Council votes to move ahead with Hornby bike lane

October 8, 2010 | Safer Communities

Vancouver City Council approved a new separated bike lane on Hornby Street tonight, which is the final connection for a safe, separated bike route through the downtown core.

“Over the past decade, car traffic into downtown has declined while our economy and population have increased,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “The only way we’re going to grow our economy is by increasing transit, cycling and pedestrian access into the downtown core.

“We’ve seen in cities around the world the economic benefits that come from increasing ridership into dense urban areas. Our work in Vancouver is following the best practices of cities like New York, Paris and Montreal who’ve increased their cycling capacity.”

Car traffic in Vancouver has decreased by 10% over the past decade, while the population has increased by 27%. Currently, Vancouver has 0.5% of its roadway dedicated exclusively for cyclists. The new bike lane on Hornby follows on the success of the Burrard and Dunsmuir lanes, both of which saw significant increases in bike ridership with minimal traffic impacts.

“The fact is Vancouver has just 0.5% of its roadway dedicated exclusively for cyclists,” said the Mayor. “We don’t have the capacity to accommodate more car traffic in our city. We don’t have room for new roads. The shift we’ve seen over the past decade is towards transit, cycling and walking, and this new bike lane reflects that.”

Construction for the new bike lane will begin this fall. Parking will be available on every block along Hornby; as well, there will be 160 additional parking spaces added back onto Seymour and Howe Street with the return of buses onto Granville.

City staff will be monitoring the bike lane on an ongoing basis, including ridership numbers, traffic volumes, and business impacts. The evaluation of the lane will inform the City’s next 10-year transportation plan.

A survey done by the Mustel group found that support among people on Hornby for the new bike lane was at 56% in favour, vs. 30% opposed. It also found that the majority of people use transit or walk to get to Hornby, rather than drive.

Photo credit: City of Vancouver