Separated bike lanes along Broadway rejected by Vancouver city council
The redesign of a stretch of Broadway will not include separated bike lanes.
Vancouver city council voted in favour of a plan to revamp a segment of Broadway affected by subway construction to prioritize curb space to parking, public space, and wider sidewalks.
The redesign does not include protected bike lanes, but the city says the door is open for them being added in the future.
Coun. Mike Klassen of ABC Vancouver, which holds a majority on council, said the redesign will make the street more pedestrian-friendly.
"Right now Broadway is not an attractive street, it will be a more attractive street if we follow this plan," said Klassen.
Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim, also with ABC Vancouver, said he is in favour of bike lanes, but there are more pressing infrastructure needs.
"In a perfect world with unlimited resources, we would literally do everything, unfortunately we do not live in la-la land where we have unlimited resources and so we do have to prioritize," Sim said.
He said the area is well served by a bikeway on 10th Avenue, which runs parallel to Broadway. There are additional parallel routes on 7th, 8th, and 14th avenues.
A 'failure for road safety': councillor
OneCity Coun. Christine Boyle called the result a "failure for road safety in Vancouver."
When council approved the Broadway Plan last June, they also approved more than two dozen amendments, including one about a bike lane along Broadway, which asked staff to look at additions or modifications that will be debated by a new council following municipal elections in October.
Staff came back with a report that recommended not including bike lanes.
Boyle acknowledged issues outlined by staff, such as not having funds set aside specifically for the lanes, but said they don't compare to "the significant challenges that we have around transportation and climate and a neighbourhood of the city where thousands more people will be be calling home and be coming to work."
She noted the parallel routes require cyclists to mix with cars and navigate a steep hill to get to Broadway.
"If we want more people to choose to leave their car at home, to reduce congestion, to allow more people to get around safely, we need to be building safe, separated infrastructure," she said.
She added that deferring the construction of lanes poses challenges and building cycling infrastructure now is more fiscally responsible.
"It's going to be significantly more expensive and significantly more disruptive to be adding lanes in at some point down the road after we've already done the resurfacing of Broadway, which is the project we have in front of us," Boyle said.
"Now is the time to do it."