With all this talk about the new Hornby Street separated bike lane and the new “master plan” for separated bike lanes around the city, I thought I’d post a couple of photos of cycling signs.
Also, in yesterday’s Vancouver Sun, there was an article on the plan for more bikeways. It’s not surprising that such a plan is in the works. It’s similar to what many cities have done worldwide. Copenhagen over the years has slowly been taking away space for motor vehicles. Every year, Copenhagen removes a small amount of motor vehicle lanes and/or parking in favour of more pedestrian space or cycling lanes. New York has successfully transformed Broadway and Times Square into a true pedestrian square. Paris has also been slowly taking space away from regular motor vehicles in favour of cycling and/or transit space. Transport Politic has a good recent post on Paris’ policy.
Also in the Sun article, Jerry Dobrovolny made an important price comparison that I have been wanting to see for a long time. How much does it cost to create new roadspace in comparison to the 3+ million for the Hornby Street separated bike lane.
Dobrovolny said the $25-million two-year budget may seem like a lot but it represents only 10 per cent of the city’s annual roads and streets budget. In council Tuesday he noted that a single left-turn bay for cars costs the city between $3 million and $4 million.
A single left-turn lane that doesn’t even take up a whole block costs the same as this Hornby Street project that covers the north-south breadth of the downtown peninsula. Are you still telling me that this is a waste of money? Both are important in their own right. I don’t think we can say that this $3 million is a waste of money. It’s an investment in an important way of moving around downtown.
Also, I have a beef with the media hyping up this bike versus car comparison. I am a person who drives, rides transit, and cycles throughout the year. This is not a bike versus car battle. It’s a matter of what is the best way to get people moving through the city. Many other cities, like Copenhagen, New York, and Paris, all know that the car is one of the least efficient ways of moving people around and that’s why we in Vancouver are playing catch up now. I, for one, am very happy that I have the option of using a segregated bike lane now. Even if my chances are low of ever riding downtown (I prefer to take transit downtown), there are plenty people downtown who will.