announcement as it clears up some confusion between lane width dimensions stated in various design guidelines. In summary, as the title says, curb lane widths don't include the gutter. Many progressive and well respected guidelines do not define exactly what does and does not constitute curb lane width. While narrower lanes are encouraged to increase driver discomfort and slow down vehicles, lanes that are too narrow can lead to issues with large vehicles either striking mirrors or having to take evasive action to avoid such a strike.
I've been looking at intersection design a lot lately between Collector Streets and Local Streets. Local streets should prioritise low speed and safety so why don't we adopt designs that support these priorities?
Yesterday we decided to go for a ride to a new(ish) pizza place on Hastings in Burnaby. Sopro Sotto if you're interested, great pizza! But this is a tale of comfort (or rather discomfort), level of stress, and and unfortunately coming home to the news a that someone riding their bike had been killed by an errant driver. Could this have been prevented, could safer infrastructure have saved a life?
This is my first blog post in many months, and sorry, but it's another roundup of conference happenings. But it's worth a read as there were many useful lessons and perspectives at the BC Active Transportation Summit arranged by the BC Cycling Coalition. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly for an event arranged by a cycling organisation, this was much more about inclusivity for all modes and abilities, not just cycling. The sessions provided some great lessons that can be applied whether you're a designer, advocate, or simply interested in accessibility. I have too many notes to share in full here, so i've tired to summarise some key takeaways from each session I attended. Hopefully I don't misquote anyone too much when interpreting my scribbles. I've also broken up the text with some photos from New Westminsters recent waterfront upgrades which I visited for the first time while attending.
A few weeks ago I was at the Winter Cycling Congress in Calgary. This was the 7th Annual event hosted by the Winter Cycling Federation. I came away with about 40 pages of notes from the event and a fantastic lineup of speakers. Rather than transcribe all of that, i've tried to note the main takeaways from each presentation I attended. These are interspersed with some photos from riding around Calgary and Canmore in conditions truly appropriate for the conference, typically around -20 with an extra -10 added for windchill. Hopefully I don't do anyone a disservice by misquoting you...
A few of us went for a walkabout along 10th Avenue in Vancouver to see how the City accommodated everything within the constrained, but also very typical 20m right-of-way. As shown above, people were mostly staying on the sidewalk which is encouraging. Read on for some more quick observations.
Over the holidays I moved from North Vancouver to the UniverCity neighbourhood on Burnaby Mountain. I lived here previously about five years ago, and back then, I just sucked up the large climb up the mountain when I'd bike back from work. Fast forward five years and i'm back, and ebikes are becoming increasingly popular. It would seem crazy not to take advantage of them. So how much easier is it? How much quicker is it? read on...
Shared lanes with painted Sharrow symbols are not a bike facility. They’re an admission that this is a good route for bikes, but a proper safe bike facility is missing. They do not provide safe space to ride a bike, nor do they encourage anybody to ride a bike. But there's another problem, even a wide shared lane isn't really all that good. Is it time to scrap the wide shared lane entirely?
Quite a lot as it turns out. Does your street have just four travel lanes and sidewalks? A design pulled from the golden era of the automobile? If it does it's likely around 20 metres, a pretty common right-of-way width for streets. How a 20 metre wide street can look and function can be very differently depending on your priorities. Read on for many different examples and some thoughts on the pros and cons of each.
Last time I was in Edmonton, there wasn't much positive to say about the street network. Fast forward a few years and theres a grid of protected bike lanes, LRT lines under construction, and interesting streets intended to blur the lines between streets for vehicles and streets for pedestrians.
I've spent a lot of time lately thinking about the widths of bike facilities and how much width we need for a given type of bike facility. While design manuals give you values for the upper limits, lower limits, practical lower limits, absolute minimums, its not always so straight forward when faced with a constrained right-of-way. What is the user experience on facilities of different widths? Lately I've been out with a tape measure to better understand this.