09/20/2012 02:03 EDT | Updated 09/20/2012 02:08 EDT

Vancouver Bike Lanes: Cambie, Granville Bridge Lanes Considered


Vancouver drivers may need to brace themselves for new bike lanes as the city looks into installing them on the Granville and Cambie Street bridges.

A request for proposals issued on the B.C. Bid website asks for bidders who can conduct a feasibility study for "pedestrian and cycling enhancements on Granville and Cambie bridges."

The study comes out of Transportation 2040, a city plan that aims to set out a vision for Vancouver transport in the next 30 years and determine where walking, cycling and public transit are "attractive options for getting around."

That plan, which is still in development, envisions a two-lane pedestrian and cycling path that cuts down the middle of Granville Bridge.

Peter Judd, the City of Vancouver's chief engineer, told the Province that the city wants to know whether the bridge enhancements are "structurally feasible."

While a bidder hasn't even been determined yet, the mere idea of constructing bike lanes on the Cambie and Granville bridges is already generating some controversy.

Charles Gauthier, executive director of the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association (DVBIA), told CKNW Radio that he wouldn't take a position for or against bike lanes on the Granville and Cambie bridges, but said he wants to know how the changes would fit into the city's long-term transportation plans.

"It's a transportation network, and I think it's important to better understand how all the different parts are going to be working together or not," he said. "Frankly, for us, it's a little bit out of context."

Urban planner Michael Geller told News1130 that the bike lanes could work, but the city would have to be careful about how the enhancements might affect businesses and parking along Cambie and Granville.

"I know from experience, cyclists do stop off in shops... but many shops are more dependent on people who are either in cars or using public transit," he said.

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