BY ANDREA WOO, VANCOUVER SUNFEBRUARY 1, 2010 2:26 PM
A survey shows the Burrard Bridge bike lane is a huge hit with cyclists and pedestrians, but over half of drivers polled are also satisfied with the new lane.
VANCOUVER – Vancouver city council will vote Thursday on whether to construct a separated bike lane on Dunsmuir Viaduct.
The project would cost $300,000, with funds coming from the 2009 streets basic capital budget, according to a report by the city’s engineering services department.
It would be installed on the north side of the viaduct and be created by reconfiguring existing barriers.
No traffic lanes would be removed.
“We know from the Burrard Bridge that when we separate bike lanes from cars with protective barriers, more people cycle and it reduces the risk of injury or accidents,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson, an avid cyclist, in a statement released Sunday.
“We need more protected bike lanes in Vancouver and the Dunsmuir Viaduct is the next logical step.”
City staff have recommended installation before the Olympics’ closing ceremony, as the viaduct will be closed until March 2, due to security requirements.
A six-month trial would allow for monitoring through three seasons, a range of weather conditions and special events, stated the report.
Coun. Geoff Meggs, who is on the city’s bicycle advisory committee, said the proposal would provide a stronger link to the downtown core — an area city council hopes to eventually upgrade as well.
“Right now it’s pretty challenging for anybody except the very confident cyclist,” said Meggs. “We’re going to ask staff as well to take a really hard look at how we can improve the downtown core with some separated lanes.”
The Burrard Bridge bike lane trial began July 13. It was originally scheduled for six months, but city council voted to extend it until after the Olympics.
A survey conducted in September found that 45 per cent of 310 respondents supported the continuation of the trial, compared to 21 per cent who were opposed and 28 per cent who were neutral.
© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun