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How can we reach our 2020
Greenest City Targets?

neil21

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  1. 408 votes
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    neil21 commented  · 

    Don't know if you've all seen this yet, but it turns out helmet-wearing isn't actually mandatory in Vancouver http://flavors.me/situpvancouver I think this site is supposed to be a bit of a joke, but it got me thinking!

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    neil21 commented  · 

    @MaryEllen I'm not saying don't wear a helmet: I'm sure they do stop your brain moving (although it's interesting that cyclist fatalities reported by ICBC for the last decade split roughly 50/50 wearing/not helmet: maybe there's another factor, e.g. jumping red lights?).

    I'm saying don't make it illegal to enjoy the seawall with the wind in your hair. If you want to mountainbike or race, totally wear a helmet. I just don't think it should be against the law to pootle hatless along the seawall on an upright dutchie.

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    neil21 commented  · 

    @Tasha, @Janna re seatbelt comparison. This may sound vain but many businesspeople would not want to turn up to a meeting with a helmet-band imprinted on their forehead.

    This is illegal in Vancouver and the voters here don't think it should be: http://www.flickr.com/photos/16nine/1590977634/in/set-72157594400316816/

    Seatbelts stop your body moving if somebody collides with you. Helmets do not stop your body moving if somebody collides with you. A similar level of protection would require full body armour.

    Alternatively, the greatest and cheapest way to improve cyclist safety is to increase cyclist numbers. This can be done by encouraging people to believe that using a bike is a normal way to go work.

    While safety-gear is mandatory, pedalling will never be viewed as a normal way for a 45 year-old woman to travel 5km to work. It is very important that in 2015, pedalling *is* viewed as a normal way for a 45 year-old woman to travel to work.

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    neil21 commented  · 

    Tammy, Lesli, K and anyone else with a helmet-saved-my-life anecdote: please do keep wearing helmets, and please do encourage everyone you know to wear helmets.

    The point is that it should not be against the law to cycle sans-casque. Many people currently don't bother wearing them when cruising gently round the seawall. I see no problem with that, and would love the law to reflect that. Eating regularly at A&W increases your mortality, but that's not illegal. Commuting by car is bad for your health AND for my health, but that's perfectly legal here.

    By all means crack down on dangerous cycling and driving: skipping red lights, scaring pedestrians etc. Get the mountain-bikers out of the city, and back onto the mountains.

    But don't discourage people from cycling to work because they have dress differently than if they drove their open-top convertible (head protection?), walked, roller-bladed, or whatever.

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  2. 1,002 votes
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    An ongoing process. Many of the City’s recent initiatives (e.g. downtown separated bike lane trial, additional traffic calming on existing routes) work towards this vision. The draft Greenest City action plan will support this idea, and include directions to help inform the upcoming transportation plan update and new active transportation plan.

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    neil21 commented  · 

    I love the contrast in this pic http://fb.me/Gnmlwbna It would be so simple to fix this, wouldn't it?

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    neil21 commented  · 

    Alexg and David Godin have it spot on. The cycling network isn't joined-up yet. Is there someone in City of Vancouver's staff whose job it is literally to pretend to be a commuter?

    Most Vancouverites are female and are aged 40-64, so I hope the relevant staffer fits that demographic. 20-something males are not who you are building this for.

    She should start somewhere in the middle of 35th ave at 8am and commute by bike to downtown, while wearing a suit. I suppose she could look up directions first, but that's probably cheating.

    She should then complete a similar length of journey in Amsterdam.

    Then report back with recommendations for Vancouver.

    (Two other quick points: repeal the helmet law to stop my mum being an outlaw for enjoying the seawall; repaint one-way streets like Homer from straight-parking/car/car/bike/bus-or-parking to angle-parking/car/bus-only/(kurb) bike-with-zebras-at-stops. Draw it out, you'll see it works.)

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  3. 543 votes
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    Requires support from TransLink. The City will continue to support this idea, through measures including secured rights-of-way (e.g. the centre median on 1st Avenue near the Olympic Village). The recent Olympic Line streetcar demonstration was very successful and helps make the business case for this project.

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    neil21 commented  · 

    It was pointed out to me the other night that this might help shift some of those olympic apartments that ain't quite going like hotcakes. They've left the tracks and gravel path in place, so presumably it's an idea inside city hall already.

    I wonder what the cost of the tracks vs the cost of the debt on those apartments is like. How about the city pays for the tracks, translink pays for the trains?

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  4. 394 votes
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    neil21 commented  · 

    Apart from yes, yes, yes 3-votes yes, I have two points. One, please build shading from the rain so pedestrians can aim for these spots (and please do so beautifully). Two, granville street has a bunch of steps in the right direction, just want to recognise that. The parking bollards are cool, for example.

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  5. 599 votes
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    18 comments  ·  GC 2020 » Encourage shorter vehicle trips  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    This is an evolutionary process. The City of Vancouver is already considered a North American leader in this regard. Current and future plans and projects (e.g. Cambie Corridor Planning Program) will continue to embrace this ideal.

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    neil21 commented  · 

    Just a quick note to second Juvarya. I've ranted enough in other fora about Vancouver being over-proud of it's every-15-minutes "frequent" bus service. Lets just build the transit network properly (real bus-only lanes, real frequent service) and maybe add a couple of destinations (I tried to get from mount pleasant to jericho the other evening: took an hour, same time as cycling) and it'll be profitable before you know it. As you say, they're jammed at rush hour: lets get everyone a seat, and everyone paying.

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  6. 113 votes
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    Point taken that adjusting costs of different travel modes to support more sustainable choices is a good idea. The City will continue to review parking fees to better reflect street value and market demand, and the Greenest City Plan adds a more explicit environmental lense to this work. Transit fares fall outside City jurisdiction, and there are multiple factors to consider. Fares are an important revenue source for TransLink; at the same time, it is important that prices are affordable and equitable.

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  7. 138 votes
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    Thanks for sharing this idea!

    The city’s new active transportation plan will soon be in development, and hopefully completed within the next year.

    A big part of the work ahead is to identify the complete cycling network, and the type of facility that is most appropriate and/or feasible for different routes. In some cases (e.g. busy arterial routes), separated lanes might be the best approach; in other cases (e.g. lower car volume neighbourhood streets), enhanced traffic calming and/or further reducing car access might be more appropriate. Travis cited some great examples in the Netherlands where cars are ‘guests’ that are allowed in, but do not dominate.

    In all cases, the goal should be to make routes that feel safe to all potential cyclists, including beginners, children, and seniors.

    For more information, visit http://vancouver.ca/cycling .

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  8. 1,073 votes
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    130 comments  ·  GC 2020 » Lighter Footprint  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    Low footprint food choices are not the same as vegan food choices in all cases, the analysis is more complex than this. Generally a low footprint diet is local, seasonal food, and limits consumption of red meat, dairy, and some grains. Low footprint food choices are included in the draft Greenest City Action Plan and will be discussed through community engagement activities.

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  9. 155 votes
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    neil21 commented  · 

    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.

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