Stephen Rees's blog

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

King Edward bike lanes

with 3 comments

This item was inspired by one of Ken Ohrn’s posts on Price Tags. Not that I am complaining, you understand. One must acknowledge that an effort is being made to improve cycling safety here, but at this particular location not much more was needed to produce something that would actually be safe. Designated lanes are better than sharrows – or nothing at all – but a painted line does not really do much to actually separate out two different  modes. A kerb would be better: a boulevard or barrier even more so.

The road is very wide with a large park like central median with mature trees. While the posted speed is the standard 50 km/hr the combination of the median and the broad paved area encourages much faster speeds. I observe that when I or my partner drive at the posted speed, everyone else is moving much faster. Since these improvements were made that has got a bit better at busy periods.

W/b at Valley looking east

This is the intersection of King Edward and Valley. It was formerly one moving traffic lane with parking permitted at the kerb. Paint has been used to designate a bike lane between the parked cars at the curb and the general purpose (GP)  traffic lane. You will also note that only a very short length of the curb lane becomes a right turn lane at the intersection.

If the double white line had been moved towards the curb by a metre then the parked cars would have acted as a buffer between the moving vehicle traffic and the bicycles, and the risk of dooring by a driver reduced. Of course, the risk of dooring by a disembarking passenger would have been greater and the bus stops required a different treatment.

e/b at Valley

The bus stop is on the far side of the intersection (of course) and the bollards have been put in now to stop the parking space being used as a queue jumper. Traffic backs up down the hill from the traffic light at Arbutus Street. You will also observe that there are no cars parked when the picture was taken (mid afternoon, weekday). That is because there is ample off street parking provided within the Arbutus Village development on the right. There is really no need for parking along this side of this part of the avenue. Prior to this work there were essentially two travel lanes – and a bit of a freeway mentality for the car drivers.   The green paint patches are for the driveways at the Village entrances/exits.

Now some will say that additional road width would be needed to allow for a proper protected bike lane. It seems to me that a narrower GP travel lane is already in place but has not done very much to reduce speeds. I suppose old habits die hard. Moreover there is plenty of space available but we do get awfully close to a knee jerk reaction when trees and lawn are threatened. Up at the Arbutus Intersection the paved right turn lane has been extended – simply because the large number of hefty off road pick ups and all wheel drive SUVs had created a longer informal turn lane out of the uncurbed median.

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 3.23.31 PMThis is the Google map view

Screen Shot 2016-03-13 at 4.20.14 PM

Written by Stephen Rees

March 9, 2016 at 3:28 pm

3 Responses

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  1. …”The bus stop is on the far side of the intersection (of course) and the bollards have been put in now to stop the parking space being used as a queue jumper. Traffic backs up down the hill from the traffic light at Arbutus Street.”…

    I wonder if the City considered the potential impact of these changes on transit riders, if buses are now being held up by the forced single GP traffic lane and the right-turning SUVs also mentioned? And it there was any consideration, were mitigation measures implemented to ensure transit riders are not being unnecessarily delayed?

    FRJ

    March 9, 2016 at 5:50 pm

  2. Really interesting entry. My neighborhood has done a great job of putting in useful bike lanes – but sometimes I wonder if the folks designing the things have every actually been on a bike.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Bill Chance

    March 9, 2016 at 9:11 pm

  3. Oops. That should have been left turn lane. And nothing has happened with respect to buses. Except for a couple of concrete pads at bus stops to reduce the impact on the pavement. It was all about the bikes. A change in policy to acknowledge their “right” to be on the arterial route and not shuffled off to an inferior parallel distributor.

    Stephen Rees

    March 9, 2016 at 9:24 pm


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