Tag Archives: hornby

Vote Vision Vancouver – Reason #2: Separated Bike Lanes

Dunsmuir Bike Lane Opening Day
Reason #2: Separated Bike Lanes
From a numbers perspective, Vancouver’s separated bike lanes have been a huge success, and continue to be even as the weather cools. However, that hasn’t stopped some hotheads from turning bike lanes into a political issue.

Vision Vancouver deserves full credit for having the courage and conviction to create not one, not two, but three separated bike lanes in downtown Vancouver. They’ve also doubled the cycling budget, added traffic calming to residential neighbourhoods (especially along bike routes), and tendered an RFP for a bike share program.

It’s difficult to pin down the NPA’s position on bike lanes. Suzanne Anton originally voted in favour of the bike lanes, but later rescinded her support. The NPA takes offence at being labelled as anti-cyclist, but have suggested a moratorium on downtown bike lanes, ripping out bike lanes, removing bike lanes during the winter, and licensing cyclists. I’m not sure how to classify their plans as anything but anti-cyclist. They need to read this post: Debunked: Arguments Against Cycling.

The future of Vancouver’s cycling infrastructure will be one of the largest outcomes of this election. If the NPA wins, we could lose the separated bike lanes in the downtown. If Vision wins, we will likely see more bike lanes, a bike-share program, and a continued shift away from automobiles.

5 Bike T-Shirts For Bike to Work Week

Monkeys on Bikes T-shirt Take Life by the Handlebars T-shirt Bike Lanes Make Me Hornby T-shirt Bike Vancouver T-shirt Bikefish T-shirt

Monday: Monkey See Monkey Do Better – Monkey 100
Tuesday: Take Life by the Handlebars – Momentum Magazine
Wednesday: Bike Lanes Make Me Hornby – VACC
Thursday: Bike Vancouver – City of Vancouver
Friday: Bikefish – Autonomie Project

Vancouver’s Separated Bike Lanes – September Update

Bike Lane in the Rain
A quick update on Vancouver’s separated bike lanes. Last month I wrote about how the lanes were “more popular than ever“, and the trend is continuing. The data for September 2011 is now available, and the bike lanes are still rocking.

Continue reading Vancouver’s Separated Bike Lanes – September Update

Vancouver’s Separated Bike Lanes – More Popular Than Ever

Dunsmuir Bike Corral
NOTE: An updated version of this analysis can be found on Spacing Vancouver.

The past few days I’ve had a tough time finding a spot to park my bike at work. The large bike corral at Dunsmuir and Seymour has been jam packed every morning by 9 am. This anecdotal evidence makes me think cycling is on the rise downtown, but it’s nice to see some hard numbers.

Last February, the City of Vancouver published statistics showing the number of cycling trips taken on the new downtown separated bike lanes. I had fun analyzing it, but was limited by the amount of data – there was only 11 months of numbers to crunch. Since then the City has diligently updated and published the stats every month, and now there is finally enough data to see year-over-year changes (at least on Dunsmuir). The results are interesting and encouraging.
Continue reading Vancouver’s Separated Bike Lanes – More Popular Than Ever

Dunsmuir Bike Lane – By The Numbers

A few days ago the City of Vancouver posted the daily statistics for the Dunsmuir and Hornby separated bike lanes (available here). I am the self-appointed data nerd at work, and thought it would be fun to apply some of the same techniques we use to analyze building energy to bike trips.

The first thing I did was go through the data to see if I could determine the driving factors of bike lane usage. The data file contains data from several sensors (located up and down Hornby and Dunsmuir) but I focused on the Dunsmuir viaduct because it had the most data (11 months worth). With only 11 months of data, you can’t do any year-over-year comparisons, but you can start to notice trends.

The first obvious pattern is there is a clear difference between weekday and weekend usage, with volumes nearly doubling Monday-Friday. This makes sense, since the bike lanes provide access to the downtown.

There is also a noticeable seasonal difference in the data, with summer traffic (peaking at 2099 trips per day) doubling the December high of 1025. The driver of this is, as you might guess, weather related. Once I added in weather data from Environment Canada, you can see a strong correlation between average temperature and bike trips.

The next biggest driver of bike trips is the addition of the separated bike lane on Dunsmuir. On March 3 a bike lane was added to the Dunsmuir Viaduct. On June 15, the separated bike lane extending from the viaduct to Hornby was completed, replacing a painted bike lane. It really shifted up usage of the Dunsmuir Viaduct, adding about 500 extra trips per day in the 2nd half of June.

You can build a pretty good linear model that would predict bike lane usage based on the day of the week and the temperature. The outliers you’ll notice are holidays (which have very low usage), fireworks (which were the highest used days) and days with > 3 mm of rain (marked with R) or snow (marked with S). I was surprised that holiday volumes are lower then weekend volumes. Rain and snow are obvious deterrents to cycling, but extreme cold apparently isn’t. On days where the temperature dropped below freezing, but were dry, cycling volumes were on par with days averaging +5 C.

The last question to ask is “is bike usage increasing”? There was a definite jump after the Dunsmuir separated lane bike lane was completed on June 15. Looking at data since then, you need to isolate out weather to make a fair comparison. If you look at months with similar average temperatures (July/August and December/January) there is small, but noticeable growth in cycling volumes. However, it is tough to say if it is a trend or not. Another year of data would really help. After July 2011, we’ll be able to compare the data to July 2010 and do a year-over-year comparison where the infrastructure isn’t changing. That is when we’ll be able to spot growth.

Thanks to the City of Vancouver for providing this data and the separated bike lanes. It is really interesting to see the growth of commuter cyclists in Vancouver.

Update: Hirtopolis addresses the issue of data fudging and anomalous readings in the city’s data.

Bike Lanes Make Me Hornby T-Shirts

Bike Lanes Make Me Hornby T-Shirt

The t-shirt we’ve all been waiting for. Someone has finally created it.

Fairware will be selling organic t-shirts with “Bike Lanes Make Me Hornby” printed on the front at the Vision Vancouver Pub Night on October 20th @ The Charles. Full details here.

I’ve never been to a Vision Vancouver event, but I might show up just to get a t-shirt.

How Councillor Suzanne Anton Lost My Vote

I used to have a lot of respect for Councillor Suzanne Anton. She is the lone representative of the once mighty NPA and she gets a lot of pressure from anti-environmentalists to oppose bike lanes. Until recently, she resisted those voices and supported cycling infrastructure (she is after all a dedicated cyclist).

In August, after the Dunsmuir vote, I sent Councillor Anton an email thanking her for supporting cycling and letting her know I’d vote for her in the next election. The beauty of Vancouver’s electoral system is I get 10 votes, and I like to mix it up. I received this response:

So thx for your support and yes I will continue to be a strong supporter of cycling.

On Tuesday night she voted in favour of the Hornby bike lane, ensuring the vote was unanimous. Everyone knew that the Hornby lane would be approved, but no one was sure if Councillor Anton would vote in favour. I was pleasantly surprised, and told a few people on Wednesday how important it was to vote for her in the next election because cycling shouldn’t be a partisan issue and stressed how important it is to have strong voices within the NPA who support cycling.

However, this morning she sent out a press release attempting to rescind her support for the project.

Personally, I feel betrayed and disappointed that she has bowed to pressure and rescinded her support from a project she likely agrees with. She has constantly refused to attack the bike lane, instead attacking “the process”. I’ve noticed a few other people recently say: “I support bike lanes in general, just not this bike lane because of the process”. I call bullshit. Who cares about the process? Honestly. There are only two reasons to oppose “the process”:

  1. you oppose the bike lane, because you don’t cycle and you’re worried it might make driving more inconvenient. Yet, you don’t want to be a curmudgeon or offend cyclists. So you pretend to support bike lanes “in general”. How very NIMBY.
  2. you secretly support the bike lane, but you’re trying to score cheap political points and appeal to people who oppose the bike lane. Classic political maneuver when you’re in opposition and the governing party does something you like. It is opposition for the sake of opposition, and it makes politicians look like cynical liars.

I think Councillor Anton falls into the 2nd group, and it saddens me. Let this be my official press release rescinding my support of her.