More bike lanes are coming to the streets of Vancouver after a five-year bike lane expansion plan was approved by Vancouver City Council Thursday.
The plan calls for the addition of eight new bike lane routes in downtown Vancouver, including Stanley Park’s Park Drive, Bute Street, Burnaby-Drake streets, Smithe-Nelson streets, Cambie Street, West Waterfront Road within Port Metro Vancouver’s jurisdiction, Water-Alexander-Powell streets through Gastown (also known as the “Portside Greenway”), and the Granville Street Bridge.
Four other routes are planned outside of the downtown peninsula on Gore Street, Hudson Street, Kent Street, and Commercial Drive.
Some of downtown’s roads could see street parking space losses of between 25 to 50 per cent. Further public consultation and approvals are required before changes can be made.
Council also approved plans to improve a number of existing bike land routes and start a one-year pilot project to allow skateboarders use bike lane infrastructure. The move to allow skateboarders to use bike lanes not only promotes safety but also increases the utility of the bike lanes, which experience dips in ridership during the wet and cold winter months.
The City claims there has been a 16 per cent increase in bike trips this year over 2014. It is aiming to have at least half of all trips be made by cycling or public transit by 2020.
In addition to the discussions on bike lanes, Council discussed and gave final approval for the B.C. Passenger Board’s decision to grant Vancouver’s four taxi companies a combined total of 58 temporary taxi licenses for the holidays. The license for extra cabs ends on January 7.
Map of the 5-year plan to expand cycling infrastructure in Vancouver (click to enlarge):