More Questions than Answers on Dedicated Bike Lanes
Prince George, B.C.- The City of Prince George has approved a plan to create designated bicycle lanes in the city but while the focus has been on the removal of parking from those roads, there has been little discussion on who will be allowed to use the new dedicated lanes.
Under the City’s current bylaws, being illegally parked carries a fine of $25 dollars and there is always the potential for a vehicle to be towed. But once the roadways which will have a dedicated bike lane have been cleared of cars, what are the rules and possible penalties for anyone other than a bicycle rider using the lane?
There are any number of modes of transportation which might consider using the new lanes, including motorized scooters, skateboarders, roller skaters, and the occasional use by motorcyclists or drivers of small vehicles who want to skirt a long line of traffic or get around a vehicle that is waiting to turn left.
At this time, the City has not developed a specific bylaw that would detail who can use the dedicated lane, or what the penalties might be for unauthorized use.
It is unlikely bylaw enforcement officers would be called upon to stop non authorized users and issue a ticket, so it would be left to the RCMP to enforce the rules under the Motor Vehicle Act.
BC’s Motor Vehicle Act seems to offer only two possibilities for ticketing someone who is using the lane, but shouldn’t be.
Section 151 (b) states: “A driver who is driving a vehicle on a laned roadway must not drive it from one lane to another if that action necessitates crossing a solid line”
So, being in the lane is not the infraction, crossing a solid line to get into the lane could result in a ticket.
Then there is Section 153.2 which states “If a highway has a designated use lane, a person must not drive, operate, stand or park a motor vehicle in that lane except as authorized by a regulation under section 209.1 or a bylaw or resolution of the council of a municipality under section 124.2.”
The only problem with that section is that it refers to “highway” not “roadway” so once again, there is a grey area.
The designated bike lane signage and lane markings are expected to be in place this summer in Prince George. The City has committed to a grace period and an education campaign to make drivers aware of the changes.
From the Motor Vehicle Act:
(a) every highway within the meaning of the Transportation Act ,
(b) every road, street, lane or right of way designed or intended for or used by the general public for the passage of vehicles, and
(c) every private place or passageway to which the public, for the purpose of the parking or servicing of vehicles, has access or is invited,
but does not include an industrial road;
Thank you for that clarification! Even if one has a small motor vehicle it is against the law to cross over the solid bicycle lane line and pass a vehicle on the right! It has happened to me untold times when I was slowing down to make a left turn or when I was stopped altogether waiting for a safe moment to turn left!
That’s fine to issue tickets to offenders as long as it includes cyclists. It seems cyclists want the best of both worlds, they want to be treated as a vehicle when it comes to riding on the road but then when it suits them they want the same rights as a pedestrian by riding across crosswalks.
This is a loaded comment. Some car drivers want safety, others want to text and drive. Would I say, “It seems that car drivers want the best of both worlds, they want to text and drive”? Of course not.
Some car drivers obey the rules. Some do not.
The same is true with cyclists. Some obey the rules and some do not.
I don’t see how cyclists are more or less guilty than car drivers. However, I see far more damage caused by cars than I do from bicycles.
I don’t understand the vitriol that seems to comes up whenever we talk about allowing cyclists to use the roads. This last comment isn’t directed at Peter North, but is a general observation of the ongoing debate.
Why can’t we have bikes and cars on the road together?
Its not about cyclists using the roads if you haven’t noticed cyclists do use the roads. Its about the disruption being caused by bike lanes in a northern community that has no lines on the road that can be seen for most of the year.
I have ridden my bike all over PG for decades before the entitled bike lanes with hardly any issue.
Passing on the right is already covered by the MVA. Happens all the time at Ferry and Spruce/Williams. If you T-bone me there I will get a new truck and you get many points.
So the these idiot greens at city hall will be getting rid of right turn lanes on Ospika and elsewhere just to inconvenience the driving public.
And the RCMP’s interest in enforcing new city bylaws? About as much as now which is a big zero…
Are the bike lanes going to be in effect during the winter? I should think not, but I’m not sure.
Obviously one of the more contentious locations is on Ospika alongside the soccer fields. A simple solution to greatly reduce the desire to park there would be to remove the entrance gates that are located on Ospika. If people had to access the park only from 18th they would be far more likely to use the exhibition grounds parking lot.
Areas enclosed by high fences so as to prevent a person or crowd from leaving an enclosed outside area require exits.
If those gates are removed the City could find itself being liable for damages caused in case of such an event. It is unlikely to happen, but one has to be prepared for such emergency circumstances.
A more likely scenario might be a person in medical distress inside the enclosure being a much shorter route to an ambulance which can park adjacent to such a gate to allow the paramedics to attend to the injured individual.
Currently the only entrance to the soccer fields near the CN Centre parking lot is the one at Ospika & 18th. The gate that is on 18th about 200 meters west of Ospika (near the west end of the CN centre parking lot) is locked. It was locked several years ago because there was a lot of dangerous jay walking from the CN centre parking lot to the soccer fields.
The only other way to enter the soccer fields is the two gates from the Aquatic Center parking lot.
There are also entrances for pedestrians on Ospina, that is why so many people park there. Close these and you might be losing some of the cars being parked there.
Jillian is taking away all the parking spots.. Is she replacing those parking spaces somewhere else???
Skaterboards using that lane is putting people at high risk of being killed.. Will somebody die before they change the rules?? Power Scooters and power chairs are ok for drivers can see them for a distance and less chance of them having a accident and getting into the vehicles way like a skateboarder would.
What about runners, walkers, baby buggies, wheel chairs will they be allowed in the bike lanes? Considering how sidewalks in this town are back sloped for some ridicules reason almost making them unusable in some cases, roads are the only alternative. So my suggestion is let the sidewalks be used for bikes and the bike lanes for pedestrians and such.
Considering all the points raised, Jillian look at what you started. What are your solutions?
What a mess for a very minority section of the population. Just how did we survive before bike lanes?
Bike lanes, the biggest issue in PG!!!!!!!!
Seems most people who post here, and most people who work for the City including Councillors etc; cannot come to grips with the fact that there are very few cyclists in Prince George.
This whole issue is a tempest in a teapot. Council should have allowed parking in those areas on Ospika etc; where parking space is required, and allowed bikers to use the sidewalks.
We have now opened a Pandora’s Box with this issue. Restricting parking so that a few bikers can have a bike lane, while you have adjacent sidewalks that are empty 90% of the time is not a solution.
Council has been bamboozled with this issue, and needs to hit the reset button.
I was up the Hart at 8am yesterday from 5th Ave to the Hart Wheel Inn and saw only one biker.
Lets get real. Prince George is not now, and has never been a bike town, and never will be. Certainly we have more serious issue’s to work with than this.
Says you there’s few cyclists. I met up with 3 in the rain on my ride home last night. I’ll bet you real money there’s a bike in 80% of the houses in PG. Just because we don’t spend 2 hours a day on our bikes, don’t mean we don’t ride them. Likely most people ride a couple of days a week, but they do ride.
How on earth do we support 4 bicycle shops. I can’t believe they’re making it on selling a bike each a day. And then there’s the bikes Costco, Walmart sell.
Just because you don’t like the idea of bike lanes, don’t say something like “there are very few cyclists.” A little kid with pink streamers is a cyclist, as is an old grandma with a basket on the front.
Not being part of the cycling community, explains some of your lack of knowledge, but there is likely thousands of cyclists in PG. Not full time, but they exist nonetheless.
And try and wrap your mind around the fact – that I have from firsthand experience – many of the medical doctors and specialists in this town – are cyclists – because they appreciate the health benefit. A PAC doesn’t attract this type of professional – a good quality of life does. If you want to keep us in the diesel belching big truck era, fine, but when you can’t get your cataracts fixed in PG because the surgeon went somewhere more to his liking, enjoy your flight to Vancouver where there’s tons of bike lanes.
I’m not for this bike lane idea either, but it’s time PG recognized cycling is growing, and it’s a good thing for everyone.
When the time comes when a pedestrian fails to look both ways before crossing a road and is more likely to get hit by a bicycle than a car, then there are more than just a few bicyclists.
Will that ever occur in this spread out city with a long snow season?
Did you also notice the ratio of vehicles to bikes? Then where are all these thousands of bikes.
You met up with 3 bikes on your ride home, wow, how many cars did you see on that ride?
Define ” a few”. Three, four, ten? I ride my bike 3-5 times a week but only on trails. I used to ride to & from riding areas but thanks to the idiot drivers in this city I deemed it unsafe, multiple close calls while riding in bike lanes up University Hill, being run off of the gravel on the side of Otway Rd (2x in one week). Interesting thing, on my way to & from the areas I bike at I see dozens of cyclists. Is it because I am a cyclist I notice them more? Are others simply not paying attention? In certain areas of PG you will see hardly any as cyclist have learned that they are not safe on some roads (Hart Hwy). There has to be a balance that can be struck here where most can be appeased. Some of the same posters on this site sit at their keyboards & go on & on about how far behind the times PG is & how we need to become a more “modern & vibrant community”. Well, welcome to the 21st century, one of the hallmarks of a progressive, modern city is a healthy outdoor community that includes provisions for safe cycling.
I have only cycled once on the Hart Highway between 5th avenue and Austin Road. That was on a very quiet autumn long weekend with very little traffic.
It is easy to understand why you only observed 1 cyclist……… There is absolutely no where safe to cycle down the Hart Highway in that area and although there a ‘goat trail’ east of the hart highway northbound for most of the way…it is in poor condition.
A cyclist riding on thr Hart Highway with its many high speed drivers is only asking for trouble.
Did you ride up the Hart?
Give your heads a shake people- Just because there is going to be bike lanes instead of parking lanes, the world will not come to an end! And to you fear mongers suggesting that people with baby strollers are going to be ticketed for walking in the “bike lane” get real! It’s ridiculous to be saying the bicycle lane is restricted to bikes only. City Hall is making a rule not to park cars in the bike lane. Think about it- cars parked in the bike lane kind of defeat the purpose of a safe lane for bike, walkers, baby strollers, skateboarders etc.
Give your head a shake Northern Citizen.
What you think is obvious, is only obvious to you. Others will have a variety of viewpoints on the matter. That is why some regulations have to be made before someone gets hurt because they think they have the right of way and do not believe in obvious courtesy.
Most cities which take bike lanes seriously have some regulations and/or guidelines around that. Vancouver is one as do many other larger communities. They are there for the adoption and adaption process. If City administration does not have anyone capable of doing that work, perhaps we need to pay another consultant say $20,000 to do it for us.
This is the British Columbia Bicycle Operator’s Manual called Bike Sense. That would be a good start for both motorists and bicyclists. vancouver.ca/files/cov/bikeSense1105.pdf.
All those who have promoted and implemented the switch over to bike lanes without an accompanying safety awareness program are responsible for incidents which happen at such pinch points as right turn intersections. That especially includes Jillian Merrick. She should be the Councillor who champions this next step.
California regulations for right hand turn across bike lane. Basically as driver merges into bike lane, the biker coming up from the rear should cross over into the traffic lane to pass the vehicle on the left. That can be extended to the bike rider not passing on the right when the vehicle slows down with a right turn signal on to move into the bike lane for the turn (notice our line painting has painted a broken line close to intersections for this to be a legal movement to avoid crossing a solid line)
Vancouver bike lane shift to curb causes complains from delivery to Armory:
It is clear that there has not been any compensatory action planned for those who have parked in a road shoulder/lane which was originally intended for multiple purposes by the designers of the roads to the west of the bypass.
18th avenue is capable of providing that additional parking for users of the soccer fields. In fact, there is plenty of room to provide angle parking all the way along that road. At the moment it is actually used as part of the continuation of Foothills. That use should be restricted, forcing all traffic to use 15th to connect with Ospika rather than 18th.
18th is a local connector road for those who use the exhibition grounds, aquatic centre and soccer fields. With angle parking along it and probably one of the highest pedestrian traffic locations in the City during the use of the soccer fields, the speed limits should be reduced to 40 or even 30.
The City has done this before when they built the Two Rivers Gallery as well as the Civic Centre downtown without providing parking to replace that which was there before those were built as well as providing parking for the additional use which the buildings attract at peak times of events, especially coinciding events.
It seems they are doing the same with the WIDC building in removing a parking lot or a portion of the parking lot which used to be there to replace it with a transit loop/park.
I do not see where the $70,000 so-called engineering study has looked at the consequence of changing urban road shoulders to bike lanes. That includes options of rules which the City needs to adopt for such things as right turns. Again, I wonder how vigilant the engineering firm actually was in doing the study.
The L&M Engineering map presented to council and being shared by the media only highlights the “Arterial Roads of Interest” with bike lanes. The total of the highlighted bike lanes is 36km.
Prince George has a total of 72km of bike lanes, currently including all of Carney, Third, Winnipeg, Domano and Southridge that are not visible on the L&M map, and the city’s Cycle Network Plan includes bike lanes on Westwood, Queensway, Austin Road, and most major streets. The parking loss and impact on residents will be a lot greater than the L&M map indicates.
Any bike lane rules should not apply once it starts snowing. Snow removal is hard enough already. In the winter, our traffic lanes are redrawn by the snow left behind and the paint on the road is irrelevant.
FYI. I love cycling and just bought a new bike this year.
Figures… L&M is still in the pockets of City Hall and bike issues arose due to Jillian only owning a bike when she got on Council… Just saying
and I think she is scared of the road thus needs a whole lane to herself.
and since she got a little power she appears to be using it to her benefit
Jillian will be handing out the tickets.. If she has so much time to waste on such a anti-motorist bike lanes she certainly has time to hand out tickets.
Jillian was not the only one voting “for ” so why are so many of you picking on her . She’s trying to save lives and injury . You should be heaping praise on her for helping to make PG more liveable for everyone . Jillian , thank you for your service . These naysayers are only a very small but noisy minority . No one wants to see their child or spouse being mowed down or doored .
it could be that she has made this personal
or so it appears.
No one wants to see their child or spouse being mowed down or doored , except maybe a psychopath.
how does pandering to a handful of cyclists over thousands of drivers make PG, more liveable? It shows people that don’t live here that PGs council only cares about small groups over the majority.. In your eyes it makes Pg more liveable.. Okay….
No one wants to see anyone hurt.. How about taking all cyclists off the road? That would solve all cyclist problems…oh wait, lots of offroad cyclists get hurt every year, maybe we should outlaw all two wheeled vehicles..think how many lives/injuries that would stop.
no time to hand out tickets,to busy getting chickens in every backyard downtown . OTC
I think if Jillian had her way the motorist would be in jail for life.
I can see the bylaw being enforced or not enforced as it happens to suit the city.
Since most of the soccer field use is on the weekend, bylaws will be on days off and when other events at the C N Center or B C N E or the huge annual car sale are held I am thinking a blind eye will be cast.
You know, wishy washy. gutless….
This is from an article from Washington DC to show another version of how to co-exist with bike lanes:
From that article come these guidelines/regulations
If you want to turn right, when there is a bicycle lane on the right side of the road, you should signal right to change lanes, look to ensure there are no bicyclists in the lane, then move into the lane. You are then blocking the bike lane, so cyclists don’t pull up on the right. You can then signal again to turn right and make the turn.
How far ahead? According to the DC regulations, it should be anywhere within the block approaching the turn:
• 2203.3 Both the approach for a right turn and a right turn shall be made as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge or the roadway.
• 2220.2 … Any vehicle may enter a restricted right curb lane solely for the purposes of taking on or discharging passengers or to make a right turn where a right turn is not otherwise prohibited by any official traffic control device.
• 2220.3 Vehicles entering a Restricted Lane to make a right turn or to discharge or take on passengers shall be permitted to enter the Restricted Lane only within the same block as the right turn or passengers are to be taken on or discharged.
• 2220.4 Vehicles, other than those to which a lane is restricted, are prohibited from continuing through an intersection in a Restricted Lane.
In my opinion, the broken line length at intersections in PG being painted this year are not much longer than the length of a vehicle which is far too short a distance to merge smoothly into a bike lane while making sure that one has time, while the car is moving, to look over one’s shoulder as well as in the right side mirror to see whether there is a bike in the restricted lane to make sure the merge can be made safely.
The implementation of this initiative has been very poor so far and deserve a failing grade.
If the motorists can be honest for a moment, you’re PO’d because your parking lane is being taken away, and I understand that. Although, if you gave it a thought, if the parking lane is taken away, you won’t be held up anymore with people trying to parallel park on Ospika.
But truthfully, which do you prefer – keeping in mind it is illegal for a cyclist to use the side walk – which was my preferred option.
Keep it as it is, and when cyclists are riding Ospika, they will occupy the outside lane until the reach the point where the bike lane is clear again, which means you’ll be following someone doing 25 km/hr or have to make a lane change – remember, there are two lanes. And don’t offer that the cyclist should stay to the right – that’s a recipe to get doored. You have to occupy the middle of the lane to be safe.
Or, clear the bike lane, so all traffic can flow freely – not just cyclists – and people who currently park there, will have to park further away and walk.
I actually don’t think this is being driven just by cyclists. It’s a cluster F on Ospika when there’s an event, with people trying to parallel park. I think cyclists is just the “good” excuse to do what they want to do anyway.
By the way, the solution at the current pinch points with high peak period volumes of curbside parking such as at the soccer fields, the exhibition parking during car shows, BNE, etc. is fairly simple:
The restricted lanes at posted times are restricted to parking/stopping use rather than bicycle use with signage to indicate shared use of the motorized vehicle lane with bicycles as is the norm anywhere where there is no bike lane. In other words, for a limited time the motorized traffic lanes revert to shared use as is the case in 90+% of city streets.
At some of these times the traffic slows down in any case, whether signed or not, with the high volumes of people entering and exiting cars on the left hand side of the vehicle.
Also, the City has conveniently left out providing bike lanes in the downtown area.
In large urban areas, that is one of the first places bike lanes are introduced. That is where the highest bike volumes and thus the chief pinch points are.
As it stands, bikes share the motorized lane(s), likely ride to the right of the lane adjacent to the parked cars and thus are faced with having to be mindful of drivers opening up their doors without first looking whether the road is clear of traffic behind them. An incident waiting to happen.
Provide a bike lane adjacent to the sidewalk, parking to the left of that.
Now the bicyclist only has to watch for passenger side doors swinging open in front of them.
In my mind, such solutions are no improvement of simply sharing the road on downtown as well as residential streets.
Well as I was out and about most of yesterday I would like to report that the whole time I saw 2 people on bikes. Don’t get me wrong I believe this need the respect of the road as well but I hardly think this city is large enough or gets enough bike use to warrant so many bike lanes.
Wait for the wining and complaining when the big car sale takes up all the parking spots for 10 days later in June. Where are these soccer parents going to park?
There was a news story regarding an older lady who needed to park closer because of mobility issues. Those folks need a place to park that’s closer then the EX parking areas. I still don’t understand the rationale behind that grassy area off of 18th. It used to be a sani-dump at one time and I remember kids being dropped off there. That area could be paved and have it as handicap parking and give out permits to people who need to park close because of mobility issues. The rest can park at the pool, the men’s fields parking areas or the Ex parking (as long as there is no fair, car sale etc. )
I think you will that the enforcement crew will be conveniently busy elsewhere.
I have no issue with sharing the roads with cyclists, when they follow the rules of the road. I live and work in the bowl and see a few cyclists each day. Very few of them actually know how to ride on the street with traffic. Most of them don’t wear helmets, reflective/high visability clothing, they ride on the wrong side of the street, weave in and out of traffic, ride 2 wide, and I could listing the stupid things I’ve seen (believe I know us vehicle drivers can be just as stupid but the topic here is cyclists). My concern is what happens to the driver of a car who injures/kills a cyclist because the cyclist was not following the rules of the road. I’ve see people on their bikes with ear buds in both ears, on the wrong side of road. There is no enforcement but heaven forbid, if something happens, who is held liable? The driver, not the cyclist even the if the cyclist was breaking rule after rule. I think that if you’re going to be riding on the road you should have to have licence proving that you know the rules of the road (and if you don’t follow them you are subject to the same penalties as a driver) and a minimum amount of liability insurance (because a cyclist can cause an accident too).
For what it’s worth, the RCMP are very adept at issuing tickets to cyclists who are hurt in accidents and at fault. The most popular one is when the cyclist is riding on the wrong side of the street and slams into a car that is pulling onto the road. CYCLIST LIABLE. In fact, cyclist has to pay to get your car fixed in spite of the fact they end up in hospital.
For what it’s worth, I ride Ness Lake Chief Lake Rd regularly – no bike lane, and no issues. It’s a game of mutual respect. Vehicles move over a few feet when they go by me, and if there’s traffic both ways, I move over to the far edge to make more room. Logging truck drivers are especially courteous, either slowing down, or moving onto the center lane. Often oncoming cars will move to their right to leave more room for cars passing me. But this is all based on mutual respect and a rural attitude.
Once I get into the city most drivers are good, but the stupid ones increase. Even in a bike lane, I’ve been buffeted from the air of a car driving just on the edge of the road at speed, despite the fact they’ve got 6 extra feet to play with. That’s why I keep checking my mirrors, because some drivers are just in la la land. But, I enjoy it, so I do it. Most motorists seem to hate driving by the apparent hurry they are in to get to where they are going and to get out of their cars.
Lets not get confused between those who own bikes and those who bike on a regular basis. There may be thousands of bike owners in the City but on any give day there are very few bikes on the roads.
Kids bike all over the residential areas, and to some extent around the City. Some people bike to work on a regular basis, and of course we have the dedicated bikers who are out and about on a regular basis.
When you look at the number of people who actually bike on a regular basis and consider the square km of the City 318.26, it becomes pretty obvious why we seldom see many bikers.
I was up and down Ospika from 1st Avenue to 20th Avenue on four different occasions yesterday and saw 5 bikers, and 8 pedestrians. 2 of the bikers were without helmets, and one was on the sidewalk. You can get this type of ratio anytime of the day and night, so lets quit the BS that we have bikers all over the City. We do not.
Make riding on the sidewalks in certain areas like Ospika legal and the problem is solved. All it takes is for the City to pass a bylaw.
Utilizing the empty sidewalks to provide parking is a common sense solution, and it is beyond me why the City doesn’t do it.
“Utilizing the empty sidewalks to provide parking is a common sense solution, and it is beyond me why the City doesn’t do it.”
Now you suggest parking vehicles on sidewalks? C’mon Palopu, you should think long and hard on that idea.
Parking on sidewalks is not an option. The person with a baby buggy and the person who can not walk and is using an electric scooter are not safer having to move into the street because the sidewalk is blocked by parked vehicles. Getting off the curb and later back on again is totally impossible.
Let`s have dedicated marked bike lanes like the other modern cities!
Pretty petty to cause issues with cyclist, LOL I mean really!
Someone that needs to take issues with cyclist needs to get help and I wonder if they should be driving on our roads. I mean that person may kill someone they don’t like one day. Just because the cyclist got in the way, wow
Many people here cycle all year around. Just don’t see them sitting on your butts in the car eh.
Some people are not good drivers and have chosen to not drive.
Right wing posters. If the world isn’t suffering then it isn’t good right
I don’t see very many people walking on the sidewalk either so where there are no bike lanes use the sidewalk. The reason some people are not riding bikes in this city is because they are afraid of being run over. The next time you see a bike on the road just take a look and see how many drivers that will not give the biker some space.
Of course my post was misunderstood. What I said was that by utilizing the sidewalks with bikers we would be able to park on the road. I never said or implied that cars would park on the sidewalks. Not sure how anyone could have construed that from what I said.
In any event in my opinion this is a bona vide Prince George issue. No where else in BC would so many people, say so much, about so little.
How is the hell we can have all of Council, City Administration, Engineering studies, and the general public trying to solve a problem, that most bikers solved on their own many years ago is beyond me.
This is another case of a small city in the hinterlands, wanting to be a big city, with all the pomp and circumstance that goes with a big city.
If you want to see what biking takes place on Ospika, go and take a gander. I go by there many times a day week in and week out, and I can guarantee you there are very few bikers on the street, or sidewalk, nor are there many pedestrians.
I’m still waiting Councilor Merrick on the data re the accidents of bicycles and vehicles regarding the need for all the line changes. You must have the data because you brought it up to the other councilors so that they would approve your request. You do have that data don’t you???
Ok.. so as of right now.. we don’t enforce the laws we have.. parking on the streets for weeks at a time.. dogs barking all the time… those criminals watering their lawns on the wrong days… and now we add this new law to the mix… just more laws being ignored… nice work Jillian.. another law not enforced… and according to you the new bike lane rules have already been paid for with the $70,000 spent on them… so the bylaw people will be working for free to ticket all those naughty parking people ? So only 2800 tickets to those evil parkers and the initial $70K will be covered… that is of course the bylaw people working for free… but of course they wont… so lets say 5000 tickets a year to break even.
Nice work .. don’t give up your day job
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