City council to vote on Dunsmuir bike lane
Vancouver city council will vote Thursday on a plan to create a separated bike lane on Dunsmuir Street.
If the proposal is approved, a separated, two-way bike lane will be tested on Dunsmuir starting next month. The lane will extend from the Dunsmuir viaduct all the way to Howe Street.
Opponents, such as local cab companies, note that a new Dunsmuir Street bike lane will make traffic on the already-busy street even worse.
"As an industry we have to look after our customers, and if there's a delay in traffic or traffic jam-up our customers will end up paying more," Amrik Mahil, President of Black Top and Checker Cabs, told CTV News.
Local businesses say they were never fully consulted on the bike lane. Ashley Rego of Suzette's Café said that a city staff member dropped off a survey about the bike lane, but never bothered to pick it up.
"Due to the economy these days business is already down," said Rego. "If we have concrete pillars and bars here, it will affect my business."
City councillor Kerry Jang says bike lanes make the roads safer for drivers and cyclists.
"Pedestrians have sidewalks, they have their place to walk. Cars have roads on which to drive. The cyclists now need their place and everybody's happier and everybody's safer," said Jang.
If the Dunsmuir bike lane is successful, a new north-south lane will be added to either Hornby Street, Burrard Street, or Thurlow Street.
Earlier this month, Vancouver city council voted unanimously to spend $25 million to create and improve bike lanes throughout the city, re-writing the city's map on how people get around.
The money will be spent over the next two years to build about 55 kilometres of new bike lanes.
About four per cent of Vancouver commuters use bikes but the city hopes to boost that number to 10 per cent.
The city's full report on bike lanes can be found here.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Leah Hendry