Create a public bike sharing program (e.g. Montreal's Bixi, Paris' Velib)
Montreal has installed the Bixi bike system, similar to many European systems, of having publicly available bikes for a small cost downtown on major street corners. The bikes are incredibly robust, widely available, and highly convenient with bike stands every 2-3 blocks.
It encourages locals to bike (rather than take the bus or metro) and is great for short trips around town. It is very convenient as there is always a drop off location nearby, and there is no worry of getting your bike stolen. It is also a huge tourist attraction, making transport easier, cheaper and greener!
An exciting idea that will be given serious consideration.
Brenda M. commented
There will be a creative way to solve the helmet issue. One would be to include the helmet with the bike. Up to three helmets (small, medium, large) could be attached to the rat trap of these bikes for the use of the rider. Theft? Have a "key card" attachment for the helmets to the bike (you must insert a card w/ magnetic strip to release the helmet, when the helmet is replaced the card is released). The key cards would be available from any outlet that sells transit tickets for $xx (say $20), and can be returned for a refund at same.
Or maybe there's a helmet vending machine at each bike share location, and the helmets are returned to various vendors throughout the City for a refund.
Great idea, but it simply cannot work with BC's bicycle helmet law.
This helmat law literally makes as much sense as a ski-helmet law that only applied to cross-country skiiers, when it's the downhilling that is dangerous.
Riding a bicycle on a street has very nearly the same head-injury rate, as crossing the street, walking on an icy sidewalk, or taking a shower. (a professional cyclist, died from a head-injury sustained while showering) But we got this helmet law after six people smacked their heads on trees or rocks, while riding through the woods, down the north-shore mountains (but the law on applies to bicyclists on public roads).
Please throw the law out, before more people make the wrong transportaion choice based on the incorrect notion that bicycling is more dangerous that motoring. (bicylists that obey road rules and are well lit at night, are fifty times safter than motorists)
Laura Hollingbery Ransom commented
This was just introduced to Toronto this week (shar.es/0cbiD), and according to this Sun article mayor Robertson is already hoping to bring it to Vancouver in 2011: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/todays-paper/Vancouver+bicycle+revolution+about+shift+into+higher+gear/3164096/story.html
The title of this idea hs been changed slightly for clarity.
@Germanadian you can also upload your green images to Green the City Vancouver http://www.greenthecityvancouver.com/
@Germanadian We'd love to see your images! Can you add them to our Facebook page? http://www.facebook.com/greenestcity
I just came back from a 5 months tour through Europe and was so impressed with the bike share cities. My friends and I have been thinking about how to overcome the helmet law or if it would be something that could be integrated with the rental. Obviously nobody walks around with their helmet all day anticipating to take a shared bike. But maybe there could be a helmet locker so that when you rent a bike you get a helmet as well? I mean if you rent a bike anywhere in Vancouver right now you get a used helmet, right? or you can bring your own. I think if we start letting the helmet law go, cycling lanes need to be more protected.
I have lots of pictures and stories from the places I rented the bikes if anyone is interested.
Looking forward to having bike share in Vancouver!
Note: Geordie Milne's idea "Install Bicycle sharing systems" has been merged with this one.
"Vancouver joins the list of great cities to have its own bike sharing scheme, including Seville, Brussels, Vienna, Paris and many more.
Christopher Porter commented
It looks like the city is going to go ahead with this, thinking they can avoid the pitfalls experienced in Melbourne (the only city with a mandatory helmet law to try bike sharing). If it succeeds, great! If it fails, maybe it will be the motivator to scrap the mandatory helmet law.
Colleen M commented
I have spent alot of time in Montreal and use Bixi when I am there. It's easy, safe, and a great way to get around. With our year-round good weather we could use Bixi every day of the year, okay, maybe not in a monsoon, but most days anyways. Let's do it, Vancouver !
Steven Forth commented
I agree with Neil that the helmet law and a Bixi style system are incompatible. More seriously though, does Vancouver have the downtown trip patterns needed to sustain a Bixi style system? I don't know, but I think this needs serious study. I would not like to see this drain off funds needed to make bike commuting in Vancouver easier and practical for more people. And helmets do save brains, I wear a helmet whenever I possibly can regardless of legislation.
No, no, no and please no. Please do not waste money on this doomed-to-fail plan. Please, please.
The helmet law must die first.
Melbourne Helmet Law Makes a Nonsense of the Cycle Scheme http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/helmet-law-makes-nonsense-of-bike-hire-scheme-20100722-10my2.html
Contrast with this lovely tour of London, and try to imagine a helmet-less woman waving a friendly hello to the police in this city: impossible. She’s an outlaw here, and allegedly a suicidal one. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/video/2010/jul/30/london-cycle-hire-schemes
Mandatory plastic hats make accidents more likely because of risk compensation, and they cut the number of cyclists making the roads less safe for those who do. If Vancouver really wanted to encourage cycling it would allow cyclists to dress the same way rollerbladers do, the same way drivers of convertible cars do, the same way pedestrians do.
Please, Vancouver, do not waste millions to follow Melbourne building an infrastructure no-one will use. This will be a PR disaster. Please first pass a new by-law strongly recommending all cyclists wear helmets, but replacing the clause that outlaws those who pedal merrily round the seawall hat-free.
Then by all means let people take convenient short trips around town. I totally agree with Aline that these are a wonderful part of a modern city, but they are all about spontaneity.
Steven Forth commented
I enjoy using these as a tourist in Montreal and Paris.I also see a lot of business people using them in these cities. I have used the Montreal system to go to business meetings. I doubt I would use it much in Vancouver. This is something that needs some serious study to see when it should be introduced. We can't do everything.
Note to Lawson: I seldom drive, I cycle to work everyday. I would be happy to pay taxes for better and salfer cycling, but I would like car users to pay the full cost of the roads, parking lots, fuel subsidies, health subsidies and environmental costs that we pay for them. I suspect car users owe cyclists a lot of money.
Émilie Burelle commented
I very much encourage Vancouver to develop this wonderful idea.
Living in Montreal myself, I must say that in my opinion this is by far their best green initiative in a long time!
Almost anyone can use a BIXI to get along downtown (it's always ***** to see a businessman in a nice suit riding on a bike!), and it can be a lot faster, on short distances, than taking the bus or driving around.
BIXIs are a great round-the-clock solution (much cheaper than a taxi late at night). It's also great for tourists, as it was said already.
I love all of Vancouver's green initiatives. Hope Montreal will be inspired!
No interest in this idea at all, you walk and drive my car since we pay the majority of taxes you and your friends freeload of others!
How do you like that!
Bike Lanes to be removed by Nov 2011 after this council is cleaned out and same for many in the Engineering Department. Removed from Burrard Street Bridge, The Viduct down Dunsmuir and any place Downtown. If you want any you will build your and pay tolls and access fees to the area of your choice.