Lots of speculation about what is happening with the Burrard Bridge bike trial, which will involve closing two lanes of traffic. Councillor Geoff Meggs has a brief update on his blog here, but to add a few more details that I’ve heard from the inside.
City doesn’t want to start any trials until construction is finished on Granville and Cambie, since have all three major routes impeded in some way is sure to cause gaskets to blow all over town — and not in the cars. The thinking is also that that’s a good time to start, with both university and school traffic out of the way, downtown-worker vacations starting and traffic generally lighter. It’s also when cycling is likely to hit its peak. That way there’s maximum success on the bike end, minimum disruption on the traffic end, and everyone has two months to prepare for alternative routes into the downtown when the normal rush hours resume in September.
Another factor playing in is that council wants to make sure that there is an aggressive communications plan. Many people still blame the failure back in 96 on the poor communications by those running the bike trial back then, which resulted in drivers trying to pile onto the bridge instead of trying alternative times or routes.
Of course, all of this is leading to some scuttlebutt that Vision councillors are scared of a backlash and so are dithering. Impossible for me to verify this and I haven’t heard anything from them to indicate that’s so, but perhaps my citizen-journalist-readers out there know more.