Looks like the official launch of the Burrard Street Bridge bike trial went off without a hitch this morning. According to still captured rushour images from the KatKam overlooking the bridge, traffic was light and road rage was no where to be seen. Of course the real crunch should be this afternoon when up to 35,000 vehicles try to squeeze home in two lanes instead of three.
Mayor Gregor Robertson tested the bike lane out yesterday and had this to say about the coming week – “There’s always some congestion coming out of downtown in the afternoons, but it’s spread over more hours than the morning commute,” Robertson said, “Hopefully we have an adjustment over the next couple of days and people get used to the new way.”
The city estimates that 8,000- 9,000 people cross the Burrard bridge every hour and half of those are people driving alone in cars. Speaking of which, the Vancouver Sun’s Pete McMartin piece in Saturday’s paper offers another perspective that is worth a read:
At the crest of the Burrard Bridge’s sidewalk, where I stand, the cars roar by, each and every one of them going over the speed limit. To view them from the perspective of a pedestrian is to be struck by a couple of things. One is the sense of a car’s mass, which is frightening; the other is the sense of one’s own vulnerability in relation to it, which is even more frightening. The cars hurtle.
This, too: Almost every car contains only a driver. Car commuters (of which I am often one) may prefer not to see it in such terms, but the power and sense of entitlement a car confers is a political act, especially in an age of global warming, where every car trip is an incremental crime against nature.
This is the commuter’s secret thrill â€” the speed and ease and selfishness of a car â€” because necessity very often has little to do with it.
Last modified: July 13, 2009