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Commuting trends: transit vs driving vs ...
#11
(11-30-2017, 04:14 PM)tomh009 Wrote:
(11-30-2017, 03:41 PM)danbrotherston Wrote: ...
a) We have many overbuilt roads with plenty of space for infra through road diets, or in some cases just painting the damn lines, that we aren't even considering doing.
b) We should be tightening turns and narrowing lanes to make roads safer in general.
c) We should be fixing intersections and missing links in the existing network.
....

I said "reasonable and achievable" so unfortunately the latter part necessarily drags politics into the picture. If we can't get the politicians to adopt and/or support and/or at least accept the initiatives, they simply won't happen.

Of your three points, (a) seems to have the greatest potential to increase the number of bicycle commuters.  Safety is important, no doubt, but I suspect that making intersections safer would not have a big impact in encouraging people to cycle to work.  So does this initiative, of adding dedicated bike lanes (to how many streets?) have the ability to double the cycling proportion within 10 years?  (The previous 42% increase is over 20 years, or less than 2% per year.)

Things I can think of myself is are improved bicycle parking facilities downtown (our office building actually has a nice big secure room for bicycles, but many buildings do not) -- and improved bicycle sharing infrastructure for people who just want to ride and not deal with ownership.

Certainly politically things need to change.  I have little confidence these days in anything changing.  We continue to build piecemeal, bad infrastructure then use it's failures to justify not doing more.

As for a) yes, that's a big help, but I think you undervalue b) and c).   There are literally tens of thousands of trips which are a few hundred yards of missing bike infrastructure under the highway or other busy road away from being totally comfortable.

Further, I don't know if you bike or not, but the worst part of biking for me, is how I'm continually blamed for not following the laws, which are basically impossible to follow because the design has ignored cyclists.

The best example of this is MUTs, we have a lot of them in the region, and at every intersection, you bump over two curbs just to ride illegally through a crosswalk.  That really turns me off.

Certainly you bring up some very good points about trip end facilities, I have no problem finding secure bike parking at my work and previous workplaces, but even when I was going to school, I brought my bike into my office (against continual admin staff whining) because I didn't want to see it disappear.  There was no facility for end use.  Bike share would also certainly be easier (and apparently requires less political will).

When it comes right down too it though, I think end use facilities are a nice to have (I *can* lock my bike outside), but safe infra is a must, people won't cycle if they're made to feel unsafe.  But I might be wrong, certainly there are counter examples.
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#12
(11-30-2017, 04:33 PM)creative Wrote: When I was a student I walked, biked and rode transit because those were my only options. My parents did not drive me everywhere. When I graduated and started working I continued to walk, bike or transit everywhere because I could not afford to buy a car. As my life changed and I got married my responsibilities changed as well. Two people working on different schedules meant getting kids to and from daycare along with long work days meant that I didn't want to be sitting on a bus or riding a bike which would both more than double my commuting time. Time which I wanted to spend with my kids. As the kids got older and they became involved in sports as well as other activities, not to mention my wife's and my personal activities, time became a major factor. It was just not feasibly possible for our family to live our lives within the time available to us and use transit, cycling or walking to get to everywhere we needed/wanted to go. Now a days when I have more time on my hands I love to cycle and walk for exercise and pleasure. We will sometimes walk to the store to pick up one or two items. We never use transit because it is just not convenient for us. We live fairly central in Kitchener and can drive almost anywhere in KW in 10-15 minutes without having to stand at a bus stop in bad weather. Most of our trips by car involve stopping at multiple locations along our planned route. When my father was alive I also needed to drive him to apppuntments and grocery shopping because of mobility issues. Sorry for the long rambled on explanation. What I am trying to get at is that many people have busy and complicated lives that prevent them from using transit and cycling as a means of commuting and getting around. For those that are able to do so I commend you. As for cycling infrastructure it my not be perfect but it is way better than when I commuted by bike. There were limited bike trails in the suburbs and no such thing as bike lanes. It appears these days that I keep seeing more and more bike lanes. Is it perfect, no. Is it getting better, yes.

I disagree with your assessment of cycling.  I bike and I routinely make multiple stops on my trip home.  I don't have kids, but I do have a busy life, just like everyone else, and I feel no limitations on my getting around by bike.  It really doesn't take me much longer to bike than it would to drive most places.  People vastly underestimate the speed you can bike around, and when you factor in finding parking in the cores, almost always biking is faster for most of my trips.  Transit too, is competitive....less so for multiple trips, but at least for work and home, in the core, it's fairly competitive with driving when you consider I sit on the bus and check email (or facebook or WRC).  Certainly I use a car sometimes, but the vast majority of my trips are on bike.

Sure if you live in the suburbs, this is not true, but in the core, I don't think it's at all fair to say "busy people need a car".
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#13
Not distance but there is commute duration. Below 15 minutes active transportation (effectively walking and bicycling) has a decent share, at about 9%. (For me personally, now that I live downtown, I do walk to work rather than driving.)

But above 45 minutes, we have almost 5000 people taking transit (yes, I understand, with connections it can be slow) -- but also 3000 people driving. What drive within the region takes more than 45 minutes on average? South end of Cambridge to Wellesley maybe?
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#14
(11-30-2017, 04:50 PM)danbrotherston Wrote: As for a) yes, that's a big help, but I think you undervalue b) and c).   There are literally tens of thousands of trips which are a few hundred yards of missing bike infrastructure under the highway or other busy road away from being totally comfortable.

Further, I don't know if you bike or not, but the worst part of biking for me, is how I'm continually blamed for not following the laws, which are basically impossible to follow because the design has ignored cyclists. (...)

Certainly you bring up some very good points about trip end facilities, I have no problem finding secure bike parking at my work and previous workplaces, but even when I was going to school, I brought my bike into my office (against continual admin staff whining) because I didn't want to see it disappear.  There was no facility for end use.  Bike share would also certainly be easier (and apparently requires less political will).

When it comes right down too it though, I think end use facilities are a nice to have (I *can* lock my bike outside), but safe infra is a must, people won't cycle if they're made to feel unsafe.  But I might be wrong, certainly there are counter examples.

I think finding out what would get people onto their bicycles would be worthy of a serious survey. Perception is reality, and I don't know whether people perceive issues with distance, weather, safety, facilities, lack of bike sharing or something else, and that holds them back from commuting by bicycle.

Ad for me personally, these days I bike less, as most places are within walking distance for me, and it's often quicker and more convenient for me to walk. (And as an aside, I do think the walking proportion will increase gradually with intensification, without any significant new initiatives.)
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#15
Dan how can you comment on my situation if you do not have kids. I was just explaining my scenario and as you usually do you immediately attacked me and disagreed with me without being able to personally be able to compare apples to apples. I don't live in the suburbs which you seem to imply for some reason. I live a 3 minute drive from downtown Kitchener and 7 minutes to downtown Waterloo and have no difficulty finding parking. My point in my original post that people need to realize that everyone's personal situation is different. I did not attack those that cycle and take transit. I merely tried to explain my situation and for some reason I get attacked for doing so because you disagree with me.
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#16
I totally agree with you, creative, and understand your scenario perfectly.

Some of us actually like to travel outside Waterloo Region, too. Smile I even drive to take my bike places to go on trails. Can you imagine?! The horror!
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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#17
Here's some data I consider when looking at the thesis of an unchanging 80% of commuters driving.

In the past 25 years, an overwhelming majority of new housing being built has been low density (single, semi, and townhomes) in the suburbs. Auto-centric. I would expect 90% of commuters in new developments to be driving to work.

   

It's only in the last few years that we've really seen any kind of change in the type of housing being built. 1993-2003 was a near moratorium on apartment buildings. New apartments started to trickle into the supply in 2003, and only really took off in the last few years.

   

So now we've begun the change. GRT has had an uphill battle, spending more money serving neighbourhoods that were not built for them. The future will be different.
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#18
What's that big bump in 2015-2016? The student housing buildings?
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#19
Looking at the numbers, only about half of that bump is in Waterloo.  The other half is in Kitchener and Cambridge.

You should be able to pull the data yourself here

2016 saw 1,630 apartments built in Waterloo, compared to 1,098 in Kitchener and 259 in Cambridge.
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#20
(11-30-2017, 05:48 PM)Markster Wrote: Here's some data I consider when looking at the thesis of an unchanging 80% of commuters driving.

In the past 25 years, an overwhelming majority of new housing being built has been low density (single, semi, and townhomes) in the suburbs. Auto-centric. I would expect 90% of commuters in new developments to be driving to work.

It's only in the last few years that we've really seen any kind of change in the type of housing being built. 1993-2003 was a near moratorium on apartment buildings. New apartments started to trickle into the supply in 2003, and only really took off in the last few years.

That's a very good point, especially as we look at 1996 through 2011: as single-detached housing dominated new construction, the percentage of housing in the suburbs continued to edge up, and distances from new housing to the core continued to grow.
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