Loading articles...

Don't forget about cyclists on Massey Tunnel replacement: advocate

Last Updated Apr 25, 2019 at 11:11 pm PDT

FILE - Massey Tunnel backup. (NEWS 1130 File Photo)

METRO VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Now that a number of Metro Vancouver mayors are urging the province to build a new tunnel to replace the Massey Tunnel, a certain set of commuters is eager to see what the plans will look like: cyclists.

The current tunnel was not designed for cyclists. In order to make the crossing, cyclists have to board a shuttle bus, which only runs a couple of times a day.

RELATED: ‘One of the worst traffic bottlenecks in Canada’: Local leaders call for Massey Tunnel replacement

The only other option for cyclists is to take a transit bus through the tunnel, putting their bikes on the racks on the front — and there’s only space for two bikes at a time.

Erin O’Mellin with HUB Cycling, which advocates for cyclists, says a new tunnel will definitely need to accommodate bikes.

“We hear a lot of demand for it. People who live or work on one side or the other of the river, but also people that are going for recreation and trying to access the ferries,” she says. “Right now, it’s a huge gap in the cycling network.”

She hopes a new tunnel would include a separated pathway for bikes and good ventilation, using a design that makes it easy for cyclists to get into and out of the tunnel.

“Even on bridge crossings now just being right beside traffic, there are a lot of emissions,” she says. “There are ways to put up barriers to help prevent that and do ventilation (that) would be particularly important if it was a tunnel.”

RELATED: Mayors’ Council calls on parties ahead of federal election to commit to funding transit projects

She’s also hoping it includes space for people who want to cross on foot.

She says cyclists were part of the working group developing the bridge proposal, so she expects they will also be involved in any tunnel design.