It will be at least a few more days before Vancouver commuters find out if cyclists will be squeezing motorists off the Burrard Street Bridge.

Vancouver city councillors were expected to vote Tuesday on a controversial six-month trial plan to dedicate one or two lanes to cycle traffic, but that decision has been postponed because the meeting was overwhelmed by cycling supporters.

Council will now vote on the $1.45 million decision on May 7. If passed, it will start in June.

Drivers fear gridlock on the busy bridge leading to the downtown core, but cyclists say the current situation is dangerous and more room is needed for two-wheeled commuters.

Council approved a similar trial in 1996 but scrapped it a week later -- after vociferous reaction from motorists.

Councilors are considering three options. The first would see both outside vehicle lanes closed and converted to bike lanes -- one going north and the other south.

The second option would see just the far west vehicle lane closed and divided in half to facilitate two-way bike traffic.

The third option is the most complex and is most likely to be approved:

  • The far-west vehicle lane closed and changed into a south-bound bike lane.
  • The east sidewalk would also be closed and converted into a route for bikes heading north into downtown.
  • This option would leave the west sidewalk for use by pedestrians only.

The length of time of the bike-lane trial has not yet been decided.

With files from CTV British Columbia's Renu Bakshi and Stephen Smart