Vancouver counts 600 cyclists a day in bike lanes
The City of Vancouver has released new numbers that it says prove the popularity of the new separated bike lanes on Dunsmuir and Hornby streets.
Two months after the Hornby lane opened, the city estimates that almost 4,000 bikers a week are riding through the intersection with Nelson Street. About 6,000 a week are breezing through at Dunsmuir and Howe streets.
"What we've seen so far is that on average, we're seeing about 600 cyclists a day during the midweek," assistant city engineer Jerry Dobrovolny told CTV News.
Officials are predicting that number to rise into the thousands by the summer. For more statistics, click here.
When CTV News counted bikes at Hornby and Georgia streets Friday afternoon, 99 cyclists used the separated lane in about an hour.
Now that construction's finished on both lanes, the city has measured the impact on vehicle traffic as well. There's been no change during the morning commute, but the bike lanes have led to a one-minute delay during the afternoon rush.
"It's about the same as missing a signal, missing a red light," Dobrovolny said.
But some drivers aren't convinced. One person out on the road Friday described traffic near the lanes as a "nightmare."
Packing bikes and cars together in close proximity has other consequences, too. Surveillance cameras at the St. Regis Hotel on Dunsmuir Street hotel have captured footage of five collisions since June.
In one video, a cyclist can be seen riding up the bike lane and colliding with a truck turning right. When a passerby calls 911, the fire truck can't maneuver into the lane.
Hotel manager Jeremy Roncoroni says traffic is worse as well.
"We now have irate Vancouverites that are just impatient, they're trying to get to work, and when it goes down to one lane it backs up two blocks," he said.
Cycling advocate Jamie Ollivier believes that attitudes towards the bike lanes can change with more education.
"We just want to share the road and have safe access to get downtown, so be patient with us," he said.
Biker Adam Spitz shares that attitude.
"I was a driver once. I don't blame them for hating it. I understand where they're coming from, but this is the future and they'd better get on board. Because when the price of gas keeps going up and up where are they going to be?" he said.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Jon Woodward