Thursday, 16 October 2014

Another traffic rant (or Traffic Constipation in a city full of the stuff that causes constipation)

Different Cop, different Bridge
Since there I noticed another break in the rain forecast, I decided to take the bike downtown for lunch. As soon as I approach Lions Gate Bridge, I notice the flashing lights and the endless rows of cars dammed behind police cruisers blocking the on-ramps to the bridge.  My first thought is that another unfortunate soul has had enough of this city and is standing close to mid-span of the bridge trying to figure out whether jumping is a better alternative.  This of course, would also block all bicycles from proceeding over the bridge.
The bridge is empty and quiet (not my pic obviously)

I slowly cycle past the flashing cruisers to discover pedestrians coming off the bridge and a police officer tells me it's OK for me to go on. I am relieved at the absence of a jumper.  And a second later everything is explained.  A fire truck and lots of tow trucks.  Vancouver drivers at their finest again.  I don't even start thinking about how a hand-full of idiot drivers can bring a whole city's traffic system to a stand-still (and it happens daily because this city has many of those hand-fulls) and instead enjoy cycling over Lions Gate Bridge without the accompaniment of constant car cacophony. 

Not my pic; not this bridge

This proves quite enjoyable until I see the fresh flower bouquet on the bridge railing. Someone did jump quite recently.

Regarding suicides on Lions Gate Bridge, a topic kept quite quiet, here are is a two-part article in the North Shore News:

Part 1
Part 2
Also, if a city's livability is to be measured by the number of people jumping off bridges, then San Francisco with its Golden Gate Bridge and 40 successful  jumpers per year would have more issues than Vancouver.

As soon as the tow-trucks pull the wrecks off the bridge, car drivers in the loooooong line-ups start honking at each other again.  They've been sitting there for at least half an hour and now they don't have seconds to spare.  A touch of Ebola would do this city good.  

Traffic is backed up all the way up Denman and wherever else.  And even though this happens very frequently, I don't think many people will consider changing their mode of transportation.

I meet James for lunch at a Sushi Place on Davie and end up riding the bike all the way to Rupert and 15th.  On the way back I chicken out and hop on the Skytrain at Broadway & Commercial and I buy a ticket to take the Seabus to North Vancouver.  

When the Skytrain rolls past Science World, I notice that a movie is being filmed in a skate park below one of the viaducts.
Another skate park hill somewhere
 And what the hell is that?  The director has placed a homeless guy with his shopping cart on one of the hills of the skate park, while a kid on a board is waiting on some side for the signal to hop into the abyss.  What authenticity!  Homeless people with shopping carts have nothing better to do that go up and down the hills in skate parks.  Is this what affluent TV viewers want to see?  Another reason not to watch television ;-)
What are the chances?

The SeaBus is a nice change from riding alongside the procession of cars along the Stanley Park Causeway.  Of course, my decision to spend the $4 is more based on laziness than on the desire to stay away from tire noises.
Cyclist getting her dose of exhaust gas in Stanley Park

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