In Washington an interesting post by John Hendel on blocked bike lanes. Writing in the TBD Transportation Blog, Hendel reports on a conversation with Chief of Police Cathy Lanier in which the latter noted that Washington’s constabulary had quadrupled the quantity of tickets issued for cars blocking bike lanes. The number? An impressive 2,000 tickets.
Given that enforcement is always a challenge with any law or bylaw, it got us wondering about the local situation.
How often do you find bike lanes blocked in Vancouver? We’d be interested in hearing about the local stories and stats… so if anyone has details they can share, please post them here. In the meantime at least one initiative has resorted to a bit of public shaming. The local chapter of MyBikelane.com profiles some of the city’s better bike lane offenders.
(Who knows, road diet debates being what they are, perhaps we’ll see a MySidewalk.com site springing up soon as well!).
Meanwhile, in San Francisco a new study has quantified the effect of reclaiming parking spots for public space. The City has created over 20 “parklets” in the last couple of years, each of which repurposes 2-3 spaces and transforms them into a place “for people to relax and enjoy the city around them.” There’s some good information in here for Vancouver… particularly given the City’s experimentation with things like Parallel Park and Picnurbia.
The 2011 Parklet Impact Study looks at the before and after effect of parklet creation on three streets: Valencia, Stockton and Polk. Here’s some of what it found:
- Changes to foot traffic were mixed. Average foot traffic on Stockton Street increased after the parklet was installed, but there was no significant change at the Valencia Street and Polk Street local Eons;
- The number of people stopping to engage in stationary activities significantly increased at all three locations, especially on weekdays;
- There was an incremental increase in the number of bikes parked in each location.
- Perceptions of the street areas as a ‘good place for socializing and fun’ increased on two out of three streets and decreased on the third. Perceptions of the area as a ‘place that looks clean’ saw a similar 2/1 split;
- None of the businesses that replied to the business survey had observed a decrease in their customer levels and none reported significant concerns about loss of nearby street parking or other impacts on their business.