Interesting Urbanism is a new website I've created and provides somewhere for me to park a more deliberate series of photos. The first couple of series will be essentially a bit of a test case until I flush this concept out. Up to now, I've updated my Flickr account with lots of snapshots that I've taken on the fly, usually while riding a bike, but I think there is merit in taking a bit more time to capture the interesting aspects of things. Over time it is my intent to create many more series of photos that focus on particular things. It could be at a high level if I'm in a new City, a focus on a new project, be that something I'm involved with or just something new that's interesting and worth sharing, or maybe a series on a particular topic. It could be about transportation, but also about other aspects of urbanism and placemaking. In the case of series 1, it's about places to sit at SFU, inspired by the introduction of new mega benches. This may evolve over time, but I see each series providing a quick intro, then telling a bit of a story through the photos with some short notes or observations attached. Anyway, check it out at www.interesting-urbanism.com
This post charts the progress almost to completion of our (ISL Engineering) recent protected bike lane project in North Vancouver. This video shows a side by side of the original 2nd and 1st Street corridor in North Vancouver featuring painted bike lanes often in the door zone of the parking lane, and the almost complete protected bike lane upgrade featuring precast concrete curbs, planters, green paint and painted buffers at conflict areas. Take a second to appreciate the change in level of comfort riding in the before condition and the after. If you don't cycle, perhaps imagine someone you care about riding in the before and the after condition, and if you drive, think about the reduced chance that a person is going to be knocked into the path of your vehicle from someone in the parking lane opening their door without paying attention. Read on to see the transformation stage by stage from very stressful door zone bike lanes to the low stress wide protected mobility lanes.
This week I was back in Victoria for the first time since we (ISL Engineering) completed construction on the Harbour Road protected bike lane. More improvements are coming with uni-directional protected bike lanes and neighbourhood bikeways on the Vancouver/Graham corridor currently in or approaching construction (Design by our partner on this project, Toole Design), and more to come next year with the same team. Most cities are increasingly adopting uni-directional bike lanes now, including Victoria. However, for the Harbour Road segment, the bi-directional design makes a lot of sense as it connects the Galloping Goose Regional Trail at the north end and the Johnson Street Bridge multi-use path on the south end, both on the east side of the road. Keeping both directions on the east side removes the need to cross the roadway for this key connection. Read on for videos riding the corridor.
Over the past week I've slowly been adding videos to my new YouTube channel 'Rolling in the City'. In addition to this blog and my flickr page with static images, my intent with this channel is to provide viewers with a virtual ride along mostly high quality all ages and abilities bike infrastructure so that they may learn and or experience facilities they might not otherwise have a chance to ride. As I like to seek out and ride these facilities anyway, I figured it would be good to capture some high quality video of them and share it for others to see. Whether you're a planner, engineer or advocate, hopefully you enjoy the ride. Subscribe if you want to see new videos as they're uploaded. This Time warp video provides a taster and takes in most of the Victoria downtown protected bike lane network, but most videos will be at a normal riding pace allowing you to get closer to the experience of riding the facility.
The SketchUp practice continues... and this time looking at the many ways to retrofit protected bike lanes without digging up the entire street. Of course anything can be done with enough money, but rarely is there enough money to provide the "Cadillac" solution, so it's important to consider different solutions...
With us staying mostly indoors these days other than a bike ride or walk round the neighbourhood, I figured I'd learn something I've always wanted to. Modelling transportation ideas in 3D. I signed into Sketchup Free and watched a few YouTube videos, and by the end of the day was reasonably competent building some basic 3D models of street features. My favourite topic of the moment is raised intersections as this simple improvement would significantly change how we view priorities at conflict points. Read on...
Yes, that's a bike with COVID-19 wheels, best idea I could come up with to blend transportation and the virus... anyway... back to the subject of this post... Will you change your transportation habits after this COVID-19 pandemic is over compared with pre-covid times? That's what I find myself wondering during these strange times, so I asked twitter...
At the end of 2018 I purchased my first e-bike, you can read about that here. It was a revelation, particularly given the huge climb I have on my way home, it was literally no sweat riding up that hill. But I just sold it and replaced it with the bike above and I'm as happy as the rock about that! So why did I sell it, read on...
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?