Today’s moment of zen: bicycling in Vancouver

I know, I know, Charlottesville isn’t Vancouver. But our friends in British Columbia have recently made big investments in protected bike lanes, including creating what is likely the first fully protected intersection in North America.

And it’s a big intersection.

Vancouver’s 2040 goal is to have 2/3 of trips made on foot, bike, and transit. This goal, along with some quirks unknown in the U.S. such as insurance providers contributing to the cost of infrastructure safety improvements, allows planners and engineers to take unusual steps that elevate these modes of travel, such as:

  • Prohibiting motor-vehicle right turns where there was no room for both a protected bike lane and a right-turn lane
  • Creating one-way traffic configurations to remove bike/vehicle conflicts at intersections
  • Forcing motor vehicles to turn right at a location where a protected bike lane switches to the other side of the street
  • And, yes, removing on-street parking to create a protected bike facility.

Engineers didn’t even calculate the impacts to vehicular level of service for most of these changes – a shocker to any U.S. traffic engineer – because maintaining or improving vehicular level of service was simply not the goal.

What should Charlottesville’s 2040 goal be?

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2 thoughts on “Today’s moment of zen: bicycling in Vancouver

  1. I just visited Vancouver — by bike — in November, and I can vouch for everything in this post. Vancouver has way more motor traffic than Charlottesville, but they have shown a commitment to transportation options that is incredible. With all the cars, it is still possible to bike anywhere you need to go without fighting for a lane on a major throughfare. One day I rode 47 km from the house across downtown, through two big parks and a University, and never got on anything busier than a small neighbourhood side street.

    Liked by 1 person

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