As we have all become aware, the blunt tweet has emerged as a tactic in political circles.
Right here in Vancouver, two NPA members of city council have taken a lesson from a certain famous Twitt-o-phile. And the resulting tweets use SHOUTING and an angry GIF, it seems, to rile up a shrinking segment of the electorate in the City of Vancouver (motor vehicle operators) at the expense of a rapidly growing segment (people who ride bikes).   Oh yeah, and ignoring DVBIA support for the new Cambie Bridge bike lane.
In any case, these are clearly divisive efforts that failed miserably in 2011 and 2014.  It’s worth a glance at the replies, which (at the time of writing this) strongly support more safe and effective infrastructure for people riding a bike.

Click to get original tweet

Click to get original tweet


  1. Either they are doing this for political gain or they have no understanding of how traffic works. I suspect the former. Traffic capacity is controlled by the throughput at intersections and in this case, particularly by the south intersections. These intersections are what cause the afternoon backups, whereas the bridge is over capacity. This will not change with the changes, but will improve things for pedestrians and cyclists.
    I cycle on this bridge at least once a week and in the last year or so, have been passed far too closely at least once per crossing. These changes will make it safer and more comfortable for cyclists, as well as improve things on the sidewalks.

    1. I suspect both. Knowledge of how traffic works – as opposed to just one’s own car – is about as common as knowledge of how vaccines work. Most get it wrong. Weird and entitled misconceptions abound.

      1. Sadly I have to agree. That being said, an elected official dealing with these types of decisions, needs to understand this. If they don’t, they aren’t knowledgeable to make informed decisions. It should be a job prerequisite or at least something they quickly begin to understand.

        1. If elected officials’ livelihoods depended on a basic working knowledge of the issues, most would starve. Be charitable.

  2. I have walked across the bridge many times and feel the current mix of pedestrians and cyclists is dangerous for both. Some form of separation is necessary.
    The elected officials would need spend no more than 10 minutes watching rush hour traffic flow (or not) southbound on Cambie to realize that the intersections, not the bridge, are the bottleneck.
    I do have one concern, however. The bridge has two off ramps at the south end to WB 6th and EB 2nd. If bikes take over the curb lane those ramps would have to be closed for safety reasons. I foresee a lot more conflict with pedestrians and cyclists on side streets immediately south of the bridge as drivers attempt to find alternative routes. I also worry that first responders will have no choice but to avoid the bridge altogether during peak hours.

    1. A couple of points.
      The elected officials could, as you say, go look at it. Or, they could just listen to the explanation of the staff engineers who analyzed it. Either would work. The City engineering department is getting pretty good at this.
      The south end ramp that leads to westbound 6th will be shared. It will be separated between bikes and cars, but will be single file, not full width. Part way down the ramp, it widens at the base and bikes will go onto that part (separated from pedestrians) to reach ground level. It isn’t ideal, but it is temporary. They are trying it out and seeing how it works before spending more $$ widening the ramp. Widening the ramp would apparently be expensive because of the way it was originally designed and built. The good news is that vehicles and bikes will not arrive at the T junction together at the same point.
      The south end ramp leading to eastbound 6th (which was used for all vehicle traffic during the Olympics, with a left and right turn at the signal) can’t handle vehicle volumes without travel delays according to the modelling that has been done.
      There was a concern with people on bikes and people walking mixing at the foot of that ramp. There will be separated lanes, including a route through to Moberly Road. These lanes will use the parking lot, and it will allow a direct connect to Ash for bikes. That should help reduce conflict. Also, the intersection at Cambie and 6th will be improved at the crossings, with green paint and walk/bike crosswalks areas separated (immediately in front of the police station)
      To allow emergency vehicles to access the bike lane there will be an opening at the end of it (where the ramp starts) to allow emergency vehicles to exit to the vehicle lane.
      The lane itself on the bridge is pretty simple. It is the connections, and attention to details, that will ensure the success of it all IMO.

      1. I agree. Sadly, the NPA councillors are either politically motivated or don’t trust the explanation of staff. I hope it is the former as from my experience, city staff are very dedicated and do their homework.

      2. To me, saying that this is temporary is just an excuse to do a shitty job. It also provides a convenient excuse for the using the cheapest designs, cost-benefits to be ignored and blame to be deflected. In engineering, temporary works are held to a much lower design standard.
        Unless a permanent solution has some kind of timeline and funding for execution, the pessimistic side of me believes that most “temporary” solutions end of being somewhat permanent by default, and costing more than initially performing an action correctly.
        I don’t see why they wouldn’t go ahead and cantilever an additional segment of sidewalk off the bridge on the west side of the ramp. It’s going to be the cheapest portion to produce and install since they could have access from the ground.
        The societal costs of a few major injuries or a single fatality are likely to be more than the cost of just widening the sidewalk on the 160m offramp. The Second Narrows cantilevers were a very reasonably priced expansion. If you take the linear cost of the Second Narrows Lanes ($15M IIRC for 2.6km), then an offramp cantilever is likely to be about $1M.

      3. Temporary doesn’t have to mean less safe. Sometimes it does. It can also mean less attention to aesthetics, and so on. The issue becomes one of implementation time. If we delay action for a period of years, in search of a better or more perfect solution, we accept the injuries that take place during that interim period.
        I think there are different thoughts about the nature of temporary or a trial. Many opponents seem to decry it as “it is going to become permanent anyway, it is just a scheme”. IMO, a trial isn’t primarily about whether or not it should be done, as even a temporary project wouldn’t go ahead without a case for doing it. It is more about how it is done, and what lessons can be learned via the trial. A trial on the SB lane on the Cambie Bridge can inform a future decision about a protected lane in the NB direction, as an example. We will learn about how many bikes shift to the new lane. We will learn about whether people walking on the MUP value the improvement or not. We will see the crash frequency impact on the blind corners on the spiral ramp at the north end. Emergency vehicle access to the bike lane can be evaluated. Gravity barriers (jersey barriers) are a quick way of trying a protected bike lane, but what we learn goes far beyond the lane itself. The eventual permanent solution can be better than what would have been built without those learnings.
        The cantilevered solution was noted as being in the order of $60 million. I don’t know the breakdown of that estimate. If it was $1 m I think it would be a slam dunk. We were told that the cost is related to how the bridge was originally built, and whether it can accept additional structures easily. The IWMB is a steel structure, much easier to attach a cantilever to than a precast concrete structure IMO. Building a wider SB ramp is likely to be part of the permanent solution, again IMO, as the width there is one of the current compromises. It would be cheaper than a cantilever mid span.

        1. Re IWMB, the structure was just strong enough to add the suicide prevention barriers and the widened bike paths. We are super lucky that it came out just right. BTW, cost for the widening was $10 m. Suicide prevention barriers only would have come in at $5 million.

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