Traffic diversion failures threaten schools

Post by Mike Klassen in

78 comments


Over 2 dozen Eastside neighbours gathered on a summer afternoon to sound off at Gregor (video)

Last June I experienced firsthand the public frustration felt by a neighbourhood over Vision Vancouver's haphazard bike route policies. Invited by a stranger who lives in the vicinity of East 45th Avenue & Elliott Street, I decided to find out why people were so upset with a street closure.

It turns out that a four-way stop at that intersection which had worked fine for a generation was now targeted for "calming" of a sort, allowing only cycles to move east-west along 45th.

Now cycling advocates, including my friend Gord Price, have consistently commented that the controversies of yesteryear over traffic calming in Shaughnessy and the West End are all a distant memory. No one, argues Price, would re-open a street currently blocked off in one of these neighbourhoods, and I agree with him.

However, the blockaded streets of the Killarney neighbourhood (my stomping grounds as a youth) are a different matter altogether. East 45th Avenue is an important secondary arterial to that neighbourhood. This is because between the thoroughfares of 41st and 49th Avenue there is only one street which permits easy connections from the homes east of Victoria Drive to important amenities like Killarney Park pool & rink, and grocery and liquor stores located off Tyne & Kingsway.

That neighbourhood also has a very high concentration of seniors who rely upon cars, hence the frustration of one gentleman I interviewed in the video above. East 45th is not just surplus road space in the Killarney neighbourhood, it's a lifeline.

So today's cover story of the Vancouver Courier by Naoibh O'Connor feels a bit like 'I told you so' to me. There are two elementary schools between Boundary Road and Vic Drive just one block off 45th – Weir and Waverly Elementary. Both have been hit hard by cars cutting through school zones where kids are trying to get to class in the morning. It makes the arrogance of Vision's policies all the more frustrating. It's a wonder that someone has not been seriously injured or killed yet along this corridor.

If the goal was to improve safety for people traveling along this route, this "six month trial" has been a failure. In fact, the City was already forced to replace the four-way stop at 45th & Elliott, but without removing the barricades. It was an obvious acknowledgement by Vancouver's Engineering Department that this was just plain dangerous road design.

O'Connor's story permits Engineering to crow about traffic reductions, but she doesn't ignore how it has affected the school. Parents and school administrators are burning up valuable time going back and forth with city officials, who have so far done nothing to address their concerns but talk.

Jerry Dobrovolny, the city's director of transportation, said the diverter is part of a citywide effort to reduce the number of cars using bikeways. Traffic volume on 45th, which runs along the backside of the school, has dropped from 4,000 vehicles to 1,000, he said, adding the number and speed of vehicles in the general neighbourhood has also gone down.

Traffic on 44th, however, has climbed from 500 to 1,000 vehicles, Dobrovolny acknowledged, adding the congestion only occurs twice a day during drop-off and pick-up.

"Because it's a pilot program or trial, we're still tweaking, or dealing with some of the specific issues that exist and certainly the 45th and Weir school [location] is one of the specific issues that we're trying to work with because we're not satisfied we've reached the right solution as yet," he said.

Of course, when you cut off the main access to a neighbourhood traffic will drop off. The presence of both Killarney Park and the Avalon Dairy in this area forces drivers onto larger collector streets (41st & 49th). When you're a 70-something it just makes moving around that much more risky. I should point out that the six month trial period has passed at 45th & Elliott and the barricades are still there.

One of two things are going to happen in 2011 when it comes to this mistaken application of traffic blockades. Either the City will stand down because of mounting complaints, or more likely, the polls in Killarney are going to swing into the "anybody but Vision Vancouver" column. If my meeting last summer is any indication, the citizens in this community are not ready to back Mayor Gregor's plans.

- post by Mike

78 Comments

Perhaps these parents shouldn't drive their precious snowflakes 4 blocks to school?

Oh, perhaps the children should just take their chances and walk through the now diverted traffic of otherwise previously quieter side streets. After all, Dubrovlny will come to the rescue when some child is injured or worse.

The abduction and predator rate wouldn't be on this low life boohoo's mind. His only purpose in life is to counter any logical comment made by writers and readers that go against this radical Vision mentality to disrupt neighborhoods with concrete, just to accommodate a few cyclists in the Summer.

Traffic calming has always seemed more like traffic raging.
The problems with school areas these days is that many people are "NOT bringing their precious snowflakes (bad analogy) 4 blocks"
School districts have a much broader range these days.
The days of mom walking the kids to school 1 or 2 blocks isn't the norm.
Parents have to drop their kids off and rush to part time jobs, they live elsewhere etc.
I see it in my supposedly wealthy west side neighbourhood.
Calming diverts the main traffic flow and creates short cuts, annoyed drivers, people looking for alternative routes.
People have to make a living and in an idyllic world they would work,live and and also be able to walk to their local school.
Vancouver is not that.

I'm not as familiar with the immediate area as you are Mike, but looking at the street layout, could 46th between Victoria and Killarney work as a bike lane?

How the mind set changes. I remember in 1973 when we did the traffic calming and diversions in the West End. At that time we (TEAM) had to be quite specific with our instructions to Engineering. And, fortunately Bill Curtis, the City Engineer, hired a smart guy, Bob McDonald if I recall correctly, as his transportation planner.

It appears the pendulum has swung too far the other way. We now have a 'bike is king' single minded mind set in our transportation planning. That is the wrong approach. There are 2 core transportation planning principles in this case which should be front and centre:

1) achieve an optimum balance between all users of the public rights of way. No one is more important than the other within a neighbourhood context.

In this case it supposedly works for bikes but is causing problems for pedestrians and vehicles. That's not a solution. It's problems and accidents waiting to happen.

2) separate different transportation modes where possible.

45th has been at least an important local collector if not an arterial street, so it has higher vehicular volume. That shouldn't have to change, unless draconian measures are taken such as the diverters. IMO other options need to be explored. Or maybe the bikes just need to stop and wait when necessary at intersections just like the vehicles and pedestrians do.

Maybe I'm all wet, others may have better 1st hand knowledge.

Oh dear foofoo, low life and radical vision mentality? Good job.

As for the 'abduction and predator rate', I would ask you to back that up with statistics but I know they don't matter to people who live in fear like you.

There is traffic chaos at schools all around Vancouver. While most drivers are responsible, there are still way to main who careless and reckless endangering children, pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers.

It is time that the VPD crack down on these irresponsible drivers. A good idea would be for the province to enact legislation similar to that which has worked for driving and driving. If drivers break the law near schools, there cars should be impounded and their licences suspected. That would solve the problem quickly and make it safe for children to walk and cycle to school again.

@boo hoo

Are you on or off your meds tonight?

Just checking ...

@ Richard;

Do those laws that the you suggest the VPD should crack down on include irresponsible cyclists??? If cyclists do not obey the laws, should the VPD impound their bikes??

Or is your group back to only condemning the drivers in this city?

Just out of curiosity; Did the cycling advocates send a condolence card to the family of the 80 year old
that recently died due to a pedestrian/cyclist collision?????

Is this not getting ridiculous? The only people that are acting irresponsible are the drivers. They are breaking the law and putting people to risk. It is time that common sense starts getting into people thinking. There is no right to drive, that is a privilege. So, drivers let us act accordingly.

The city needs to get busy reducing pollution for the sake of the health of its resident, especially the elder, which means cutting out trips that cause pollution which means less car trips. The last car trip should be taking kids to school. Let us return to the ways of our youth where we walked to school, sometimes a few kilometres. Kids need to get rid of energy and be put into a condition which will help them to learn. Walking to school or cycling to school will do that.

@Max
Read the article. The problem is careless and reckless drivers threatening children's lives. If there is a case where some cyclists threaten children's lives to the same degree as these drivers are, I would support the same treatment. I'm sure you would agree that due to the laws of physics that this is not very likely though.

So stick to the issue and stop trying to deflect blame from the real problem, which is reckless and careless driving.

Have you sent letters to the 400 people who die in the province in motor vehicle collisions or the 1.2 million who die per year? Did the BCAA? Did Ford? Did GM? I expect not.

The death of the 80 year old was a tragic incident as are the 400 deaths a year caused by motor vehicles. The police investigated and last I heard have not found that the cyclist did anything wrong.

It is quite inappropriate that you bring this tragedy up in something that has nothing to do with it.

I tend to agree with you Max, I believe the frustration, from my understanding of the article, is not drivers... it is the disruption and diversion of traffic to accommodate cyclists. This has created a situation where much more traffic is diverted into school areas.

I find the arguments here are missing the point. Telling people to have children walk to school is easily said back in the day, but society has changed and allowing children to walk to school with predators lurking isn't an easy option any more for parents.Not all Moms are stay at home Moms with time to walk to and fro then get to work..

Using Elders and air pollution is a ridiculous argument to me, you assume everyone can ride a bike... that is just not realistic..and rather holier than thou.

I have health conditions, including lung problems and never would I suggest people change their ways to accommodate me, that reeks of entitlement.

The fact is traffic has been rerouted and is causing problems for many and your lack of understanding or concern is troubling. This is what is dividing us as a society and creating the "us against them" mentality...

I have more fear of being knocked over on a sidewalk by a bike or skateboard, falling and breaking my hip than I do about pollution. I can chose to avoid heavy traffic, wear a mask, but can't control cyclists/skateboarders abusing walkways.

@George

I suggest reading the Courier article posted. Here is a bit of it.
"The mother of three carried a clip board of "information tickets" for drivers, asking them not to speed, drive in the wrong direction, make u-turns, park illegally, drop children off in the middle of the street, or pull into the staff parking lot. Licence plates are noted and forwarded to the police, the notices warn."

Clearly, some drivers are not obeying the law. That is the problem and that was the problem on the bicycle route as well. It is not acceptable that some drivers chose to disobey the law and endanger other people regardless of what street they are on. This must stop.

And, unless you just walk around the block, you are in danger from motor vehicles. The facts are telling. You are far more likely to be killed by a motor vehicle than a bicycle. While cyclists should not be riding on a sidewalk unless there is a sign allowing them to, to my knowledge, there has never been a death of a pedestrian in Vancouver as a result of being hit by a cyclist riding on a sidewalk. Meanwhile, between 10 and 20 pedestrians are killed per year by motor vehicles in Vancouver.

I'm sorry Richard but I beg to differ. I live in the most militant area of cyclists and skateboarders in this city. If you complain you get the finger and verbal abuse.

I can't walk 10 feet down any sidewalk in my neighborhood without being bumped off my cane.

Main street and Broadway are a nightmare, I have video, and pics. I've been bumped in front of parking authority officers, as well as 5 feet in front of 2 police officers that could do nothing....because they have been advised by their superiors not to ticket cyclists.

I have no need to read an article that was written in the Vision agenda driven Courier Newspaper, I just need to look out my window.

I trust my eyes and my experiences.

Sorry I only responded to half the point you made.
As for the Mom having to approach drivers I believe that, and as I said it is because traffic has been diverted and there is much more traffic being directed toward school areas....

I see this as well, I get it. It isn't about cars, it is about the unhealthy flow that traffic is being forced to take to accommodate cyclists.
Unfortunately the cycling coalition chooses to make it a political mantra to get rid of cars.... not going to happen, it is unrealistic, and blatantly unfair.

Stop making it about Us verses Them... work together instead of creating animosity.

I see there is a different spin on the reporting of this incident in the Globe as compared to the Vancouver Sun.

http://m.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/british-columbia/pedestrian-80-killed-in-collision-with-cyclist/article1809538/?service=mobile

Now if the family feels they want to sue the cyclist for negligence will he ever be able to pay?

Cyclists need to have insurance if they are to ride on city streets. There are too many of them now not to and according to the City's estimates there will be more so ICBC needs to get involved with a bicycle program with cyclists buying insurance.

@George

We are talking about too different slightly different issues. I'm talking about fatalities while you are talking about bad cycling behaviour, that while disrespectful, against the rules and can result in injury, fortunately has not and is not very likely to result in death. What is far more likely, statically to lead to death, is reckless driving.

The VPD really needs a big shake. They ticket cyclists at a greater rate than motorists in spite of the fact that their mission is to make the city safer and that motor vehicles kill 10-20 people per year in Vancouver.

Unfortunately, they almost solely ticket cyclists for not wearing helmets, 3000 to 3500 tickets per year. They often camp out on the Seawall giving tickets to people that are likely mostly from out of town. Nice job if you can get it.

If they are going to ticket cyclists, I would much rather see them focus on reckless sidewalk riding that endangers people like yourself and them for that matter. Again, though, their goal first should be to eliminate fatalities and that means focusing their efforts on reckless drivers.

Now that this discussion has veered a bit off topic, lets bring it back and talk about why the diversion is needed on 45th.

I was cycling down the Ontario Bikeway the other day and all the children I saw cycling (5 or 6), were cycling on the sidewalk. It is sad that even on the bikeways in our city, parents don't feel comfortable letting their children cycle on streets. This is why we need traffic calming on bike routes. People of all ages, include children should be safe cycling in the city.

Now, CityCaucus, how about trying to find solutions instead of all this tired old divisive political spin.

Richard Richard Richard... first of all we are off topic because you diverted it to fatalities by cars... this article is clearly about the fact that traffic in the area has been diverted to accommodate cyclists... you have turned it into car fatalities... Shame on you making it political.

My friends are forced to have their children ride the sidewalk in that particular area Richard and their reasoning is that they are more uncomfortable with the racing of cyclists that show no respect for the kids...
This is my neighborhood Richard, and I can say without a doubt that our lives have been made hell since Vision came to office and started catering to your coalition.

Your organization has made it political, us verses them...it makes me want to go out and buy a huge gas guzzling Hummer just to piss of every cyclist on the road and sidewalk...

@George
They are trying to make bicycle routes safe for everyone including children. That is the entire point. It is reckless drivers that are the problem. Stop making excuses for their unacceptable behaviour. Just because traffic has been diverted there is no excuse for them breaking the law driving recklessly by a school.


@George

Oh, and by the way, if you don't like cyclists riding on the sidewalk, you might be interested in knowing that in New York City, separated bike lanes there have reduced sidewalk riding by 85%. I expect the results here have been similar.

again I beg to differ the speeding tour de France cyclists on the Ontario route make it unsafe for the kids, the cars on that stretch are pretty much non existent..I've lived here 15 years, I know my community

Richard this isn't New York.. apples and oranges.

Richard I have relatives that live in New York, their observation when here was that the difference was the militancy in our cyclists...the lack of rules and enforcement...

I don't have problems with riding bikes I own 3, I don't ride because the other cyclists terrify me.

@ George.

"The fact is traffic has been rerouted and is causing problems for many ... This is what is dividing us as a society and creating the "us against them" mentality...".

Amen.

Drivers should follow the rules of the road and VPD should be enforcing traffic laws in this area to reduce the number of problems.

"Telling people to have children walk to school is easily said back in the day, but society has changed and allowing children to walk to school with predators lurking isn't an easy option any more for parents"

Fear-mongering. A child faces far more danger from the drivers who continue to flout the ban on driving with handheld devices over mythical bands of 'predators' lurking the streets. Any credible expert on child safety will tell you that anonymous predators are the exceptions that prove the rule.

When road rules or traffic patterns change it is up to drivers to obey them so that everyone can expect safe, predictable behaviour from all users. Flouting those rules makes those drivers no better than the scoff-law cyclists everyone is happy to excoriate.

If you are going to countenance individuals in automobiles breaking the law because it's convenient for them, then you haven't a leg to stand on when it comes to calling for harsher treatment of jaywalking pedestrians, untrained cyclists, or any other group that chooses to ignore laws to satisfy their own desires.

Whether you like this change to the road system or not, the increased dangers are clearly due to individual choices by people who are prioritizing the public's safety below their own convenience.

If there is any one person in this city creating fear mongering Chris, I give my vote to you and your extremist group...

Your rants are ridiculous and quite frankly laughable.Not to mention condescending and irritating.

Kumbaya my young friend..

You should repudiate my points George, rather than attack the messenger. But, you can't... so you won't. Instead, we'll get the same old same old from you, which is not much.

cheers,
CK

Max,

Do you have anything to say regarding my point? Or do passing insults suit you better?

Just checking.

I did the parking patrol at my son's school, when work allowed, for a number of years. I can say without a shade of doubt that it was an education for me about the abysmal driving standards in Vancouver as well as the sheer idiocy of certain people, often endangering their own children as much as anyone else's.

It was well worth doing, before we started there was one child a year being hit outside the school, after there were none. But it was demanding work, I and other volunteers were sworn at, driven at, complained about by assholes whose sense of entitlement resulted in all sorts of appalling behaviour and dangerous situations.

I have no time for the kind of stupid, thoughtless cycling fanatics or arrogant anti social skateboarders that infest the city, both of which groups seem to have become protected species as far as law enforcement is concerned. However drivers, such as myself, have to accept that we have the primary responsibility for road safety because the consequences of our carelessness are worst, as is proven by BC's shamefully high road fatality rate.

Here is one of your points Chris

Fear-mongering. A child faces far more danger from the drivers who continue to flout the ban on driving with handheld devices over mythical bands of 'predators' lurking the streets. Any credible expert on child safety will tell you that anonymous predators are the exceptions that prove the rule.

You've accused me of fear mongering.... well in my personal experience I have dealt with predators with my children first hand,it was not a good experience... as a parent you might think about that a bit more.

I've dodged skateboarders and cyclists racing down Main street wearing ear phones, cell phones no helmets.... and my personal favorite carrying a coffee all at the same time.

Chris your arguments to eradicate those scary polluting cars from the earth before the sky falls are a little extreme.... as for the messenger....

George,

You may have personal experience with it, but are you arguing you are statistically more likely to be abducted by a predator than you are to be hit by a car (or cyclist)?

What I find extreme(ly annoying) is this ridiculous equation propped up that people who want more cycling infrastructure therefore want scary polluting cars eradicated. Why do you insist on that ridiculous belief?

"Chris your arguments to eradicate those scary polluting cars from the earth before the sky falls are a little extreme"

Haven't made that argument George. Ever. I understand why you need to perpetuate that lie, but you should aim higher.

You seem incapable of having a conversation without blowing the other person's position way out of proportion, which is why it's pretty clear who's trafficking in hysteria.

If drivers made a choice to observe the new traffic regulations, the risk dissipates. That's the bottom line.

"Telling people to have children walk to school is easily said back in the day, but society has changed and allowing children to walk to school with predators lurking isn't an easy option any more for parents"

Fear-mongering. A child faces far more danger from the drivers who continue to flout the ban on driving with handheld devices over mythical bands of 'predators' lurking the streets. Any credible expert on child safety will tell you that anonymous predators are the exceptions that prove the rule.

Chris, was that your actual response? Seriously? If you actually believe that then you're a [edited]. Plain and simple. Obviously you are not a parent if you think it's safe for your kid(s) to walk to school by themselves. And if you are a parent, you're a shitty one. I don't think you'll be able to find anyone who would disagree with this. And if you do find someone who does, well then it's most likely because they're as much of a [edited] as you are.

Why in this day and age we're supposed to treat everyone as equals is beyond me. From your statements it's obvious you simply are a person of limited intelligence or at best, what our society calls, "An [edited]".

Carl,

Same question I've already asked--are you arguing it's statistically more likely that a kid walking to school will be abducted by a predator rather hit by a car? Is that really your argument? Or is that just how you 'feel'?

@Carl. I've edited some of the foul language included in your last post. While I appreciated your passion about this issue, our policy is to encourage a civil debate on this blog, not profanity laden comments.

We also highly discourage people from making personal attacks. As such, I encourage everyone to stick to debating the issues and refrain from commenting about the perceived intelligence (or lack thereof) of particular commenters.

Now back to the debate!

Carl:

If I'm such an idiot, then it should be easy for you to make a strong case that children are more at risk from predators on their way to school than motor vehicles. You should make that case. But as I said to George... you can't, so you won't.

cheers,
CK

Daniel:

"Personal attacks, offensive language and unsubstantiated allegations are not allowed."

or


"We also highly discourage people from making personal attacks."

Which is it? You should never have allowed Carl's comments to remain if either of those statements is to have a shred of credibility.

@ Richard, Jan. 7, 7:03 pm

I did read the article and this is how I comprehend it:

Before traffic diversion: no problems

After traffic diversion: problems


And, if you exepct me to feel badly for the 3,500 or so cyclists ticketed for not wearing a helmut, you are sadly mistken.

The LAWS apply to all of us. Not just the group(s) the advocates are targeting.

boohoo

You jumped into a conversation regarding a comment made by Chris Keam accusing me of fear mongering... the conversation got redirected, but what I find most interesting is the fact that it gave certain folks,Chris and yourself the opportunity to derail the original point and make me the target of low brow verbal assaults, ....note how the points of bad behavior such as the skateboarders and cyclists with hand held devices, carrying coffee down the middle of Main street conveniently got ignored from my last post...but my level of intelligence or contribution seems to be the new topic of debate...
funny how at one time Chris stated that he found me very intelligent, and my comments worth responding to...I guess time, or the topic, changes things.

What is the cycling coalition doing to change the bad behavior of cyclists? I feel that is a fair question considering you both seem to want drivers of cars to be accountable. What are your suggestions to the other glaring problem...extremist cyclists/skateboarders, and their lack of accountability. As I originally stated FOR ME that is more of a problem.

As well boohoo, I'm curious why would you refer people's children as "precious snowflakes" with such disdain? Perhaps it was an attempt at humor... but to some of us it falls flat. To some of us our children are precious.. nothing to mock.

Without verbal assaults please...lets try to redirect the negativity here. Myself included.

The article quite clearly states that the problem is scoff-law drivers. If the law applies to 'all of us' then the problem is clearly due to some people who disagree with that sentiment.

George:

The problem in this case has nothing to do with latte-sipping skateboarders. It's drivers who are failing in their duty to drive in a safe manner. You are claiming that predators present a risk to children walking to school. As yet you've given no proof that this is actually an issue. If you are going to discuss this issue, why are you continuing to troll with red herrings?

@ George re:

'As well boohoo, I'm curious why would you refer people's children as "precious snowflakes" with such disdain? Perhaps it was an attempt at humor... but to some of us it falls flat. To some of us our children are precious.. nothing to mock.'

***************

Especially since he has stated that his wife is a teacher.

Max/George,

My wife is a teacher as well, I see the kids being dropped off by mom in the SUV while she sips her latte. I know they live within a 5-10 minute walk. Not all kids, but many. So my 'precious snowflake' comment was a general dig at the way we treat kids nowadays, due party in fact to this ludicrous notion that the world is full of serial rapists and 'predators' lurking around every corner waiting to kidnap your child.

I've asked a few times for stats to back up those fears, nary a response...as suspected.

George--Yes, there are cyclists and pedestrians and skateboards and unicyclists and handicapped people and every method of transportation out there that break the rules every hour of everyday. No one is disputing that. Everytime this debate comes up it's like you need to point this out at though it's some kind of revelation. The fact is, if drivers adhered to the rules of the road, these traffic diversions would not be dangerous. There's no way around that simple fact.

I don't know why you need to hear from the cycling coalition about what they're doing when the issue is automobile drivers blowing through this neighbourhood. Why aren't you demanding the skateboarding coalition make a statement? Pedestrians? Why I saw a woman in a wheelchair crossing a street in the middle of the block yesterday! I mean who does she think she is flaunting the law like that??

Chris if you remember, the comment I made was in reference to why people now are put in a position that they must drive their children to school as opposed to years ago when we could walk miles in the snow with no shoes in our pajamas....what you have done is taken that comment TWISTED it around accused me of fear mongering....

What is very clear here now Chris as you are responding to my attempt to offer an olive branch, is to continue to spew crap...YOU are creating the divide between folks trying to coexist, your knee jerk reaction to my comment proves it..

As for the article you keep missing the point people are fed up with the fact that TRAFFIC HAS BEEN REDIRECTED TO ACCOMMODATE AN ELITE GROUP OF CYCLISTS AND SKATEBOARDERS WHICH HAS PUT MORE TRAFFIC IN A SCHOOL ZONE...from there the comment thread took twists and turns as comments came on board. But you keep conveniently forgetting that point.

Follow the thread Chris and please don't cherry pick to suit your agenda.
Please stop attacking me for having an opinion, obviously you aren't interested in a conversation. But for some reason I or my comments hit a nerve with you.

I tried to take the high road with you Chris, but it seems that you have no interest in going that route..

Chris you stated,
You are claiming that predators present a risk to children walking to school. As yet you've given no proof that this is actually an issue. If you are going to discuss this issue, why are you continuing to troll with red herrings?

It happened to my family Chris, it is personal, and I choose not to share it with you, and as you have stated it is not in keeping with the topic. It wasn't a red herring it was a comment, you are making it an issue...

Don't feed me horse manure and call it vegan chocolate pudding George. I made a valid point that if drivers obeyed the new rules, there was no danger to children. You responded by calling me an extremist and suggesting I am trying to get rid of every single car in the world.

You claimed (without offering a whit of evidence) that children are in danger from predators if they walk to school. You have yet to come up with any proof that this is in fact the case.

If you want to take the high road, there's a toll. The price of admission is staying on topic and not resorting to unfair personal characterizations of people who disagree with you. The topic of both the article and ostensibly this thread is traffic in this school zone. If you want to claim that there's a problem with the engineering of the solution or the idea of the solution itself, so be it, but either of those points can be made without personal attacks.

Instead you're whinging you've been maligned because there's an expectation that you should back up your claims of 'stranger danger' with some semblance of proof.

So much for the olive branch....classy

@ Chris;

• Recent studies show that while the statistics on most other forms of violent crime are dramatically decreasing, reports of child abuse and neglect have risen since 1993. In fact, it is now believed that every day, three children are killed as a result of abuse or neglect in this country.

• An incident of child abuse is reported, on average, every l0 seconds. More than 2.9 million reports were made in 2003; the actual incidence is presumed to be much higher.

• Children are more at risk of violence at home and on the streets than in school.
A Month of Mental Health Facts: Prepared by the staff of the Child Study Center
© 2006 Child Study Center, NYU School of Medicine

• Children and adolescents have among the highest rates of conventional crime victimization and, in addition, suffer from some crimes - like sexual abuse and family abduction - specific to childhood. Despite enormous publicity about crime and youth, however, this high vulnerability is seldom mentioned. These facts and statistics about crimes against children are compiled from a variety of sources.
- Crimes Against Children Research Center, University of New Hampshire

• The number one concern of children is their personal safety.
.- ABC World News Tonight

• 1-3 Girls and 1-7 Boys under the age of 18 are sexually abused.
-1989 Report presented for Fed. Parliament (RCMP) Jaclyn Mace @ Statistics Canada

• Violent stranger abductions - 5 a year end in death or long term missing.
1989 Report presented for Fed. Parliament (RCMP) Jaclyn Mace @ Statistics Canada

• The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates that 1.5 million children disappear, run away, are kidnapped or get kicked out of their homes. If true, that staggering figure means that roughly 1 of every 42 youngsters is in danger.
-Time Magazine

• Based on NIBRS data, crimes against juvenile victims are the large majority (67%) of sexual assaults handled by law enforcement agencies. One of every seven victims was under the age of 6, and over a third of all sexual assaults involved a child who was under the age of 12. This implies that by design the National Crime Victimization Survey is missing over a third of all sexual assaults that occur in the United States each year.
- Sexual Assault of Young Children as Reported to Law Enforcement,
7/00, NCJ 182990, U.S. Department of Justice

• A 1996 national incidence study conducted by the federal government found that girls are sexually abused 3 times more often than boys.
-Sedlak, A and Broadhurst, D (1996) Executive Summary of the Third National Incidence
Study of Child Abuse and Neglect

• A 1996 national incidence study conducted by the federal government found that girls are sexually abused 3 times more often than boys.
-Sedlak, A and Broadhurst, D (1996) Executive Summary of the Third National Incidence
Study of Child Abuse and Neglect

• The rate of sexual abuse among children with disabilities is 1.75 times higher than among children without disabilities.
-National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, 1993

And....

• As many as 1 in 6 teens admits there are places where they never feel safe, such as walking to and from a friend's house or on public transportation.
-Louis Harris and Associates, Between Hope and Fear: Teens Speak Out on Crime and the Community


@Max

Child abuse and neglect have nothing to do with changes to traffic patterns. As I'm sure you know.

George:

Your original comment was that predators were 'lurking'. Whatever your personal experience (and I am naturally sorry for any impact is has had on your family) the reality is that there are many options for kids beyond being driven to school and abductions of children walking to schools is a less likely cause for injury or death than children being injured by (or in) cars. Parents can arrange walking school buses, kids can walk together, and when roads are safe enough, older children can easily ride their bikes to school if they are within a few km of home.

Again, the problem with this particular issue is not cyclists, or predators, it's drivers who are failing to obey road rules in a school zone. Whatever the reason for that, job #1 is accepting that the rules apply to us all, as you have been quick to point out.

@ Chris;

I could have saved you the trouble and posted your response for you. It is what I had expected.

In this day and age, there is no way parents can let their guard down when it comes to their children and the nutjobs that roam our streets.

I am sorry that the cycling advocates feel their saftey - the few that do use that passage way for their travels, is more improtant that the safety of the children at those schools and that neighborhood.

The simple fact that you would belittle child safety is gobb-smacking.

I am sorry, but not shocked.

Max
thank you for your research and rational comments....as well thank you for backing me up against the angry contingent that refused to listen to my points..I do appreciate it.

Chris said
Don't feed me horse manure and call it vegan chocolate pudding George.

Funny true story about horse manure Chris... I hail from the days when cars shared the road with horse drawn wagons delivering our milk and dairy to our homes.... horses being horses would deposit their manure on the streets as they traveled through the neighborhood.... for hours we would play road hockey with the droppings, then Dad would bring out a shovel and deposit it in the garden..Everyone got along just fine...

As far as I can tell, this is the only stat remotely relative to the discussion at hand.

• Violent stranger abductions - 5 a year end in death or long term missing.
1989 Report presented for Fed. Parliament (RCMP) Jaclyn Mace @ Statistics Canada

Anyway, 5 deaths or long term disappearance. I assume that's Canada if it's a federal parliament report. Now that's 1989 so let's quadruple that number just for fun. 20 abductions a year.

http://www.icbc.com/about-ICBC/Newsroom/quick-statistics.pdf

Page 4. 52 fatalities for kids ages 13-21 in 2008 in BC alone. 354 overall in BC alone, some percentage of that would be kids 0-12.

Got more stats to show us?

Max:

I have not belittled child safety. You have. By pretending there's some connection between traffic calming measures and sexual predators and reinforcing the erroneous and dis-proven supposition that children are in constant danger whenever they are outside their parent's control.

In fact, you're using it as a convenient excuse to try to downplay real safety issues, such as traffic and driver behaviour in school zones. Just how low will you stoop?

George:

Great story. Why can't kids play road hockey anymore? It's not because of fears of child abduction, right?

Chris:

You asked for stats - you were provided them.

And now you try to spin you comments to blame myself and others for sticking up for the families that drive their children to school in order to make sure they are safe.

Nice try.

No brass ring.

Your stats show no correlation between predators and active transportation to and from school Max. In fact, most abuse and or neglect of children comes from people they know. When someone asks for stats, the underlying assumption is that those stats would be somehow relevant to the discussion. Yours aren't.

The reality is that children aren't more safe by being driven to school, and in fact, are more exposed to pollutants, injury in traffic accidents, and obesity risk factors.

cheers,
CK

Max,

And you were presented with statistics showing you clearly the danger of death is far greater in an automobile than by some lurking predator.

No one is blaming you of anything, but it's pretty clear if the safety of kids is this important to you, you would be addressing the danger of automobiles rather than the boogyman hiding in the bushes.

re: Hornby Bike Lane

Several weeks of alternating winter monsoon & deep freezes have made it very apparent that whoever designed the bike lanes with their planter box dividers was totally unaware that city streets are cambered so that water runs off & into the gutters & drains.
Because what's now happening is that rainwater flows through & out the bottom of the planters and then across the bike lane to get to the gutter - and when it freezes overnight the streams of water turn to ice all the way across the bike lane.

After a couple of weeks the City now seems to have noticed this, and last week shovelled large amounts of salt all over the bike lanes between Hastings & Dunsmuir - an inch deep in places.

The cyclists weren't of course going to risk salt damage to their bikes, so they've all gone back to using the road & increasingly the sidewalks.
Result - safe but unusable bike lanes and unsafe sidewalks.

In a parallel development the cyclists have decided that the built in bike parking is inconvenient and too far from wherever they're going in the rain, so the couriers are all back to parking along the pavement in front of the HSBC on Georgia, and everyone else parks their bikes outside wherever they are stopping.

And they spent $2,000,000 + on this ?

Chris You are misrepresenting a point and each time you re post your angry spew, you re-victimize my family.. sadly you're enjoying it, which causes me even more concern..

George,

Do you think the stats I provided are wrong?

When will VPD start enforcing traffice laws on these drivers and their illegal actions causing the problems mentioned in this article??

Sorry boohoo,

I didn't even read your post, must have missed it, the attack from Chris has sadly brought up a very bad part of my family history... to end this abuse from posters I'll share.

My point was that many years ago kids were targeted, it prompted parents to change their ways in regard to transporting their children to school... history changes behaviors just as you folks are trying to change the transportation methods.

This is my last post on this subject as I personally have been in tears since I made the mistake of interacting with Chris..

Many years ago a female family member was walking to school, she was taken, repeatedly sexually assaulted and confined for a period of time... she never recovered and was put into what they called a care home back then, it was the only place she felt safe as there were bars. She lived that way for many years, then unfortunately she gave into her demons, she killed herself, to the day she died she believed what her abductor told her, that her family would be killed... she felt this was the only way to protect her family.

Can we let this rest please...

George,

It's a horrible story, but statistically it's a significant exception to the rule. That's all I'm arguing.

There is no need to argue...
I just pointed out when in history things changed and why they did.... instead I was attacked for a political extremist agenda...it was twisted to make a political score... to me that is just cruel, thanks for your best wishes I do appreciate.

@George:

I am so sorry George. How horrible!

When I was in grade 10, Abby Drover moved to my school.

If you remember, she had been abducted, held for 6 months in a room underneath a garage, and abused.

I remember so cleary the nothingness in her eyes. They were blank; lifeless.

The guy that took her, also helped 'look' for her - a neighbor.

I have seen her on TV since that time, fighting to keep her abductor in prison. She goes to his parole hearings every two years or so.

Thanks Max,
obviously you too remember the point in time when things changed for children. It did change everything for parents... including taking the precaution of driving them to school.
We did what we could at that point in history....I too remember the incident you refer to, and I remember that look in the eyes.....

I mean making an argument, not arguing.

Your story is horrible, but it is not common. Car accidents resulting in death are far more common. That's the point. No one was attacking you personally, it's not political, it's not extremist. It's nothing other than looking at the statistics and acting/making policy accordingly.

I understand what you meant boohoo,
but you still miss my point...there was a point in history, when my story was very common, it changed how parents transported children to school, why can't that just be the point without bringing in the issue of cars, it just really dismisses my point and my story...

which in my opinion makes it political and extremist....can we let it go, or must I turn off my computer to avoid repeated posts trying to make your point... please!!!

Sure George. I get your point. I get that's how you feel--and no one is dismissing your story or diminishing it. But arguing it is something we need to worry about, more so than automobile crashes is just flat out incorrect.

Sorry boohoo I didn't understand your last post completely, nor do I care at this point... the fact that you could not honor my request and you were compelled to have the last word in my opinion proves my point...

you win, I will turn off my computer to avoid any more of this disrespectful argument... I hope this gives you pleasure....

@ boohoo:

That is your take on it, but perhaps parents don't agree with you.

Parents ultimately make the decision that they feel best suit the needs of their children and their families.

Max,

You are right. But what I don't understand is why, when the statistics show you are far more likely to die from a car crash than you are lurking predators would you choose to take the greater risk in order to avoid the lesser one. Am I missing something?

Fear.

The fear that your child might be that one in 100,000 that might be taken.

And for many, the security of seeing them to the school door helps eleviate that fear.

"The chances that my child will be abducted by a malevolent stranger are less than one in one million. That's about the same level of risk most parents routinely and unquestioningly accept for the benefits of childhood immunizations. A bike, a good transit system, and a complete, compact community are the best possible immunizations against boredom, dependence and obesity, with infinitesimal risk and real health and social benefits."

http://thetyee.ca/Life/2007/01/09/StrangerDanger/

I agree Max. And I strongly believe we should not plan our cities, transportation or anything based on fear. I mean if they are afraid of their child being killed, then by all means walk with them to school. But to protect them from injury/death one way by placing them in greater risk of injury/death another way is just...well it's frankly crazy.

I know that street in East Van quite well. In fact I was just commenting on the barricade situation to someone. But I recall how over the decades (dating myself here), how convenient that avenue was for east/west travel. My question is: How many bikes per day benefit from this, versus the 3000 vehicles that have had to reroute as a result? I'm sorry, but I think the number won't even reach 3 digits per day, on that route. Bike usage, especially during the winter is very limited around there......even in the summer it is for that matter. Very few are benefitting from the traffic rerouting. There is no way that a cost/benefit analysis can justify this situation ! The tail is wagging the dog here.

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