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Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Archive for January 21st, 2014

Calming Point Grey

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I did not get an invitation to the event yesterday morning, but I saw it on tv later. By the time I got there – early afternoon – everything was calm and peaceful again.

"Chip Wilson Way"

The NPA organized protest at the Point Grey closure left behind this reminder that Councillor George Affleck accused Vision Vancouver of being politically motivated – not to provide a bikeway but remove traffic in a neighbourhood populated by wealthy Vision supporters. He also pointed out that the Mayor’s own home is nearby – which he claimed as “interesting”
see www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/irate-kits-reside… for raw footage of the interview. It was not broadcast in its entirety.

Affleck made himself look very silly by announcing that if an NPA Council is elected this year, this scheme would be removed. Deciding that removing through traffic from a residential street will not work before the idea had had any time to be observed seems foolish. He will of course be proved wrong simply because of the law of urban traffic – it expands and contracts to fill the space available. Just as protected bike lanes on Burrard Bridge – and elsewhere in downtown – have not produced the traffic disasters predicted for them, neither will this one. Life in this neighbourhood will have been improved considerably – the connection of Tatlow Park to Volunteer Park across what is now a street is a brilliant idea and one which has been requested by the people who live in and visit the area for many years. The map below shows what has actually been implemented.

Screen Shot 2014-01-20 at 4.43.06 PM

It really is very modest. For people driving cars, there is still access to every property, park and facility. The map is from the City web site  and there is also an explanation here.

Even so I saw one car driver decide to drive the wrong way along the one way section and another make an illegal right turn through a No Entry (except bikes) sign. Quite what actual impact doing a U turn at high speed is supposed to convey I have no idea. Shouting at the flag people who were protecting city workers installing the new traffic devices seems even sillier.

UPDATE I recommend an article in Huffington Post by a local cyclist which looks into the realities of bike lanes versus the politics.

Point Grey Road was never designed to be an arterial. The road became a “rat run”. Using Alma as the connection it allowed people moving between the western end of  West Side to avoid 4th Avenue to get through Cornwall to Burrard. It wasn’t actually much faster if you drive at  legal speeds. Point Grey was already signed at 30 km/hr – and no-one seemed to comply with that. The process of adjustment to the loss of  what was seen as a “short cut” will be rapid. Within the next few days, trip making will have been adjusted. Suggesting otherwise is an insult to the intelligence of the drivers!  The international experience (rtf) of evaporating traffic (pdf) is extensive.

I have uploaded a set of photos to flickr. They are shown here in order – so on the map above they run left to right – or west (from Jericho) to east (to MacDonald)

Entrance to Jericho Beach

Entrance to Jericho Beach

Angle parking to the left has been removed and replaced by the bikeway which then turns into the park to connect up to the seashore route.

Jericho Park

The reverse angle to the previous shot. It looks like the angle parking will be eliminated – except perhaps for the lifeguards. There is a turning area at the the dead end, and paid parking (summer only) to the left.

City Gradall

Bike lane construction replacing angle parking

Bike lane construction

Wallace St to the left

Highbury Street

Highbury Street

Hastings Mill Park to the left – protected two way bike path constructed – angle parking replaced by parallel parking

Hastings Mill Park

Hastings Mill Park

Alma Street

Alma Street

One way section east from Alma

One way section east from Alma

Centre line removed

Centre line removed

Collingwood

Collingwood

Waterloo

Waterloo

No Entry except bicycles
Looking west at Waterloo

Blenheim

Blenheim

Traffic diverter: eastbound vehicles must turn right (south) only bikes can proceed. Westbound traffic can proceed or turn left. At this point I observed a woman in an older car drive straight through on the wrong side of the road.

New Traffic Island

New Traffic Island

Temporary New Jersey Barriers prevent traffic from First and Trutch from turning onto Point Grey – and vice versa

Road closed

From Bayswater eastwards access only – no through road to MacDonald

This will be parkland

Tatlow and Volunteer Parks will be connected and much roadway removed

Volunteer from Tatlow

Calmed Point Grey Road

2:51pm – and I have never seen this road at this time of day this quiet. Traffic calming for residential streets in other cities is something residents demand – not protest about. The NPA line is that this road belongs to all the citizens of Vancouver and hence anyone should be able to drive on it whenever they feel like it.

I wonder how long that video will stay up

Screen Shot 2014-01-21 at 10.59.19 AM

A tweet this morning (around 10:30am) from a staunch conservative

And even the (paywalled) Province admits 

“The closure did not appear to impact major arteries. TransLink said buses in the area did not experience significant delays, even during rush hour.”

Written by Stephen Rees

January 21, 2014 at 8:45 am

Posted in Traffic