Burrard Bridge Bike Lane hits 1 million trips, permanent lane approved
Burrard Bridge Bike Lane hits 1 million trips and permanent lane approved by Vancouver council.
Vancouver City Council approves permanent plan for Burrard Bridge bike lane on heels of million-trip milestone
Less than a year after one sidewalk and one lane of road space were turned over to cyclists, the Burrard Bridge recorded its millionth cycling trip since the reconfiguration. While concerns about business impacts and traffic jams are still being heard from critics of the plan, on July 8, 2010 Vancouver City Council voted unanimously to make the protected lane a permanent fixture of the bridge.
In a news release issued the same day, Mayor Gregor Robertson called the protected lane trial “a remarkable achievement,” noting, "Over one million riders in less than a year shows that when you build safe, protected bike lanes, people of all ages will come out and use them. The Burrard Bridge bike lanes have been a big success and helped make cycling and walking over the bridge safer for thousands of people every day.”
Vancouver is Bike City
Bridge traffic has been monitored by City staff throughout the trial period. According to their measurements, pedestrian and vehicle volume on the bridge is relatively unchanged. The cycling statistics, however, show a 24 percent increase in cyclists using the bridge.
During peak periods as many as 800 cyclists per hour are currently crossing the bridge. The volume this summer is currently about 6,000 trips per day.
As part of a $2 million maintenance and upgrade program for the bridge, the concrete barriers currently separating the bike lane from vehicle traffic will be replaced with a less obtrusive design.
Burrard Bridge bike lane forces gallery to close
Not everyone is happy with the news however. Business owner Ron Appleton runs Appleton Galleries, an aboriginal art gallery with a location on Hornby Street, in a space owned by the City of Vancouver. He claims the right-hand turn restrictions that came with the bridge trial killed his business.
The gallery is expected to close by the end of the year.
Chris Keam has worked as a writer and editor in Vancouver since 1989. In addition to cycling, he has a keen interest in sustainable living trends, parenting, media issues, current affairs and local history. You can visit his blog at www.chriskeam.com.