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[Bicycles] Bike lanes and cycling infrastructure in Victoria and the south Island


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#7441 Coreyburger

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 11:00 AM

So the City of Victoria relied on garbage data to assess the need for the bike lanes?

 

It wouldn't surprise me if municipalities look for ways to align their pet project-driven goals with hokey data or data aligned with a given outcome, but can we really say that reports like the CRD's transportation/travel assessments are largely unreliable?

 

You're putting words in my mouth. This is why studies like the O&D or Census JtW cost major money. You need to get a representative sample of the region and survey them. And even then, they only measure what is happening at the time of survey. There is also decent evidence that O&D/JtW under count walking and may also under count biking.

 

EDIT: Should point out: given the cost, you cannot replicate them with a few cameras or even a few counters. You are measuring something different

 

You also don't measure bike lane usage by existing people riding bikes (the bridge swimming analogy) - there is a really good, quite consistent evidence (from many studies, by many authors, in many countries, asking different ways) about what a majority of people will ride. It looks a lot like our regional trails and protected bike lanes. Until you have them, you cannot see the impact they might have. You can look elsewhere to see what happens and for that the evidence is pretty good (multiple studies, multiple places, etc.) - near where you build good bike infrastructure, bike ridership rises.


Edited by Coreyburger, 10 January 2019 - 11:04 AM.

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#7442 sam

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 11:28 AM

Short term counts (anything less than a week) are good for looking at mode share during that period, but little can be extrapolated well out from there. This is actually a fairly large industry, where companies purport to take counts, population data and mode share and try and create "models". They simply don't work, especially when you are looking at walking or biking data.

 

You  also can't take a few videos (or a few counts) and compare it to Origin & Destination studies or Census JtW data. You can compare it to other short-term counts, with the giant caveat that there is a huge amount of volatility in them for all modes. The sum of all the decision points about how, when, where and why to travel means that you see large spreads in average counts on what should be similar days.

Okay, I'll take that as "No thanks."

 

As you know, the Origin & Destination Travel Study and the Census household questionnaire are not empirical data. In so far as the component parts of our local transportation system are concerned, the latter tells us very little, and the former has large gaps in it. Yet the positions on public transportation policy of both local governments and advocacy groups, such as yours, are largely based on this incomplete, non-empirical information. (Also, I think you should make it clear in this forum that you work for Malatest & Associates and did analysis for the CRD's ODT study even though you were on the board of directors of the GVCC.)

 

The eco-counter on the Galloping Goose seems more designed to show whether or not cycling on that route is increasing. Over the four years it has been operating, it does show a slight increase. But that's all it shows. Cycling advocates may find that satisfying, but it doesn't help much in the planning required for a reformed public transportation system that is intended to respond to the need for auto emission reductions. At the rate cycling is increasing (from the Eco counter data) and given it's current low level in meetings Victorians transportation needs, it doesn't look like it will play a significant role in emissions reduction. But who knows? We shall see.

 

Our video mapping of City of Victoria intersections is empirical data for the hours in which the videos are made (about 3:30 to 5:30). Unlike the ODT Survey, the videos will capture commercial automobile traffic, which is a large gap in the CRD's data. The CRD's data is done during one season, so it only captures data during that season. The empirical data captured in our videos will provide a much clearer picture of mode share in the 3:30 to 5:30pm time period, especially the split between pedestrians, cyclists and autos. It's not possible to measure the number of people on buses that pass, but we will make some estimate based on Transit data. We're hoping to make this an ongoing project that spans years. If local governments come up with better methodologies for making public policy decisions on transportation, we won't need to do this. I wish they would hurry up.

 

David Broadland



#7443 rjag

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 11:37 AM

Dont see why the bikes cant use the sidewalk for that section of Douglas between Bay to Uptown. The only spot that has any pedestrians on a steady basis is the bus stop outside of Denny's. 



#7444 Coreyburger

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 11:49 AM

Okay, I'll take that as "No thanks."

 

As you know, the Origin & Destination Travel Study and the Census household questionnaire are not empirical data. In so far as the component parts of our local transportation system are concerned, the latter tells us very little, and the former has large gaps in it. Yet the positions on public transportation policy of both local governments and advocacy groups, such as yours, are largely based on this incomplete, non-empirical information. (Also, I think you should make it clear in this forum that you work for Malatest & Associates and did analysis for the CRD's ODT study even though you were on the board of directors of the GVCC.

 

Uhh, O&D and JtW are definitely empirical data. They are just somewhat limited data (time or what they capture). As for my employer, I have never hidden that (a trivial Google will lead you to my personal website About Me- http://www.coreyburger.ca/about-me/).

 

As for "largely based on", that definitely isn't true for the GVCC. Our advocacy positions are based on a lot of different evidence and research, as I have explained in this forum and other places. In fact, in the immediate previous comment, where I said that counting who bikes already isn't a good measure of who will bike.


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#7445 lanforod

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 11:50 AM

Dont see why the bikes cant use the sidewalk for that section of Douglas between Bay to Uptown. The only spot that has any pedestrians on a steady basis is the bus stop outside of Denny's. 

 

Sidewalks are crappy riding.



#7446 Cassidy

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 11:52 AM

The cycling folks obviously don't want anybody looking too closely at the number of cyclists using the assorted bike paths and bike lanes constructed to date.

 

The last few posts to this thread read like a 30 bullet-point list of excuses as to why no normal survey will work, or will garner numbers that can't be used as a valid metric to determine whether bikes lanes and paths are living up to their initial promise.

Almost like there's an inherent fear of what the survey(s) might find!

 

Certainly overtones of "thou protesteth too much".



#7447 Nparker

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 11:53 AM

Sidewalks are crappy riding.

Many in the CoV are pretty bad for walking too.


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#7448 Coreyburger

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 11:59 AM

The cycling folks obviously don't want anybody looking too closely at the number of cyclists using the assorted bike paths and bike lanes constructed to date.

 

The last few posts to this thread read like a 30 bullet-point list of excuses as to why no normal survey will work, or will garner numbers that can't be used as a valid metric to determine whether bikes lanes and paths are living up to their initial promise.

Almost like there's an inherent fear of what the survey(s) might find!

 

Certainly overtones of "thou protesteth too much".

 

Far from it - good counters (permanently installed by the government) are great things. I am just cautioning against trying to conflate two datasets: regional/city-scale mode share with numbers of people biking on specific corridors


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#7449 rjag

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 12:03 PM

Sidewalks are crappy riding.


I think most are in better condition than many of our roads.... 😉

#7450 rmpeers

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 12:06 PM

I think most are in better condition than many of our roads.... 😉


It puzzles me that our local govt doesn't want to keep the roads up. Yes, its effective as a means to marginalize motorists, but cyclists also have to endure them.

#7451 Nparker

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 12:10 PM

Sidewalks are crappy riding.

 

Many in the CoV are pretty bad for walking too.

 

I think most are in better condition than many of our roads.... 😉

One of my favourite examples of the CoV's well-maintained sidewalks (Fernwood @ Grant)
sidewalk.JPG



#7452 RFS

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 12:17 PM

What I want to know is if anything will ever happen with the awful retaining wall and lack of sidewalk/bike lanes on bay st at quadra


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#7453 Cassidy

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 12:42 PM

What I want to know is if anything will ever happen with the awful retaining wall and lack of sidewalk/bike lanes on bay st at quadra

If ever there was a "take your life in your hands" stretch of road in the COV, this one is the worst.

I'm not particularly sympathetic to cyclists in general, as they tend to assume that any stretch of road or sidewalk is theirs for the taking, but I would imagine even they avoid this death-stretch of Bay St. like the plague.

 

Even as a driver of a big old F-150, I'll go way out of my way to avoid this block ... something I've done for decades now.



#7454 sam

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 12:45 PM

Uhh, O&D and JtW are definitely empirical data. They are just somewhat limited data (time or what they capture). As for my employer, I have never hidden that (a trivial Google will lead you to my personal website About Me- http://www.coreyburger.ca/about-me/).

 

As for "largely based on", that definitely isn't true for the GVCC. Our advocacy positions are based on a lot of different evidence and research, as I have explained in this forum and other places. In fact, in the immediate previous comment, where I said that counting who bikes already isn't a good measure of who will bike.

 

Your website doesn't identify that you were paid to work on, and do analysis for, the CRD's ODT Survey. When you refer to it here, you ought to include that statement.

 

I disagree with you that the either the ODT Survey or the Household Survey use "empirical" data. For it to be empirical, you would need to directly observe each of your survey participants doing what they say they remember doing. The distances travelled by each participant that are recorded by the survey are straight-line distances between points, not the actual distances travelled. These are imaginary numbers. The numbers Malatest writes down as "data" are all based on the memories of the participants. Nothing can be verified. It's a tool that might put you in the right ballpark, but it is not empirical data.

 

Our video mapping of intersections will be confined to City of Victoria intersections. We won't try to make any projections from those intersection to the region except for this: If the mode shares we derive for the City of Victoria from direct observation differ significantly with the numbers published by the CRD for the City of Victoria, we can surmise that the CRD's data for the region is likely skewed as well. If our direct observations confirm the CRD's estimates of mode share for the City of Victoria, its estimates for the region might also be valid.

 

I can understand that an employee of a company that utilizes guesstimating to generate revenue to pay that employee would justify guesstimating. But its still guesstimating and doesn't necessarily lead to the best public policy. When the guesstimators are also known proponents of a particular policy point of view, there's the danger of getting that policy very wrong. Thus the need for direct observation.

 

David Broadland


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#7455 Mike K.

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 01:37 PM

A great tool for observations is the Royal BC Museum webcam. It's high-res and refreshes enough to see instant change for Belleville at Government.


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#7456 FogPub

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 05:28 PM

I disagree with you that the either the ODT Survey or the Household Survey use "empirical" data. For it to be empirical, you would need to directly observe each of your survey participants doing what they say they remember doing. The distances travelled by each participant that are recorded by the survey are straight-line distances between points, not the actual distances travelled. These are imaginary numbers. The numbers Malatest writes down as "data" are all based on the memories of the participants. Nothing can be verified. It's a tool that might put you in the right ballpark, but it is not empirical data.

I can't remember now if it was last May or the May before, but my household was one of those that got the Transportation Survey; and something I also noticed was while it was solid enough for determining our start-end points and mode(s) of travel there was no accounting for what route we took.

 

A specific example: for lunch on the survey day we decided we wanted to go out for fish and chips somewhere; ideally for take-out to take to the waterfront and eat in the car.  So we left home (south Fernwood area) and went to what was then Fairfield Fish and Chips but on approach we saw it was closed for the day and so we kept going.  We thought about it and decided on Barb's at Fisherman's Wharf, and took the scenic route to get there around the Dallas Rd/Ogden Point waterfront drive.  But from the survey's point of view our trip was straight from home to Barb's.

 

The only way to get true data would be to put trackers on people for a set amount of time (24 hours?) and I somehow don't think that's gonna fly. :)



#7457 lanforod

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 08:39 PM

The trackers are already there. Just need Google and Apple to pass us the data!

#7458 On the Level

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 11:23 PM

 

You also don't measure bike lane usage by existing people riding bikes (the bridge swimming analogy) - there is a really good, quite consistent evidence (from many studies, by many authors, in many countries, asking different ways) about what a majority of people will ride. It looks a lot like our regional trails and protected bike lanes. Until you have them, you cannot see the impact they might have. You can look elsewhere to see what happens and for that the evidence is pretty good (multiple studies, multiple places, etc.) - near where you build good bike infrastructure, bike ridership rises.

 
Do I really need to point out that "existing use" and "potential use" of bike lanes are two metrics that are equally important to track.  I would be interest in reading one of your studies where it states actual results must be hidden because of potential impacts. 
 
The actual results can be used to extrapolate what might happen on corridors around the bike lanes.....not hidden. 
 
The Webster definition of Special Interest is "a person or group seeking to influence legislative or government policy to further often narrowly defined interests"
 
Promoting bike usage and infrastructure is not a bad thing.  When it is done with disregard of all stakeholders, and when done at the expense of the majority that have no influence in the decision, this is not positive.

 

Our video mapping of City of Victoria intersections is empirical data for the hours in which the videos are made (about 3:30 to 5:30). Unlike the ODT Survey, the videos will capture commercial automobile traffic, which is a large gap in the CRD's data. The CRD's data is done during one season, so it only captures data during that season. The empirical data captured in our videos will provide a much clearer picture of mode share in the 3:30 to 5:30pm time period, especially the split between pedestrians, cyclists and autos. It's not possible to measure the number of people on buses that pass, but we will make some estimate based on Transit data. We're hoping to make this an ongoing project that spans years. If local governments come up with better methodologies for making public policy decisions on transportation, we won't need to do this. I wish they would hurry up.

 

David Broadland

 

I believe there is a real need for a third party to conduct a transparent study to provide numbers of uptake, along with comparison data of other modes of transportation so we really understand impact.  For all we know, bike ridership is up 2% while vehicle traffic is up 5%.  When extrapolated that would show a decrease in ridership as compared to a population and transportation increase.  With the previous studies, they will used as "fact" for a misguided transportation policy.  A policy that would miss the demographic and geographic realities of the CRD, thereby discouraging mass transit funding opportunities. 

 

This really needs to be a proper wholesome review. 


Edited by On the Level, 10 January 2019 - 11:24 PM.

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#7459 DustMagnet

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Posted 18 January 2019 - 09:47 AM

Unfortunate.

 

https://www.cheknews...harbour-526138/



#7460 spanky123

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Posted 18 January 2019 - 10:13 AM

 

No problems cutting down a tree for a bike lane, but ok to waste $2M and leave a tree in place instead of building a pool.


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