Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Letter of thanks to Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows from HUB

Honourable Mayors, Councilors and municipal staff:

On behalf of HUB, Your Cycling Connection (formerly Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition), we would like to extend thanks to the District of Maple Ridge and City of Pitt Meadows for a number of recent cycling & pedestrian infrastructure projects that are visibly and tangibly improving these modes of transportation in our communities.

It is the view of HUB, that a safe and contiguous network of cycling and pedestrian routes from east-to-west and north-to-south in our community would act to encourage people to consider transportation options other than the automobile for "some" of their local trips. With safety being paramount in the minds of current and considering cyclists, some form of separation (whether by space or physical barrier) from travelling vehicles is always preferred to the situation of a cyclist hugging the edge of a busy, fast-moving roadway. It is also recognized that where vehicular traffic can be slowed to 30km/hour or less using traffic-calming methods, cyclists can safely integrated with vehicles. 

In addition to existing cycling infrastructure, recently completed or currently under-construction in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows we see a number of projects which should serve to encourage people to safely venture out on their bikes for more trips of exercise and health, recreation, school, business and shopping. 

Among the recent projects in Maple Ridge:
• 240th Street, painted cycling lanes on both sides
• 232nd Street, painted cycling lanes on both sides
• 122nd Avenue/Mountainview Crescent, traffic-calmed roadway and broad Multi-User-Pathway (MUP) on both sides.
• Abernathy Way, separated MUP 
• 227th Street, broad multi-user sidewalks on both sides
• 117th Avenue/Thorne Avenue, signed shared roadway and traffic-calming
• Hammond to Pitt Meadows recreational trail  

Recent projects in Pitt Meadows:
• New Pedestrian and Cycling Master Plan
• Kennedy Road MUP
• McLean Park access
• HUB also recognizes Pitt Meadows' significant pre-existing cycling network and investments and their leadership in this regard.

Thanks again for all your contributions to this essential piece of the local transportation puzzle and we look forward to continued work toward a safe, inter-connecting and well-used cycling and pedestrian network.

Rick Halas, Ivan Chow, Jackie Chow, Alex Pope, Peter Jongbloed, Barry Bellamy, Dave Rush
HUB, Your Cycling Connection

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Did you think the Dutch already have it all?

Well, think again. Forever searching for further possible improvements, the Dutch are considering installing heated bike paths. Every year during the winter months, thousands of cyclists are injured when they fall on slippery bike paths.

During the summer, asphalt collectors would be collecting heat which would be stored underground and used in the winter months to heat the bike paths. The cost of installing heated paths is estimated to be between 30,000 and 40,000 euros, which is the same cost as repaving a path.

Statistics show that between 5 and 10% of cyclist accidents are due to slippery paths, and the cost associated with these injuries is considerable. Money will be saved on hospital bills, no salt is required to prevent ice on the paths, more people will bike, and there will be less cars on the road.

Thanks, Maple Ridge, for new paths

HUB Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows' latest article in The News:

Published: November 09, 2012

Metro Vancouver is doing some major work in Maple Ridge, constructing new water mains from the pump station in the southeast corner of Meadow Gardens Golf Course, just north of Lougheed Highway by the mall. As well, a multi-use path will be built on the south side of 128th Avenue, from 210th to 224th streets. The district has just completed paving a multi-use path on the north side of 128th Avenue/Abernethy Way between 224th and 232nd streets. It looks awesome.

Thank you, Maple Ridge council.


Alex Pope has been documenting the progress on the construction of the path along Abernathy. You can see his photo series here.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Bikes are for everyone... not just cyclists

A few times a year I have the opportunity to bike in Vancouver. Thanks to the many improvements in recent years that have made getting around on a bike safer and more fun, Vancouver is really on the forefront of the growing popularity in Metro Vancouver of the bicycle as a way to get around. But when I'm pedaling around downtown Vancouver, with one "cyclist" after the other passing me in a hurry on his way to or from work, I kind of feel like a different species sometimes, being on an upright bike and taking my time to enjoy my ride. Granted, when I bike in Vancouver I'm not on my way to work. But when I lived in the Netherlands and biked to work, I also had an upright bike and didn't go particularly fast. Not fast enough to break into a sweat, unless I was late for work. It was just unheard of in the Netherlands - at least in those days - to take a shower once you got to work. I suspect not much has changed in that respect.

In the Netherlands, I never felt like I was a "cyclist" - I just happened to use my bike to go wherever I needed to go. Here in Canada, I'm a cyclist. Don't ask me why.

Actually, here's a great article from the Post Carbon Institute's Energy Bulletin that explains quite well why you don't have to be a "cyclist" to ride a bike.

Cycling boom in Berlin. Why?

Everwhere where politicians and planners start to take cycling seriously and listen to the concerns of cyclists relating to safety, and consequently start building separated infrastructure, the numbers of cyclists increase dramatically. What's more, you'll start seeing a different mix of cyclists: more seniors, more kids, more women. This is what's been happening in Berlin, where hundreds of miles of separated bike paths and lanes have been added to the cycling network in recent years, according to this article from BBC News Magazine. People feel perfectly safe on their bikes, and most don't wear helmets.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Two recently added "Streetfilms" on Vancouver cycling

• Perfect match: Metro Vancouver melds Bikes and Transit

• Vancouver's Velo Vision: Safe Biking For All Ages
From "no way, I will not cycle... to it's like being a kid again (on a bike)"

Friday, November 2, 2012

Cargobikes on the rise

I haven't seen any in our neck of the woods yet, but in many parts of the world cargo bikes, which come in all shapes and sizes, are becoming more popular. Just like regular bikes, they're a great way to save money on transportation and enable you to carry more groceries, people, or whatever else you need to transport, and get your exercise at the same time. And it's fun! I tried a Bullitt cargo bike last year. It has a bucket in the front, and it has two wheels. It took a bit of getting used to, but you get the hang of it pretty quick. Not sure how wobbly it might be when it's got a full load though. Anyway, here's a good article from Next American City about cargo bikes and their rising popularity.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Post "Sandy" New York City biking and walking rule in the city

Mass transit is a way of life here in New York City. The subway is the artery that allows the city to survive at its famous pace. But with significant water damage from Superstorm Sandy, the New York City subway is still not running. Buses are back, but with limited routes.
With people getting back to normal following the one-day hurricane holiday on Tuesday, that meant today was a work day. And without the subway; that meant many New Yorkers used their feet to get there. While streets were jam packed with cars, taxis and buses — most of them going nowhere fast — the bike paths and sidewalks were inundated with flowing human traffic.
I rolled over to the Queensboro Bridge to see how it played out. It was fascinating to see so much human powered commuting in action. It was so jaw-dropping, it became an event in and of itself. Even locals stopped to take photos of the scene.