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New protected bike lane could convert Drake Street to one-way

The City of Vancouver plans to add a protected bike lane on Drake Street through Yaletown, from Pacific Blvd. to Burrard Street.

The city says the new bike lane will fill a major gap in the cycling network, linking a number of existing and future routes including Richards Street, the Burrard Street Bridge bike lane and the proposed Granville Bridge Connector — a separated cycling and pedestrian path on Granville Street.

The city says cycling volumes on Drake Street are the highest near Burrard Street; the only part of Drake Street with a separated bike lane. The short, separated lane runs one block from Burrard to Hornby.

Drake Street cycling volumes
Cyclist volumes on Drake Street. Credit: City of Vancouver

Two options are being presented for public feedback, with the preferred option (bi-directional bike lane) changing Drake Street into a one-way street.

Bike lane options explained
Explanation of the two different options for bike lanes on Drake Street. Credit: City of Vancouver

Option 1: Uni-directional Bike Lane (two-way street)

Uni-directional protected bike lane Drake Street.jpg
Uni-directional protected bike lane option on Drake Street. Credit: City of Vancouver
  • Drake Street remains a two-way street
  • More conflict areas decrease comfort for cyclists and motorists
  • More complicated turn movements for bikes at key intersections
  • Narrow buffer between those cycling and driving
  • Retain less on-street parking (approx. 12 per cent of existing parking)

Option 2: Bi-directional Bike Lane Option (one-way street)

Bi-directional protected bike lane Drake Street
Bi-directional protected bike lane option on Drake Street. Credit: City of Vancouver
  • Drake Street converted into one-way street (eastbound only)
  • Fewer conflict areas increase comfort
  • Simpler turn movements for bikes at key intersections
  • Larger buffer between those cycling and driving
  • Maintain sidewalk widths and improve curbs
  • Space for a median with landscaping and potentially trees
  • Four new right-turn lanes
  • Retain more on-street parking (approximately 41 out of 82 parking spaces)

City staff will present a refined design to council in early 2020, with construction expected to be completed over the next two years.

To have your say on the two options, visit vancouver.ca/downtown-bike-network by July 22, 2019, or email: downtownbikenetwork@vancouver.ca

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Peter Meiszner
Peter Meiszner
Peter Meiszner is an experienced journalist and media relations professional, based in Vancouver. As founder of urbanYVR.com, he has been reporting on urban development across the Lower Mainland since 2016, and has also served as vice-chair of the Gastown Historic Area Planning Committee. In October 2022, he was elected to Vancouver city council and is no longer actively reporting for urbanYVR.

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