Thursday, July 16, 2009


For the past several months, I have been "clocking" bicycle traffic on the Burrard Bridge.

The largest number of bikes I have ever counted, including at rush hour, is eleven. Yes, 11.

The average is six.

Now, for this, we the taxpayers have spent $1.3 Million to create the famous bike lane madness.

Yesterday, I avoided the Burrard Bridge going downtown.

Coming back several hours later, I witnessed and experienced first hand tempers boiling over at Thurlow and Pacific and at the entrance to the Bridge.

The time was 4:40 pm.

There were seven bicycles. Coubnt 'em. Seven.

Now, this action by this dedicated council may or may not be a good thing for them politically, but that is hardly the point, is it?

The point is expensive tinkering using the public purse to further partisan and ideological aims that border on fantasies.

The Mayor and his Hollyhock Happy Planet dwellers can get all their bicycle friends out in full force for the Big Foto Op, but it won't change the reality.

There is not and never has been a bicycle problem on the Burrard Bridge.

The problem remains at 12th and Cambie.


Keith said...

It would be ironic if a bicyclist or pedestrian was killed.
How does the Mayor sleep at night?

Anonymous said...

Like everything in Vancouver, pedestrian and cycling 'traffic' explodes during sunny days, at least the sunny days above freezing temperatures.

The Burrard Bridge was created not for those living in southern communities but those living west of Granville Street. The bridge has become an alternative to the Granville Street bridge due to the plethora of traffic lights along what is known as South Granville which causes something akin to a hairball stuck in a cat's throat.

What should have occurred before tunneling the expensive so-called Canada Line (that only travels 19 kms across Canadian soil) was a tunnel under Granville Street, accessed by Rmd residents and airport arrivals and departures. This tunnel would not be for toy trains but for through traffic to downtown Vancouver which would exit north just shy of the southern end of the Granville Street Bridge. There would be a toll for such convenience and for the cost of constructing the tunnel.

Granville Street for the most part would be deserted for local users.

Having just visited Portland, which has the most bridges crossing a river, Willamette, than most cities I know. Some bridges have dedicated lanes for cyclists but none take up a lane formally dedicated to vehicles. However, roadways throughout the city's downtown have been designed and dedicated to cyclists moving in traffic.

In Portland, again during good weather days, cyclists outnumber vehicles on the few bridges with dedicated lanes.

The Burrard Street Bridge could have accommodated both pedestrians and cyclists underneath the bridge which would have provided shelter from the rain along with a most spectacular view of False Creek and English Bay.

Cycling and walking are alternatives that are here to stay. Triple digit oil is coming again as soon as we rid ourselves of the sub-prime mortgage distraction (The Great Recession).

Pedestrians and cyclists are killed in Vancouver traffic every year and unfortunately in the past city council has responded after the fact to troublesome intersections and past poor traffic design.

The Burrard Bridge 'solution' may not be the best one, but it is the cheapest and the easiest to implement. It's too bad council didn't put the Burrard Bridge sidewalk extensions as one of their "shovel ready" projects hungry for fed dollars. But either way we pay.

Perhaps some of the provincial gas royalties and revenue from gas field leases should be invested in future sustainable transportation alternatives.

Anonymous said...

On Wednesday, city police issued 30 tickets to people using the bridge who were riding across without a helmet. The Province, July 17, 2009
It would seem to me that if 30 tickets were handed out to unhelmeted cyclists in one day, surely there were more cyclists with brains to protect, and the brains to know better, riding the bridge

On a typical summer weekday, about 70,000 cars use the Burrard Bridge, with about 4,000 people crossing on bicycles and 2,500 as pedestrians. The Province July 10, 2009

Around 70,000 drivers use the Burrard Bridge daily, alongside 3,300 cyclists and 2,300 pedestrians. British Columbia

A City of Vancouver backgrounder/study shows that during peak periods 8,000 – 9,000 people cross the bridge every hour. 49 % are lone drivers, 21% are car poolers, 21% transit, 5% cyclists, 4% pedestrian.

There seems some discrepancy between your study, as scientific as it may be, and the numbers I’m finding. Hmmm?

Anonymous said...

David, words escape my joy at your return( I hope).
Ive been riding a bike since 1990 to get to my job as a truck driver. Once off of the bike and in the semi I hate bike riders. It takes a lot of time and effort to pull a loaded trailer past a cyclist. I will then hug the curve so that the biker doesn't get to pass me on the right and cause me to have to work my way around him / her again.
Yet when I'm riding to get to my truck I am acutely aware of how close some truckers come to me when passing. So the bikers break the law passing on the right and the truckers break the law not giving a bike the use of an entire lane.
Common sense is needed and enforcement. Both are lacking . The police dont give a rats ass about bike safety and they dont want to enforce any traffic laws that cant be done on a mass production scale. speed traps and seat belts. Easy money for lazy cops. So in order to make up for these lazy cops city hall and the loony toon mayor will screw up a perfectly functional bridge. If riders were forced to ride this bridge with police ticketing them and drivers for bad behavior it would soon sort itself out. Typical of the idea that governments must look after citizens too stupid to look after themselves. I sometimes need to run across the Lougheed Hwy. I guess they will have to build a bridge so that I can break the law without getting hurt.Instead of cracking down on gang violence we had better give every citizen a bullet proof vest. I could go on for ever but my fingers are getting sore from typing. Maybe Gregor can get me a softer keyboard.