Two-lane Burrard Bridge trial finds support
It has been what they call in the trade a “slow news day”. I look for things to blog about but find little worthy of comment. The Burrard Bridge should not be controversial any longer because the people who made it an issue (the NPA) are no longer in power at City Hall. Converting two lanes from cars to bikes should not be an issue since that has always been consistent with stated city priorities. And, most important but apparently always forgotten, does not actually reduce car carrying capacity of the local network. Because the volumes across the bridge are controlled by signalised intersections at each end of the bridge.
So when Todd Litman (a man I greatly admire) says
“In the past, we said, ‘Oh, we like walking and we like bicycling, and we’ll fit them in where we can, where it doesn’t impair or require a tradeoff with automobile travel.’ ”
I can smile at the generalisation as accurate, even if it doesn’t apply to this bridge in particular. But when I read that Matt Burrows decided to call George Puil for a comment (why, Matt, why?) I see red
“I really don’t believe that shutting off any lane on Burrard Street Bridge is going to endear people to the electorate,” Puil told the Straight by phone. “The Granville Bridge, for example, is not an ingress into the city anymore because of the mall and the restricted automobile access [on Granville Street]. So, really, from the West Side the only access you’ve really got is the Burrard Bridge—certainly from Point Grey and from further south.”
Granville Bridge is still the major “ingress” to downtown. In fact it is the only 8 lane bridge – and all those 8 lanes flow quite well. The section of Granville Street at the north end of the bridge is not closed to traffic for several blocks and traffic does readily use those lanes for access to cross streets. And of course the Howe-Seymour couplet of one way streets provides significant capacity – or would if one or more lanes were not almost permanently closed to traffic due to construction and those trucks and buses always parked outside the Orpheum. And that film crews that seem to dominate much of Howe.
George is apparently incapable of doing a simple windshield survey. If he had driven across Granville Bridge any time in the past few years he would have seen that it flows freely nearly all the time – just as Burrard does. The queues form at the lights. The statement destroys any credibility that he might have retained from his disastrous tenure of the Chair of Translink (a term which resulted in frustrated citizens dumping horse manure on his front garden).
I can only assume that Matt was stuck in trying to find an NPA spokesperson – there being only NPA Councillor left.