Burrard Bridge bike lanes reach one million cyclists

July 8, 2010 | Safer Communities

Almost one year after a separated bike lane pilot project started on Burrard Bridge, the millionth cyclist crossed the bridge just after 10 pm Wednesday evening.

"This is a remarkable achievement," said Mayor Gregor Robertson. "Over one million riders in less than a year shows that when you build safe, protected bike lanes, people of all ages will come out and use them. The Burrard Bridge bike lanes have been a big success and helped make cycling and walking over the bridge safer for thousands of people every day.

"Before the bike lanes were in place, only the most dedicated cyclists used Burrard Bridge. Now it’s become a popular route for families, seniors, kids – it’s a safe and fun way to get into downtown or head towards Kits beach."

City staff recognized the achievement by giving away T-shirts celebrating one million riders to cyclists crossing the bridge Thursday morning. Staff calculate the number of cyclists using wire loops embedded in the bike lane which detect metal wheels.

A 24 per cent increase in cyclists has been recorded since the Burrard Bridge bike lane was opened on July 13, 2009. An estimated 200,000 more bicycle trips have been recorded on the Burrard Bridge than without the lanes in place. This week, approximately 6,000 bicycle trips a day are being made over the bridge; during peak periods, between 500 and 800 cyclists an hour cross the bridge.

The number of vehicles on Burrard and Granville Bridges has not changed significantly since the trial began. Pedestrian traffic over the bridge is also unchanged. Over 730,000 walking trips have been made since the trial began.

Findings from a UBC cycling safety study indicate that accident rates have decreased since the separated bike lanes have been added. In a five-month period before the lane separation, four cyclists were injured severely enough to require hospitalization. In the same five-month period during the trial, the number of cycling trips increased but only one cyclist went to hospital.