There may be another bike lane in the cards for Vancouver – this time on Cambie Street Bridge –if a vote by city council goes ahead this week.
The bike lane would be found on the southbound side of the Cambie Street Bridge and would involve the conversion of one of the lanes into a dedicated protected bike lane with “removable” barriers on a “temporary” basis as part of a pilot project. This would reduce the number of vehicle lanes on most of the six-lane bridge span to five.
On the north end of the Cambie Bridge, at the downtown side, the eastbound protected bike lane on Nelson Street would be extended to the new protected bike lane on the bridge. There would also be a connection between the protected bike lanes on Nelson Street and Beatty Street to the bridge’s new protected bike lanes.
The bridge’s protected bike lane will end at the exit ramp onto West 2nd Avenue’s westbound direction on the south end of the bridge. To accommodate the space needed for the protected bike lane on the exit ramp, the vehicle lane will be narrowed.
During a presentation to council in November, Transportation Director Lon LaClaire claimed travel times will only increase by 10 seconds and there will be “no impact” to the bridge’s vehicle capacity.
The project is needed, he said, as the bridge’s east sidewalk – which is a wide protected path shared between cyclists and pedestrians – is seeing rising use and conflicts.
In June 2017, there were 71,000 pedestrian and cyclists recorded on the bridge, up from 38,000 in 2010, and it’s projected this existing shared path will “reach capacity” by 2020.
But NPA Vancouver City Councillor Hector Bremner warns “the lanes are never temporary,” adding that “the Hornby lanes were called ‘temporary’ at the time as well.”
“That said, I support any move to improve the way we move people outside of a car, and the best way to do that is start building a truly urban Vancouver that builds more multi-residential housing options closer to our economic centres so people can choose to get out of their car, like me,” Bremner told Daily Hive.
“Housing and transportation are not separate issues, we must build communities that facilitate better transportation choices for everyone.”
If approved by City Council following an upcoming public consultation process, the latest bike lane project would be constructed in the first half of this year and is expected to cost $400,000.
With files from Kenneth Chan