Cycling advocate wants bike lanes on Cambie Street Bridge

For almost the entire 12 years she’s lived in Vancouver, Kari Hewett, chair of the city’s bicycle advisory committee, has used the traffic lanes of the Cambie Street Bridge to cycle into the downtown core.

If she had her way, the roadbed would have striped or separated bike lanes, or both.

“I very rarely use the sidewalk part of it,” Hewett said. “It’s fast. Typically, I’ll just continue going west along Smithe Street. And I do veer off occasionally and use the regular [downtown] traffic lanes.”

The Cambie Bridge has six traffic lanes, and the wide east sidewalk is shared by cyclists and pedestrians.

Hewett’s committee last met on June 16. According to the meeting minutes, committee member and long-time cyclist Richard Campbell introduced a motion recommending that the city undertake “a planning process to increase bicycle and pedestrian access and capacity around and across False Creek”. Hewett noted this would include looking at the Cambie Bridge.

“My preference would be to recommend to council to have striped and/or separated lanes on the bridge deck, however they [council] choose to do that,” Hewett said. “That is not the committee’s choice. That is my personal choice, and it has been for a long time.”

The motion, which carried unanimously, also asked that the city consider the “reallocation of lane(s) of traffic on the Cambie Bridge” and/or “widened sidewalks on the Cambie Bridge”.

However, Hewett abstained from the vote, because she said she disagrees with the motion’s proposal for a “new low level crossing of False Creek”.

Campbell did not respond today (August 5) to a message from the Straight.

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anonymous

Aug 5, 2010 at 8:24pm

for f*ck sakes, cambie street and the businesses it houses there does not NEED more construction. and downtown does not need more traffic congestion due to the whims of 3 or so cyclists who will use these lanes. just because you ride a bike, don't feel so entitled.

8 11 Rating: -3

SIGH

Aug 5, 2010 at 10:19pm

The worst part about another one of these being shoved down our throats with more of our tax dollars is that this government basically wants ZERO public input.

They hand pick committees to tell them what they want to hear, and then go ahead and do it without asking us. The one time they did ask us, the mayor responded by calling the respondents "Fucking NPA hacks".

The bike lanes are becoming pretty much a symbol for our municipal style of government - Decide on something, get another body to back it up, and implement it. Screw the voters.

While a small, vocal minority support these initiatives, the rest of us just want the chance to give meaningful input.

8 10 Rating: -2

Sure

Aug 5, 2010 at 10:32pm

I think money shoudl be put aside for cyclist, and cycling lanes should be made just as soon as they are required to pass a test, get a license and pay insurance should they wish to ride in the downtown core. To many go by their own rules then cry foul a drivers.

9 10 Rating: -1

Birdy

Aug 5, 2010 at 10:50pm

There's enough room for everyone as it is, but there's no point arguing with these bicycle advocates/eco-social-engineers, they have their agenda and they're going to push it as far as they can.

"First they came for the car drivers. I didn't speak up because I wasn't a car driver......" -someone, maybe, in 2023

7 8 Rating: -1

RealityCheck

Aug 6, 2010 at 5:54am

There's already a bike lane on the Cambie bridge! Try using it you eco-fascists!

5 6 Rating: -1

Mmmk

Aug 6, 2010 at 10:29am

I'm an avid biker who goes to the downtown core often.....There is absolutely no need for more construction on the Cambie Bridge because there is already a DEDICATED bike/pedestrian sidewalk on the east side that can easily fit 5-6 across. What can be done though is to create an opening in the concrete barrier to allow bikers to cross the Pacific St. off-ramp onto the Cambie St. main off-ramp. alleviating most of the danger at a minimal cost.

8 7 Rating: +1

Brandon

Aug 6, 2010 at 10:52am

Don't have an aneurysm folks. All they did was pass a motion to look at the possibility of putting a lane in. they aren't actually doing anything yet.

The committee is made up of regular people who volunteered based on an interest in helping the community. If you don't like the way things are then stop complaining and volunteer after the next election to join the bicycle advisory committee so that your voice can be heard.

9 7 Rating: +2

Chris Keam

Aug 6, 2010 at 11:14am

If there's enough room for everyone, then painting lanes on the roadway shouldn't be an issue. All it will do is provide guidance and awareness that cyclists will be using the bridge, which is a small positive step towards greater safety.

Everything is social engineering. From car ads to bike lanes, to freeway building, to subway construction, all forms of transportation come with built-in assumptions about what we want our city to look like. Assuming our city can continue to thrive while encouraging single occupant vehicle use seems unrealistic to me, as the costs outweigh the benefits IMO.

10 8 Rating: +2

Rocky Fisher

Aug 6, 2010 at 11:51am

There is no more room cars in the city.

Anyone who has tried to walk across Cambie Bridge with cyclists flying next to you in too crowded of a space, knows that a widening of the sidewalk, or GOD FORBID, a lane of traffic for more than just private automobile drivers, would be helpful for citizens to cross false creek.

Should everything just be for car drivers?? No!! Citizens use many modes of travel and we all have to be accommodated. If you actually read the minutes from the bicycle committee, as I did, you will see they preface the section of suggestions to improve crossing false creek with the statement, "The options considered should include but not be limited to".

"Considered", the word is "considered"! The "advisory" committee "advises" council. In a growing city, and a province set to grow the most in Canada, I fail to see where making suggestions to help fuel this growth and safely facilitate travel is a problem.

10 8 Rating: +2

Ron van der Eerden

Aug 6, 2010 at 12:58pm

Motorists are a minority heading into downtown. More than twice as many arrive by transit. Yet it is cars that take up all the space and demand so much infrastructure and road maintenance. Anything we can do to get people out of those tax-hogging single occupant vehicles is a good thing. More separate bike lanes is one way. More transit-only lanes is another. Lets allow motorists the 25% of road space their numbers represent. The rest should be put to better use.

7 8 Rating: -1
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