No new bike lanes on the Cambie Bridge!
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The City of Vancouver is proposing a new $400,000 bike lane that will take away a lane of southbound traffic on the Cambie Bridge. I am writing this petition to make it clear to the city that this is a terrible idea. For some background I live on Beatty Street with my wife and our young child. Last year we experienced the installation of two bike lanes on Beatty Street, reducing the road from two lanes to single lane traffic.
Our experience with the changes to Beatty Street has been frustrating. This is our neighborhood and it feels like changes occurred with no public input. I do not claim to speak for everyone and I'm sure there are people who enjoy the changes, however this has not been my experience. There are hundreds of people who live on Beatty Street and use it regularly at the start of their days to commute to other parts of the city. The single lane change has made traffic unbearable especially since changes have been made to Nelson Street on the way out of downtown, not to mention the traffic that descends on the region with concerts, or Lions, Canucks, and Whitecaps games. Imagine struggling to get out of your drive way with every commute or picture the occasions when a car is being towed or a car breaks down and there is no where for the vehicle to stop safely without blocking the only lane of traffic. Surely this impacts accessibility and emergency vehicle access.
I am not against bike lanes in principle. I'm sure they improve safety. When my son is old enough to ride a bike, I will be happy that he has the protection of a bike lane. The problem is we are surrounded by bike lanes - Nelson Street, Beatty Street, Smithe street, or one could take the relatively quiet connection down Nelson to the seawall below the Cambie bridge. With the proposed changes to the Georgia viaduct in the coming years, the Cambie Street bridge will be the preferred route out of downtown. Taking away one lane of traffic when there is a protected bike lane on the Eastern side of the bridge seems excessive. Especially when the traffic just passed the Cambie bridge is some of the busiest in town thanks to the mass of condos in the area (more are under development) and the concentration of large stores between 6th avenue and Broadway.
All of these changes have been made with the aim of making Vancouver the greenest city in the world, which I would argue it is already. But, what are all of these bike lanes doing to commute times and emissions from idling vehicles? The dream of the liveable city is slowly fading as more families move away from the city due to housing costs and commute times, making the purpose of these bike lanes an inconvenient reality for commuters. As a family of two professionals with a child, we are struggling to continue to hold on to reasons to stay in Vancouver. As someone who loves living in Yaletown and contributes regularly to our local businesses, it feels like the city planners want us to move away with all the proverbial road blocks being put up - child care is impossible, housing is out of reach, living costs are exorbitant, the drug and homelessness crises are rampant. The struggle of daily traffic should not be another reason.
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