Vancouver council approves Dunsmuir Viaduct separated bike lane, pushes downtown trial

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      Vancouver city council has unanimously approved a separated bike lane for the Dunsmuir Viaduct.

      “We want to cement the mood of the public, that the provision of bike lanes is the new normal,” Vision Vancouver councillor Geoff Meggs told a city services and budgets committee meeting today (February 4).

      Following council’s approval of the new two-way lane, slated to cost no more than $300,000, Meggs moved that council support, in principle, connecting the Burrard Bridge and Dunsmuir Viaduct to the downtown core with additional separated bike lanes.

      He then added two amendments of his own, including a recommendation that staff report to council this spring with “options for a trial of separated lanes in the central business district this year”. The final request was that staff report on options in 2010 to “conduct a trial of a fully separated bike lane or lanes on part of the city’s existing street bikeways”.

      Speaking earlier on the same item, city manager of strategic transportation planning Lon LaClaire said 2006 census data showed that approximately four percent of Vancouverites bike to work.

      “Cycling is a rapidly-expanding mode in Vancouver,” LaClaire told council. “We’ve seen about a tripling of cycling for all purposes.”

      LaClaire then ran through a presentation on bike initiatives in Portland and Copenhagen. He noted that Vancouver has 400 kilometre lanes of bike lane infrastructure currently.

      A City of Copenhagen study showed that “improved health from increased cycling outweighs the additional cycling accident risk by a factor of 20”, according to LaClaire’s presentation.

      Staff also noted that the Dunsmuir Viaduct has already been reduced to two traffic lanes since construction began on the adjoining Costco and high-rise towers downtown.

      “Seeing how it has functioned so well with two lanes, we propose removing the barriers from the left side of the viaduct and moving them to the right side to create a protected lane only for cyclists,” LaClaire told council.

      Five speakers, including cycling advocate Richard Campbell, spoke in favour.

      Graham Anderson, an SFU student in sustainable community development, said he was “generally speaking in favour” of the proposals.

      “Separated bike lanes are absolutely necessary,” he added. “They are long overdue.”

      Assistant city engineer Jerry Dobrovolny said that cycling maps with all the routes clearly marked will be available for visitors to the city over the coming weeks.

      “They’ve been printed and we have lots,” Dobrovolny added.

      The separated bike lane will be added to the Dunsmuir Viaduct after the Olympics.

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      17 Comments

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      RodSmelser

      Feb 4, 2010 at 11:32pm

      Does this mean that the viaducts will not be destroyed after all?
      Rod Smelser

      dumb and stupid

      Feb 4, 2010 at 11:34pm

      It's just plain stupid to piss away money like that for pansy cyclists who don't have the sense to ride on side roads.

      Not dumb and stupid

      Feb 5, 2010 at 2:49am

      Perhaps you don't understand "dumb and stupid" but building a more balanced and equitable transportation network is actually a benefit to drivers because it means fewer cars on the road competing for space. This bike lane takes no road space away from cars while improving safety for cyclists, a key requirement in getting more people to travel around by bike instead of cars. It is definitely worth the investment in my opinion. Way to make a 21st century appropriate decision Vancouver!

      politics101

      Feb 5, 2010 at 6:38am

      Dumb and stupid - so what are the side streets in the downtown core that we should be riding our bikes on.

      to pansy cyclists

      Feb 5, 2010 at 1:07pm

      @politics101,
      Try Bute, Jervis ... Quebec as well as the grassy areas beside the sidewalks and sidewalks when people aren't using them. When you see someone on the sidewalk, dismount out of courtesy. Don't ride on 4th, Burrard or the Viaduct. I ride 5,000 km every year and don't have any problems getting to Georgia Street.

      RodSmelser

      Feb 6, 2010 at 12:08am

      When you see someone on the sidewalk, dismount out of courtesy.
      ===============================

      Good point. There are many cyclists in the downtown area who don't mind cycling at high speed within three feet of pedestrians. If you say anything, you'll be sworn at or threatened.
      Rod Smelser

      Alexwarrior

      Feb 6, 2010 at 9:33pm

      @to pansy cyclists,
      Riding on the sidewalk is illegal, and dangerous. The safest place is in the road where visibility is the highest.

      Running_Vancouver

      Feb 10, 2010 at 3:11pm

      I've been trying to figure a solution to getting cyclists to be respectful and safe riders - i.e., staying off the side walk, not screaming at walker / runners / pedestrians, watching for and respecting vehicles who are in the process of turning right when all of a sudden a cyclist has zoomed up from 5 cars away -- I have no solution. Certainly, I am not convinced that cycling lanes are the solution. As a driver, a cyclist, a runner and a pedestrian, I lean towards keeping the status quo and start ticketing and charging cyclists with cycling with undue care and attention.

      BTW, who is paying for all of this?

      james

      Feb 22, 2010 at 8:31am

      drivers are the pansies. ride a bike and come back and tell me what takes more guts. Biking is far and away more of a test of one's courage, endurance, skill, and fortitude than is driving. Any lazy moron can drive. Too often they do, and rely on their car's power to intimidate cyclists whose moral and character strength they lack. As for side roads, they have twice as many stop signs. Bikers are already at an unfair advantage for speed. Riding on main roads evens the score a bit.

      cyclist

      Feb 22, 2010 at 8:35am

      dear running_vancouver

      You are obviously a driver who cycles little. If you did you'd understand all the crap cyclists go through, the daily dangers and life-taking risks we endure at the hands of life-taking vehicles because of our beliefs. I think all the benefits cyclists do for society- ie. lower congestion, air pollution, improve health, make our roads less dangerous- would justify rewards, not tickets.

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