Thursday, December 27, 2007

We need bike-activated stop lights at Ontario and 16th!

Non-local readers can ignore this post, it's mostly just a convenient place for me to display some photos that I want people to see...

I just sent the email pasted in below to the City of Vancouver. If anyone else is interested in this issue, their email address is cycling@vancouver.ca and is listed on the website.

"Before getting into my rant I just want to say that overall, cycling in Vancouver is very pleasant. I’ve never lived more than 4 blocks from a designated bike route, and despite inevitable conflicts with motorists, cycling here feels pretty safe compared to the UK.

However, there’s one point in my daily commute that scares the living daylights out of me on a regular basis. I cycle North on the Ontario bike route in the mornings, and South in the evenings. The intersection at 16th Avenue is terrifying as there are no bike-activated lights to stop the traffic on 16th. We are forced to rely on the good will of drivers to let us over the road, and let me tell you that this is in short supply during rush hour! Heading South, it is possible to get off your bike, onto the sidewalk, and use the pedestrian crossing (which also does not have an actual stop light, just the flashing orange beacons that many motorists ignore). Even then it can sometimes take a while to get across. Heading North, even this is not a realistic option. The problem is compounded by the increased amount of car traffic using the bike routes due to construction on Cambie. The moveable “local traffic only” signs that are supposed to stop this from happening are always ignored and often moved off the road entirely.

Is there any possibility of installing bike-activated stop lights to let us across 16th? Ontario is a well-used bike route and I’m sure there are lots of people out there who would be very grateful if this were to go ahead.

I’ve posted some photos of the chaos at this intersection on my blog at http://vwxynot.blogspot.com/2007/10/we-need-bike-activated-stop-lights-at.html

I’ve previously blogged about the problems of increased car traffic on the bike
routes: http://vwxynot.blogspot.com/2007/10/open-letter-to-motorists-of-vancouver.html

Thank you in advance"
Photos:

Ontario @ 16th, looking North. Notice that the "Local Traffic Only" sign has been pushed to the side of the road. It's actually unusual that this one is so well positioned and visible, it's usually on the sidewalk or lying on its side. Or both. Also notice the staggered nature of the intersection. The current pedestrian crossing is on the far side of the road you can see continuing onwards on the left.


Ontario @ 16th, looking South #1. This sign has also been pushed to one side. You can see the pedestrian crossing sign on the right of the photo.


Ontario @ 16th, looking South #2. I waited a minute or two before taking this second photo, the black car trying to turn left (East) onto 16th did not even move in that time. This intersection is frustrating for everyone.


Hope this works...

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