Vancouver unveils aggressive transportation plan
CTV British Columbia
Published Wednesday, October 24, 2012 6:59PM PDT
Last Updated Wednesday, October 24, 2012 11:06PM PDT
Vancouver has unveiled an aggressive transportation plan that would see two-thirds of all trips taken within the city by transit, cycling or walking by the year 2040.
To achieve that target, the city is proposing numerous attention-grabbing strategies – the least controversial being the long-awaited underground transit line along the Broadway corridor.
But other measures, such as implementing more bike lanes, eliminating car access on certain streets and removing parking from others, are certain to irk motorists.
Related: Read the full report here
Transportation expert Gord Price said the city’s goal is actually more realistic than it might seem.
Past estimates about declining vehicle trips have actually turned out to be too conservative, Price argued, and car use in Vancouver is already down to 1965-levels.
“The one thing that we do know from our experience in Vancouver is that if we build transit, particularly rail transit, boy, will people use it,” Price said.
The city isn’t trying to force people out of their cars, he added, but to make alternative options for walking, cycling and transit more practical.
“Then people will be much more willing to mix and match – to match up the choice for the kind of trip they’re taking with the options available.”
The multi-faceted report suggests the current car-free section of Robson Street may be joined by similar installations on Hamilton and Mainland streets in Yaletown and on Water Street in Gastown. Another section of Robson Street could also become “pedestrian-priority.”
For promoting cycling, the report suggests adding bike lockers and bike racks to parking lots, implementing a bike share system and potentially adding bike lanes to the Granville and Cambie bridges.
The costs of the ambitious project, and where the funding will come from, are unknown however. The report suggests $70 million in funding will be allocated between now and 2014, but says all further estimates will require further planning.
City council is expected to vote on the report next week.
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Lisa Rossington