I walked over to take a look at the 420 Festival yesterday. The event was held outside the Vancouver Art Gallery, and attracted more people than I have ever seen there. It looked like a cross between the trade show of most marketers’ dreams, and Woodstock. Unfortunately, there were so many people that they started to spill out onto the streets – where they came to rest on the pavement, as that kind of trade show can bring on an overwhelming need to relax and chill.
The Hornby Bike Lane looked like a giant sit-in (of very cheerful people, rather than protesters). This of course sent cyclists scooting into the busy traffic on Hornby Street. I was impressed to see the Vancouver Police Department reacting quickly. This video shows an officer efficiently creating an alternative bike route with orange pylons.
Considering how many months of protest and agonizing went into creating the actual Hornby Bike Lane, I was really impressed to see that the VPD could put up an alternative in 60 seconds.
The big picture is that throughout Metro Vancouver, disruptions to major bike lanes are usually completely ignored. Major routes are sometimes blocked for months at a time, and no one seems to care.
As I have commented elsewhere, in more advanced cities (like Montreal), companies doing construction make sure to provide safe alternatives for cyclists when they disrupt bike routes. Vancouver is a young city – could it be we are growing up? I think so!
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