Recently Vancouver and the lower Mainland have made three giant strides towards safe cycling for all:
- The Central Valley Greenway (June 2009)
- The Burrard Bridge separated cycling lane (July, 2009)
- The separate lane on Dunsmuir Street (March 2010)
Also, there is finally a traffic light on the 10th Avenue bike route at Fraser – what a pleasure!
And then of course there is the newly approved, highly controversial separated bike lane on Hornby Street – commenced 6 October 2010, debuting imminently!
All of this is thanks to (among others) Mayor Gregor Robertson; Counc. Geoff Meggs; Vancouver director of transportation Jerry Dobrovolny; and Vision Vancouver, pursuing their mission to make Vancouver the greenest city ever. Oh, and let’s not forget Translink for its role in the creation of the Central Valley Greenway.
Cyclists eagerly wait to see what’s next (while cyclophobes quiver in their hummers at the thought of losing another few metres out of the 99% of road space they presently hog).
So what’s next?
Vancouver is working on a master plan to develop sustainable transportation modes, such as cycling infrastructure. In the next two years they hope to spend $25 million on cycling routes. Future possible cycling plans include:
- Improving traffic signals along existing bike routes
- Improving existing bike routes
- Identifying the best places for more separated lanes
- Building a separated bike lane on one arterial street (not in the city core – e.g. Knight, Oak, Cambie, Main or Granville)
- Better connection between Spanish Banks and Stanley Park
- Two east-west routes in south Vancouver: the North Arm Trail Greenway between Vivian and Angus Streets; and the 45th Avenue Bikeway between Ontario and Carnarvon Streets
- Developing the Comox-Helmcken Greenway in the West End (a series of traffic-calmed areas that would be suitable for cyclists and pedestrians)
With all this in store, there has definitely never been a better time to be a cyclist in Vancouver!
Postscript: Janine sent in two great links to photos of Vancouver in earlier, calmer times. Interesting to see that Vancouver was once a safe place for cycling … with luck and hard work, we can get there again.