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Columbia bike island sign bows to the inevitable

September 16, 2016

I wonder how much force it takes to flatten a thick, stubby steel post like that?

Early Friday afternoon (September 16) I happened upon the the formerly upstanding bike island sign on Columbia Street lying prone and broken, just off the south side of the intersection with West Broadway Avenue.

This is almost exactly eight months ago to the day when, on January 17, the sign pole of the Manitoba Street bike island—just a block west from the Columbia Street island—was snapped off by an impact.

Sending a clear message to cyclists and pedestrians

In case the pedestrian doesn't make it, there's a church to commend their soul to the hereafter.

If the pedestrian doesn’t make it, the church is there to commend their soul to the hereafter.

Unlike the bike island sign on Manitoba Street, which is fixed to an easily broken, small diameter PVC plastic pole, the Columbia island’s sign is fixed to a fat, squat length of heavy gauge steel pole.

It took more than a Fiat 500 or a Mercedes-Benz Smart car to flatten the Columbia bike island’s sign. And I bet the impact left its mark on whatever big commercial truck likely did the deed.

This is actually the first time, to my knowledge, since the Columbia Street bike island was installed in July of 2013, that its signage has been destroyed. The bike island a street west on Alberta has been hit once (as far as I know) and the bike island one street east, at Manitoba, has had its signage destroyed at least three times.

I haven’t been keeping track of any of the other line of bike islands, which are all in place to protect the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood on the south side of Broadway from through traffic.

For those keeping score at home, this now makes it Bad Vancouver Drivers: 5 and Off-Broadway Bike Island Signs: 0, with signage destroyed at least five times along just three bike islands in three years.

As I suggested back in January, I really do think that the City of Vancouver should test a car-proof, spring-mounted sign post on one of these perennially-hit bike islands. Even if it survives just two or three hits it probably more than pays for itself. Click the images to enlarge them.

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