Tailgating TransLink

TransLink executives just released their “Cycling for Everyone” plan.  As part of that plan they promote dangerous tailgating as a method to improve space efficiency.  The document signed by the TransLink CEO – Ian Jarvis, states that cyclists can ride so close to each other that they are separated by only half a second

 Any TransLink bus driver knows that following closer that 2 seconds behind is not safe.  At least 2 seconds are needed to react to a traffic situation.  Fortunately for commuters, executives in charge of TransLink are not driving our buses.  Unfortunately for the taxpayers TransLink executives waste our tax dollars promoting unsafe riding practices.
On page 11 of that TransLink piece readers will find a claim that “one travel lane can accommodate 14,000 bicycles per hour.”  Since a typical lane in Vancouver is 3.3 meters wide and a two-way bike path is 3 meters wide then a typical lane can accommodate two cyclists travelling safely side-by-side. 
That would make 7,000 cyclists in each bike path to make it equivalent to TransLink’s claim of 14,000 cyclists per lane.
Dividing 3,600 seconds in each hour by 7,000 you will arrive at cyclists being separated by half a second.  Four times more closely than safe.  Just imagine the carnage of 14,000 cyclists riding side-by-side separated by less than half a bike wheel length.
In the same paragraph TransLink places cars closer than 2 seconds apart.

TransLink – 14,000 bikes per hour, pg 11

City of Vancouver – lane widths, pg 29

ICBC- tailgating