12 New Bike Lanes Proposed for Vancouver

Photo credit: Paul Krueger | Flickr

Photo credit: Paul Krueger | Flickr

Vancouver may be getting even more bike friendly over the next five years.

A dozen new bike lanes, including eight in the downtown core, have been proposed as part of a new report scheduled to go before city council this week.

The proposed changes amount to a Christmas wish list for avid bikers in the city. Major additions being considered include a new bike lane across the Granville Street Bridge, a much needed route linking Yaletown and the West End via Drake and Burnaby Streets, a long-awaited bike lane along Commercial Drive and a new “Portside Greenway” to run along Water Street in Gastown, according to reports in the Vancouver Sun and Metro.  

New proposed bike routes (solid purple lanes) and upgrades to existing routes (dotted purple lines). Credit: City of Vancouver

New proposed bike routes (solid purple lanes) and upgrades to existing routes (dotted purple lines). Credit: City of Vancouver

The proposal comes as more Vancouverites than ever are hopping on their two-wheelers. Bike traffic has increased 16 percent in the last year, with cyclists now making upward of 100,000 trips per day. Last year, bike counters measured 1.4 million trips across the Burrard Bridge alone.

The new lanes – which still require construction approval and further study – would add to downtown Vancouver’s current network of more than 37 kilometres of bike lanes. Many of the new routes would actually be short “connectors,” designed to bridge the gap between existing bike lanes. Proposed connectors include a protected northbound lane on Cambie Street between Dunsmuir and Water Streets, as well as a route along Bute Street in the West End.

Photo credit: Sherwood411 | Flickr

Photo credit: Sherwood411 | Flickr

The report also calls for significant upgrades to 17 existing bike lanes. Routes slated for improvement include the Stanley Park Causeway, the Cambie Bridge, Ontario Street and 10th Avenue.

Of course, many of the proposed changes would require sacrificing existing parking spaces along city streets. On the chopping block: parking along one side of Beatty Street, 25 percent of spots on Cambie Street, 20 percent of spots on Richards Street and 20 total spots on Smithe and Nelson Streets.

None of these changes are a done deal, however. The report outlines a five-year vision, but council’s approval is still required for major overhauls. Extensive consultations with affected residents and businesses are also being planned.

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