Another empty bike lane – cyclists are no-show on Burrard Bridge

Despite all the money poured by Vision Mayor Robertson and all the hype feverishly pitched by Vision Councillor Meggs there are no increases in cycling volumes on high profile bike routes.

Review of the City of Vancouver Downtown Separated Bicycle Lanes Status Report released this July shows that cycling volumes on most established separated bike routes are flat to declining.

source: City of Vancouver,  Downtown Separated Bicycle Lanes Status Report, Summer 2011, Appendix A

Vancouver taxpayers are being fed arrogant hype claiming increases in cycling as a result of separated bike lanes being installed while City’s own data shows decreases in cycling on main cycling routes like Burrard Bridge or the Ontario Bike Route.

Disappearing Cyclists – City reports fewer cyclists on a popular bike route

Ontario Bike Route is a popular bike route in Vancouver running north/south through the heart of the City.  Comparing spring and summer months of 2009 and 2010 shows a 15% decline in cycling along that cycling route.

In 5 out of six months there was a reduction in cycling.  Spring months show double-digit drops in cycling exceeding 30% in April of 2010 when compared to 2009.

ICBC reports more injuries after bike lanes were installed

Local media brings to light an ICBC report showing that Vancouver commuters – travelling by bus, in a taxi, carrying deliveries or in private cars – are getting injured more frequently after segregated bike lanes were introduced.  Over the four year period before bike lanes were installed, there were nearly 150 accidents a year resulting in about 50 casualties a year.  Since the bike lanes were installed, more than 60 commuters are injured every year.  This represents a 31% and a 20% increase in accident casualties in 2009 and 2010 respectively.
Getting used to the new layout is not the answer.  A full year after segregated bike lanes were installed, in the second half of 2010, there were still 25% more accidents than in the years leading up to the installation of segregated bike lanes.
The reason is simple:  Introducing segregated bike lanes makes intersections more confusing.  And confusion leads to accidents.  Traffic studies throughout the world show that.  But City Hall chooses to ignore those facts.

Free education – Ask and you will be answered

Vision Councilors Heather Deal and Andrea Reimer are reported to oppose investigating injuries on the Burrard Bridge.
Coun. Deal and Reimer are using the “enormous” cost of such a study as an excuse for ignoring the safety of commuters.
In fact, all it takes to find out about injuries to Vancouver commuters on the Burrard Bridge is to ask ICBC –ICBC provides the data free of charge.
Unfortunately for the 95% of commuters that travel by bus, car and taxi, deliveries and services , ICBC report shows 31% increase in injuries in 2009 and 20% increase in 2010.
The same Coun. Deal and Reimer had no problem wasting millions of dollars taken away from our libraries, parks and emergency services on unused, dangerous and wasteful separated bike lanes.
This underlines the incompetence of Vision Councillor Heather Deal and Andrea Reimer who would spend enormous amounts of your tax dollars rather then ask a simple question.

Hornby street bike lanes not popular with local residents

Local papers contradict Vision propaganda that separated bike lanes are accepted in Vancouver.
Vancouver Courier writes that more than five in ten Vancouverites want bike lanes out of Hornby Street and only one in four supports the trial.

It is not surprising considering an increase in accidents on Burrard and Pacific after bicycle lanes were installed there.

Electric Shock – electric bikes as expensive to “fill up” as a compact car

As Vancouver commuters are stuck in traffic jams created by the cycling visionaries at City Hall who have carved up major streets to install virtually empty bicycle lanes, they might be tempted to get on a bike and head downtown.
Unfortunately, downtown is out of cycling range for an average Vancouver commuter. BC Cycling Coalition reports (on page 15) that an average cycling trip is 3.2 km, the distance from Robson Square to theVancouver City Hall, while the majority of Vancouver commuters live further away.
If good old fashioned pedal power is too onerous, a plausible alternative might seem to be the electric bike. Lured by the promise of zero emissions and no operating costs, a commuter may be tempted to hand over more than two thousand dollars for the chance to laugh at the suckers in their Honda Civics that pay 7 cents a kilometer in fuel costs (according to Yahoo Autos).
However, in reading the fine print one may suffer an electric shock.  Electric bike batteries last less than 15,000 km and cost a thousand dollars to replace.  Simple math tells one that a dollar for every 15 kilometers travelled on your electric bike, or 6.7 cents per kilometer, is virtually the same amount as the fuel cost to commuters in their Honda Civics.  Even ignoring the fact that Civic commuters can accomodate 5 passengers, easily reach destinations more than 20 kilometers away and refuel their vehicles in minutes rather than the 4 hours every day needed to recharge an electric bike, it is obvious that there is no such thing as a free ride.
Unlike Mayor Robertson and the bobbing heads in his chamber that are blowing millions on bike lanes by removing funding from libraries, parks and essential services, a sensible person examines the costs involved.