The issue of the Burrard Bridge sidewalk widening is perhaps one of the most divisive ones in the city. There are those that feel the current situation for pedestrians and cyclists is just fine (typically the people looking at the situation from inside a car) and those that feel action should have been taken a LONG time ago (typically people who use the sidewalks frequently). I belong to the latter group, so if you are looking for an objective piece on the issue, please move along (and good luck finding one…).
Well, the new estimates are in, and the current council’s vote-grabbing decision to abandon the lane reallocation and opt for widening the sidewalks would cost the city $63 million by the time they would get to it (after 2010). You don’t have to be Nostradamus to be able to predict that no sane council will ever go there, and neither should they. This issue will need a creative and bold solution. Like the lane reallocation pilot project that was all ready to go two years ago. The issue really isn’t about congestion caused by fewer lanes. The issue is congestion caused by commuters deciding to drive rather than take other means of transportation. There are 4 people in my office who travel roughly the same distance from Kits/Fairview to Gastown. Three drive in every single day, on their own.
An alternative solution, that has been floated before and that is now being proposed by Vision Vancouver members, is to build a separate low-slung pedestrian and cyclist drawbridge across False Creek.
Last modified: May 13, 2008