Vancouver has transformed an intersection that once required people on foot or bike to cross 15 lanes of traffic in five stages. Edmonton can take note: cities aren’t born “bike-friendly” or “car-oriented”. They’re designed by people, and they can be redesigned for people.
Before: Burrard and Cornwall
Painted on-street bike lanes had existed along both Burrard and Cornwall. But to follow the bike lane, depending on your direction of travel, a person had to merge across multiple lanes of traffic and turning vehicles on a road that carried 57,000 vehicles a day.
The intersection was designed in 1930 when the Burrard Bridge was constructed and remained basically unchanged until last summer, when Vancouver opened the newly redesigned intersection.
After: Burrard and Cornwall
The new intersection features a much safer, simple design for everyone, including drivers. It features a protected intersection, and the on-street bike lanes have been transformed into fully-protected bike lanes separated from pedestrians and other traffic.
Since opening the new intersection, bike trips across Burrard Bridge increased from 161,000 in July 2013 to to 195,000 bike trips in July 2014. This represents about a 90% growth since 2005, which itself was a growth of about 50-70% from 1996. Over 1.2 million trips across Burrard Bridge are made by bike each year.
Watch this video of the new intersection and Seaside Greenway, with inset video showing how things looked before the City made improvements.