Start planning your new route over Burrard Bridge now
Oh, maybe you forgot about that little idea from the Vision Vancouver team. You know, the one about taking one of the car lanes on Burrard Bridge and transforming into a bike lane.
Well, it's going to be coming so you'd better either dust off your bike or skateboard or start planning your new route into town, if you're a regular user of the bridge.
It's on the agenda as one of the things to do in the first few months.
It'll be interesting to see how engineering sorts out exactly how this will work. But my sense is they won't be as opposed to it as some people think.
When Vancouver last tried to create a bike lane on Burrard, back in 1996, it only lasted a few days before councillors couldn't take the heat from disgruntled motorists any more and pulled the plug on that experiment.
But there was a whole contingent of engineers who believed that the bike experiment was actually a success. Within four days, much of the car traffic had either disappeared or had diverted itself to the Granville Bridge -- a bridge that has far more capacity than ever gets used.
You can read the somewhat sad report from the engineering department here, where they make it clear that although the experiment improved bike use and reduced car use on the bridge by about 9,000 trips a day, which apparently just vaporized as many people decided they could live without crossing the bridge, the whole issue was so fraught and emotional that everyone felt burned by it.
But there's cautious optimism that the public now isn't the same as the public then.
Certain Vision Councillor Heather Deal told me before the election that Vision wasn't getting anywhere near the blow back on the idea as it had even three years earlier. (Remember, in 2005, many people thought that Sam Sullivan won in part because of the virulent opposition to the COPE/Vision plan to have two lanes for bikes as an experiment.)
That might be partly because everyone took a big gulp when the bill for redoing the bridge to widen the sidewalks for bikes escalated to $63 million.
And, second reason (I keep pushing this, although I can't find anyone to agree with me), I think that people figured that after the devastation on Cambie for two years, a mere bike lane on Burrard doesn't seem so bad any more.
The tricky thing is going to be figuring out what to do at that north end, where you have cars swinging right off the bridge onto Pacific, while others are going straight on to Burrard, which has always presented a conundrum for creating a safe bike route through that.
Well, Gregor has said he wanted a creative city. So we'll wait to see the creative ideas flow on this one.