Is The Adanac/Victoria Median Dangerous?

Yesterday I received an email from a local resident. She had found me after googling my earlier comments on the new bike-friendly traffic arrangement at Victoria Drive and Adanac Street.

Victoria Drive looking south from just north of Adanac Street which crosses east to west.

My correspondent’s email described an accident she had had at this median:

“My car was ripped apart by the median on Thursday night – dark, raining – I was looking straight at it and didn’t see the curb jutting out. I live in the neighbourhood and have driven by before. I went back today to take pictures. What I think happened was the curb jutting out is so sharp that it immediately shredded my front left tire down to the rim so that the rim broke and caused damage to other parts connecting the axle as I drove by.”

She went on to say that her regular auto shop thought a similar accident had occurred at the same median. Another resident, a near neighbour of the first, told her she had had to swerve more than once when approaching that intersection.

Being neither a car owner nor a bike rider I have no dog in this fight over functional priority. However, I can attest to the dislike of the new arrangement by taxis and Handy Dart drivers, many of whom, coming from the south, now have to perform a four block loop to park near my house.

I have also heard from driver friends of mine: “road is not wide enough”, “never designed for this stupid hazard”, “poorly lit”, and “hard to see,” are the typical comments.

I guess this looked good on the maps to the bikeophiles at City Hall; but evidence on the ground seems to suggest this needs a more detailed look.  How often are these decisions reviewed to see whether practice met theory?

4 Responses to Is The Adanac/Victoria Median Dangerous?

  1. Marial Shea says:

    Very interesting to hear about the driver’s experience. I’ve heard from several locals about something I’ve experienced as a pedestrian at this intersection: crossing after dark is hazardous. There is no crosswalk and the nearby streetlights are out so drivers cannot see us standing there waiting to cross. (For that matter, drivers also cannot see bikes waiting to cross, making me wonder what the point of all this was.)

    As well, crossing Victoria east along the north side of Adanac, you have to step out into the street far enough to see around parked cars, which can put you in the path of drivers who are swerving in towards the sidewalk to avoid the new median.

    I know of two people who have called the city to complain about the lack of light and difficulty crossing.

    Best, Marial


  2. Grandview Citizen says:

    Maybe this design feature will actually cause a change in driver behavior. Slow down. Pay attention. If it’s raining, halve your speed, and double your attention. Fail to do that, and your tires might get shredded.

    Drivers in Vancouver aren’t used to having to respect speed limits, signals, bikes, or pedestrians. Inserting some street features that remind them that they do not own public space is a good engineering decision. A better engineering decision would be to also station a traffic cop at this median and fine drivers that fail to obey the signs.

    And ad hominem attacking people that want to ride bikes safely in the city doesn’t help your “cause”, Jak. It shows that you need some training in logic, and that you likely read too much auto-industry propaganda.

    Are drivers in Vancouver dangerous? Yes. They’re allowed to be, they are conditioned to be, and they defend their right to be.

  3. jakking says:

    Where was my “ad hominen attack” on bike riders? You are having trouble reading English in this New Year, I guess. Keeping the road clear of furniture and putting a pedestrian crossing there with traffic lights and better street lighting would have been best all round in my opinion.

  4. Ferry seagull says:

    All the Adanac bike route was ill-thought-out by straight-line-only engineers.
    Now that long trains block Adanac down at Vernon Drive many times a day, it is becoming difficult.
    They are closing the Adanac bridge over the 401 freeway tunnel too.

    Better to have the bikes go south to Charles Street just south of Grandview Park, Easier grades than the Adanac mountaints, and a wide boulevarded road with ready built round-abouts east of Victoria Drive and a custom built bike-friendly bridge at Charles over the 401 Freeway.

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