Construction companies seldom think about cyclists - Average Joe Cyclist

How to Report a Road Maintenance or Safety Issue to the City of Vancouver

CVG not so temporary detour - Average Joe CyclistHow often are you riding along on your bike and you think – somebody should DO something about that? It might be a deep pothole, a blocked cycle route, or an uncontrolled crossing at a busy intersection. It’s happened to me a thousand times, and I finally found out who to call – in the hope of getting someone to DO something about it.

The City of Vancouver does have a department devoted to cycling in Vancouver.

Also, the City of Vancouver has a hotline that you can call  to ask questions or to report any issues related to the city. You can contact them by calling 311. Outside Vancouver call, you can call 604-873-7000.

For specifically bike-related issues, you can also email bikevancouver@vancouver.ca.

However you make contact, if you would like someone to follow up with you, be sure to request a report number and updates.

311 will respond, but it does not always help

Of course, there is no guarantee that the situation will be fixed to your satisfaction. For example, someone reported the very dangerous intersection at Main and Terminal to 311 (this video shows how the cycling lane disappeared, forcing cyclists to merge with cars and buses). The 311 response was that the contractor had filled in the necessary forms and put up the appropriate signs, and therefore there was no problem.

I never yet met a warning sign or a piece of paperwork that would protect me in a collision with a bus! Following a bureaucratic procedure does not make something safe, it merely makes it legal (in other words, it protects the perpetrator, not the victim).

After seeing that response from 311, I wrote directly to Mayor Robinson’s office. This yielded a much more satisfactory response. I got a letter from Ross Kenny, Project Engineer at the Active Transportation Branch,
City of Vancouver saying:

traffic lights“Your letter has made it through the Mayor’s Office and to the Transportation Department for review.

We visited the location shortly after receiving your email and fortunately, the station construction which was requiring the use of the curbside vehicle/bike lane had been completed and the temporary sidewalk was removed and the vehicle/bike lane reinstated.

Moving forward, we are continually working towards safely accommodating all modes of transportation through construction zones and are learning from experiences such as these. If you see anything in the future which concerns you, please contact 311 so that it can be investigated by the responsible department.”

So it seems that the situation is now resolved, not because it was a safety issue but because the construction company no longer needed to endanger people. Still, I really appreciate that the city actually went to look at the situation. This gives me hope for addressing these kinds of issues in the future.

Finally, see also the City of Vancouver’s Cycling Network Spot Improvements Program. This program has a lot of excellent aims, including re-orienting Stop signs to give right of way to cycle routes, and improving surface conditions. Surface conditions are really important, as any cyclist who has ever hit a bad pothole knows. I hit one in Burnaby so deep that my back hurt for six months, and just yesterday in New Westminster went over a pothole so deep that I was very nearly thrown from my bike.

Don’t suffer in silence

Report unsafe cycling conditions - you could save a life!

Report unsafe cycling conditions – you could save a life!

Most cities have departments devoted to safety issues.

Report unsafe biking conditions, and keep complaining until something is done.

Like donating blood, your complaint might just might save a life. Whether it’s yours or someone else’s, that’s definitely a good thing!

Thanks to Heather Harvey, Membership Coordinator of Vancouver’s HUB, for much of the above information.

Dunsmuir-Street-separated-bike-lane-Vancouver-spring-2014-Average-Joe-Cyclist 2

#ReplaceBikewithCar – There was a Time when we DID replace Bike with Car

The current fear and hatred of cyclists is being parodied by the hilarious #ReplaceBikewithCar Twitter campaign. But what most people don’t realize is that just over a hundred years ago, most road-users hated motorists just as much as many motorists today hate cyclists. A century ago, bikes WERE in fact replaced by cars in the frightened, angry rhetoric of most road users.

bike don't drive - Average Joe CyclistYes, really – not so long ago, almost all sensible people were afraid of cars. In the early 20th century, cars were seen as dangerous menaces, a threat to civilized means of transport, like walking, biking, and horse-drawn carriages. Today, most people seem to see people on bikes as dangerous, while thinking of cars as a sensible means of transport.

It’s  fascinating to look back to the arrival of motors cars, and see how  people resisted cars as fiercely as some people now resist bikes. Continue reading

Coal-Harbour-to-Kits-Beach-036

Vancouver’s Seaside Bike Route from Coal Harbour to the Maritime Museum, Part 2 – an Average Joe Cyclist Guide

Route: Seaside Bike Route, Vancouver, BC

Surfaces: almost all paved

Difficulty level: very easy, almost all flat

Safety level: very safe, all off road

Distance: 15.8 km one way

Type of bike required: any, but a hybrid, mountain bike or cruiser would be the most comfortable

Suitable for: the whole family on bikes; also trikes, walkers, inline skates and wheelchairs

Congestion: can be very busy during peak, sunny hours. Gloriously quiet on an early, sunny weekday morning (starts to get busy around 10.00 a.m.)

Average Joe Cyclist Rating: Gold Bike-Star! average joe cyclist logo

Part 1 of this post is about the Seaside Bike Route from Vancouver’s Convention Center to the exit from Stanley Park (the red part of the route on the map on the left). This post is Part 2, about the Seaside Bike Route from the exit from Stanley Park to the Maritime Museum (the red part of the route on the map on the right). To go to Part 1, just click on Map 1. To read about Part 2, just keep on scrolling down!

Map Seaside Route Part 1 Average Joe Cyclist

Vancouver’s Seaside Bike Route, Part 1 (the part in red)

 

Map Seaside Route Part 2

Vancouver’s Seaside Bike Route, Part 2 (the part in red)

 

 

 

 

Continue reading

Bikes-and-blossoms-6-average-joe-cyclist-921x576

Bikes and Blossoms: Vancouver in the Spring

Bikes and blossoms 1 average joe cyclistSpring is finally, really here. I saw the first sleeveless-cyclist on Granville today! And the trees are blossoming.

Just went out today to photograph some of the beautiful cherry blossoms, and everywhere I went, there were bikes and blossoms – happy days! Here are some photos taken at Burrard and Melville. Continue reading

Average Joe Cyclist -  Panasonic Mid-Drive Bike Motor on Emotion BH Bike

Panasonic Mid-Drive Bike Motor on Emotion BH E9502 Race Bike – An Average Joe Cyclist Product Review

Panasonic Mid-Drive Bike Motor on Emotion BH E9502 Race Bike

Average Joe Cyclist BH-emotion bike on back of Fiat 500I have loved my BionX bikes for many years (see BionX 350 reviewed here). But I am fickle when it comes to bikes, and I have to admit that I now love my Emotion (Easy Motion) BH Race Bike even more. This is a bike that enables me to look cool (or at least FEEL cool) and ride far and fast.

Average Joe Cylist Tricross and BH bike of Fiat 500 2The BH Emotion looks like a handsome, sleek road bike. And it handles like a stiff, responsive road bike. However, it does have a secret: a crank drive electric assist bike motor concealed under a chain guard, powered by a lightweight Panasonic battery on the seat tube. The photo above shows the bike on the back of our Fiat 500, without battery. As you can see, it looks exactly like a regular bike – only better! On the right you can see my BH Emotion and my Specialized Tricross on the back of our Fiat. Seriously, can you even tell which one is an electric bike and which one is a regular bike?

The BH Emotion bike is powered by one of Panasonic’s legendary mid-drive bike motors.

Continue reading

Seaside Bike Route, Vancouver

Vancouver’s Seaside Bike Route from Coal Harbour to the Maritime Museum, Part 1 – An Average Joe Cyclist Guide

Route: Seaside Bike Route, Vancouver, BC

Surfaces: almost all paved

Difficulty level: very easy, almost all flat

Safety level: very safe, all off road

Distance: 15.8 km one way

Type of bike required: any, but a hybrid, mountain bike or cruiser would be the most comfortable

Suitable for: the whole family on bikes; also trikes, walkers, inline skates and wheelchairs

Congestion: can be very busy during peak, sunny hours. Gloriously quiet on an early, sunny weekday morning (starts to get busy around 10.00 a.m.)

Average Joe Cyclist Rating: Gold Bike-Star!

average joe cyclist logo

This is Part 1 of this post, about the Seaside Bike Route from Vancouver’s Convention Center to the exit from Stanley Park (the red part of the route on the map on the left). Part 2 is about the Seaside Bike Route from the exit from Stanley Park to the Maritime Museum (the red part of the route on the map on the right). To go to Part 2, just click on Map 2. To read about Part 1, just keep on scrolling down!

Map Seaside Route Part 1 Average Joe Cyclist

 

Map Seaside Route Part 2

 

 

 

Vancouver’s Seawall is a multi-use recreational route, located in the downtown core of Vancouver, BC, Canada. The Seawall begins at the Convention Centre at Coal Harbour on Burrard Inlet, then loops around the magnificent Stanley Park, goes along English Bay past the Old Pavilion, follows that up with an impressive arc around False Creek, then winds past Granville Island and ends up at Vancouver’s Maritime Museum.

Awesome Views and Endless Activities Continue reading

think green planet

Mowercycle – Mow the Lawn on your Bike!

Average Joe Cyclist and Green Renaissance - mowercycleI saw this photo and just had to share it.

I am not entirely sure it would actually work, but it’s a great idea: get the lawn mowed, get some exercise, AND find a use for that clunker bike in the garage! See lots of other great green ideas on the Facebook page where I found it, Green Renaissance (catchy name!)

The next time you need to buy almost anything except groceries, please click on one of the Amazon links (such as the one above), and then buy your product within 24 hours. It costs you nothing, and I get a teeny commission. I write this blog for love, but it would be great to earn a bit of income for my many hours of work. The range of products at Amazon is amazing. Maybe that’s where the name comes from – Amazing Online Shopping! But seriously, when my wife and I were doing a reno on our home, the local plumbing suppliers told us it would take seven days to get the kitchen sink we wanted. Amazon delivered it in one day! It seems that these days you can buy almost anything you like on Amazon.

The Dunsmuir Street separated bike lane in downtown Vancouver

Let’s use the Money Saved on the Kits separated bike path to make EXISTING bike routes in Vancouver safer

Biking in some parts of Vancouver is pretty well perfect – like on the Hornby Bike Lane, passing by the Vancouver Art Gallery

The Vancouver Park Board abandoned the plan for a new bike path at Kits Beach on February 17th, 2014. BUT they said that some of the money would be re-allocated to other pedestrian and cycling safety priorities. I’m all for that!

In fact, on balance, I would rather be able to bike to work safely than be able to bike or walk safely at Kits Beach. After all, the beach is optional, while working is mandatory.

Vision Vancouver has already made awesome improvements to cycling safety in Vancouver. Their achievements include: Continue reading

Shoreline Trail in Rocky Point Park, Port Moody2

Shoreline Trail in Rocky Point Park, Port Moody – An Average Joe Cyclist Guide

Shoreline Trail in Rocky Point Park, Port Moody, BC

Route: Shoreline Trail in Rocky Point Park, Port Moody, BC

Surfaces: mostly paved, some boardwalk, smooth

Distance: 2.75 km (1.7 miles), one way

Difficulty level: easy, almost completely flat

Type of bike required: any kind, but mountain or hybrid would be best

Safety level: very safe, completely off road

Suitable for: the whole family, including trikes and wheelchairs

Congestion: can be very busy during peak hours

Dogs allowed? Yes

Average Joe Cyclist Rating: Gold Bike-Star for a pleasant family bike ride with beautiful scenery and clear signposting

average joe cyclist logoThis is a short, easy, mainly-flat, well sign-posted bike ride for the whole family. It’s part of the still disconnected Trans Canada Trail. When all of the dots of this Trail are one day connected, it’s going to one of the great wonders of the cycling and hiking world!

Shoreline Trail in Rocky Point Park, Port Moody Continue reading

gaymoney

News Flash: Cyclists and Gays are REGULAR PEOPLE (and spend money)

Bikes mean businessA new report  out of Victoria reflects the fact that cyclists and pedestrians actually DO SPEND MONEY, and therefore should be embraced by business. I have been saying this for a long time. But the businesses on Hornby and Dunsmuir and Union Streets that got hysterical because they would lose a few parking spots to make cycling safer clearly did NOT get it.

fiat-500-with-bikeBut I am here to tell you that cyclists DO spend money. In fact, when we’re not on our bikes, we spend money exactly like regular people. Maggie and I even bought a Fiat 500 (reviewed here) to transport our bikes! And let’s not forget that we cyclists tend to eat more, which requires us to spend even more than some non-cycling regular people! Continue reading

A Blog for Average People who love to ride bikes

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