Vancouver goes Bike Crazy
I am absolutely in love with our current city council when it comes to bike-related infrastructure changes. This council has done more for cyclists in the past few years than has happened in probably the last 15 or so. And the hits just keep on coming!!
2009 was a great start - we finally got an actual separated bike lane on the Burrard Bridge. If you haven't ridden over this yet, go try it QUICK! We also had the long-awaited opening of the Central Valley Greenway (even though that was more a Metro Vancouver thing than the CoV)...
During the Olympics someone who was paying attention said "Hey, see that Dunsmuir Viaduct, notice a lane has been closed for about the past 5 years? Why don't we use that space for bikes!!" Well, turns out all that was needed was a slight shift of a few concrete barriers, easily done while the viaduct was closed. That brought us a terrific route into downtown from the East Side without really having to spend much of anything.
I could see a lot of city councils being content to stop there - I mean separated routes across two major entrance points to downtown Vancouver is a pretty substantial improvement already. Nope!!
Next they pledged $25 million for bike route improvements - this is equal to 33% of the road and bridge maintenance budget - in other words they're SERIOUS. There are literally thousands of improvements coming to us all over Vancouver with that much cash to spend!!
One of the first things coming out of that is a brand new separated bike lane up Dunsmuir to at least Granville, continuing on from the viaduct:
Sounds good to me!! There's still some decisions to be made about the exact configuration and type of barrier, but it's coming this summer and was a unanimous decision by city council. Total cost: about $800,000. So there's about 25 times that much cash left to spend!!
If you look at the long term plans, they also want Burrard connected in to this separated bike network - so you'll effectively be able to ride through all of downtown on a separated, safe protected route. HELLZ YEAH!!
I can't wait to see what all else they come up with - I know some of the things will be kinda boring, like repaving broken streets and installing a few new traffic signals, but this is all EXACTLY what I was hoping for when this city council found their way into the Mayor's office. Go Vancouver!