Thursday, December 9, 2010

introducing: the hornby bicycle lanes

Thank you, Hornby bike lane, for being six shades of awesome.

Hornby & Georgia

Oh, and for being MY route to and from work.

Hornby & Georgia

Some intersections have 2-phase lights:
1. right-turning vehicles get green, bicycles/pedestrian have red
2. right-turning vehicles have red, bicycles/pedestrian have green

Personally, I find this quite civilized and safe, but am curious about how it will fare with unobservant and impatient people (both in bicycles and motor vehicles) who aren't paying attention to which light they should be looking at. (Pedestrians are already used to "delayed walk" arrangements and most here tend to look suitably ashamed when they accidentally get in the way of a vehicle that has the right-of-way.) Despite spending 15 minutes of my lunch break the other day standing at the corner of Hornby and Georgia, watching the yellow-jump-suited city worker with a STOP/SLOW sign nudge everybody into the grooves of this new system, I have no predictions. For sure I'll be following it's evolution closely.

The banks of racks confused me at first (although the same on the Dunsmuir bike way changed my mind, if you recall), given that they aren't always in front of anything important in particular. (I think this bank is near Georgia, but there are others in less trafficed parts of the route.) However, it's occured to me that they're meant more to act like parking lots and help people avoid having to ride down streets (like Georgia) that are busy and have no bike lanes, just to get closer to the actual "main attractions", like Granville Street or Pacific Centre. Park on the bike route, where you won't have to deal with cars or intersections or searching for a parking spot, then walk the 2 blocks to the mall.

Because there's no reason to avoid walking, even when you're cycling, oui?

Hornby btw. Robson & Georgia

Here the path swoops east a few metres, then back again, acting almost like a traffic-calming device. This makes a lot of sense to me, given that it's a raised, crosswalk-cut section in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Vancouver Art Gallery, Hornby entrance

The Vancouver Art Gallery! A city landmark. Can you image rolling up on your bicycle to the front door, dressed in all your finery? You lock it mere steps from the entrance (new racks, FYI) and saunter in to some fancy 'do' or to get your dose of culture.

The Dunsmuir route didn't affect me on a regular basis, as it goes east from my work and I go west, but Hornby is smack dab in the middle of everywhere I go. I'm elated to be rid of riding Pender St. and and am loving my daily commute using this new infrastructure.

Even, let it be said, in the pouring rain.

1 comment:

  1. Its looking great! I rode just a bit of it and hope to ride all of it tomorrow. It will be great that you can ride them every day.