News / Vancouver

Vancouver wants to build three more separated bike lanes for $3 million

Cyclist-car separation could be coming to an intersection near you.

The city wants to build three new separated bike lane projects, to be constructed for $2.95 million in 2013, to meet Vancouver’s goal of more people commuting on two wheels by 2040.

If council approves the staff recommendations, expect major upgrades to Union Street from Gore to Carrall to the seawall ($700,000), the Canada Line Bridge Connection in South Vancouver ($750,000), and the north end of the Cambie Street Bridge to Beatty Street (up to $1.5 million).

Separated lanes mean safer roads, according to the staff report (PDF file), which claims dedicated bike lanes on Hornby and Dunsmuir Streets reduced collisions by 20 per cent in 2012.

The proposal would improve safety at hot spots in the cycling network as more people travel by bike. In 2011, 19,400 more trips were made by bike than in 2008, according to TransLink’s Trip Diary.

Safer routes also encourage women to bike, according to the report. The proportion of women on two wheels increased to 41 per cent from 30 per cent, but women still steer clear of the Burrard Bridge despite the separated bike lanes.

While public consultation for bike lanes on the downtown Cambie Bridge yielded no concerns, the first two projects met with a little more resistance regarding traffic and parking.

The proposal to completely block vehicles from the segment of Union Street just west of Main Street drew ire from small business owners, but the city wants to shut cars out of the high collision zone, according to the staff report.

TransLink plans to contribute $705,000 while the city will foot the rest of the bill from its capital budget. This is on top of $5.46 million for the two-kilometre Comox-Helmcken greenway, which includes separated bike lanes in some sections.

City council will vote on the proposed changes next Wednesday.

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