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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Vancouver- a bike city?

It was so exciting when the bike lanes went it. I imagined life like back in my home country with masses of bikes everywhere. Going out for dinner with 2 or 3 of us on a bike- ok we aren't in Amsterdam but it sounded so good. Now, driving across the Burrard bridge or Downtown streets I see an empty lane with planters alongside. At most I have counted 3 bicycles. " If you build it they will come" hmmmm .....second part of that is......
 " if its not raining, hailing or snowing"
which... doesn't leave alot of free days to ride. But the idea was right and the direction was right so how can  we fix it. Whats part 2?
Perhaps they could be convertible  lanes with winter driving use and summer  full bike lane. People will argue that its dangerous and drivers will get confused but we have championed the mixed use lane with counterflow on our Lions Gate bridge and tunnel. Its not ideal but maybe an option.

Perhaps we could have bikes at various positions in the city that you rent and take out of the rack with your credit card and can return anywhere else into another secure rack. This way if it poured in the morning you could jump on a bus and when the sun came out you could do your errands and afternoon commute on a bike. These systems already exist in other Cities.
 But the darn helmet. If we could make the lanes safer with less juxtipositioning with vehicles maybe helmets wouldnt be necessary? I am hearing the backlash from paramedics already..... but sometimes we have to get out of our paradigm of thinking and go WAY out, to be able to come back in and think of solutions.

On the North Shore Mayor Mussatto tried in vain to get a bike elevator approved so that people cycling lower North Van could easily access central and upper Lonsdale, lets just say he is still trying. The system was from Denmark I believe,  an innovative track that carried your bike up hill - with a little swipe of your CC of course.

The coolest new option to get people on a bike  a foldable electric bike. The question is will they let us ride this in the bike lane? I hope so.You will get there faster so you wont get as wet!. The exercise will come from carting it around. And the bonus is, that at approximately $3600 USD its way cheaper than a car and now you can convert that 2 car garage into..... a laneway house!
hows that for a segway... hey, Segwey thats another option and another story.......

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