Vancouver - FutureCity?

Greetings from Vancouver, city of the future. Or is it? While this place likes to think of itself as progressive, often its green dreams are wetter than a Spring rainfall. Case in point, the "new" bike lane on Burrard Bridge, one of three that takes thousands of daily commuters into the downtown core. After an alarmingly high number of cyclist injuries, city council voted to alter the lanes on the bridge – actually, the sidewalks.

Currently the elevated sidewalks on either side are shared by cyclists and pedestrians; the natural confusion arising from this relationship occasionally led to a cyclist leaking out into auto traffic, and when bike meets car, usually the cyclist doesn't come out so happy.

The new initiative will move all pedestrians to the west sidewalk. Cyclists will get the east sidewalk and a west curb lane, which means one less lane for motorists. While I'm certainly happy if we can prevent injuries and accidents, this feels like a big band aid. Robbing Peter to pay Paul does not a lasting solution make.

Vancouver is a growing, changing city, and one that desperately wants to be seen as a glowing example of sustainable, urban living. To fulfill that lofty vision, we need some real, actionable plans – or else we’re only dreaming.

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