City’s Bridge trial stats a little premature

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According to an article yesterday in the Vancouver Courier, motorists crossing the Burrard Bridge south from downtown have seen a five minute increase in their morning trip across the span to Kitsilano since a bike trial experiment began July 13th.

According to assistant city transportation engineer Jerry Dobrovolny, the number of cyclists crossing the bridge has increased 25 per cent and pedestrian traffic has remained steady.

“As an engineer, I’m not sure how I quantify or evaluate that there’s been a 25 per cent increase in cyclists using the bridge but there’s been a five minute delay in driving southbound in the morning rush hour,” he said Thursday. “Whether one outweighs the other will ultimately be council’s decision.”

An average of 4,700 cyclists per day have used the bridge during the trial, an increase of about 1,000 since the trial began July 13. Pedestrian numbers have remained steady, ranging from 2,000 to 3,000 per day. Vehicle statistics have fluctuated but remained around 60,000 per day. The highest number of vehicles recorded in the week leading up to the trial was 68,800 on July 9. The highest number recorded during the trial was 71,127 on July 30.

Interesting that the City of Vancouver has gone to the media with these preliminary stats considering staff like Dobrovolny won’t be reporting to council on the bike trial until late October.

Looks like convenient timing considering traffic volumes are expected to increase dramatically next week with students going to school and people returning to work from summer holidays.

Last modified: September 4, 2009

9 Responses to " City’s Bridge trial stats a little premature "

  1. BikerBoy says:

    Stats on this trial at this point are irrelevant. Typical political spin as this project is going to blow up over the next week.

  2. Tyler says:

    It’s a hassle to drive across the Burrard bridge now, well at least going south bound if you’re approaching from Pacific St.

    It’s easier to take Beach to Howe or something and then come back to Burrard, at least you get a left turn advance arrow and don’t have to worry about hitting cyclists who think they own the roads (especially those without helmets).

  3. Michael says:

    It is a rather sad statement to how the city really is that a bike lane, on a bridge to increase pedestrian and cyclists safety, has become a political beast instead of just an administrative one as it would have been in pretty much any other part of the world.

    hitting cyclists who think they own the roads (especially those without helmets).

    Yes, because as we all know putt on a seatbelt or wearing a helmet automatically increases traffic obedience, this is why no car driver would ever drive drunk, run a stop sign or make an illegal turn as if they think they own the road.

  4. BikerBoy says:

    The day after Labour Day is historically the busiest one on Metro Vancouver streets – should be interesting to see what happens on the bridge.

  5. […] as Rob wrote in a previous post on this issue, city council has yet to formally discuss the bike trial statistics in October. It will be […]

  6. BikeGirl says:

    All of those that are commenting in opposition to the bike lane and have never bike to commute should either stop talking or give it a try since you obviously do not know the situation from the cyclist point of view and most of all, you believe that the only way to get around is being in a moving box? Get real, your are in a city; there is alternatives.
    And yes, I bike all year round and only get a car from my car coop went I really need it (less than once per month). Count on me to use the protection against mad driver on the Burrard Bidge during the rain season; I know how to dress and do wear a ton of light so car know I’m there (even if I look like a UFO).

  7. Bill Barilko says:

    Bike Girl-I have been using the Burrard Street Bridge for cycling since 1974 and have lived within a few blocks of the Bridge since 1979-I know EXACTLY what I’m talking about.

    I still ride a 1984 Ritchie mountain bike and ride year round weather permitting, since I sold my truck do I now qualify for sainthood?

    FYI-few things in modern soceity are as nauseating as the righteous, the clueless and the lame and IMO ‘cycling crusaders’ somehow manage to epitomise all three.

  8. BikeGirl says:

    Bill – Nice to hear from you, thank you for your direct reply. Awesome that you got rid of the truck! See you on your bike somewhere in Vancouver.

    Have fun safetly riding your bike to all!

  9. Wayne says:

    Look carefully at the statistics. The traffic engineer put his finger on it. Car traffic exceeds bicycle traffic 20 to 1 on the bridge.

    This number reflects the rather small percentage of passenger-kilometers delivered by bicycles in urban centers, as reported by Stats Canada.

    Usually when queues develop from road dieting people seek other routes as each lane loss into a downtown core reduces the road capacity by about 600 cars per hour. Some people might triumphantly announce, “see it did no harm”, as they point to a downstream bottle neck, but surely they should ask if it does good, and at what economic price.

    Those of us concerned about the carbon foot print should encourage conservation, and increased bicycle riding in suburbs, and places with lots of road space. Drawing lines in the sand, or on bridges, seems like an expensive and meaningless statement, which will never change the culture.

    A few thousand bicycles going into downtown Vancouver really does not matter, in comparison to the total the passenger-kilometers and goods transported by four wheeled vehicles in the City.