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Burrard Bridge bike lane trial a success so far, survey finds

The Vancouver Sun: Burrard Bridge bike lane trial a success so far, survey finds

VANCOUVER SUNNOVEMBER 1, 2009 9:02 PM

The Burrard Bridge bicycle lane trial has been a success with cyclists, pedestrians and drivers, according to a survey conducted this fall. That approval could result in bike lane access to be extended well past this February’s 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

While the bike lane project was a trial, there was no set date for it to end. Instead, council asked for periodic updates, particularly after the rainy season began.

“We’re thrilled with this,” Vancouver city Coun. Heather Deal said of the survey results, adding the issue will be revisited after the Olympics.

“Nobody knew how it would go. The survey shows tremendous success in terms of car numbers, safety and public acceptance, and people have adapted their travel plans accordingly.”

The Sept. 23-28 survey conducted by the Mustel Group asked 310 Vancouverites for their views on the trial, which opened a southbound lane to pedestrians and cyclists on June 13.

Much of the support came from downtown and west side residents, with 57 per cent and 60 per cent in favour respectively.

City staff present the survey results to council Tuesday. It’s expected council will ask staff to return after the 2010 Winter Olympics with new ideas for seismic repairs to the bridge railings and a long-term plan for the lanes.

Its popularity among cyclists – 90 per cent in favour, and pedestrians, with 79 per cent in favour — isn’t surprising, but the support among drivers may be.

Of those drivers who travel the Burrard Bridge without a passenger, 51 per cent support the continuation of the bike lane trial, with 31 per cent opposed. The survey focused on “target neighbourhoods” downtown and on the west side (west of Granville, north of 33rd). Details of the survey responses are available on the city website at www.vancouver.ca.

Mary Frances Hill, Vancouver Sun

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