New bike lane proposed on Cambie Bridge in Vancouver

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      Anyone who's ridden a bicycle over the Cambie Bridge on the eastern sidewalk can relate to some of the challenges.

      There are pedestrians and cyclists travelling in both directions, along with parents with strollers and mobility-challenged folks travelling on their scooters. It's particularly busy on hot summer days or after major events at B.C. Place Stadium.

      On Wednesday (January 17), city council's standing committee on policy and priorities is scheduled to vote on a staff recommendation to clear up some of this sidewalk congestion with a new southbound protected bike lane.

      "The Cambie Bridge east shared path is frequently too busy for those walking and cycling to feel safe and comfortable sharing the same space," a staff report says.

      If council gives this new bike lane the green light, it will be built in the first half of this year.

      "The new protected bike lane would be achieved by reallocating a section of one of the bridge's three southbound travel lanes and a portion of the extra width on the southbound-to-westbound vehicle ramp at the south end of the bridge," the report states. "If approved, the project would be constructed in the first half of 2018."

      Cycling trips rise

      The estimated cost would be about $600,000, including improvements to connections on the south side of the bridge.

      The Cambie Bridge opened in time for Expo 86 and included a four-metre wide east sidewalk to accommodate an expected large number of pedestrians.

      It became a shared cycling-pedestrian path in the early to mid 1990s, according to the staff report. It connects to the Beatty Street bike route, which opened in 2014.

      "Since 2010, monthly June cycling volumes over the bridge have increased by 86%," the staff report states. "July 2017 saw the highest recorded number of people cycling across the bridge with over 80,000 bicycle trips on the shared path, and about 3,200 per midweek day."

      This puts it on par with the midweek cycling volume on separated bike paths along Hornby Street and over the Dunsmuir Viaduct.

      The report also notes that minor walking and cycling injuries per kilometre shot up on the Cambie Bridge in the first six months of 2017 compared to the same period in the previous year.

      City of Vancouver