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Vancouver Bike Share Pilot Project Announcement

By Vancity Buzz Staff | 2 years ago | Speak Up

This Wednesday, June 13 city hall is expected to discuss a couple of cycling related issues, bike lanes and the public bike share system. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see which way these discussions will go.

Firstly, it will be recommended that the Hornby and Dunsmuir separated bike lanes become a permanent part of the city’s cycling infrastructure. The Dunsmuir bike lane may be altered once we find out about the fate of the viaducts.

Secondly, it’s expected that Jerry Dobrovolny, Vancouver’s director of transportation, will finally shed some light on the long awaited Vancouver bike share program.

Although an announcement is expected to be made this week, do not expect a fully operational system this summer. A pilot project is expected to be put in place this year as this tweet from @VanMayorsOffice seems to indicate.

It will take at least a year for contracts, manufacturing of the stations and apparently helmet washing machines to be ready for the full launch of Vancouver’s bike share program aka BIXI or as many refer to it as VIXI.

According to the opinion of many insiders, Vancouver’s bike share program faces an uphill battle as city council continues to ignore the impact the provincial helmet law will have on the program. Many foresee a Melbourne type failure happening here. In Melbourne the mandatory helmet law has resulted in poor uptake numbers, that system at one point averaged less than a 100 trips per day. Compare that to Montreal, which has no mandatory helmet law and over 2000 trips are taken per day.

If Vancouver doesn’t push to repeal the helmet law, this could be Vision Vancouver’s biggest blunder. The mandatory helmet law will force people to not take up cycling. Just talking to a few Vancouverites the other day, many stated that if a helmet is required to cycle around the city, they simply will not do it. Besides, who will certify the structural form of the helmets? Does the city assume we all have the same head shape? I hope that this program is a great success and becomes a permanent part of Vancouver’s cycling infrastructure, however, the helmet law will diminish the results.

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Speak Up

  • http://www.twitter.com/604YVR 604YVR

    Wonder how many of these bikes will go missing.

  • http://twitter.com/situpvancouver Reverend Twowheeler

    While I obviously agree with the thrust of this article, it’s a shame it’s so badly written, especially that final paragraph. The author might too easily be dismissed ad hominem as a naive youth.

    It is nonsensical to write that “the mandatory helmet law will force people to not take up cycling.” The adult helmet law *discourages* people from cycling, but doesn’t force any citizen to do anything. It doesn’t even force VPD to ticket people. VPD happily turn a blind eye to all sorts of laws all the time, such as people using old or ill-fitting bicycle helmets or cycling without a bell.

    It is essential for the health, wealth and happiness of Vancouver that the adult helmet law be repealed. It will be one day, and I’d prefer sooner rather than later.

    I encourage everyone to support BC Liberals Policy Chair Ted Dixon, in his motion to do just that http://www.ideaslab.ca/browse-ideas/idea?ideaId=87

    (Another example: “take up cycling” makes cycling sound like a sport or hobby, like taking up stamp collecting, triathlons or karting. Does anyone “take up walking”, “take up driving” or “take up transit” for their commutes?)

  • Danny

    Wow Reverend your snobbish attitude is why cycling enthusiasts are hated in this city. 

  • KC

    They had a free bike share program in Richmond (sponsored netherlands house) during the 2010 Olympics.  They  lost 21 of 400 bikes in just two weeks.

    http://www.news1130.com/news/local/article/33444–have-you-seen-missing-dutch-bikes

  • http://twitter.com/VanVantage Vancouver Vantage

    isn’t wearing a helmet just the smart thing to do? people who wear helmets do so to protect their heads from injuries and potential concussion, not to avoid possible ticketing. If the helmet law is repealed, you’re not going to see a large number of cyclist taking their helmets off – they know better.

  • http://twitter.com/cbruntlett Chris Bruntlett

    British Columbians! The Church of Sit-Up Cycling are kicking the campaign up a notch, with the launch of http://www.helmetchoice.ca/yes. Please take a moment to visit, read, share, and ACT to support ‘Helmet Choice’ in BC!

  • Billy Blanks

    I would never wear a public helmet. I don’t care how much you wash or sanitize the thing. Sweat, lice, hair, oil from sweat glands, dead skin cells… 

    Revise the helmet law to apply to minors only. 

    This is never going to catch on with the current helmet law. 

  • derekread

    I strongly believe my helmet has saved my life (or at least saved me from severe brain damage) twice so I would never ride a bicycle without one.

    I would have some concerns about wearing a public helmet. I guess I’d need to see how they are going to sanitize them to make a decision there. However, ski hills, skating rinks, bike and snowmobile rental places rent them out all the time so presumably there is a way to sanitize them well enough.

    Putting the arguments for repealing the helmet law aside (others here are arguing that point) I think it would be irresponsible for a shared bike system to *not* provide access to helmets.