Thursday, January 12, 2017

Here's an Idea

Thank Loki I no longer work in a congested downtown core. From what I've heard it's gotten vastly worse since I took my leave. A new struggle has emerged, bicyclist versus motor vehicle - trucks, buses, cabs, cars, the lot.

Municipal governments like Vancouver's have struggled - and failed - to sort out the conflict. Already overtaxed roads are narrowed to accommodate bicycle lanes but still cyclists are being hit, sometimes killed.

They've tried deterring on street parking by commuters by upping the meters, I'm told, as high as $8 an hour. Oooh, that's steep. Yet that doesn't seem to have made cyclists much safer - or happier. Drivers aren't happy either but that probably goes without saying.

Here's an idea.  One of the big differences between cars and bicycles is weight. Motor vehicles weigh lots, bikes weigh little. Why not, then, elevated bicycle lanes running atop downtown sidewalks? A latticework of elevated cycle paths close enough so that cyclists would be able to get within two city blocks of their destination, walking their machines the final distance?

Cyclists could have unimpeded passage, probably with better views and some distance between their noses and offending tailpipes. Motor vehicles wouldn't have to dodge the odd careless cyclist or share their precious roadways. Ne'er the twain would meet.


Hugh said...

I thought the idea of the carbon tax was to get people to drive less. Maybe the carbon tax needs to be a lot higher. $4 per fill up is not enough of an disincentive, I guess.

The Mound of Sound said...

To most of the people who have reserved parking downtown, Hugh, a carbon tax won't affect their habits.

Toby said...

Someone else posted the other day some stats that are roughly:

The amount the city subsidizes bikes = 1 cent per capita
The amount the city subsidizes transit = less than a dollar per capita
The amount the city subsidizes cars = over $8.00 per capita

Sorry, I don't have a link but you get the idea. Drivers need to stop complaining and pay their own way.

John B. said...

I'm a pedestrian most the time. Which one of these accounts is taking the hit for the cost of my sidewalks?

The Mound of Sound said...

John, you're a pedestrian. What makes you think that counts? You don't pay gas tax or support transit. Off with you.

John B. said...

I know that I'm not paying. I just want to know where the cost of providing me with what I'm using is buried in the subsidization stats listed by Toby so I can thank the right travellers. It's probably the motorists.