A seven-block-long stretch of downtown Vancouver’s road network could see new protected bike lanes.
The City of Vancouver is planning a complete redesign Drake Street between Burrard Street and Pacific Boulevard with new protected bike lanes that extend the Burnaby Street bike lane corridor to Yaletown and False Creek.
Currently, Drake Street is a two-way street for cars and includes curbside parking. A short one block stretch of the street between Burrard Street and Hornby Street already has bike lanes and is single-directional for cars.
Moving forward, there are two design options being considered for Drake Street’s complete overhaul.
City staff have identified their preferred option of turning the entirety of Drake Street into a one-way eastbound street for cars, with a curbside lane retained for parking and four right turn lanes, and bi-directional separated bike lanes on the south side of the street. A landscaped median would create a wide buffer of separation between cyclists and cars.
This option would retain about 41 of the 82 total curbside parking spaces, add a Mobi bike share station near Granville Street, requires less sidewalk narrowing, and create less turning conflicts.
The secondary option retains two lanes for cars travelling eastbound and westbound, and uni-directional bike lanes would be built on both curbsides of the street.
But it will only retain about 10 of the 82 total parking spaces, sidewalk width will be reduced at some intersections, there is no space for right turn lanes, and new landscaping will be limited, which will limit the width of the street’s buffer between cyclists and cars.
Any bike lane design option on Drake Street will eventually be integrated with the future Granville Street Bridge centre-lane bike and pedestrian path, with Drake Street being the northern end of this bridge path. The city also says the span of Drake Street between Granville Street and Pacific Boulevard could potentially be a part of the future downtown streetcar network.
Based on peak summer data, the city says cycling traffic volumes are highest at Drake Street’s end with Burrard Street, where 1,250 cyclists are recorded per day on average. Over on other sections, cycling volumes drop down to an average of 500 to 600 cyclists per day.
Feedback from a survey during the current first phase of public consultation will be used to develop a refined plan by Fall 2019. City council is expected to deliberate on the bike lane plan in early 2020, and if approved construction will begin shortly after and would be coordinated with sewer upgrades.
Similar changes are also proposed for all 11 city blocks of Richards Street, with new protected bike lanes and the roadway for cars reduced to one southbound travel lane.