City of Vancouver will reveal plans to upgrade Burrard Bridge and possibly remove a motor-vehicle lane

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      Today at 10 a.m., City of Vancouver officials are expected to reveal plans for enhancing pedestrian, cyclist safety, and motor-vehicle safety at the north end of the Burrard Bridge.

      The work on the 82-year-old bridge will occur in 2016 and 2017.

      An artist's rendering (see above) on the city website reveals the existence of a new pedestrian lane on the east side of the bridge.

      Currently, only cyclists are allowed on the east sidewalk. However, pedestrians sometimes choose this route rather than crossing over to the west side sidewalk, which is reserved for foot traffic.

      There are five lanes for vehicle traffic on the bridge—two on the west side and three on the east side. The artist's rendering suggests that one of those eastbound lanes will be switched to a cycling-only area.

      Before the 2008 election, Vision Vancouver politicians promised to convert only one lane of traffic on the bridge for cycling. The Coalition of Progressive Electors, on the other hand, wanted two lanes set aside—one on the east side and one on the west side.

      In 2009, pedestrian activist Bev Ballantyne wrote a commentary on Straight.com condemning the city for denying walkers access to the east sidewalk of the bridge.

      "Pedestrians are second-class citizens," she wrote at the time. "Their mission is less important than that of drivers. They can wait a little longer or walk little farther. The bully syndrome applies."

      The city has already completed a $6-million transformation of the south end of the Burrard Bridge to enhance safety for Kitsilano-bound cyclists. This involved adding a left-turn bay for vehicles travelling northbound on Burrard and new signalling for southbound vehicles turning onto Cornwall Avenue.

      Comments

      3 Comments

      Anthony Maw

      Jun 1, 2015 at 10:17pm

      Is the City of Vancouver so awash in money that it has to spend it on constant "upgrades" for the bike lanes, etc? I've been a cycle commuter in Vancouver since the late 70s (when my mom bought me a "ten-speed" bike for my 13th birthday!!!) and I've been cycling across the Burrard Street Bridge to Kitsilano literally for decades without problems or issues....*before* all the insane "upgrades". How about firing the useless "make-work-for-themselves" City Planners who come up with these things, and cutting property taxes ?

      BikerCK

      Jun 2, 2015 at 6:43am

      The planned upgrades in this instance primarily benefit pedestrians and motorists.

      Personal anecdotes make for bad data and worse decisions. If we took that approach to motor vehicles I could conceivably say that we shouldn't install guardrails on cliffside roads, because I don't drive over the edge. Not too smart from a public safety perspective.

      Pittsburgh

      Jun 2, 2015 at 9:29am

      First the so called Mickey Mouse engineers at the COV create the problem by poorly designing the bike lane (basically no engineering put into it). Now they are going to make it worse. Crap has risen to the top in the engineering department at the COV – total toadies floating along and doing whatever it takes to go with the flow. These guys are overpaid schmucks who graduated from civil engineering – essentially a BCIT diploma when it comes to difficulty.

      We need more bridges in Vancouver - bike and pedestrian bridges would be nice. Pittsburgh has 446 bridges. How many does Vancouver have: Oak Street Bridge – disaster and over flowing, Burrard Street Bridge - disaster and over flowing and Lions Gate Bridge – massive disaster and over flowing? Road congestion is not going to be solved by making it hard to drive. It merely shifts the driving where people can drive and shop – Oakridge Mall. Fire these idiots.