On June 1, 2015, the City of Vancouver announced plans to make changes to the Burrard Bridge and to the Pacific Street and Burrard Street intersection. The changes recommended by staff will be shown at two Open Houses; these events are scheduled for June 6th (10am – 2pm) and June 16th, 2015 (7-9pm) at the Roundhouse Community Centre. An online survey is also live on the City’s website until June 23rd (link here).
The Burrard Bridge is over 80 years old. While the bridge recently underwent a number of structural improvements, further work is required. The changes to the intersection at the south of the Bridge (at Cornwall) were completed last year; the new safety improvements are slated for the north end of the bridge (Pacific Street). The City specifically seeks to:
- restore the pedestrian crossing on the east side of the bridge (currently cyclists only) by allocating space from one of the northbound lanes
- change the configuration to two lanes of traffic in both directions in central part of the bridge (down from 5 lanes) while widening the bridge to 6 lanes before the Pacific Street intersection (in final 100m have 4 lanes northbound)
- include two protected bike lanes, separated from pedestrian sidewalks
- replace concrete handrails and lighting fixtures
- rehabilitate sidewalks, curbs and gutters
- complete a number of nearby infrastructure improvements (sewer and waterworks)
The City intends to start construction on the Burrard Bridge and Pacific Street intersection upgrades in early 2016. The upgrades will cost in the neighbourhood of $30 million (further details are in the City’s 2015-2018 Capital Plan). An open question is how much money will the City have left over for other transportation upgrades after $30 million is spent on the Burrard Bridge. Additional details on the project are available on the City’s website ( vancouver.ca/burrardbridgenorth ).
One of the options that the City could consider is a shared pathway for cyclists and pedestrians (the current proposal is for fully separated pedestrian and cyclist routes). There is a shared pathway on the Clark Drive bridge (shown below); we also have a series of examples of shared pathways from other cities in a previous post.
[Update 11pm June 1, 2015] Additional details of the City’s proposal are available here (plans and sections). While the detailing is not clear, it appears that the City intends to make the northbound lanes a mirror image of the southbound lanes. Would this simply entail moving the concrete barrier from the current northbound bike path over to the left lane of traffic (illustrated below)? If this is the case, then is the concrete barrier the best solution?