Selling Bike-Ped Infrastructure: Vancouver Shows How It’s Done

Now for some positive cycling news. Vancouver, British Columbia, in response to an infrastructure-driven jump in ridership, is installing a new separated two-way bike corridor on downtown’s Dunsmuir Street. The project itself, part of an eventual network of protected lanes, seems impressive enough. But as this video shows, the would-be "greenest city in the world" absolutely nails the presentation.

Check it out — the animation, the cameo by Mayor Gregor Robertson. And if you can say "no" to city engineer Lacey Hirtle, I don’t want to know you.

  • skeptic

    If Vancouver wants to be the “greenest city in the world,” it should quit deriving its wealth primarily from logging and mining.

  • Charlie

    Wow! This is a really well-designed facility and a fantastic video explaining what it’s all about!

  • Concrete planters? You’re telling me! Our DOT can’t even affort plastic bollards for our protected cycletracks!

  • Just got this video forwarded to me by another source.

    I see way too many points for bike-ped, bike-car conflicts with this project. While I personally don’t care for two-way cycletracks on the street, I’ll give credit to NYCDoT since I feel they would have come up with a much better design.

    Those bus stops with the cycletrack going through the middle are sure to cause issues, hence NYCDoT putting bike lanes on the left side of the road. I can see a cyclists doing 15mph+ (or should I say 28kph+) down that cycletrack and a bus rider just hoping out of the bus, not looking and WHAM!

    Again, I am concerned that a European design has been transplanted to North America without fully considering the differences in the nature of cycling over here. Yes this might work for the 10mph cyclist but becomes nearly useless to cyclist accustomed to traveling at greater speeds. Plus, not everything done to accommodate cyclists in Europe is the greatest either.

    I know there has to be a better way where both the beginner cyclist and the harden urban expert can both be accommodated. This is what we should be trying to do here in the New, the Old World and elsewhere.

    Call it Bicycle Infrastructure 3.0

  • ChrisC

    This is how it should be done. EVERY street with bike lanes should have two-way bike lanes. I don’t want to bike uptown on one Avenue, than have to bike 700 feet west/east to bike back downtown on another. And what if I see a store, then two blocks later I decide I want to go back and check it out? I just want to be able to turn around and bike back down the same street I’m already on. I don’t want to have to go over to the next Avenue just to backtrack two blocks.

    The streets in downtown Vancouver are also two-way (almost all of them, anyways). This helps “congest” traffic, slowing it down to safer speeds (traffic calming), so they aren’t high-speed one-way traffic sewers. But that’s a topic for another day.

  • Mining or no mining, Vancouver has about 70% the per capita CO2 emissions of New York and one third those of Portland.

  • Here’s a review of some of the dedicated bike ways in Vancouver and Whistler from 4 months ago during the Olympics: the other Olympic venue. Check it out:

  • Emily Litella

    Mistakes will be made and people will be hurt. Alienating transit customers won’t help the cause.

  • lauren

    not understanding why having busses on other side of bike lane is such a problem. if bikes are part of the transit stream, they can obey rules like anyone else. i don’t see how stopping for bus passengers is any different than stopping for a light or at a stop sign so pedestrians can pass. and if you are a really fast cyclist, maybe you’ll outpace the bus you hear coming up behind you…

    i thought the raised streetbed at the bus stop was great — no way a cyclist would not know s/he was coming to a bus stop and should look, prepare to stop, etc.

  • Rich Wilson

    In places where pedestrians intersect heavy two way bike traffic, it’s useful to have a pedestrian island between the bike lanes. That way pedestrians can wait for a break in bike traffic from the left, move to the island, then wait for a gap on the right, and finish the cross.

  • lb

    I feel it needs to be pointed out to all the critics here that this is a TRIAL – the City of Vancouver is TRYING several different techniques on the steeet to see what works and what doesn’t. If things don’t work, they’ll change it.

    Let’s wait and see if the bus stop causes havoc before assuming it does.

    Cyclists and pedestrians in Vancouver are pretty polite about yeilding to one another (with the occassional jerk thrown in), so I think it’ll be fine.

  • Fiona

    This fantastic separated bike lane makes my daily commute to downtown (with my daughter in the bike trailer) so much safer. Thank you for implementing this project.

  • Paul in Minneapolis

    I live in Minneapolis where they took out bike lanes on a heavily bicycled main commuter route that goes trough downtown and force cyclist to ride with lawless motorist that are not enforced because the police are corrupted. What is really stupid, I moved to Minneapois because it touted being a bike friendly city.

  • this is an example for the rest of the world, should be emulated by other countries, in Antofagasta Chile has a bike path that crosses the city in its entirety.

    excellent initiative, congratulations to the city of Vancouver and its people



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