Staff said fewer vehicles use the bridge today than 20 years ago, and that modelling studies have shown it has enough capacity to handle projected road traffic even after the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts are torn down.
The number of vehicles has dropped not only on the Cambie Bridge but into the core of the city and into the city itself.
And people don’t believe it, deny it or simply ignore it.
Why is that? Probably because it defies ‘common sense’ and personal experience. As well, every few months there is another story on worsening congestion in metro Vancouver. And, likely, because it makes it more difficult to argue that bike lanes cause congestion – even though there’s lots of anecdotal and statistical evidence that it doesn’t happen.
Remember, for instance, all the media stories after the Dunsmuir, Hornby, Point Grey and Burrard Bridge changes were made: the worsening congestion, the longer back-ups, the angry motorists, the apologies from engineering staff for their mistaken projections …?
What, you don’t remember those stories? Probably because they didn’t happen.
If there had been even modest increases in congestion that anyone actually noticed, the media would have been there with cameras roaring. But they don’t report stories of bad things that didn’t happen.
We go through this cycle (pun certainly intended) every time: the City announces some bike infrastructure committed in plans publicly vetted and council approved, the media do their ‘another bike lane in face of public disapproval’ stories, the shock jocks yell ‘Carmageddon,’ the NPA says it’s too much too fast, the lanes get built, nothing bad happens, bike traffic improves and the traffic flows (sometimes better) – and then we start the cycle all over again with the next project.
And car traffic continues to drop.
And most people don’t believe it.