Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bikeability index pushes for cyclist-friendly planning

Vancouver, New Westminster, Burnaby top list; Maple Ridge among the worst


Thursday, June 23, 2011

North Alouette Greenway Bridge Crossing Official Opening

UPDATE: Please note that the organized mass group walk/run/bike on Saturday June 25th from Maple Ridge Park to the North Alouette River Greenway Bridge is CANCELLED. The Alouette Valley Association just advised that due to liability issues, we will not be traveling as an organized group. Please make your own way down - along 132 Ave. and right on Park Lane - to the North Alouette River Greenway for 10:30 am. For those who prefer to ride in a group, feel free to meet at the park to start riding together from there at 10:00 a.m.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Discovery Ride #3 - recap

Rain, argh!@#! June IS a Fall month in the Fraser Valley, afterall.
In an effort to avoid yet another cancellation in our Discovery Ride series (Ride #2 was cancelled due to rain), a courageous group of 5 cyclist set out in heavy mist from Hume Park last Saturday on the 3rd Discovery Ride of The Central Valley Greenway (New West to Vancouver). Within 5 km of the start, the group was rewarded with a ceasing of precipitation and clearing skies. While the initial rain certainly did discourage most from attending and experiencing the CVG for the first time, those participating were very happy with the ride. What is worth praising is the City of Vancouver's creation of protected, urban bikeways on the Burrard Bridge, Hornby Street, Dunsmuir Street and Carral Street. These routes have enabled safe & enjoyable cycling thru the very core of the city for all ages and abilities. My wife, who is notoriously nervous cycling in city environments, was extremely happy with these bikeway improvements. 

Stanley Cup riot - that's how we show disappointment in Vancouver. Next time, use your words...
Post-it "Thanks to the VPD".
The big metallic ball, and the massive prickly thing which is BC Place Stadium.
The Great Wall of Riot Sorrows at The Bay.

CVG - Great cycling infrastructure, Vancouver, but not as nice as Victoria's Lochside Trail, I'm just sayin'.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Alouette Greenway Bridge Official Opening Event - June 25

From Alouette Valley Association
(The new bridge is located north of the Equestrian Centre on 132nd Ave., and crosses the North Alouette River).
On June 25th at 11:00 am the Alouette Green Way Bridge will be officially opened. The event will draw politicians from all levels of government as well as press.
The multi-purpose bridge  provides a recreational link between 136 Ave and the dykes and equestrian centre.
Although many have felt that the bridge is both expensive and not that useful, now it is in place, it can provide a very important building block for  recreational usage  for our area.
As you all know we have been promoting our Recreational Roadway and Wildlife Corridor plan for several years now. The opening of the bridge will give us the opportunity to show that this proposal is both viable and much needed.
The Recreational Roadway proposal will solve many of the issues that we are facing in our neighbourhood.
- Make our streets safe again
- Bring back the lifestyle that we have lost to traffic
- Help protect our wildlife
- Recreational Roadway proposal
- Provides much needed recreational opportunities for us, Silver Valley and all of Ridge-Meadows
- Provides a safe linkages between our parks
- Provides great economic opportunities
- Will stem the ever increasing tide of traffic
Although over the past 3 years we have had some success in promoting the plan, we need to do MORE to make it a reality.  Change is not easy and the district has many competing agendas. They MUST be convinced that the plan is both needed and is widely supported.
The bridge opening is our opportunity to show to the politicians that we are serious and are not willing to continue down that path that they have planned for our streets. We are NOT willing to become a high speed traffic connector to Silver Valley.

On June 25th we need everyone to come to the opening to show their support. 
Starting from Maple Ridge Park at 9.00 we will bike, run and walk to the bridge opening from the park along 132 Ave to Park Lane and the bridge .  Join us at the park or along the way. We will be using a pilot car for safety. 
Haney Horsemen are planning to bring at least 20 horses and riders to the opening. We will confirm their route shortly.
Please invite your friends and make a fun day of it. The district will provide refreshments. We will also be inviting other groups such as the Silver Valley Neighbourhood Association.
Please check our Website for updates prior to the event. www.avalley.ca
Recreational Roadway Links are here
Alouette Valley Association

Friday, June 10, 2011

Albion School Family Bike Festival

This afternoon the Bike to School team of the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition organized a Family Bike Festival at Albion Elementary School. Some 60 kids showed up with their bikes - far exceeding expectations - to decorate their bikes, to learn more about bike safety, and to have some fun maneouvring their bikes around and between pilons. After all the stations with various bike exercises were completed, the group went for a ride through the neighbourhood, bringing into practice the things that they had just learned. The kids got to take home some neat prizes. This was the first time such an event was put on at a school in Maple Ridge, and it was a big success! Hopefully this fun afternoon will lead to more kids starting to ride their bikes to school, with parents taking over the role of encouraging their kids to pedal to school on their own power. It would be nice to see similar programs being run in other schools in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.


Vancouver: Parklane Homes new River District urban development on East Fraserlands area of Vancouver. Consultants included Andres Duany one of the founding members of the "New Urbanist" planning/architectural movement. Access to the development (just beginning) is by way of a "narrowed" roadway (2 lanes) and tree-lined bikeway and pedestrian sidewalk ON BOTH SIDES of car roadway! Check out Duany's website - www.dpz.com - for dozens of examples throughout the world of sound and sustainable urban developments (greenfield, brownfield, infill, etc). 

Pitt Meadows: Now that's the way to build a bike path! Again, congratulations to Pitt Meadows. On the west side of Harris Rd. Park ball diamond and adjacent to a parking area, Pitt Meadows creates a green "buffer" between the peds/cyclists and moving cars. Great job!

Kelowna: Gorgeous promenade/bikeway along the city's "created" waterfront. It's a people place - although I waited for all the people to pass before taking the photos.


Kelowna: State-of-the-art separated bikeway along Abbot St., one block off the lakeshore extending south of the city centre for a number of kilometers. Note green separations and tree barriers between the car roadway and the pedestrian sidewalk on the right. Ahhhh, and shade in the summer. Great work City of Kelowna! 

Victoria: The famed Lochside Trail. Thirty Three kilometers of biker-heaven-on-earth extending from Swartz Bay to downtown Victoria. Mostly separated from cars and safe for the whole family. On the right of photo is Patricia Bay Highway, which is followed for a short portion of the distance. Equally amazing and enjoyable is the even longer Galloping Goose Trail extending over 50 km from Victoria to Sooke. A must-ride on any cyclists travel plan! Both trails are massively popular and the Victoria cycle mode-share is remarkable. Bikes everywhere!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

inspirational cycling advocate

For those of you who haven't seen this hilarious video yet, I just have to post it, because it's so powerful. It really shows what cycling can mean for young children. It gives them a sense of freedom, independence, and confidence. I won't waste more words on it, because the video really speaks for itself:

Friday, June 3, 2011

Maple Ridge Hall of Shame

Both the Times and the News this week reported about public consultation that was undertaken by the District of Maple Ridge to figure out what to do with the grassy area beside Memorial Peace Park. Fortunately the overwhelming majority of people who gave their input favored the idea of keeping it green. I think it's an excellent idea to preserve it. Once we build on it, it'll be gone, maybe not forever, but for a long time to come.  As Maple Ridge grows, so will the events that take place in Memorial Peace Park. The extra park space will undoubtedly be much appreciated in the future. With some embellishments, it should nicely complement the already nicely landscaped existing park area.

I wish though that someone would buy that unsightly parking lot on the north side of Memorial Peace Park and turn it into a nice restaurant with an outdoor terrace. What is the owner waiting for? I would like to nominate this person, whoever he is, for the Maple Ridge Hall of Shame. When the District puts so much effort and money into beautifying our town core, I think Maple Ridge tax payers should be able to expect a little more respect from this guy! Is he  another absentee property owner who just collects the rent for the parking garage and couldn't care less about what the people of Maple Ridge want for their town?
Memorial Peace Park is a lovely place to go on a sunny day for a picnic or just to sit on a bench and relax. But for a place this lovely, you just don't see the numbers of people that you would expect on a nice sunny day. I think that's because there's still something lacking. For sure it would help to replace this parking garage with something else. Whether it's an eatery or a coffee house - a little more interesting and exotic perhaps than a Tim Horton's, Starbucks or MacDonald's - or something else that makes it more of a meeting place, I don't know. It should be something with windows, and not a boring, uninviting blind wall. Even murals don't cut it. It has to be a place bustling with activity, with real people, maybe with music. And please, not another bank building.
Why doesn't someone take advantage of the wonderful view Memorial Peace Park would offer? Sitting on a terrace with a view of Memorial Peace Park certainly beats sitting on a terrace with a view - and the noise - of cars driving by on Lougheed Highway. Can you think of any restaurant with a terrace that doesn't face a road or a parking lot? It's possible that there are some in Maple Ridge, but I haven't seen any.
Well, maybe we just need to have patience a little longer. It does seem that things are finally starting to happen in Maple Ridge...

Bike to Work Week photo

left to right: MLA Marc Dalton, Ivan Chow, Rick Halas

Memorial Peace Park station, Friday June 3