As predicted last month, the bike path and sidewalk on the east side of the new Cactus Club at English Bay is generating a fair amount of conflict. Not surprising, given that it’s new and there are lots of different users.
What is surprising is the failure to provide adequate signage and indicators – like colour – to create awareness before people find themselves in conflict. Like the couple in the image above, for instance.
They wander up from the beach, engaged in conversation, doing what seems intuitive, which is to head towards the restaurant on the path edged by a stone wall and heavy planting. There is nothing to tell them that it is not a good idea to stop right in the middle of the bike path. There are no decals on the asphalt – which itself is not painted a distinctive colour, like green, used elsewhere in the city to designate a cycling route. Indeed, there are no signs of any kind.
They do what seems right and natural, oblivious to the cyclists heading towards them who, of course, are pissed off that they are stopping right in the middle of the bike path. This is why everyone is so emotional about bike-pedestrian conflicts: each thinks the other are jerks for not being aware or not being courteous. Both are pissed off with the other – when they should be pissed off with the people who could make a difference: the people responsible for designing and signing bike routes. If it wasn’t obvious to them when the path was being built that this would be a problem, it surely must be now. And yet: no change. Not even a little bit of paint.
In a city which says that cycling is one of its priorities, it has a funny way of expressing it.
And don’t get me started about the ‘temporary’ float-plane terminal blocking the seawall in Coal Harbour. Oh wait, it’s about time we did get started on that, given there appears to be no action on what is one of the most valuable pieces of cycling infrastructure in Vancouver – after so many years, we’re losing count.
More on that later.
- post by Gord Price