Cycling activists claim that bike lanes improve safety for cyclists. That is probably true, I am not opposed to bike lanes, segregated or otherwise, so long as they are created where local residents approve. However, they are expensive — especially the segregated lanes — take time to put in place, and do nothing to protect the majority of us who are pedestrians.
But there is, I believe, something we can do overnight for zero cost and which will significantly improve safety for cyclists, pedestrians and car drivers right across Vancouver. That something is to immediately reduce the legal speed limit everywhere in Vancouver to 30 km/hr. Speed is recognised as a major cause of motor vehicle accidents and a reduction in speed will increase safety for everyone.
This proposal can be implemented immediately in most cases and has no cost to taxpayers (other than a minimal cost to replace signage). I guess that “arterials” may come under Provincial highway rules and will therefore require some lobbying effort. But safety on most streets in the City can be improved without delay.
Let’s do it!
Hastings between Abbott and Heatley is currently a 30 km zone, with a flashing reminder at Gore (going West) showing your current speed above 30 km/hr on a display on a street pole.
It was initiated, along with a 100 East Hastings signalled mid-block crosswalk (with the widest stop-lines in the city set about 10 metres back from the crosswalk lines) at the behest of the Carneigie Community.
Sadly, the police, who opposed the DTES area provision by Visionistas, never enforce it, 24 hours a day.
Cordova, which is one way east is 50 km, and faster over the new Powell Street Overpass Freeway bridge goes through the latte districts of jaywalkers going against the lights, dodging the North Van commuters passing through.
SUVs are, of course, the most consistently worse offenders.