Friday, March 28, 2014

Column The News: ‘I have more money in my pocket and am healthier, too’

My latest column in the Maple Ridge News:

Posted Mar 27, 2014

As I was parking my bike in front of municipal hall recently, an elderly lady was unlocking her bike.

As I often do with fellow riders, we had a little bike talk. She told me she could no longer drive her car because she didn’t pass her last driving test. So now she bikes to get around.

“You wouldn’t believe how much money I get to keep in my pocket,” she said. “And I’m much healthier, too.”

I love these types of conversations, which I’d never have if I solely depended on my car to get around.

I was at municipal hall to take a look at the draft transportation plan.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

The cost of bicycle vs. car infrastructure/transit/bridges

Often people claim that we can't afford to build bicycle infrastructure. This myth is busted in this Treehugger blog post by Zachara Shahan: 1 mile of a protected bike lane is 100x cheaper than 1 mile of roadway, with an article from the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and a mindblowing chart from PeopleForBikes.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Column The News: Help designing a better 'multi-use' path

My latest column in the Maple Ridge News:

Since the installation of the multi-use path along Lougheed Highway between 216th and Laity streets, I’ve heard various comments from cyclists about its design and safety.
The strong-and-fearless-type road cyclists mostly said they’d rather be on the road with the cars than on the path, which actually makes them feel less safe.
One of the main concerns was that the path is bi-directional. If you install a bi-directional path – with relatively little traffic – along a highway with a massive amount of car and truck traffic, there may be some problems. Especially if the path is interspersed with driveways, where cars entering and exiting have to cross the path. And in particular when drivers exiting the driveways have to try and merge into an unending stream of fast moving cars.

RCMP advises against helmet/lights enforcement

At Council Workshop on March 3 - after receiving an excellent staff report based on feedback by the RCMP and the Social Planning Advisory Committee - Council discussed whether it was a good idea to follow up on Coun. Hogarth's suggestion back in November to start cracking down on cyclists who don't wear a helmet and don't use lights.

See article in The News: "Police tell council, can't pick on cyclists".

132nd Ave. Recreational Roadway

I looks like the "improvements" that the District has so far made to 132nd Ave. between 232nd and 224th Streets are not making everyone happy. A gravel path, to be separated from the roadway by a fence, doesn't work for wheelchair users and road cyclists. Once the fence is in place, the narrower car lane makes it more dangerous for them. According to Engineering, once the gravel surface has been compacted, it should be fine.

See this article in The News of Feb. 28, 2014L:

Road shoulder for hooves not wheels

Maple Ridge sit skier Kevin Priebe just won two medals in the BC Winter Games, and now he’s going to take on district hall.
In building new paths along 132nd Avenue, the District of Maple Ridge has forgotten to plan for people in wheelchairs, says Priebe.
For three years he has been on the district’s municipal advisory committee on accessibility. He has both life experience and has been gaining formal expertise in municipal planning for wheelchair access. He also lives  on 132nd Avenue, near the intersection with 224th Street.