A follow up of the Knight street Bridge post

We are at the SB on Ramp from SE Marine Drive to Knight Street Bridge (apriori into Vancouver juridiction), the location is 7800 Knight bridge street according to VPD tickets issued right there…But who should get a ticket?

Who should get a ticket? the cyclist or the sign owner, Mainroad (their trailer license plate read 9552 3Y)?

According to the Vancouver Police Department, the ticket issued will look like below:

$29 Helmet fine on Knight street bridge issued on March 4, 2013

$29 Helmet fine on Knight street bridge issued on March 4, 2013 (some fields masked to preserve privacy of both the offender and police officer)

Nota: It was no movable sign, at the time the ticket was issued, but a police cruiser was parked exactly the same way. The cops, far to be ashamed to block the bike lane, were explaining it was dangerous to ride on the roadway without an helmet. No argument is necessary in such case…

Indeed it is dangerous (the most dangerous spot in Canada by the way!): Could it be the cyclists fault?

Did you see the cyclist? the semi trailer, apparently, didn’t! …but we have a bike helmet law isn’it?

The result of it, in the last 5 years,

  • 13,154 helmet ticket issued in the last 5 years [2]
  • How many ticket, for dangerous obstruction of a bike lane? [1]

[1] Is it illegal to deliberately obstruct a bike lane? apparently not in BC!

[2] Ticketed cyclists not paying their helmet fines,Mike Howell, Vancouver Courier, Sunday June 9th, 2013

Cyclist beware: We are talking of the most dangerous road in whole Canada.

According to many maps, there is a separated bike lane able to make your trip safer, shielded from street-racer (Knight street is a favorite spot for that), armada of container trucks barreling down Knight street and other intimidating traffic. Here we go:

KnightBikeLaneNarrow

If you bike can fit into the bike lane, you will have to find your way among debris and other waste, courtesy of Richmond city

The bike lane, not much wider than a bike handle bar, is supposed to be bi-directional, and shared with pedestrian:

Entering or exiting the bike lane, can be challenging:

It is hard to get on the mandatory cycle track


The bike lane is mandatory, says the sign, posted 350 meter after the beginning of the concrete barrier (in black on map): Does cyclists are really expected to jump onto the barrier?

Some cyclists will prefer to use the roadway, but most will try to use the bike lane:

The concrete barriers start at Richmond Bridgeport interchange-No indication provided to cyclist-to be on the right side of it, suppose to cycle on the Richmond sidewalk: that is not allowed!

The concrete barriers start at Richmond Bridgeport interchange: to be on the right side of it, suppose to cycle on the Richmond sidewalk: that is illegal!

  • beside jumping onto the concrete barrier, the only other option is to ride illegally the Bridegport sidewalk in Richmond

The later option is the one usually preferred by the cyclists, what tends to irate pedestrians and transit riders waiting their bus there:

  • The Bridegport sidewalk is narrow, and has bus stops

Exiting of it, is also a bit of challenge in itself too:

East side bike lane, merging to Knight Street in Vancouver: Welcome to the real world !- Where the handrail stands is the entrance of a trail joining 64th avenue: cyclists are discouraged to use it.

East side bike lane, merging to Knight Street in Vancouver: Welcome to the real world (the most dangerous intersection in Canada say the medias)!- Where the handrail stands is the entrance of a trail joining 64th avenue: cyclists are discouraged to use it.

Did you know that bike are not allowed in bus lane in BC? following the sign is both illegal (breaking with solid lane) and pretty unsafe on this exit ramp.

Did you know that bike are not allowed in bus lane in BC? following the sign is both illegal (breaking solid lines) and pretty unsafe on this exit ramp.

Riding along the bike lane is not a breeze either:

KnightBikeLaneMitchellExitW

Most cyclists fail to dismount their bike and disobey the law regarding using crosswalk (BC MVA 183.2.b ) at ramp crossing, but they still tend to stop for obvious reasons:

narrow entrance at ramp crossing, with bumper, or kerb, are the rule on Knight Bridge

That makes the ride much more cumbersome, and not any safer: gaining momentum from a standing position, require lot of energy, and attention, which is then not focused on traffic as the cyclist in the above picture illustrates.


Better practice from Lyon, France:

The example below is at the Bd Irene Joliot Curie and Bd Pheripherique Laurent Bonnevay intersection (redone when the tramway T4 has been built):

  • Cyclist are not required to stop, at each crossing, even less to dismount, what allows them to spend less time in hazardous zone, and still proceed safely:
LyonExitRampBikeLane

Lyon, FR: entry ramp: Motorist yields to cyclist and pedestrian - exit ramp: cyclist yields to motorist. The bike path hook, provide line of sight on incoming traffic. There is no bike path discontinuity


In the meantime, authorities spare no money to upgrade the roadway for motorists, and cyclist have usually to cope with that:

Sign on Knight bridge, at Mitchell Island interchange, resting in the middle of the pathway, also advertised as a bike lane.

Sign on Knight bridge, at Mitchell Island interchange, resting in the middle of the pathway, also advertised as a bike lane.

The sign had been placed by a City of Richmond’s contractor, and Translink took action to get it removed after got noticed of it

Normal people will obviously give up in face of all those inconvenience (did I mention, the snow and ice on the uncleared bike path in winter?), and the “bike to work” week, will be just that: a week! It is too bad, since it is a bottleneck which deserve much greater attention that it has, and both cycling and transit can go a long way to increase the capacity of Knight Bridge to move people

Nevertheless one can still see either

  • hardcore cyclists, all renegade breaking the law in one way or another, as seen above, and admittedly, it is the only way to cycle decently on Knight bridge
  • or eventually lost cyclists on the bridge (also breaking the law), may be mislead by some cycling maps, presenting the Knight bridge cycle tracks are the same as the Stanley park bike path!

    Cyclist, beware, don’t trust the cycling maps!

    Cyclist could be seen may be also because, taking the bus here is even a worse experience:

    The arduous trail to the Mitchell island bus stop SB: muddy in winter, dusty in summer, slippy all the time!

    The arduous trail to the Mitchell island bus stop SB: muddy in winter, dusty in summer, slippy all the time!

Richmond local transit routes have seen little change with the advent of he canada Line. The network is essentialy geared toward the commuter traffic from Richmond to Vancouver. Richmond is not thought as a destination in itself in despite of its high level of jobs. As an incidence:

  • the Business parks along Knight Street remain generally inaccessible by people arriving from the South Fraser community (be by buses 351, 301, 601…)
  • For a Richomnite, it can be a challenge to get to the airport, involving in most of the case not less than 2 transfers (typically one at Brighouse and one at Bridgeport).

The network could also take a more decisive advantage of the choke points surrounding Lulu Island. The proposition hereafter aims at correcting those issues, and we examine in this post the regional view first.

In addition of the existing service, 301 and 351 (which are slightly altered to take the shortest route), the map below introduces the bus service already discussed in this blog

  • route 699B which has been previously discussed
  • route 411 which as also been previously discussed

and a new one,

The route 630: Ladner Exchange-Metrotown

  • This route replace the route 430 (Richmond Brighouse-Metrotown)

The rational for it, is that since the advent of the Canada line, it is always faster to board on the Canada line and transfer along the way toward Metrotown, than to use the 430 from Brighouse. So it is reasonable to retire an “express route” which has been made obsolete by recent transit improvement (which is eventually illustrated by a relatively poor ridership). Nevertheless, if the route originate from Ladner, (or Riverside), it can offer a definitive advantage for rider travelling toward Metrotown or Knight street area:

route option Ladner Exchange -> Metrotown travel time
601+430 20+30mn
630 est. 40mn

The retiring of the 430 pay for the introduction of the 630, and a similar number of run per day can be proposed since, in despite of a longer route, the bus travel at a higher speed

  • The 630, starts at Ladner park and ride exchange, to connect with local shuttle route here, and proposes the service as an alternative to alleviate traffic queuing at the George massey Tunnel.
  • The 630 stops at Riverside (Hwy99 at Steveston Hwy), providing a good connection with the South East richmond network (401, 403, 404, 405 and C93), and also at Crestwood, where it offers potential connection with regional route 301 and 411 as well as local route 410, and C96, opening new access for people coming from south of the tunnel.
  • In Vancouver the route is identic to the one currently followed by the 430

One would like to see the 630 service provided by highway coaches, since the patrons boarding this service are still aiming at a relative long journey.

Proposed and existing regional Express Bus line (solid thin line) and existing and potential B line (in red dashed lines). Skytrain network in thick yellow line

To summarize the service level on selected route segment

route frequency Travel time
699B Ladner-Bridgeport 15mn 20mn
301 Newton-Brighouse 20mn 45mn
411 22nd Station-Brighouse 20mn 30mn
630 Ladner-Metrotown 20mn 40mn

One will also notice that the combination of route 301 and 411 can provide an express service between Queensborough (Fraserwood) and Richmond every 10mn.

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