For some reason the city of Vancouver decided to shut down Powell from today until summer 2014. The signs state “find an alternative route”. I ranted like a fool to Emile when they first put the signs up, claiming the start of a letter writing campaign and predicting the uprising of the people. But unlike HST, nobody seemed too concerned with the new traffic direction we were having to take.
I hate driving down Hastings as it bunch of pedestrian controlled green lights. It takes forever and my commute just got worse. Sigh.
June 24th, 2013, Extra-ordinary: Turns out that traffic is pretty quiet anywhere out of the city at 7 am.
There is a time each year when you roll your car windows down for the first time. When warmed air can finally compensate from your self-made wind. Mine came on Friday, driving home from work about 5:30. The sun is lower in the sky at that point, and the sunlight glanced off my window and window scratches.
As I neared Commercial and Powell, I longed for the freedom felt when my hair whips around my face, and I turn my stereo down lest someone hears my woefully out of date iPod.
I crossed under the overpass into a flock of migrating dandelion seeds lazily floating to the next unsuspecting lawn. But churned and danced through my car and reflected the light.
May 24th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary: I don’t care what you say, Summer is upon us.
It’s April – and I remember the old adage of “April Showers brings May Flowers”, but April 1st was beautiful. So beautiful and inspiring that more people were out on their bicycles. I don’t own a bicycle for many reasons that mostly sound like excuses, but I respect that I have to – and should have to – share the road with them.
But I have a problem – bicyclists tend to be of split personalities. If it suits them at the time to be a pedestrian, they use crosswalks and sidewalks. If it suits them to be a vehicle, they are in the bike lanes and signalling. But worst of all, they switch back and forth making it difficult for a driver like me – who really doesn’t want to hit a bicyclist – to predict how the traffic is going to move.
You can’t use a crosswalk to the sidewalk and then make a sharp left in front of me to turn into a bike lane. Well, you can, but you better hope that I am paying really really close attention about what you are doing. And while that helmet may be colourful and stylish and somewhat protective, it’s going to take a pounding if I hit you.
April 1st, 2013 Extra-Ordinary: Trying to save the earth too, one bicyclist at a time.
(sorry for the gross generalization, but it can’t be too offensive if it seems to hold true)
Sometimes I drive erratically. I make quick right turns, pull u-turns, move speedily into another lane, drive significantly under the speed limit, switch back and forth between lanes, hammer on the brakes, and occasionally use my hand-held device. I do hope ICBC is not reading this, but these things are true.
October 1st, 2012 Extra-ordinary: I wish I could have my Ontario plates back so people know I am learning, not a yahoo. I’m trying people – this place is hard to get around in even if I have a map on my phone.
When I first moved to Hamilton, Ontario, I sat at light ready to turn left. It turned green bt then started to blink. I sat and waited while the cars behind me started to honk. I sat in the middle of the intersection uncertain how to proceed. The cars on the other side were not going, yet there was no advance green. After careful checking, I finally proceeded through the intersection much to the relief of the drivers behind me.
After consulting with local Ontarians, I found out that a blinking green light in Ontario was actually an advanced green – normally signified by an arrow or separate bank of lights in BC (where I grew up). It took me quite some time to get to used to this in Ontario – though I find that many lighted intersections use arrows to indicate advance lefts now.
In BC, a blinking green light means a pedestrian controlled intersection. So, normally the light stays green until a pedestrian comes along and presses the button to cross the street.
September 26th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary: Trying to break myself of the learned habit of advanced lefts on blinking green lights.
Greetings from Coquitlam, BC and the Lydell Family Residence!
Hours on the Road: 10 hours
Kms Travelled: 846
I found myself alone in my mom’s house as everyone left for work. It was 7:30 am. It was weird having nobody to wave goodbye from the front porch or at the airport gate. But I pulled out and heading on the “Crow Highway” or Highway 3 “Shortest Route to the Coast”.
I love the drive from Cranbrook to Vancouver, it is filled with amazing mountain passes with cities dotted along about every 1 hour. There are multiple passing lanes so when you are going down an 8% grade behind a large truck, you can pull around and make a more speedy descent.
I haven’t driven this drive alone for more than 15 years and I enjoyed the solitude. Alone with my thoughts I wondered “Have we made the right decision?”, but mostly I just sang along to my iPod.
As I passed through Creston, I considered purchasing fresh fruit, but decided I would bring it from Osoyoos instead. I love the romance of roadside fruit stands. I imagine family orchards three generations deep with luscious peaches and crisp apples in their blood lines. I am sure it is much more corporate today, but I love to stop.
I stopped for gas and lemon Perrier frequently – the latter causing my bathroom breaks being a little more often than a tank of gas.
In Osoyoos I stopped and purchased a large basket of nectarines and large McIntosh Apples. I cannot return to BC without enjoying a case of BC Macs. I love them – it tastes of crisp weather, Hallowe’en, and raking leaves.
I drove without incident until about 15 kms out from my destination and then entered the construction on Highway 1 and the Port Mann bridge. It slowed my progress tremendously, but I was still able to roll into town just in time for dinner.
September 14th, 2012 Exta-Ordinary: I’m here.
I felt ambivalent about the drive to Vancouver the next day. It’s long, but not really that long. Long enough to listen to about 3 hours of music, 1 1/2 hours singing along to Ragtime – my favorite musical – and 3 vinyl café episodes. But not so long that you need to start out at the break of dawn or drive into the night. I had been somewhat anticipating the drive all week. Emile left ahead of me, and I am anxious for things to get started. But at the same time, I like Cranbrook and hanging out at home.
Home is stable. It doesn’t require me to learn the streets, or figure out who my dentist will be. I know where to get things, I know where to park if I want to head to the bank. It’s easy because I lived it. Vancouver not so much.
I put off packing much to my mother’s consternation. She asked me several times if I needed help. I think she didn’t like see things left undone when they could be . . . well.. . done.
September 13, 2012 Extra-Ordinary: Cranbrook isn’t home anymore.