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Rant: Cyclists in Vancouver


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#1 MillerGenuineDraft

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 12:57 PM

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I just finish a 3 hour lecture at UBC and get a text from a friend who lives downtown to go and meet him to grab a beer or 5 with a group of our friends. I think to myself, "Sure why not, it's been a long day." So I hop onto the 99 B-line and make my way toward Granville, to transfer busses and head north into the West End. As I am on the 99 B-line, a cyclist tries cutting the monstrous bus, nearly getting hit and potentially cracking his skull into pieces. Thankfully the bus driver slams the breaks in time, preventing what would have been a a fatal accident.

What's my point with this? Is it that cyclists are morons? Potentially, yes. But this isn't even what bothers me most.

As I walk toward the pub, I see my friends sitting on the patio, pitchers and all. Once I sit down, I tell them about what just happens, and we start having a heated discussion on cyclists in Vancouver. One of my friends, Jeff, who is all for cycling in the big city, stresses that maybe if there were less drivers on the road, and more cyclists, these problems simply wouldn't persist.

Now, as this is happening, a gentleman who had cycled his way to the bar gets off his bike, locks it up, and sits with his group of friends on the patio, and starts drinking. By this point, I'm asking my friend Jeff if he thinks this is acceptable. He doesn't say much. For the entire duration that my friends and I were at this bar drinking, the cyclist who was eating and drinking with his friends decides to head out. Now this guy is 5/6 beer deep, and is going to be biking home on a road with registered drivers. In my eyes, I see this as a big issue.

We have the city of Vancouver promoting the use of bikes, where we are adding even more bike lanes to the city. But why is it that people who are biking can just join in on these roads, without even having a registered license to do so? They are biking on the same road that owners of registered vehicles are driving on. In order to drive on the roads, you are required to read a book, pass a test, then take a test that allows you to legally drive on the roads. With cyclists, it's just a matter of grabbing your bike and helmet, and going to town.

I think this city needs a program that cyclists are required to take, in order to bike on these roads - especially downtown Vancouver. How many times do you see a cyclist get hit/almost get hit? How many times is the driver portrayed as the bad guy in the situation?

So is my point still that cyclists are morons? Potentially, yes.
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#2 D.Doughty

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 01:00 PM

F biking.
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#3 Dragonfruits

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 01:00 PM

i fully agree bikers should be put through some program in order to bike on the same roads as cars and even some sort of licensing too unfortunately i don't see this happening any time soon
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#4 MillerGenuineDraft

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 01:03 PM

i fully agree bikers should be put through some program in order to bike on the same roads as cars and even some sort of licensing too unfortunately i don't see this happening any time soon


And that's what pisses me off so much. As a city, we're promoting the use of bikes, but we're doing in in such a terrible manner. It's ridiculous, and for drivers, it only creates that much more of a burden.
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#5 NikiShiz

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 01:06 PM

Although they are annoying and hold up traffic I don't mind cyclists as long as they follow the laws....when they weave in and out of traffic is where I draw the line.
In a somewhat related note these bike lanes are also really starting to cause a lot of traffic...although the number of cyclists has increased since their implementation, the number of drivers hasn't necessarily decreased (the argument for them was to encourage people to bike instead of drive, as well as safety). I see more and more bike lanes all across DT now.

Edited by NikiShiz, 15 July 2013 - 01:07 PM.

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#6 inane

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 01:07 PM

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So is my point still that cyclists are morons? Potentially, yes.


Most people are morons. Most drivers are morons. Most pedestrians are morons. Singling out one group is dumb.
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#7 Florence

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 01:07 PM

I was driving thought Rittenhouse Square in Philly and they were holding an art show outside in the park. So a cyclist was between me and the car in front of me and he was looking at the art not paying attention. Then the car in front of him had to come to an abrupt stop from stopped traffic and the cyclist still looking at the art hits the back of the car and literally flips forward off his bike and faceplants into the rear hood of the car. The cyclist then loses it and starts telling the driver to get out and fight as he bangs on the car (the biker was probably late 20's or 30 and the driver was at least 60). The driver refuses to get out and is apologizing through the window but the biker eventually just gets his bike and as he rides past the car he spits in the guys window before weaving away through the other cars.

I like biking but I honestly hate bikers in the city they are as annoying as cabs.
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#8 22sedins33

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 01:08 PM

As someone who uses bikes as a primary mode of transportation I can see both sides of things.

On one side, as a cyclist it's really hard to get noticed. Legally where I'm from we're not allowed to be on the sidewalks so we have to be on the street and seeing as we aren't as fast as cars, lane changes are hard (even if they're just for left hand turns) because, obviously, cars don't really want to slow down for the bikers. In the end you either have to be gutsy or extremely patient. It can also often be safer to be out in traffic just because it assures you'll get noticed.

On the flip side, it's frustrating for drivers because the roads are essentially for them and it really sucks going half the speed you're supposed to be going. The onus is put on the driver to be aware of the bikers which can be hard because they don't always follow the same rules of the road. Unpredictable things are hard to avoid.

In the end, big cities just need to do what it takes to make things safer for both parties. Bike paths are lifesavers (literally) and it's just the transition period that sucks for everyone involved. If the changes being made are wise ones things should clear up soon enough.
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#9 Common sense

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 01:08 PM

No seatbelt = $167 fine (http://www.icbc.com/...fenceswithfines)
No helmet = $29 fine (http://www.theprovin...5699/story.html)

Equal? I don't think so.
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#10 inane

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 01:08 PM

Although they are annoying and hold up traffic I don't mind cyclists as long as they follow the laws....when they weave in and out of traffic is where I draw the line.
In a somewhat related note these bike lanes are also really starting to cause a lot of traffic...although the number of cyclists has increased since their implementation, the number of drivers hasn't necessarily decreased (the argument for them was to encourage people to bike instead of drive, as well as safety). I see more and more bike lanes all across DT now.


By more and more and more and all across downtown you mean 3. When will the madness end!
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#11 MillerGenuineDraft

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 01:08 PM

Although they are annoying and hold up traffic I don't mind cyclists as long as they follow the laws....when they weave in and out of traffic is where I draw the line.
In a somewhat related note these bike lanes are also really starting to cause a lot of traffic...although the number of cyclists has increased since their implementation, the number of drivers hasn't necessarily decreased (the argument for them was to encourage people to bike instead of drive, as well as safety). I see more and more bike lanes all across DT now.


What laws? There are hardly any laws for cyclists. I could have my 14 year old nephew biking around Downtown Vancouver, and as long as he follows the "laws" it's perfectly legal. These "laws" don't need to be changed. They need to be created.
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#12 canucks_dynasty

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 01:09 PM

Licensing bicyclists will never happen as it's probably cost too much to start up, maintain, and impossible to enforce. How many bicyclists get ticketed for not wearing a helmet??? I'd guess...NOT MANY.

My co-worker has installed those camera recorders on his car. Because of near accidents with other cars and bicyclist. This way he has positive proof of who was at fault.
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#13 MillerGenuineDraft

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 01:12 PM

Licensing bicyclists will never happen as it's probably cost too much to start up, maintain, and impossible to enforce. How many bicyclists get ticketed for not wearing a helmet??? I'd guess...NOT MANY.

My co-worker has installed those camera recorders on his car. Because of near accidents with other cars and bicyclist. This way he has positive proof of who was at fault.


The same way registered drivers pay to have that license plate on the back and front of their vehicle, cyclists should be doing the same way. It'll pay for the costs, Vancouver will eventually break-even (kidding, when do we ever). Registered cyclists need to have some sort of license plate attached to their bike saying that they have legally been accepted to drive on the streets.
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#14 Common sense

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 01:12 PM

What laws? There are hardly any laws for cyclists. I could have my 14 year old nephew biking around Downtown Vancouver, and as long as he follows the "laws" it's perfectly legal. These "laws" don't need to be changed. They need to be created.


The law also dictates that cyclists have protective equipment when riding, and by that I mean a helmet. Of course, this "law" is hardly practised and even less so enforced by law enforcement.

Perhaps it's time for change - make no helmet violations $167 (the same as no seatbelts) and maybe more cyclists will start to think of safety as a priority on the roads.
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#15 NikiShiz

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 01:13 PM

What laws? There are hardly any laws for cyclists. I could have my 14 year old nephew biking around Downtown Vancouver, and as long as he follows the "laws" it's perfectly legal. These "laws" don't need to be changed. They need to be created.


Signaling! Do you know how many times cyclists have swerved in front of me to make a lane change w/o hand signals? I'm not a mind reader! But yes I do agree w/ an increase to the helmet fine.

Edited by NikiShiz, 15 July 2013 - 01:15 PM.

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#16 MillerGenuineDraft

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 01:15 PM

The law also dictates that cyclists have protective equipment when riding, and by that I mean a helmet. Of course, this "law" is hardly practised and even less so enforced by law enforcement.

Perhaps it's time for change - make no helmet violations $167 (the same as no seatbelts) and maybe more cyclists will start to think of safety as a priority on the roads.


That's just a start in my head. The next step is to make these cyclists registered cyclists. Once again, it does not make sense that these cyclists are allowed to be on the same road as 2000 pound vehicles, without any sort of verification that they are capable. Look at the moron who had 5/6 beers on the patio, and biked off. Why is he legally allowed to bike on the roads? Am I the only one who sees this as rational?
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#17 ckamo

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 01:18 PM

I agree with the majority of the posters. Cycling isn't a bad thing, I think it's great the city is encouraging people to do it, but for the love of all that is good, PLEASE start educating people about proper biking etiquette and laws and ENFORCE them. I can't even count how many times I've seen cyclists run reds or stop signs. And rarely do I see cyclists signal before making a turn.

Edit:
I think getting bikes licensed will be really hard. What about kids? Would they need licences too?

Edited by ckamo, 15 July 2013 - 01:19 PM.

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#18 Common sense

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 01:18 PM

That's just a start in my head. The next step is to make these cyclists registered cyclists. Once again, it does not make sense that these cyclists are allowed to be on the same road as 2000 pound vehicles, without any sort of verification that they are capable. Look at the moron who had 5/6 beers on the patio, and biked off. Why is he legally allowed to bike on the roads? Am I the only one who sees this as rational?


The question is - what law enforcement official is going to stop a cyclist when the bigger ticket (and catch) is in the drunk driver? Again, I offer this solution - since we want to treat cyclists the same way as other motor vehicle users, fine them in the same regard.
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#19 inane

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 01:19 PM

That's just a start in my head. The next step is to make these cyclists registered cyclists. Once again, it does not make sense that these cyclists are allowed to be on the same road as 2000 pound vehicles, without any sort of verification that they are capable. Look at the moron who had 5/6 beers on the patio, and biked off. Why is he legally allowed to bike on the roads? Am I the only one who sees this as rational?


There have been a number of studies done,it doesn't work.

http://bikecalgary.org/licensing for some more background.
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#20 MillerGenuineDraft

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 01:20 PM

The question is - what law enforcement official is going to stop a cyclist when the bigger ticket (and catch) is in the drunk driver? Again, I offer this solution - since we want to treat cyclists the same way as other motor vehicle users, fine them in the same regard.


Now what if the drunk driver is the cyclist? I couldn't find any Canadian laws that justify this. Where's wetcoaster been? I'd love to hear his take on this.
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#21 MillerGenuineDraft

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 01:23 PM

I agree with the majority of the posters. Cycling isn't a bad thing, I think it's great the city is encouraging people to do it, but for the love of all that is good, PLEASE start educating people about proper biking etiquette and laws and ENFORCE them. I can't even count how many times I've seen cyclists run reds or stop signs. And rarely do I see cyclists signal before making a turn.

Edit:
I think getting bikes licensed will be really hard. What about kids? Would they need licences too?


Kids should not be allowed to bike on these roads with registered vehicle drivers (my reference is to big cities). That should just be common sense.
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#22 canucks_dynasty

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 01:25 PM

I think most posters are fine with cyclists as long as they don't do something stupid or dangerous (ps...that goes for car drivers too).

I've seen a drunk driver smash his car in a pole.
I've seen a cyclist blow through a red light...near missing collision with right of way traffic.

Stupid people can use any mode of transportation...they'll still be stupid.
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#23 Bitter Melon

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 01:26 PM

The thing that irritates me about cyclists is that they want to be treated like a vehicle and a pedestrian at the same time, the benefits of both and the drawbacks of neither.

If you're going to ride your bike like a regular vehicle, fine by me, but you have to abide by the same rules as the rest of the vehicles.

Conversely, if you want to be treated like a pedestrian, then you have to abide by those rules too.

You don't get to do whatever you want because you're on a bike.

And then when they ride 4 cyclists wide and take up half the road and hold everyone up because they're moving at half the speed limit, thats pretty infuriating too. They need to be single file, in the bike lane.



Whats really interesting is that its never the normal people out for a ride who act like that. Its always the ones who are dressed like they're in the Tour de France and taking it super seriously that act like jerks.
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#24 Weber's Playoff Beard

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 01:26 PM

I think the problem is that we have these "dedicated bike lanes" on the wrong roads. Ever been to a country where cycling is used by tons of people like India or China? Not many people wear helmets. Bicycles aren't licensed. The problem has nothing to do with helmets or licensing. The problem is there should be dedicated roads for bikes. Not these half lanes for cyclists that nobody uses.
Either make it illegal to ride on multilane streets or make dedicated streets strictly for bike lanes.


Having everything licensed doesn't fix any of the problems associated with bicycles and cars competing for space on the road...
All it does is discourage cycling.. which means more cars on the road.. which in the end.. means more complaints by drivers, which means build more multilane roads... rinse and repeat.
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#25 ckamo

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 01:26 PM

Kids should not be allowed to bike on these roads with registered vehicle drivers (my reference is to big cities). That should just be common sense.

OK, so biking in side streets won't require a licence? Or are you saying kids should only be allowed to bike in parks?
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#26 Weber's Playoff Beard

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 01:29 PM

The thing that irritates me about cyclists is that they want to be treated like a vehicle and a pedestrian at the same time, the benefits of both and the drawbacks of neither.

If you're going to ride your bike like a regular vehicle, fine by me, but you have to abide by the same rules as the rest of the vehicles.

Conversely, if you want to be treated like a pedestrian, then you have to abide by those rules too.

You don't get to do whatever you want because you're on a bike.

And then when they ride 4 cyclists wide and take up half the road and hold everyone up because they're moving at half the speed limit, thats pretty infuriating too. They need to be single file, in the bike lane.



Whats really interesting is that its never the normal people out for a ride who act like that. Its always the ones who are dressed like they're in the Tour de France and taking it super seriously that act like jerks.

Bike lanes I agree with. But you need real separated bike lanes.. one lane bike lanes are pretty useless.
I also agree that cyclists should abide by the same rules if there isn't a separated lane. Licensing doesn't fix stupid.
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#27 Bitter Melon

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 01:33 PM

Bike lanes I agree with. But you need real separated bike lanes.. one lane bike lanes are pretty useless.
I also agree that cyclists should abide by the same rules if there isn't a separated lane. Licensing doesn't fix stupid.


The problem with that is that there is a finite amount of space, and utilizing a large portion of that solely for bigger bike lanes is pretty wasteful.
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#28 MillerGenuineDraft

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 01:35 PM

OK, so biking in side streets won't require a licence? Or are you saying kids should only be allowed to bike in parks?


Well, what do you think? Should our 14 year old nephew be allowed to bike in these bike lanes on Seymour St?

Let him ride his bike where he can safely do so. Allowing a 14 year old to ride his bike in these bike lanes is equivalently as dangerous as a 14 year ol driving a car.
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#29 Weber's Playoff Beard

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 01:38 PM

The problem with that is that there is a finite amount of space, and utilizing a large portion of that solely for bigger bike lanes is pretty wasteful.

That's true. But for the cyclists who try to ride down busy streets like Broadway or Knight St... it'll be better if we could increase funding for bike paths directly adjacent to large streets so that cyclists stop cycling on these streets and move to the side streets.

Although the bike paths for most of Vancouver is not bad already, though it could always be better.

Downtown is a problem though.

Edited by Weber's Playoff Beard, 15 July 2013 - 01:39 PM.

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#30 Weber's Playoff Beard

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 01:40 PM

Well, what do you think? Should our 14 year old nephew be allowed to bike in these bike lanes on Seymour St?

Let him ride his bike where he can safely do so. Allowing a 14 year old to ride his bike in these bike lanes is equivalently as dangerous as a 14 year ol driving a car.

My 14 year old nephew is probably a safer cyclist than a lot of people. What will licensing fix?

Edited by Weber's Playoff Beard, 15 July 2013 - 01:40 PM.

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