City holds consults on contentious Cambie Bridge bike lane
Published Friday, December 1, 2017 10:25AM PST
The City of Vancouver is planning on building more bike lanes, and it’s igniting debate between those who love them, those who hate them and everyone in between at community consultations.
One idea the city is eyeing is to add a separated bike lane to the Cambie Street Bridge, and on Thursday night residents had a chance to voice their opinions on the contentious plan.
“I think this is the wrong thing to do at this time,” said resident Diane Birk. “I don’t see any justification in taking another lane out of the downtown core.”
Birk uses the Cambie Street Bridge several times a week. She says she sometimes walks, sometimes cycles and sometimes drives.
The proposed project calls for temporary barriers to be placed along the main span of the bridge, blocking the western-most soutbound lane to drivers—and creating the city’s newest bike lane.
“Over the years, walking and cycling volumes on the shared east sidewalk have been increasing to the point where it’s getting very uncomfortable for people to walk and cycle across the bridge,” said Paul Storer, manager of transportation design with the city.
But Birk says her observations counter what the city says. Lately, she’s been keeping a photo diary—documenting her walks over the bridge during rush hour. She doesn’t think it’s crowded at all.
“Take a pause, stop with the bike lanes,” she said. “We still don’t know the impact of the removal of the Dunsmuir viaduct. They’ve just opened the Burrard Bridge and bike lanes.”
Others who use the current lane that’s shared between bikers and pedestrians say the proposed separated bike lane is a welcome idea.
“The east side of the bridge is getting really, really crowded,” said Devon Hussack, a pedestrian. “I’m hoping this will divert some of that crowding to the other side of the bridge.”
City staff are planning to take their recommendations to council in January, where they say there’s a good chance the project will move forward.
Construction would start shortly after, with an expected completion date of spring 2018.
With a report from CTV Vancvouver’s Jordana Springgay.