Almost half of bicyclist fatalities in Canada are associated with collisions between cyclists and heavier trucks. Pedestrians are equally vulnerable.
European nations and Japan have mandated the use of sideguards to mitigate against the potential for cyclists or pedestrians to be sucked under the wheels of a truck after a collision, with some noticeably positive results. Canadian transport officials are looking at the proposal to try and understand the association and what other factors are involved in reducing serious injury and fatalities for vulnerable road users like cyclists and pedestrians.
NDP Member of Parliament Olivia Chow, a cyclist herself, has been pushing prescriptive legislation to advance these regulations to protect the lives of cyclists and pedestrians.
A new building in Portland, adjacent to a cycle track facility and designed by the architects to welcome bicycles into the building looks good but has some shortcomings in some features. Hooks for vertical parking are provided rather than more easily usable horizontal space and too many bikes are in the room, increasing exposure for individual bikes to be tampered with by residents or visitors unknown or unfamiliar to some casual or even regular cyclists. The story is generating lots of debate back and forth on the issues since it was profiled on www.bikeportland.org
It’s a useful illustration of the challenges of bike parking at multi-unit residential developments. While the space is warm and inviting, personal security issues need to be better understood and the need to limit access could use some work.
Here’s a link to the story: http://bikeportland.org/2013/01/16/bike-friendly-is-main-selling-point-at-milano-apartments-81975?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:%20BikePortland%20(BikePortland.org)&utm_content=Google%20Reader
This paper found that unimproved streets exhibited the highest rate of cycling injuries as compared with improved routes, confirming patterns established in other studies that indicate both a preference by cyclists and a safety dividend for bike lanes and other infrastructure that supports bicycle.
The Capital Regional that incorporates Victoria and suburban muncipalities on southern Vancouver Island conducts bicycle counts to supplement surveys and other infromation gathered from municipal engineering departments. As the project repeats the value of the information will increase, showing patterns of growth or challenges in the transportation network that need to be addressed. Some local information indicates that roads and routes improved for cycling show dramatic increases in bicycle traffic, confirming the value of infrastructure investments.
Current count data can be found at:
Downtown bike parking project
For the last couple of years the City of Victoria, downtown business, Capital Bike and Walk and other local advocates have been working together to tackle a shortage of good bike parking solutions for people cycling into the city centre.
A change in parking systems and a desire to increase the quality and supply of bike racks brought together an ad hoc committee that developed a new standard design for a signature rack – the new Victoria “V” that you will see in many locations around downtown. The new rack is popping up in places where demand is high and in a couple of locations where on-street “bike corrals” have been assembled to provide parking for bikes in locations where sidewalk space is limited but demand is still high.
Along with the inverted “U” rack – bike rack singles that are found throughout downtown and across the city, hundreds of new spaces have been added to the city’s inventory. Still, bike trips are growing and sidewalks and other public spaces are sometimes crowded with more informal parking – bikes locked to trees, public trash cans, benches, lamp standards and sign posts – sometimes crowding pedestrian space or creating new hazards in the walking environment.
Here’s one of our inverted “U” racks in operation:
Capital Bike and Walk is partnering again with the DVBA to help identify where demand for bike parking exceeds supply of good facilities. We’ll be conducting a two day “snapshot” along downtown streets to find out where the problems are and use this information to help plan new installations to meet more of the bike parking demand and keep our sidewalks clear of obstructions.
Here’s an example of the problems we are trying to solve:
We’re looking for volunteers – 2 or 3 hours of your time over one or another day to help paint the picture for us. Join us for the count – Thursday and Friday, September 27th and 28th. We’ll supply the maps and stuff (bring a clipboard if you have one) to support your efforts and assign people to cover sections of downtown to count bikes – both those on racks and, more importantly, where the informal bike parking problems are evident.
We’ll take that information and feed it into our committee work to identify locations for new installations – whether cluster racks or inverted “U” singles or even a new bike corral or two to help focus placements on where they are needed. Our work and your volunteer assistance can help make your trip downtown more convenient by ensuring a rack space is where you need it, when you need it.
It will also help us grow cycling for transportation – destination facilities like bike racks are important to those who would like to choose cycling but are concerned about the safety and security of their bikes when they come downtown.
Finally, it will help us clean up our sidewalks and public spaces. Putting bikes where they belong helps make our streets safer for everyone – people who walk, those with sight impairments or mobility challenges, and those who work for us keeping our streets clean or our urban trees healthy.
Please come and help:
RSVP to email@example.com
Time and Place:
Thursday/Friday, September 27th/28th
10:30 a.m. meeting time – counts from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Downtown Victoria Business Association Office
20 Centennial Square (northeast corner of the Square at Douglas St.)
Thanks for your help. See you downtown!
Recently released information from U.S. research confirms the relationship between car use and obesity.
Washington State has lately passed legislation requiring drivers undergoing refresher courses as part of traffic violation penalties to endure sessions on sharing the road with cyclists.
Winter bound cities like Madison and Minneapolis are catching up to Portland in capturing a growing share of the commuter travel market.
Good data is a always useful though recent cutbacks to collection in Canada could deprive us of the crucial information we need to confirm the success of our efforts to shift transportation habits to sustainable modes like cycling.