Date: July 2, 1996
                                           Dept. File No.120 616 (5000)

   TO:       Vancouver City Council

   FROM:     General Manager of Engineering Services

   SUBJECT:  Burrard Bridge Bicycle Lane Trials


        A.   THAT the Burrard Bridge bicycle lane trials be suspended
             pending further study on the many proposals and ideas
             generated as a result of the one week pilot project including,
             but not limited to, an examination of:

             -    improved development of bicycle links within the downtown
                  and connections to the City-wide bicycle network;

             -    reduction of conflicts at both the north and south ends
                  of the bridge;

             -    sidewalk modifications;

             -    lane line reconfigurations; and

             -    methods to reduce transit delays.

             FURTHER THAT the staff report on the study results be widely
             circulated for public review and comment, prior to Council

        B.   THAT continued efforts be made on the development of public
             information outlining the role of cycling in meeting the
             City's transportation needs.


        It is believed that the above recommendations will achieve improved
        understanding and acceptance of proposals for integrating bicycles
        into the Burrard Bridge corridor.


   City Plan provides that the transportation system should be enhanced to
   provide greater emphasis on pedestrian and bicycle modes.  In
   particular, conditions should be improved to promote walking and cycling
   and better use should be made of the existing streets for bikes.  The
   Burrard Bridge improvement project was a part of the approved 1994 -
   1996 Capital Plan.


   On April 2, 1996 Council approved a motion to undertake a series of
   trials of cycling use on the Burrard Bridge over six months (Appendix
   A).  This plan was to be developed in consultation with the Burrard
   Bridge Advisory Group and the Bicycle Advisory Committee.  A preliminary
   budget of $50,000 was approved.

   Following several meetings with staff and the Advisory Committees, some
   general elements of the trials were developed.  These included:

   -    objectives, including broad City Plan objectives, and specific
        aspects of this trial;

   -    several options for the physical layout were explored (see Appendix
        B) including closing one lane of traffic, closing two lanes of
        traffic, repainting the bridge to five lanes of traffic and two
        bike lanes, and others;

   -    a thorough monitoring plan to document diversion of traffic,
        including effects on pedestrians, cyclists, public opinion, etc.;

   -    an extensive program of publicity and education; and

   -    an evaluation of the specific trials.

   Trials were then implemented on Sunday, May 26th (to test the measures)
   and June 2nd - 8th, Environment Week.  These consisted of closing one
   northbound lane of traffic to create a bicycle lane with southbound
   bikes continuing to use the west sidewalk.

   The trial bicycle lane during Environment Week created several changes
   in travel behaviour, most notably a decline in traffic using the bridge
   of 8800 car occupants/day.  There were increases in the number of
   cyclists using the bridge and these are summarized in Appendix C.

   The bike lane project also generated a significant volume of public
   contact through the hot line, E-Mail, letters, phone calls, etc.  Over
   700 comments were received which were almost evenly divided between
   those in support of the measures and those opposed.  The summary of
   public input is listed in Appendix D.


   Further to the traffic data and public commentary that was received, a
   number of broad conclusions can be reached.  These include:

   -    There are very strong emotions on both sides of the bike lane
        issue.  The pilot project served to polarize people's attitudes
        and, to some extent, reduced tolerance of bicycles operating on
        street.  This affected streets well beyond the Burrard Bridge

   -    Travel behaviour, within the corridor, was modified in two ways as
        a result of the pilot project.  First, on an average weekday, there
        were 870 additional cyclists (39% increase) and a decrease of 8800
        car occupants (9% decrease).  There is very little indication that
        people were diverted to other routes;  consequently, a number of
        person trips were not made across False Creek.  Either these trips
        went to other destinations or they were discretionary trips that
        were not made.  Overall, 7500 fewer people crossed the bridge each

        Secondly, vehicular drivers changed their behaviour quickly and
        adjusted to the installation of the bike lane.  Delays of up to 20
        minutes were reported early in the week and reduced to a few
        minutes of delay later in the week.

   -    Congestion increased as a result of the installation of the trial
        bicycle lane.  Delays occurred to all vehicles including three to
        four minutes reported by Transit officials for buses.  There were
        three accidents in the corridor; this is above average, but
        probably is not statistically valid and the most significant
        problems arose at the north end of the bridge with the off-ramp to

   -    In addition to the occasional highly emotional responses, a number
        of good suggestions were made to improve the operation of the
        bridge. Among the ideas were:

        -    There is a need to improve bicycle connections at each end of
             the bridge, including improved linkages within the downtown
             and to the City's bicycle network.

        -    A common suggestion made was that one sidewalk be used for
             bikes and the other for pedestrians (this was examined early
             on and the sidewalk width is fully a metre too narrow to
             safely accommodate two way cycle traffic).

        -    Proposals to further improve safety and bicycle integration by
             erecting barriers along the sidewalk or for more modest
             increases in sidewalk width.

        -    Suggestions for new lane line configurations to reduce the
             impact of cycle lanes.

   There was a standard complaint that there was simply not enough
   information or advance warning on the pilot bike lane installation. 
   While this may have some validity for the one-day Sunday opening, there
   was extensive advertising and advance warning for the Environment Week
   trial period.  Nonetheless, many people were surprised by the
   installation, and had little understanding of the role of the bike
   network and the importance of developing alternatives to the single
   occupant vehicle.


   The one week bike lane pilot on the Burrard Bridge was a worthwhile
   trial in that it demonstrated both the opportunities and the problems
   with integrating the bicycle into the transportation network.  A great
   deal was learned, both in terms of people's attitudes and behaviour, as
   well as the physical installation and bike lane operation.  Most
   importantly, many valid suggestions for improvements were made by
   members of the public.  These will take some effort (and time) to
   thoroughly review.

   The pilot project could be continued using the original plan or in a
   modified configuration.  However, it is believed that only a little more
   will be learned, at the downside of developing further antagonism
   between the motorist/transit passenger and the cyclist.  It is for this
   reason it is recommended that the Burrard Bridge bicycle lane project be
   suspended at this time.

   A suspension will provide staff time to evaluate the various problems
   and suggestions made by members of the public.  Much work needs to be
   done, especially in the downtown area in facilitating the movement of
   cyclists, both within the downtown and to the various connections with
   the rest of the City.  It is likely that this work will result in a
   significantly reconfigured bike proposal for the Burrard Bridge.

   It is also believed that more time is needed to increase the public's
   awareness and understanding of the problems associated with the
   continued reliance on the automobile.  There needs to be greater
   acceptance and support of alternative transportation modes, especially
   transit.  While the Burrard Bridge bike lane trial made some advances in
   this regard, it is apparent from the public response that more work is

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