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New Granville Bridge bike and pedestrian path could halve number of car lanes

Summary

Four of the eight lanes on the Granville Bridge could be used to create a path for pedestrians and cyclists

A new greenway on the bridge is recommended in the City of Vancouver's Transportation 2040 plan

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — New upgrades to the Granville Bridge could see several centre lanes swapped with bike lanes.

A new report by Vancouver city staff says up to four of the eight lanes currently used for vehicles could be used to build a pathway for pedestrians and cyclists. The report is billing the design as a way to make it easier for people to get around that area without driving.

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Vancouver has already started doing some work on the bridge as part of a larger plan to do seismic upgrades, and the staff report suggests building the greenway at the same time. The possibility of building the walkway was already set out in Vancouver’s transportation ‘vision’ project, the Transportation 2040 plan.

“The project would take advantage of excess road space on the bridge by reallocating traffic lanes to create a unique experience and sense of place, including spectacular city views and opportunities for amenities such as art and public seating. The project is important to accommodate the growing number of people living, working, and playing in the city and region,” reads the report.

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Erin O’MelinnĀ  with Bike Hub says frequently hears from cyclists about how tough it is to navigate that bridge on a bike.

“I think changes on the Granville Street Bridge will get more people riding,” she says. “You saw big improvements on Burrard Bridge when they made improvements there to the cycling facilities, ridership went up 30 per cent. Similarly, good things happened on Cambie bridge, reduced conflict between users there.”

But not everyone is on board with the plan, including Coun. Adriane Carr.

“It only is presenting one option for a greenway, for a pathway, for cyclists and walkers across the bridge, and that’s right in the middle of the bridge,” she says. “And I really think there needs to be some other options.”

Vancouver council will be considering the recommendations at the meeting on Jan. 30 and, if approved, will start a consultation process to get feedback from the community.

With files from Isabelle Raghem