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!
Read about Great Bike Rides in and Around Vancouver Here – Vancouver Cycling
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.
Alex P says
I like the 10th and Fraser light. Very handy if I’m headed that way to the SkyTrain or the CVG. A big win for me as well was a similar light quite recently added at W 10th and Highbury St that makes it dead easy for me to get to the Off-Broadway bike route.
I used to want a light at W 8th & Alma on the Off-Broadway route, but I learned a little secret, I can just go to W 6th & Alma to cross Alma, since it has a pushbutton cyclist light, so I’d rather see some other priority area get one first.
I like the idea of a Kitsilano Connector between the Kits Pool and Jericho Park to close that gap. That’s the way I ride anyway if I’m coming home from downtown, but most people wouldn’t be comfortable doing that. It’d be perfect for the big employment centre that is UBC. And helps expand one’s choice of beaches in the summer. I find the beaches get gradually more pretentious the farther East you go from Wreck Beach to Kits Beach, so one could then simply ride until they reach their desired level of pretentiousness of beach.
Separated lanes would be great on Main St and Commercial Dr, but narrow rights of way make that difficult I’d imagine. Lots of good restaurants on both.
If I had my ‘druthers I’d love to see a separated lane on Clark Drive between the Adanac and Central Valley Greenway bike routes. These are connected by the Woodland bike route, but that requires you to climb a fairly good hill to 1st Avenue and then go right back down again on the other side. Clarke, only 2 blocks away, is quite flat by comparison.
I use Clarke drive late in the evenings when the traffic is very light, but usually the heavy commercial traffic makes it inadvisable, IMHO.
Clark is one of the two roads in Vancouver that are on my “only if it would save the planet from immediate destruction” list – the other is Hastings. I avoid them both like the plague – hat tip to you if you have the nerves to use Clark at any time of the day!
Good idea to have a more efficient connector between Adanac and the CVG. I always use Woodland, but it is a climb, and it’s a slow detour to boot. A separated bike lane on Clark would make it super fast!
Was surfing tonight, and on a whim looked at the VPL’s historical photos for bikes (http://www3.vpl.vancouver.bc.ca/spe/histphotos/ search term “bicycles”). Not sure if these links will come through, but it seems cycling on Vancouver’s streets has been going on for a long time…and it looks much less busy than the horror I experienced on Burrard Street this morning…
Janine, thanks for the great links. I am going to put them in the post, so more people will see them.
mountain bike techniques says
mountain bikes australia I’ve been looking so long for for sites to help me with bikes. Cheers.