Wednesday 11 August 2010

Closing lanes for bikes

If the Winnipeg 'bike lobby' convinced City Hall to close off an entire lane of traffic over a bridge to downtown, like they did in Vancouver, I wonder if Marty Gold's noggin would explode?

The city recently voted to make the change permanent.


Paul said...

Errr, don't take the Norwood Bridge too often?

cherenkov said...

That bridge has always been like that since it was rebuilt, so a car lane was never taken away.

However, the Norwood Bridge is indeed a problem. Not so much going downtown, but going south into Norwood. They need two lanes going straight to St.Mary's.

The Great Canadian Talk Show said...

I lived in Vancouver and am familiar with that bridge. At least in Vancouver they have independent bike counts, mild weather, and genuine need for the accomodation, unlike Winnipeg.

Orange Rod said...

They should close many lanes of traffic all over the city for bikes, just to piss off Marty/Black Rod.

We do need a sustained effort to get cars off the road.

cherenkov said...

It's all about balance. The jury's out as to whether they struck the right one in Vancouver. I have heard from somebody in Van. the bike traffic on that bridge is low, despite what the stats might show.

We should encourage active transport, but need to accomodate cars. The more you close off lanes and so on, the more cars pollute the atmosphere by going nowhere. Cars are getting cleaner and more efficient all the time, but driving 5 mph is not efficient in any car except electric.

cherenkov said...

Oh, and to save Marty the effort of posting again: he is NOT the Black Rod.

Christian Cassidy said...

A bit like a chicken - egg debate. If you don't provide the routes nobody will use them. It takes a while for people to get into the habit of biking to the store or work. It just doesn't happen overnight.

Perhaps for some projects there should be a timeline. A year or two trial to see if they were that effective or if a bigger / smaller thinner lane or other alternative could be tried instead.

I agree with offering alternative transport routes but agree that not 100% of them are going to be a success.

Gustav Nelson said...

Governments need to stop wasting everyone else's money on these questionable projects. If people want to bike to work, they will bike to work, otherwise the vast majority of people have spoken and said they prefer their automobiles.
If there were tolls/fees for using them so their costs were covered, then great, but other than that all that is being created is more congestion and less money being spent on actual traffic flow improvement.

cherenkov said...

"If people want to bike to work, they will bike to work"

I partially disagree, Gustav. I would consider biking to work if I didn't have to co-mingle with sleep deprived and angry drivers. Mr.C is right that people's habits may change if they're given a better way to get around by bike. The trick is to do that without fucking up traffic flow too much, or spending a gazillion dollars. Despite the suspect consultation process, some of the current projects look promising, like the Archibald path.

(Note: according to Firefox's spell check, "gazillion" is a real word.)

Gustav Nelson said...

Gazillion comes right after a bazillion right???

There will probably be few that do change over, but the vast majority will still drive. I'm not against bike paths, just against social engineering. Look at hybrids. Governments all over were offering credits and rebates if people bought them, but high gas prices were the reason they were becoming popular in the first place.
It's just a bad way of spending money.

Anonymous said...

Gustav, i agree with you. Only a very small percentage will take bikes to work. But having a brt/LRT going down portage ave to St. James would get more cars off the roads.

Also, the province should allow dual licensing for people who want to use a smaller car to commute.

Soon we will all have personal EV's for City commuting.

This biking issue, basically what is really a leisure activity, has taken a life of its own. I can't see why we are having all this angst over something less than 1% of 1% of the population think its a reliable and efficient mode of transportation in Winnipeg

Ed said...

Gustav, thanks for speaking for the "vast majority". Initially you just saved me time, no longer having to chime in, because I am awed and overwhelmed by the vastness of the group for whom you speak.

But since I'm here, there's much more waste in government to worry about than paltry active transportation projects. This single person would like to see more and better coordinated routes.

The Great Canadian Talk Show said...

Thanks Cherenkov.

Hey cremesicle: I'm still waiting for you to personally apologize to me for your racist comment last week. You apologized to your readers, but not to the target of the insult.

No email address, no apology, no credibility.

unclebob said...

The eastbound path going into the Archibald route does not appear to take into account the natural flow of traffic (including bike traffic)
I have the counts to prove it

cherenkov said...

Bob: which is the eastbound path that you're referring to? The part between Guilbault and Tremblay?

Archibald is a good North-South corridor for people living in that area of the city.

unclebob said...

Eastbound is the Eugenie stretch where vehicular, pedestrian and bike traffic is almost five to one north south versus east west

The traffic calming measures will inconvenience a lot of people unneccessarily

In my personal view the pedestrians are more at risk

I further cannot see a dedicated bike lane without parking removal as oncoming traffic already struggles to pass each other when parking is present. In particular stetches like between Tache and St Marys you must stop at an opening and wait for some juggling to get by.

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