In a recent letter to Victoria’s mayor and councillors, and a CFAX radio debate with councillor John Luton, we outlined our argument to try removing one of the westbound car lanes from the Johnson Street Bridge, and create two new lanes for bicycles. But will the councillors listen? We want you to send them a message.
As things stand currently, it appears the designs for refurbishment of the Johnson Street Bridge to be presented on June 14 will offer only two options to improve the bridge for cyclists and pedestrians: 1) remove the E&N railway tracks and turn the railway span into a bicycle/pedestrian path, or 2) build a whole new bridge for cyclists and pedestrians at a cost of $15 million or more.
We believe the City should consider a third option, which would improve the bridge for non-car users, preserve the railway, and save money: try removing one of the westbound lanes on the car span, and create two new bicycle lanes.
A similar trial on Vancouver’s Burrard Bridge has proven remarkably successful. But so far, the City of Victoria has refused to attempt such an experiment, even though it would take a few weeks to conduct, and cost relatively little to arrange. Councillor Luton claims such a lane reduction will result in chaos – even though, as we’ve pointed out, the Johnson Street Bridge’s one eastbound lane already carries the same daily volume of traffic as the two lanes headed west, and a similar volume of traffic currently uses the two-lane Bay Street Bridge.
The numbers suggest that the Blue Bridge can handle two lanes of traffic. But there’s one way to find out for sure. Only a real trial will conclusively prove whether or not a lane reduction will work. Tell Victoria’s council that you want them to try an experiment that could save the E&N railway, and millions of dollars.
Please sign the petition for a Two-Lane Trial on the Blue Bridge: