I cycle under the Burrard Bridge most days, but seldom stop to look. It is one of 3 bridges connecting the downtown core with the residential areas to the south.
This heritage, Art Deco, steel truss bridge was first opened in 1932, and services 65,000 automobiles each and every day. As the city has grown, so too have cyclists needs. Amidst considerable controversy and resistance, one of the 6 lanes was converted to a dedicated cycling lane in 2009. Ever since, bike traffic on the bridge has steadily increased.
Between 2013-2015, the monthly cycling trips over the bridge has almost doubled lending support to the municipal government’s initiative to improve and expand the cycling infrastructure within the city (last evening the proposal was approved by council).
It demonstrates that if you build it, people will use it. Kudos to the local planners with the insight and political conviction to make cycling a priority, and a viable alternative for thousands. It takes vision, determination, and political will to connect these memorable destinations in Vancouver with safe, low traffic bikeways.
I have never thought of it before, but Vancouver is a premier cycling destination for all types of cyclists. For road cyclists, there are numerous scenic, fast, challenging routes, and mountains to climb. For mountain bikers, there is the Pacific Spirit Regional Park, not to mention the legendary North Shore mountain biking trails. And, for casual, recreational cyclists there is an extensive network of dedicated bike lanes and traffic-calmed bikeways.
I’m sounding like a billboard. Never mind. If you are planning a trip to Vancouver, get in touch. I’d be pleased to share my favourite rides with you.