Safe, Separated Bike Lanes on the Dunsmuir Viaduct!

Change happens, constantly, everywhere. My daughter’s name reminds me of this every moment. But this is one change that I didn’t expect, despite living my life with the intention to facilitate positive change:

Safe, Separated Bicycle Lanes on the Dunsmuir Viaduct!

Burrard Bridge with barricade & two-way cycling that is now on the Dunsmuir Viaduct (original photo found on pricetags.wordpress.com)

Being closed for the Owe-lympics seems to have provided the new brain-trust at Vancouver City Hall with the time and space to give the people who pay their salaries a giant welcome-back-to-your-City surprise.

When I turned onto it from Main Street, I was surprised to see a private bus turn onto the on ramp so carefully. When the bus had entered, I saw the gift: a whole lane for cyclists!

Not only did the pedestrian have the tiny sidewalk to himself without worry, all of us on bike could relax and enjoy the pedalling — at least while on the Dunsmuir viaduct.

The details are what make me realize that something fundamental has transformed the engineering department at City Hall: regular entrances and exits to the bike lane (so people are not trapped and can enter even if they miss the first entrance), width enough to pass easily, wide entrances/exits so the poles/bollards are not a hazard but still keep those drivers that watch TV out. The signage is good, but then City Hall has spent well over a decade practising putting up signs for cyclists. It finally connects the painted lines on Dunsmuir with the green signs on Adanac.

Now, we have one and a half bridges to the downtown core that are Safe, Separated spaces, only for bikes! Let’s get the other half of Burrard Bridge changed so pedestrians can walk where they wish and cyclists are safe in both directions. If the Georgia viaduct is to continue standing (and let’s hope NOT so the past glory of the Black Community can resurface again), that will be an obvious next step, too. The Granville Street bridge could be as quick and simple as the Dunsmuir viaduct and the Cambie Street bridge? Well, the previous council blew a huge opportunity with that entire corridor when it was torn up for the Worm Line…

Although it’s tempting to attribute some of this new found goodness to that $8 Billion, 2 week party, (hold the press: I was just informed that Beijing cost $24 Billion, Torino $22 Billion, and that the IOC forbades any leaks of real expenditures for another year) I’ll leave it to Geoff Berner, the APC, Pivot, and many DTES groups to tell it like it is about that fiasco. In any case, spread the word and get on your bike so that these Safe, Separated Bike Lanes spread over all the bridges and beyond!

Remember, you can ask your representatives to represent you anytime you’d like; it’s actually their job to do so.  I won’t get into how government works on behalf of the rich and powerful (otherwise, there wouldn’t be a government); that’s another few thousand postings!  But do let Vancouver’s Mayor and Council know if you appreciate this new initiative by emailing them at mayorandcouncil@vancouver.ca

PS. It’s International Women’s Day today…let’s celebrate and honour the gender that is still (10,000 years later?) fighting for equality in our civilization!

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