CowtownCyclist's picture

Silver Spring Spirit on Cycling

http://sscacalgary.weebly.com/uploads/9/2/6/6/92667618/ss_spirit_final_p...

There is a article in here on cycling where they deliberately misquote the Alberta Traffic Safety Act. It is horrible to read, especially if you ride through or live in Silver Springs in particular.  

 

Forums: 

Crivak's picture

Wow

Cyclists need to be sensitive to the position they may be placing on motorists. Put yourself in the place of the motorist - are you leaving enough space for the cars to pass you safely, or are you holding traffic back? If you are holding traffic back, you should consider leaving your bike at home and taking transit.

How about suck my dick and pass safely with your tank? I don't have one but who wrote this garbage? I'm embarrassed to be associated with Silver Springs. Seriously, point me in the direction of where I complain. I'll let them "be held back" by me for their whopping 10 second inconvenience.

"Take transit" because we'd rather you spend money on transit than take your bike and be in *my* way and you OBVIOUSLY don't have a car or you wouldn't be on your bike tee hee SMD. 

2wheeler's picture

Silver Springs Community Association

Hi Crivak

 

I sent this email to [email protected] on the weekend.  That's an email address that was in the publication.

 

Hi

I just finished reading your February 2017 newsletter and the article “Transportation Corner”.  I find it disturbing that the author purposefully tries to misinform the public to satisfy their own agenda.  What other possible reason would there be to mis-quote the Law?  A cyclist is required by law to ride as near to the right as practicable, not possible.  Those are quite different concepts.  If it unsafe for cyclist to ride near the curb for any reason then they’re certainly allowed to ride in a position on the road that ensures their safety. 
Nowhere in the Law does it even suggest that a cyclist “need to be sensitive to the position they may be placing motorist”.  When encountering a slower moving vehicle It is the responsibility of a the vehicle passing to ensure passing is safe (look at the Law yourself (21(1 (a)(b)))).  It is never the responsibility of the vehicle being passed.  As a cyclist you have absolutely no obligation regarding “holding traffic back”. Again, this is an opinion with no basis in the Law.  A cyclist must conduct them selves within the Law AND ride in a manner that doesn’t jeopardize their own safety. 
If the SSBoD is truly trying to promote cycling then why would they suggest leaving your bicycle at home?    Slower moving vehicles such as bicycles are legally allowed on the roads, they have as much right to be their as automobiles.  It is inevitable that cars will have to slow down before passing a slower moving vehicle.  It is a fact that most winter drivers understand.  Too bad the author of the article suggest cyclist avoid the roads.
The articles obvious bias against cyclists is clearly demonstrated by the authors attempt to deceive readers by misquoting the Law.  That such attitudes persist is a sad testament to the overwhelming car culture of this City.  A correction and apology are in order.
gyrospanner's picture

Wow! Strange Article.

The last 6 months of 2016 seemed to be a period of renewed racism, sexism, anti free-trade and general intolerance that set society back at least 10 years IMO.  Sounds like it's contagious.  Perhaps the author had a personal vendetta?  I dunno?

As a resident of SS, I almost feel personally insulted.

I would suspect that most of the people who live in SS don't realize how many people commute from or  through their community on a daily basis as it is a major connector to the trailhead of the MUP that runs through Bowmont Park.  And they probably don't realize how popular Bowmont is for recreational riding after work or on weekends.  I also see lots of roadies on Silver Springs Blvd. when it is clear.

Speaking of that trailhead, does anybody know who was responsible for getting the weird traffic-calming, oval-shaped death cookies installed at the interface between 54th Ave. and Silversprings Blvd. ?

Does anybody know who the bikecalgary SS Community Rep is?  (Maybe that is still To Be Determined?).

bclark's picture

My experience

Community Association newsletters are often looking for information of relevance to the community to fill their pages.  This may be an example where someone was asked to write an article on cycling and, either unknowingly...or not...put a bias on the article, a bias that resulted in some troubling (as pointed out) inaccuracies.  I think it's great that a number of people have written in to correct this and hopefully the CA takes the comments seriously and prints a correction, as they should.  

From my experience with such newsletters, one thing that I did in the past was to write-up and submit my own short articles on cycling to my CA.  I tried to keep these as factual as I could and also non-political, i.e. not advocating for bike lanes, etc., but pointing out the benefits of cycling and talking about the reasons people cycle and the types of people that cycle.  Basically, I was trying to "normalize" cycling, to help people in the community understand that it's not just strangers ripping through their community on bikes, but friends and neighbours just going about their lives.  This is one small and easy way that people can get involved with their community and promote active travel and road safety.

In terms of Ward 1 reps for Bike Calgary, I'm not sure that there is one at this point.  For anyone interested, the best bet is to email connect "at" bikecalgary "dot" org to find out and request they get put in touch with you.

EDIT: I'll add this as a bit further information.  Sometimes even Alberta Transportation doesn't "get it", here's a link to information about a letter Bike Calgary submitted to the provincial government with respect to what were identified as inadequacies in the Alberta Driver's Guide as it pertained to cycling;

http://www.bikecalgary.org/node/3663

 

bclark's picture

Similar being considered in Calgary

The City had a concept for a similar Dutch-style protected intersection at Northland and Northmount Drive.

http://www.bikecalgary.org/comment/42129#comment-42129

Of course it hinges on the City going ahead with pedestrian and bike improvements on Northmount as opposed to simply sticking to the status quo when resurfacing.

So far, I think there has been a lot of reluctance to do this type of intersection in Calgary, but if they can be convinced to do it at that intersection, it opens up potential to do it elsewhere.

xcrider's picture

Not Here

These will never work here as the drivers in the Netherlands also ride bikes and walk so they are programed to respect other users. Drivers here are for the most part selfish and believe that all other users are an inconvienence that they are forced to deal with on a daily basis, in other words they own the road.

bclark's picture

I'd say try it

It's seem it would be better that the existing intersection layouts we have.  Bike boxes, though fulfilling a function can be challenging and not always intuitive or reliable (i.e. when a car is parked on one and it can't be accessed), not to mention they can't always be seen when covered in snow.  Doing nothing (as it is now) defeats the purpose of having a protected bike lane (Northland) in the first place.  Something like the Dutch style intersections looks like it could work for all types of riders (yes, you still have to pay attention at intersections, but at least you aren't hung out in traffic).  I think that in cases of roundabouts this is particularly true, as the ones I see in Calgary, where pathways intersect them, it's just a pedestrian crossing, and that doesn't work for cyclists at all.

Motorists have to deal with cyclists regardless of whether bike infrastructure is in place or not.  For busy roads, if the two are separate, it at least has the potential to reduce the interactions.  Regardless of what is done, more needs to be done to educate drivers on operating vehicles around cyclists, because a lot of them have no idea (and I don't think it's out of spite in a lot of cases, just not having been taught).

RichieRich's picture

Silver Springs - support

I've been bike-commuting for work year round since the early 2000's, however used to bike commute to the U of A (Edmonton) my last couple years there in the mid 1990's, and prior to that bike commuted within NW Calgary for summer jobs.  Bike commuting is my CHOICE (we have 2 vehicles at home). This year, more than ever, despite the general downtown and how it has affected the downtown employees I am convinced that even more people have taken to bike commuting.  Obviously not all hop directly onto the MUP, which means a huge percentage must use feeder routes.  Silver Springs is one such route.

Just when I think I've seen it all another surprise jumps out.  like this article.  As someone who grew up in Silver Springs, and frequently commutes through there now, I too am concerned about how the original article was written clearly pushing an agenda.  Very surprising that it made it through multiple reviewers and to print.  yikes. 

Thanks all for communicating within the bike community as well as to the Silver Springs Community.  Should you receive a personal response, or even note within the next few months community letters, please share here on the BC forums.

 

 

Bluhrgirl's picture

Yes and no

Hi All, we got a new Silver Springs rep, and while speaking with him I found out the author of the piece is a pretty regular bike commuter. The Calgary Bicycle team also sent a letter to the CA with some suggestions on how the content could have been worded, as well as offered them (and us!) some of their created content. I think this may just be a case of the writer's voice not coming through as he thought it would. I think he was truly shocked at the reaction it got, so I am quite sure it was not intentional.  

gyrospanner's picture

No Response

Nothing in the newsletter.  They probably thought that they would just let it blow over. 

This is what they have at the Bowmont park entrance at the top of Waterfall Valley.  It is the Weirdest Traffic Calming setup I've ever seen.

 photo TC_zpskhwe18dj.jpg

 photo TC2_zpsb4vmvaq9.jpg

 

DarrenB's picture

It's a curb extension for pedestrians.

The city seems to be deploying these all over - I have seen them in quite a few places, including in front of my daughter's school where they have made a big difference. It gives the kids a relatively safe spot to step off the curb so that they are noticed by traffic when crossing the road.