Vancouver Bike Route Snow-Clearing Raises Concerns

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SNOW VANCOUVER
A Vancouver city councillor criticized a decision to clear snow from bike lanes over major bus routes during Wednesday's snowstorm. (HuffPost BC) | HuffPost BC

A Vancouver city councillor is questioning why he saw bike routes in the city getting cleared of snow during Wednesday's snowstorm while nearby major bus routes seemed to be ignored.

Coun. George Affleck says he saw the bike route on Ontario Street cleared several times while nearby Broadway was virtually ignored.

"My personal experience yesterday, having an office on Broadway and one of the bike streets, I saw crews three times going down Ontario and I didn't see the first crew until 5:05 on Broadway," said Affleck.

Bike routes are city streets that are designated for bike traffic but still allow cars and other local traffic.

A city official, who reportedly said yesterday three of the 25 snowplows working were dedicated to bike routes, wasn't available for comment today.

Instead Coun.Heather Deal stepped forward to say city crews only clear a limited number of priority bike routes.

"Obviously there are fewer cyclists in the winter so we don't do the entire circuit. We do a few major routes that have a lot of cyclists," said Deal.

"Tenth Avenue is a bike route. It's got schools on it. It's got a hospital on it. It becomes a priority road for those reasons.

"Ontario – it has cars, it has bikes, it has schools on it. So we look for those combinations, which make it a priority route."

Nevertheless, Deal says municipal officials will review their list of priority routes in the wake of this week's snowstorm.

Vancouver budgets about $800,000 a year for snow removal.

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