‘Politically bold’ trial a success, ‘good transportation’: Councillor
- Preliminary numbers by a University of B.C. researcher reported only one bicycle accident on the bridge during the trial, compared to three in the same period in 2008.
November 02, 2009 5:50 a.m.
A majority of Vancouver residents want to keep dedicated bike lanes on the Burrard Street Bridge, according to a poll that will be presented to city council tomorrow.
Residents support continuing the bike lane trial by a two-to-one margin, the survey suggested.
Support was highest in the Westside and Downtown.
Coun. Heather Deal called the lane re-allocation a success.
“We’ve got a safer bridge where people can all get across in their own mode,” Deal said. “We haven’t slowed traffic considerably and cyclists have gone up in their usage.”
In July, the city transformed one southbound vehicle lane into two dedicated bike lanes to improve cyclist and pedestrian safety.
The report found that the number of cyclists using the bridge increased 26 per cent this summer, or 70,000 additional bike trips. The number of women riding across increased disproportionably by 31 per cent, compared to 23 per cent for men.
Deal said the decision was “politically bold” given the daunting hype and predictions of gridlock on the aging bridge.
“This was set up by some people to be a big car versus bike issue, and it’s not; it’s safety and good transportation for everybody.”
Travel time across the bridge was largely unchanged, with the exception of vehicles heading out of the West End, where trip times increased by an average of three minutes during the afternoon rush.