As Vancouverites woke up to the cheerful rumble of planters being placed on Hornby street to fulfill the dream of a segregated bike lane in the name of safety, ICBC data shows a chilling reality - that the number of accidents on the north end of the Burrard Street Bridge actually skyrocketed after the separated bike lane was installed on the bridge.
Last summer, right after the lanes were installed, was horrific. There was one accident per day, compared to one a week in the summer of 2008. The rest of the year continued to be bleak. Ahead of the holiday season, there were 33 per cent more accidents as families went shopping, attended holiday events and had to navigate their way through crowded bus and car lanes as the separated bike lanes stood largely empty. The second half of last year saw 130 accidents -- nearly twice the rate as in previous years.
In the first half of this year we still had a 38-per-cent increase in accidents, with the winter months being the worst. Bus, car commuters and commercial-vehicle drivers, who are 95 per cent of the Burrard Bridge users, face more accidents on its north end while the number of cyclists crossing the bridge remains at five per cent. The dream of safety for a few has turned into a nightmare for many.