Wordle on Sunday’s raindrops and rainbows

It is no secret that I like tag clouds. They provide a great way to see what people are saying by popularity. They have really taken off in the past few years. Even the CBC was gotten into the act, with a tag cloud of the platforms of the three major parties in the 2009 election.

Creating them is a bit of an art with funky algorithms and the like. There are quite a few tools out there, but Wordle seems to be the most common. I used it for my announcement of my candidacy in the 2008 municipal elections, for example. So I figured I would run the raindrops and rainbows from the Safer Cycling Oak Bay table at the fair on Sunday and see what I got:


Rainbows from comm. fair
Things people liked about biking in Oak Bay


Raindrops from Community Fair
Things people disliked about biking in Oak Bay

A few things pop out at me: There was a strong current of environment and community running through the likes. Nice to see that bikes not only help the environment, they help everybodies health and help build community as a nice side benefit. The dislikes centred around two themes: respect and lack of infrastructure. People wanted to see more respect between drivers and cyclists, especially with regard to both needing to follow rules of the road. Bike parking and lanes were much talked about, as well as the growing number of potholes in roads.

As I said yesterday, I am very pleased at the amount of feedback we got and that people took the time to think about what they wrote. I am truly looking forward to the next few months. If you wanted to give us feedback in person, the next time to do so will likely be at Bike to Work Week coming up from the 11th to the 17th. When details are worked out, I will post more.

Rainbows & Raindrops from the community fair

At the Community Fair yesterday we put out two piece of bristol board, sticky notes and pens and then we asked people who came by to tell us about biking in Oak Bay, both what they loved and what they would like to see changed or disliked. We got some great feedback, as I have transcribed below:


  • Healthier and environmentally better way to travel. Oak Bay is awesome for biking
  • Riding along the waterfront (Dallas Rd.)
  • Path along the water
  • New bike lanes on Henderson
  • love riding on Oak Bay’s quiet streets
  • Part of Foul Bay Bike lane
  • Slow traffic in Oak Bay
  • Lanes
  • Quiet bike lanes. Sidelanes and back alleys
  • Bike lanes
  • Roads that are generally quiet
  • Bike lanes. Secure locking ???. beach dr & oak bay avenue
  • Quiet streets for making long traverses across the community
  • Fresh air and exercise
  • New bike parking at municipal hall
  • close to community, parking easy, fresh air, calories burned

Of course, life is not all roses. Sometimes there are thorns:

  • Disrespect by cyclists and motorists for each other
  • bicyclists who ride in the middle of the road instead of the cycle lane! 🙂
  • cars parked on Beach Drive
  • No road bike lane by Marina and Glenlyon
  • Need more bike trails
  • Roads where there is not enough room for bikes + car (McNeil Ave)
  • Lack of bike trails and lanes
  • Access to Galloping Goose from Oak Bay
  • Cyclists who ignore the rules of the road
  • Need bike lane on Foul Bay
  • Oak Bay needs more bike lanes
  • nervous of traffic
  • Parking along Cedar Hill X Rd up to Uvic is very dangerous!
  • Oak Bay needs more bike lane & bike racks
  • Potholes
  • traffic calming devices. potholes in street
  • Not enough bike racks in the village!
  • Cyclists who don’t follow the rules of the road. Cyclists who don’t have lights.
  • Foul Bay & Oak Bay intersection
  • not much bike parking on the avenue
  • clear glass from bike lanes
  • –> Please signal –> Wear helmets

Each line is a single note. Where possible I have tried to preserve the formatting/spelling/etc.

We also got a few comments about the pedestrian experience:


  • For wheelchair: Good in the village, Foul Bay rather rough
  • Safe, clean sidewalks that have been redone


  • More attention to care of sidewalks on non-busy roads
  • crosswalk at Brighton + Foul Bay to fit with the Brighton Ave Centennial path

Thanks again to Jill Croft and the whole OB Comm. Association for organizing the event, the OB Emergency Preparedness people for being so kind as to share their space and time and to Jane and David who came out and peopled the SCOB booth with me. Here’s looking forward to next years.

Pictures from today’s Community Fair

Despite the beautiful weather, today’s Community Fair and Emergency Services expo was well attended. The community fair had booths from Safer Cycling Oak Bay, the Oak Bay Green Committee, Oak Bay Volunteer Services, the Bowker Creek Initiative, Native Plant Society, Oak Bay Rotary, the Oak Bay Green Map and Oak Bay Kiwanis. Check out the photos below for a quick look at some of the booths, although ironically not the SCOB booth.

Oak Bay Green Committee table
Oak Bay Green Committee table
Oak Bay Volunteer Services table
Oak Bay Volunteer Services table
Oak Bay Lawn Bowling club table
Oak Bay Lawn Bowling club table
Oak Bay Community Association Fair sign
Oak Bay Community Association Fair sign
Oak Bay Native Plant Garden table
Oak Bay Native Plant Garden table
Municipality of Oak Bay table
Municipality of Oak Bay table
Oak Bay Green Map table
Oak Bay Green Map table
Oak Bay Block Watch table
Oak Bay Block Watch table
Oak Bay Kiwanis table
Oak Bay Kiwanis table

Our Safer Cycling Oak Bay booth was a big draw. Nearly everybody that came by gave us some feedback. Our raindrops (dislikes) and rainbows (likes) posters got lots of sticky notes filled with people’s thoughts. I will be posting them in the next day or two once I get them transcribed.

Thanks to Jill Croft and the whole Community Association for organizing such as event. Jill was also kind enough to take the above photos, as I was stuck at the SCOB booth due to the number of people who came by.

Come to the Oak Bay Community Fair today

Safer Cycling Oak Bay will be at the Oak Bay Community Fair today between 11:30am and 1:30pm. The fair, which is co-hosted with the emergency prepardness people, is in the Oak Bay Recreation Centre’s indoor soccer pitch. We will be there to talk about what we are working on, to meet more people from around Oak  Bay and learn what they love and want to change about biking in Oak Bay.