HUB Cycling highlights “gaps” in bike infrastructure across Metro Vancouver

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      If you want to find the “gaps” in Metro Vancouver’s cycling infrastructure, the executive director of HUB Cycling recommends viewing the region in Google Maps.

      Erin O’Melinn told the Georgia Straight that you’ll see “thousands of roads” built and maintained for motor vehicles.

      However, if you select the option to view bicycle routes, the mapping service will display “fragments around the region that start and stop”.

      “It’s just visually striking to see how few places you can reasonably comfortably bicycle, compared to the myriad ways you can get around in a motor vehicle,” O’Melinn said by phone from the HUB office in Vancouver.

      On Thursday (August 7), O’Melinn will be one of the speakers at a City Conversations event at Simon Fraser University’s Vancouver campus.

      The SFU event, titled “Style, Safety and River Rides: What’s New for Metro Vancouver Cyclists”, will take place in Room 1600 at Harbour Centre, starting at 12:30 p.m.

      According to O’Melinn, the number one gap in the region’s cycling infrastructure is the lack of a dedicated bike route linking Braid Station, the Port Mann Bridge, and Coquitlam Centre.

      Number two on her list is a nonexistent separated lane or parallel route along the Lougheed Highway in Port Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows, and Maple Ridge.

      Thirdly, O’Melinn said the south ends of Cambie and Oak Street bridges are crying out for bike connections to the U.S. border and the Tsawwassen ferry terminal.

      “Those three, in particular, they’re beside highways generally, so the cars are moving at a speeds where, yes, you would separate them,” she said.

      O’Melinn rates public transit in the region as “relatively bike-friendly”.

      She noted that bikes are allowed on buses, the Canada Line, and the SeaBus at all times. But they’re prohibited during rush hour times and directions on the Expo and Millennium lines.

      “The transit system is just so full right now at those times that it’s not feasible to get bikes on there,” O’Melinn said. “It’s good for us to keep looking at ways to make that better. For people that are coming from quite a far distance, they want to ride part of the way and transit part of the way. There’s definitely merit in looking into what could be done to help them do that and free up other road space for different users.”

      As far as transit goes, O’Melinn’s top request is for more secure bike parking at SkyTrain stations, like the facility that recently opened at Main Street-Science World Station.

      O’Melinn noted that another such facility is planned for King George Station in Surrey. She recommends secure bike parking be installed at the east end of the Evergreen Line, which is under construction.

      “That allows the people that live out there that do not have very good bus service or shuttle service to still be able to access the rapid-transit system,” O’Melinn said.

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      Dana Mason

      Aug 5, 2014 at 7:14pm

      I bike to work daily and most weekends. I am also a driver and a pedestrian in this city. I am thankful for all the bike lanes. However they really need to be properly planned before constructed. I live and ride on Union street (Union & Main) and it is the worst and most confusing for bikers and cars alike. Side Note: the rudness and things I see the majority of riders do every day, from house wives, seniors, hard core spandeies and basket girls - its no wonder people hate bikes. I shake my head daily at the behavior, selfishness and plain rudness.

      Stephen Chessor

      Aug 5, 2014 at 8:11pm

      Imperial Drive can be pretty dangerous for bikes, no streetlights, broken pavement with a rough irregular transition to the narrow gravel or grass shoulder, hills and curves make for poor sight lines. The 29th Ave and Discovery bike routes lead to this road and it has been added to the latest version of the COV Bicycle Route Map and Guide.

      Mark Bowen

      Aug 5, 2014 at 9:07pm

      Van City and Burnaby have done a pretty bang up job of building decent networks, but if you want to get into the city from Coquitlam or Surrey you are pretty much in no mans land.

      Props to all the hard work the planners, engineers and builders have put in so far, but we still have a long way to go yet to get the entire region onto the network!

      Greg Robinson

      Aug 5, 2014 at 11:32pm

      Just got home from Victoria a little over an hour ago. The Massey tunnel shuttle stopped at 6:30 (used to be 7:30 dinnit?) and we had to ride over to the Alex Fraser bridge, quite the detour! Wow the journey is nothing but guesswork, dead ends, confusion and frustration. Good luck finding your way from Delta to New West unless you have some inside info or have done the trip so many times you know all the "secret passageways", cuz the "bike route" signs they put up sporadically don't actually tell you where you're going, often lead you astray and occasionally just seem to be there to taunt and mislead. Still got some work to do!

      I love those "bike routes" that extend your ride by miles and make you late for the last shuttle home! Yay!


      Aug 6, 2014 at 9:49am

      Ah yes the tax payer funded bike lobby speaks in run up to the municipal elections. Lets all recognize HUB for what it is, a tax payer funded bike lobby entity that furthers the agenda for Vision etc. and give it the corresponding credibility. Agree with the first comment attached to this story. I cycle and use transit to get around. The number of cyclists that blow through the stop signs at York and Yew is astounding. Just this morning I was almost hit by a westbound cyclist at this intersection who neither slowed down nor stopped at the stop sign. That has never happened with a car in the 30 years I've lived in Kits.


      Aug 6, 2014 at 10:36am

      HUB (formerly the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition) predates Vision by quite some time and is active throughout Metro Vancouver. I think you will find they are supportive and will happily work with any organization or business that understands the value of good cycling infrastructure and education. An awkward reality for those who would try to use anti-cycling sentiment as a means of furthering a political agenda, but true nonetheless.


      Aug 6, 2014 at 11:14am

      Skippy: You've never had a close call with a car in Kits? I find that remarkable, given the number that I've had in twenty years of off-and-on living in the city. I think I've had a driver run a stop sign in the remarkable belief that a red light on the cross street has rendered it null and void every year I've been here, and that's just one class of close call.

      I think we should recognize HUB for what it is, all right: An organization pushing for long-needed cycling infrastructure. There's no need to invent some political agenda as a means to disregard their efforts.

      HUB = useful idiots

      Aug 6, 2014 at 11:48am

      HUB were the convenient mouthpiece for making Point Grey Road private drive for 1%ers, useful idiots who's advocacy allowed the Mayor to reward himself & key donors with property value increases above the median. The "gaps" merit closer examination as, overlaid with a map of property values and known Vision donors one could make an educated guess where the next private road will be. HUB represent a block of single issue voting drones, a valuable asset that Vision combined with their co-opted COPE "social justice warriors" to create a media distracting lacquer over the layers of developers & 1%ers who control the party.

      Vision have done a fantastic job maintains their control of the cycling vote by pretending it is an election issue & making highly publicized additions to the network that are always one more segment away from being "complete." The first trick was convincing the disorganized rabble NPA that local voters feelings on bike lanes are relevant to their choices be they positive or negative. Opposition to bike lanes does not guide many voters, most vehement opposition to cycling infrastructure comes from suburbanites who can't vote in Vancouver and who are irrelevant to the debate. There is a significant number of voters in Vancouver who's vote will go to the party that promises the most support for cycling but it is rare to change votes over minor differences with the ruling party. The NPA felt they had to oppose increased cycling infrastructure and wasted time & energy appealing to people who can't vote in the city.

      The second trick is keeping HUB engaged and letting them lead the charge for all things cycling. Remember how "unsafe" Point Grey Road was for cyclists? The statistics didn't back up the claims but HUB & the city proclaimed safety was their priority. HUB gave Vision plausible deniability: they were merely reacting to concerns of citizens who happen to organize as HUB rather than the efforts by local property owners to close Point Grey Road to outside motor vehicles. The Mayor is one of those property owners, of course he doesn't live there any longer but is at someone else's condo.

      The split with COPE leaves a potential gap in motivated single issue voters Vision can rely upon. They are seeking new single issue constituencies and have been for months preparing to retain the developers stranglehold on Vancouver civic politics.


      Aug 6, 2014 at 11:55am

      Anyone got any thoughts on banning bikes from certain roads where there is a dedicated cycle road or divided cycle lane nearby. (e.g. cycle on York not Cornwall, cycle on Hornby not Burrard).
      Although I love all the bike lanes, I usually take transit, and cyclists on some of these routes can slow down the traffic a lot (especially buses who won't overtake as they have to pull in again soon, so they're forced to crawl behind the bikes).

      Or maybe just better signs would encourage people to use the bike lanes instead.



      Aug 6, 2014 at 11:59am

      I never thought commuter cycling was about being "reasonable" or "comfortable" - I do it for the high.