The Burrard Bike lane is open as of today!
Vancouver Mayor, Gregor Robertson, made a promise during his campaign last year to open a single lane of the Burrard bridge to bike traffic. I wasn’t sure that he would actually be able to follow through on that promise, but it sounds like he has. This should be very nice for cyclists that need to get into the downtown core, or out to the UBC Campus.
Apparently something similar was tried back in 1996, but it was only scheduled for a one week trial, with a followup trial to be scheduled within the following six months. It seems that after the first trial, so many people complained of the congestion that the second one was scrapped. This time around, the city has decided to run the trial for longer. It will run for a full month with a possible 2 month extension. Hopefully during this time people will have a chance to get used to the altered lanes and it will stick around.
One really strange thing that the CBC mentioned is that the eastern side of the bridge (where the bike lane is) has been shut off to both traffic AND pedestrians. This is probably OK, as I imagine that most of the traffic is along the western side of the bridge, but it does seem odd to me to group the cars and people in one lane, and bikes only in the other. I would have figured that bikes and people would have been lumped together.
If anyone reading this is in Vancouver, I’d be interested to hear what the new lane is like.