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Separated bike lane through downtown by 2010?

February 4th, 2010 · 16 Comments

Apparently council today added to the existing staff recommendation by voting in favour of a plan to try out a downtown bike lane by the end of the year.

Here’s the motion that Geoff Meggs brought to council.

  1. THAT a separated bike lane be constructed on the Dunsmuir Viaduct at a cost not exceeding $300,000; source of funds being the 2009 Streets Basic Capital Budget (Bike Network), including a monitoring and evaluation program with a report back to Council regarding the results ;   
  2. THAT separated bike lanes, connecting the Burrard Bridge and Dunsmuir Viaduct to the central business district, be approved in principle with a report back to Council in the spring regarding the results of public consultation on the design and alignment as well as options for a trial of separated lanes in the central business district this year; 
  3. That staff report on options in 2010 to conduct a trial of a fully separated bike lane or lanes on part of the city’s existing local street bikeways.

Categories: Uncategorized

  • jimmy olson

    You can’t be a Olympic Host city without promoting a healthy active life! Cycle On! me mateys!

  • Bill Lee

    Oohboy, I can’t wait to see the plans for the death intersections of Seymour and Dunsmuir and the death trap that is left-hand turns from Dunsmuir onto Burrard.

    Just give cyclists the whole street.

    Today, day 99 of the Nazi-inspired torch relay 05 Feb) they closed the two viaducts ‘for security reasons’ and now find out how many dangerous cargo (explosions go boom!, leak gases….) trucks used them to get out or into town, as they all go along Hastings to make a wide turn in a blind (jog on the west side intersection) turn at Hastings onto Clark/Knight to do the north-south route to industrial sites.

  • Tiktaalik

    Seriously what happened to the concept of tearing down the viaducts? I thought this had some support at council. Does it not have a champion anymore?

    I wouldn’t want to spend $300k just to have us eventually decide to tear down the viaducts anyway.

  • Bill Smolick


    apparently wordpress dislikes brevity so i have to make this longer.


  • Fern Jeffries

    $300,000 on a bike lane while the City is standing by and watching inner-city early childhood education initiatives close down. The Y’s City Gate centre is the most recent victim. Ray-Cam has been battling for its centres on Hastings Street and Princess Avenue, but so far the City has come up empty. The City’s community centres are also hard hit with huge budget cuts as the Parks Board tries to balances the its budget as provided by City Council.

    The closure of the Petting Zoo hits kids across the entire socio-economic status spectrum, but it is particularly harsh on those kids who have fewer recreational options. And then there are the larger/older kids who grew up loving the Bloedel Conservatory.

    The City seems to be catering to the bike lobby at the expense of all other social, sport and leisure activities.

    Sources as diverse as the Vancouver Board of Trade and President Barack Obama support early childhood education as a strategy to reduce crime and poverty. But the city peddles on….

  • SV

    Fern the problem with reducing these things to “either/or” is that it really never ends. I’m sure each and every citizen can think of things the city funds that should be given priority over others.
    Safe, dedicated bike lanes help all citizens-even the children and youth that access the centres you mention.
    As for RayCam and Princess street I’d like to see them take their interest in children and families a step further and stop closing one day a month for “program planning”.

  • Fern Jeffries

    Yes, SV, it never ends — we are constantly having to make difficult choices. My choice is for early learning opportunities, not for bike lanes.

    As for “program planning”, are you suggesting that centre staff have no professional development needs, or that there are no “deep cleaning” requirements.

    I agree that it would be great if these centres were sufficiently well-funded that the day closure was not necessary.

    And did I mention that I just drove out to a friends and home again over the Burrard Bridge and saw not one biker!

    I won’t bother to ask how a dedicated bike lane helps a poor kid growing up in the DTES.

  • “I won’t bother to ask how a dedicated bike lane helps a poor kid growing up in the DTES.”

    Safe streets give children the ability to get out of their own neighbourhoods and see the rest of the city. In this instance, a separate lane on Dunsmuir Viaduct/Street would enable a DTES child to ride the Adanac bike route and Dunsmuir lane to Coal Harbour where they could access the Seawall and Stanley Park. With a bicycle (which a kid can get through a couple of different programs for free, email me if you want details) they would have a no-cost way to expand the borders of their world and take in experiences and opportunities (getting to a part-time job as an example) that are currently unavailable to them without parental assistance.

    I should also point out that Quebec has great bike infrastructure and as far as I know, a better childcare system than BC. We can do both these things, and in some ways they complement each other.

  • “And did I mention that I just drove out to a friends and home again over the Burrard Bridge and saw not one biker!”

    The bridge is one km long. At 60 kph you are on the bridge for one minute. I believe that every street on Vancouver could probably be found empty for at least a minute at various times during the day, yet no one suggests removing them. One could certainly make the argument that on multi-lane roads, there is over-capacity at nearly every hour of the day, esp. given the fact that most cars only hold one of a possible four (or more) passengers. If you are going to cast a critical eye towards the capacity of the Burrard bridge bike lane, I encourage you to view all our roads with the same jaundiced eye. The fresh perspective is very illuminating IMO.

  • Mr Clean

    @fern re : “And did I mention that I just drove out to a friends and home again over the Burrard Bridge and saw not one biker!”

    what is your *#&$@ point?

    I rode ny bike around Stanley park ( on the road) twice on Sunday morning. Saw two cars on my first go round, none, not a one, nada coche on my second go-round!

  • Fern Jeffries

    A message to Chris Keam — if you really think that providing a bicycle (however cheap and/or free) reduces alienation and marginalization for people living in poverty, then I am in awe of your naiveté. And if you think you can drive across the Burrard Bridge with all the line ups and congestion in one minute, then I am truly in awe.

    And to Mr. Clean – if “*#&$@” is the extent of your ability to communicate, there is really nothing I can say.

  • Fern:

    You asked how a downtown bike lane could be of benefit to a kid living in the DTES:

    “I won’t bother to ask how a dedicated bike lane helps a poor kid growing up in the DTES.”

    I answered that question.

    As to the line-ups and congestion on the Burrard Bridge, a picture is worth a thousands words.

    Monday rush hour starting up, but no line-ups, no congestion.

  • Fern

    The BC government is wasting billions on roads yet instead of complaining about that, you are focusing on a $300,000 bike lane. Time to take a step back and work on the real problems.

    Oh, and by the way, children should have the right to cycle in Vancouver. Protected bike lanes make that possible.

  • IanS


    Two points:

    1. I suspect it’s not as simple as the funds going to the proposed bike lane coming out of the same “pot” as funds for other items. There are different budgets established for different purposes.

    2. In any event, that sort of allocation of resources and setting of priorities is exactly the kind of process we elect governments to do. Obviously, peoples’ priorities will differ. Some people might prefer funds be spend on Community Centres or early learning opportunities for children while others would rather see the money spent on a dedicated bike lane. There is nothing improper or illegitimate in our current Council choosing the latter over the former, if that’s what they have done.

    If you disagree with their priorities, vote for someone else.

  • Fern Jeffries

    Dear Frances:

    Things I’ve learned:

    1. From Mr. Clean: when one is totally lacking in knowledge or information, just insert expletives.
    2, From IanS: Don’t bother with debate on government actions, just go silently to the polls. Presumably this means Frances, that you shouldn’t bother with your commentary, nor should anyone bother to add their voices to any debate.
    3. From Richard: Roads are not required for the transportation of people, goods and services. BC, like every other developed economy is just wasting money with the building of roads.
    4. From Chris Keam: Forget about the mountains of empirical research, quantitative and qualitative data from many sources, and just give every poor kid and bike and a bike lane. This will come as quite a surprise to the thousands of people both professionals and volunteers, who have devoted their lives to working with disadvantaged youth.

    It’s been enlightening!

  • You know what Fern? Every time the issue of child care comes up, I support additional funding for professional day cares, and support for children in poverty. I’ve seen the benefits they bring and I know people who have worked at Strathcona delivering quality care to kids who need every ounce of help they can get. Just because I also support safer streets is no reason to misrepresent my comments or inflate them beyond the one small rationale I provided that shows protected bike lanes can provide a real benefit to children in poverty.

    If this is how you approach an exchange of ideas about a topic it is clearly pointless to continue.

    BTW, Cambie street bridge is currently closed, but as usual, no traffic congestion to report