The City of Vancouver is considering taking out another traffic lane, reducing the speed limit and re-configuring the Burrard and Cornwall Avenue intersection in Kitsilano at the south end of the Burrard Bridge.
The intersection at Cornwall and Burrard (by the “Welcome to Kitsilano” log) does need a lot of work to make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists. Furthermore, the intersection currently encourages overuse of Cornwall Avenue. The modified intersection would keep more cars on Burrard Street so that drivers will choose an alternate route heading east or west.
If you’re wondering why this is necessary, this plan ties in well with the new proposed $6 million Point Grey road bike lane. Something we all know will be approved by council this week.
The plan calls for:
- Eliminating one lane for through traffic onto Burrard Street.
- Creating two designated right-turn only lanes for travel onto Cornwall
- Changes at Cypress Street and Cornwall to provide more visibility and safety for pedestrians, including students at Henry Hudson school.
- Speed reductions on the Burrard Street Bridge from 60 km/h to 50 km/h.
109,000 cyclists used the crossing in June of this year compared to 117,000 for the same month in 2010, 129,000 in 2011 and 108,000 in 2012. The bike traffic, although declining, has held pretty steady. With the implementation of these safety changes, the number of riders may increase.
Cycling in the city, although not a new concept, is a new concept to many and as the core continues to densify it becomes an appealing mode of transit for people living in and around the core. The introduction of the Vancouver public bike share program will add to this usage as well. It will take years before we see large scale increases in cycling, so a lot of patience will be needed by the citizens of Metro Vancouver.
Existing traffic is expected to shift onto Granville Bridge as it has a lot of excess capacity.
Image by Prettybjorn