By bike, bus and train
Three reports at today’s meeting of the city’s Transportation and Traffic Committee will excite the bike, bus and train enthusiasts out there.
First, this report summarizes recent city bicycle traffic counts, showing Vancouver is doing well at a 10 to 12 percent share but has a long way to go to catch up to urban cycling leaders like Copenhagen and Amsterdam, which are achieving up to 40 percent . As Mayor Gregor Robertson pointed out during the discussion, this was undoubtedly require a “bold and courageous” commitment to more dedicated bike routes. [A reader has pointed out that this post overstates the case. Vancouver’s bicycle mode share is only at 10 to 12 percent in the downtown core and the share citywide is a more modest 3 to 5 percent, still better than the rest of the region, but far from the ideal.)
Next up was the update on all-door loading on the 99 B-Line. Unsuprising verdict: it helps. But traffic planner Lon Leclair and his colleagues emphasized what any Broadway straphanger already knows. This route is at capacity, already carrying 30,000 trips a day. That’s more than any North American light rail line. Our next stop has to be rapid transit with a Millennium Line extension to Arbutus, at least.
Finally, this decision to proceed with an overpass on Powell St. to take cars, buses and bikes over the rail line that links the waterfront with the Grandview Cut and False Creek flats. Grade separation here and through Strathcona will help rail traffic move to the port more quickly and efficiently. Engineers promised to make the overpass as bike-friendly as possible.