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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Comments (45) Add New Comment
anonymous
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.
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SIGH
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.

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Sure
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.
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Birdy
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
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RealityCheck
There's already a bike lane on the Cambie bridge! Try using it you eco-fascists!
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Mmmk
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.
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Brandon
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.
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Chris Keam
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.
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Rocky Fisher
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.
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Ron van der Eerden
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.
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Taxpayer
After the $2 billion Canada Line opened, there is hardly any traffic on Cambie Bridge. Meanwhile, the east sidewalk is packed with cyclists and pedestrians. Cyclists aren't even allowed on the west sidewalk. Lets reallocate a lane of traffic on the west side for cyclists.
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Arno Schortinghuis
I often ride on the general traffic lanes on the Cambie Bridge since the pedestrian/cycle crossing is way too cumbersome. Has anyone ever seen a bridge design with double 360 degree loops for cars to get off a bridge?

The city is doing everyone a great service by encouraging more people to ride bikes. Research from England shows that every person who choses to make some of their trips by bike instead of by car provides a net benefit to society of up to $2000/year. I am sure that this is true for Vancouver as well. By my calculation, cyclists in Vancouver contribute about $40,000,000 per year to society, however expenditures for cycling infrastructure are less than $10,000,000 per year.

More people cycling means a healthier, more vibrant city. More people cycling means less people driving and less people on transit thereby making it easier for those who must drive or take transit to get around the city. This is a win-win-win for everyone!

Surveys conducted by Statistics Canada show that cyclists are the happiest commuters. Cycling is the most enjoyable way to get around the city.
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Vancouver Needs a Bike Plan
I am a huge supporter of bike lanes and building a low carbon and peak oil resilient transportation network (http://dirt.asla.org/2009/07/13/how-to-design-resilient-cities/) but the way they are going about it at City Hall is counter-productive in my opinion. I am thrilled we are finally going to have a long-needed continuous network of safe, separated lanes connecting the east and west sides of the city but this is not an overall plan. We need an overall plan and not some ad hoc effort because when an idea like adding separated lanes to the Cambie Bridge pops up it catches people by surprise and results in a lack of trust and resentment from many groups and individuals (e.g. business owners, non-cyclists) across the city. Long-term this sentiment could run counter to the city's much touted 'green' goals.
If they haven't already Vancouver should look at Montreal (http://ville.montreal.qc.ca/portal/page?_pageid=2762,3099981&_dad=portal...) and Portland (http://www.portlandonline.com/transportation/index.cfm?c=44597) which are two cities with excellent long term cycling plans. Seattle's is also worth a look (http://www.cityofseattle.net/transportation/bikemaster.htm). Have a good weekend!
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chris from BBY
when cyclists pay for insurance/licensing & contribute to the cost of road infrastructure, then they can have a vote on getting their own lanes.

until then, learn to ride in traffic and deal with the vehicles.
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Birdy
re: "Assuming our city can continue to thrive while encouraging single occupant vehicle use seems unrealistic to me."
Right, but continuing to borrow tens of millions of dollars at high interest to build unnecessary bullshit in the middle of the road while cutting kid's summer programs is realistic?

re: "Everything is social engineering. From car ads to bike lanes" So that makes it okay? At least you admit your 'movement' has the same level of honesty as a monolithic advertising corporation.

re: "If there's enough room for everyone, then painting lanes on the roadway shouldn't be an issue."
Neither should just leaving it alone. The difference is that we don't have to borrow money in order to leave it alone!

I've been riding a bike in Vancouver for decades, and NONE of this traffic calming is necessary, all it does is create idle gridlock and pissed off dangerous drivers.

Which is of course, as openly stated by members of council, the entire point. To eco-frustrate and inconvenience drivers. They openly admit that's their goal. Like 'Ron van der Eerden' says above; "Anything we can do to get people out of those tax-hogging single occupant vehicles is a good thing." How about you mind your own business and stop trying to "get people" to do what you want? How about finding something to do with your lives other than competing to be more eco-moral than your neighbours by trying to control and manipulate people?
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Revilo
I think anyone throwing around the word "fascist" (as in eco-fascist) or paraphrasing Pastor Martin Niemoeller should get themselves a lesson in European history AS WELL as look to European cities for liveability, due to designing for people, not vehicles. Look for: pedestrian bridges, extensive physically separated bikes lanes, etc. The car has been the main driving (pardon the pun) cause of urban flight in North America, causing the decay of the downtown environment. As people move back to the urban core in forward-thinking cities, we need to restructure that environment to suit the people who live there and nearby, not just to suit suburban commuters and partiers who come in for a single purpose.
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Brandon
Cyclists pay for road infrastructure, through property tax, just like everyone else. All the money you pay to run your car does not go to road infrastructure, that is just the cost of running a car. Just because you choose to pay all the expenses associated with driving a car doesn't mean that you pay more for road infrastructure, everyone is taxed equally regardless of weather you use roads or not. The end result is that it is actually pedestrians and cyclists that are subsidizing vehicle drivers.
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Chris Keam
"re: "Everything is social engineering. From car ads to bike lanes" So that makes it okay? At least you admit your 'movement' has the same level of honesty as a monolithic advertising corporation."

Even your comments are social engineering Birdy. You are trying to bring people around to your point of view so they act in a way you deem acceptable according to your perspective.

Just because you (Birdy) have ridden for decades without getting hurt or killed doesn't mean we don't need more bike lanes, esp. for novice riders. A lack of safe infrastructure for cyclists costs very little compared to ensuring the safety of a car user (think Sea to Sky Hwy) and not implementing those kinds of measures only highlights how we've socially engineered our society to rely on cars to such a degree that we consider traffic fatalities just a cost of travelling.
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CARMAN
Cyclists must go to stanley park to ride, Road is made for the cars, if they are eco freaks, just take the rav lane or transit.
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Ad hominem
"An attack upon an opponent in order to discredit their argument or opinion. Ad hominems are used by immature and/or unintelligent people because they are unable to counter their opponent using logic and intelligence.

Person A: I think we should spend more money on environmental protection.

Person B: You just think that because you’re a stupid tree-hugger.

Person A: It is crucial that we facilitate adequate means to prevent degradation that would jeopardize the project.

Person B: You think that just because you use big words makes you sound smart? Shut up you loser; you don't know what you're talking about."

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=ad%20hominem
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