Westside Bike Mobility Project

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The latest engagement period for this project has ended.

The City of Vancouver began work on the Westside Bike Mobility Project in May 2018. The goal of the project is to establish a multimodal network of north-south Complete Streets to serve the west side of Vancouver (neighborhoods and business districts located west of Interstate 5).

Starting August 2019, the City engaged west side neighborhoods and businesses in examining individual potential Complete Street corridors and identifying a set of improvements that will increase safety and enhance mobility for all users. This phase of the project focused specifically on Columbia, Washington, Daniels and Franklin streets.

The City formed a Community Advisory Committee (CAC) that considered the benefits and tradeoffs of different options, including safety, accessibility, mobility, neighborhood livability and parking. Along with feedback from broader public outreach activities and events in January and February 2020, the CAC helped shape a recommendation to Vancouver City Council about the project.

At the City Council meeting on February 24, 2020, City Council directed staff to implement protected bike lanes and other multimodal improvements on Columbia Street in conjunction with planned repaving projects in 2020 and 2021. Staff will be conducting additional public outreach in advance of the repaving. Please sign up at www.cityofvancouver.us/BikeMobility to receive email newsletters to stay up to date as the project progresses.

Thank you to the community members who have participated in Westside Bike Mobility Project events and activities! Feedback received is included in the Phase III Public Outreach Summary.

Learn more about this project at www.cityofvancouver.us/BikeMobility.


The City of Vancouver began work on the Westside Bike Mobility Project in May 2018. The goal of the project is to establish a multimodal network of north-south Complete Streets to serve the west side of Vancouver (neighborhoods and business districts located west of Interstate 5).

Starting August 2019, the City engaged west side neighborhoods and businesses in examining individual potential Complete Street corridors and identifying a set of improvements that will increase safety and enhance mobility for all users. This phase of the project focused specifically on Columbia, Washington, Daniels and Franklin streets.

The City formed a Community Advisory Committee (CAC) that considered the benefits and tradeoffs of different options, including safety, accessibility, mobility, neighborhood livability and parking. Along with feedback from broader public outreach activities and events in January and February 2020, the CAC helped shape a recommendation to Vancouver City Council about the project.

At the City Council meeting on February 24, 2020, City Council directed staff to implement protected bike lanes and other multimodal improvements on Columbia Street in conjunction with planned repaving projects in 2020 and 2021. Staff will be conducting additional public outreach in advance of the repaving. Please sign up at www.cityofvancouver.us/BikeMobility to receive email newsletters to stay up to date as the project progresses.

Thank you to the community members who have participated in Westside Bike Mobility Project events and activities! Feedback received is included in the Phase III Public Outreach Summary.

Learn more about this project at www.cityofvancouver.us/BikeMobility.


CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.
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    Columbia bike routes remove parking for the Clark County Veterans Assistance Center. For those Veterans that sacrificed so much, appears those same Veterans are penalized. What are the City's plans to preserve parking at the CCVAC if Columbia is selected?

    CAG15 asked 4 months ago

    Thank you for your question. We have looked at several design options for this block, including removing parking only on one side and/or providing a drop off/pickup zone in front of the Center.

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    Is it the city's position that replacement of parking on Columbia with protected bike lanes will not induce demand for autos on Columbia, shift traffic from Main to Columbia, and cause vehicle speeds on Columbia to increase? This seems counter-intuitive as autos on Columbia will not have vehicles maneuvering for parking and cyclists to contend with. If this is the city's position, is it supported with a traffic study? Residents have been burned badly by unsupported staff opinions, like when we were told the Navigation Center would not lead to an increase in crime in the area. This feels very similar to me.

    DowntownCouver asked 5 months ago

    Thank you for question. Studies of other similar projects have not shown to increase traffic on streets where parking was removed to provide protected bicycle facilities. The City has completed traffic counts on multiple corridors in the study area and would complete a project evaluation if a route option were to be implemented which would included additional traffic counts to see what, if any changes occurred with the project.

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    Columbia south of 19th is zoned for commercial development. Will the city be changing zoning on Columbia, or are there zoning provisions currently in place, to ensure that a building with an underground garage, similar to the nearby Uptown development, can not be sited so that it's garage empties across the protected bike lane? That would be a real disaster / recipe for accidents as the garage would presumably empty and fill back up at rush hour, right when there are the most cyclists in the "protected" bike lane. If there are not zoning provisions in place, it seems like cyclists in this scenario would be about as "protected" as fish in a barrel or ducks in a row.

    DowntownCouver asked 5 months ago

    Thank you for your question. There are no current plans as part of the Westside Bike Mobility Project to make any zoning changes in the project area. The City will be updating the Vancouver City Center Vision within the next year that will be looking at land use in the downtown and uptown areas. That project could potentially result in zoning changes in the downtown area but it would be unrelated to the Westside Bike Mobility Project.

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    I have scoured the Portland By Bicycle map for protected bike lanes similar to those proposed on Columbia and thus far have not found a single two way street with at-grade bike lanes on separate sides of the street protected by barricades, much less one in an area with driveway and intersection density anything close to what we have on Columbia. Can you please point out where specifically in Portland there is a similar facility?

    DowntownCouver asked 5 months ago

    This is a google map image of NE Multnomah in the Lloyd District that has a bike lane in each direction with protection: https://www.google.com/maps/@45.5315356,-122.6595608,3a,75y,100.76h,79.42t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sPbJCEWU2RkgIAoSXBV_nHQ!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

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    We are creating these bike lanes to improve safety. Option #1 will create "protected" bike lanes that cyclists will have to maneuver out of to take left hand turns, and drivers will have to cut across to make turns. Of the auto vs cyclist accidents on Columbia, how many have occurred when either the auto or the cyclist is turning? I'm guessing the percentage is in the high 90's, and the proposed option will do nothing to reduce these accidents; in fact, to the extent Columbia will be much better suited to vehicle traffic under this proposal, the accident rate is likely to spike. Which brings me to my next question: Has the city studied the extent to which this proposal will induce demand for autos on Columbia with wider lanes and no on-street parking? What is the traffic count on Columbia in ten years if we build option #1 vs a no-build option? Because if this project is going to double the traffic on Columbia, it certainly won't do anything for cyclist safety. And if the city hasn't studied induced demand on Columbia because of the changes, I would characterize their handling of this project as extremely careless.

    DowntownCouver asked 5 months ago

    Thank you for your question. The collision data provided by the Washington State Department of Transportation for the years 2015-2017 showed 3 driver/bicycle related collisions on the Columbia corridor. One collision occurred at an intersection where the driver failed to yield the right-of-way to the person riding a bike and the other two collisions did not occur at driveways or intersections.

    If protected bicycle facilities were to be added to Columbia Street north of Mill Plain, the travel lane widths would essentially remain the same as the width of the current on-street parking would be replaced by a striped bicycle facility.

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    How would City of Vancouver respond to this recent study, which found that protected bike lanes, especially those like the city has planned in option 1 for Columbia, which will cross a great number of driveways, cross-streets, etc, are not always safer for cyclists? https://www.iihs.org/topics/bibliography/ref/2193 This is the exact opposite of what we've heard from city staff, which is that protected bike lanes are a panacea. As usual when dealing with the city, I feel lied to.

    DowntownCouver asked 5 months ago

    Thank you for your question. The study "Not all protected bike lanes are the same: infrastructure and risk of cyclist collisions and falls leading to emergency department visits in three U.S. cities" had some very good information and recommendations that would be incorporated into the design if a route option were to move forward.

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    100% of the "protected bike lane" examples on this website appear to show protected bike lanes on one-way streets. Can you please point out where protected bike lanes occur on two-way streets, preferably someplace close-by (Portland?), so that we can ride out and see how these work for ourselves? If there aren't any in Portland, maybe research whether there's a reason for that (i.e. they are inherently way too dangerous). https://www.beheardvancouver.org/westside-bike-mobility/photos

    DowntownCouver asked 5 months ago

    Thank you for your question. Portland has quite a few streets with protected bike facilities in each direction. Their interactive on-line map is a great resource for identifying which streets have protected facilities: https://pdx.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=b51534aa6e1f4dd4ad4d83c4a084d9a6.

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    1 - At any given point in time during the day, there is typically 25-32 cars parked on Columbia between Mcloughlin Blvd and 25th Street. I'd presume these cars park on Columbia, as there is not sufficient off street parking available. I've read the canned response to other people asking this same question. Can you provide specific remedies for those 25-32 cars? 2- From reading the parking load analysis, it appears that 22nd, 23rd & 24th Street, From Columbia to main street would be at 90% capacity. A property owner living on those streets, and/or nearby, would have a 10% chance of getting a parking space near their home. Is this an acceptable metric to the council / committee? Is the loss in property value due to the diminished appeal of not being able to park nearby your home (and/or your guests) acceptable to the council / committee. 3- are any of the council members / committee members directly affected by changes to parking alon Columbia Street? 4- Is the council / committee taking into consideration the parking load the Marijuana store, as well as the Columbia house already has on the neighborhood. The marijuana store is one of the busiest stores in the state with its customers, employees filling the nearby residential streets. Additionally, the Columbia House does not provide parking for all of its residents, nor the care takers who work at the building. Both the marijuana store and the Columbia House put considerable constraints on the current parking situation. Removing parking will only make the parking situation on 21st thru 24th street exponentially worse. Is this being taken into consideration?? As i read the responses to the questions people are asking - i'm seeing the same cut/paste answers. It would be nice to get real solutions to what is could potentially have a significant impact to residents & homeowners along / nearby Columbia Street between 19th and 25th Street. Please advise.

    Owner on Columbia asked 5 months ago

    Thank you for your question. Previous answers outlined potential mitigation options the City could implement if parking were to be removed as part of the project implementation. City staff continue to meet with City Council to continue developing an overall parking policy for the downtown and uptown areas of Vancouver. The most recent presentation was given in July of last year: file:///C:/Users/camposj/Downloads/00_WS_presentation_Downtown_Parking_Update.pdf. The City will also be updating the Vancouver City Center Vision Plan starting this year which will review the City's current parking policies.

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    Thanks for answering my earlier question but your answer didn't really answer the question. The question is how will the city compensate property owners for the loss of property value due to loss of street parking. When there is no parking in front of a piece of property, commercial or residential, the property is less accessible making it a less desirable piece of property thus causing the properties value to drop. Looking forward to hearing from you Mike Flohr

    Mike Flohr asked 5 months ago

    Thank you for the follow-up question. The information that was provided noted that the City cannot directly compensate an individual. We are only able to mitigate impacts that provide a public benefit.

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    If you make no parking on Columbia Street, where will we park? We have four cars and a one car garage. I live on a corner and according to current parking laws we are not allowed to park on the other side of our house because of the stoplight and our neighbors driveway. There is no parking across the street because there is a no parking sign. There is no where to park. I am 77 years old and do not relish having to hunt for a parking place and then having to navigate the sidewalks to get to my front door. I don't see all that many bikes on Columbia street except on the weekends when traffic is light. Do the bikers pay a road tax to maintain the roads. I know I do every time I buy gas or license my car. People all over this neighborhood will be having the same problem. I know this has a lot to do with the new fancy waterfront, but how many people will be riding their bikes to live or dine at the waterfront. I have lived in this house since 1967 and your bike safety ideas are not ideal. No one has ever contacted me about this alleged improvement. .

    Elizabeth Trent asked 5 months ago

    Thank you for your question. The project completed a parking utilization study along Columbia Street including all of the side streets to see what the redistribution of parking would look like if parking was removed on Columbia Street. The results of the study can be found starting on page 14 of this data guide document:: https://www.cityofvancouver.us/sites/default/files/fileattachments/community_and_economic_development/page/39081/westside_bike_mobility_cac_data_guide_final24pt_small.pdf

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    With the loss of on street parking property values will go down, this is a simple fact. How is the city going to compensate property owners? Mike Flohr 206.321.3628

    Mike Flohr asked 5 months ago

    Thank you for your question. The City cannot make improvements to private property that are unavailable to the public at large (e.g. creating parking spaces on private property. Any improvements must be for public benefit rather than only one individual.

    Allowable improvements could include: public parking lots, alley improvements (expensive due to stormwater regulations but some enhancements possible), and improved parking delineation. 

    Other potential parking mitigation could also include: 
    • Reconfigure streets to add parking: limited opportunities in project area, 104 – 147 in progress downtown
    • Implement neighborhood parking permit program; issues to be considered are permit costs, visitor permits, low income residents
    • Establish zone similar to funeral zone (where only funeral-related uses able to park during certain times) for the Veterans Assistance Center
    • Establish a program for one-on-one assistance to residents interested in creating parking spaces on their property

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    If this project is largely found to be unfavorable will the city still go ahead with it? Also, have these advisory members walked these streets, and paid attention to how many cyclists there currently are? How the sidewalks are condition wise? And over all how safe they feel?

    Chicken asked 5 months ago

    Thank you for your question. Staff will be bringing the results of the public outreach process along with a route recommendation to City Council on February 24th for their final review. Many of the community advisory members have walked and/or biked the different route options to get a first hand feel for the conditions on the different corridors to assist in their evaluation process.

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    Are there plans to fix sidewalks in the downtown area? I live in fruit valley, and have often walked to downtown along 4th plain, 39th, and Mill plain. Over grown, poorly maintained, and non-existent sidewalks impact me on 39th and 4th plain, and millplain wasn’t safe to travel, especially with my daughter. I would like to access my local city center without a car, but in general it isn’t safe with how our mobility is being managed. Which is a shame given that fruit valley residents statistically rely on public transit more than where you are thinking of putting this north to south bike lane. Have you considered fruit valley as a north to south, with a connection on the paths already in place on millplain, which are largely unused already? It could create more eyes in areas that it is needed, connect people who need bike lanes to the city center, and use a road already in need of improvements. In addition cycles already use fruit valley as a connector to the bike paths along the river, and downtown. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, while still meeting the city’s agenda.

    Chicken asked 5 months ago

    Thank you for your question. The City has completed a comprehensive inventory of where there are sidewalk deficiencies and is in the process of developing a more formalized program to address the on-going need for sidewalk maintenance. More specific information about sidewalk maintenance and how to report a problem can be found here: https://www.cityofvancouver.us/publicworks/page/sidewalks.

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    How are road projects like this funded? E.g., from our property taxes, gasoline taxes,..?

    BobCat asked 5 months ago

    Thank you for your question. The revenue for the City's street operating and capital programs comes from multiple sources: sales tax, property taxes, real estate excise taxes, utility taxes, motor vehicle fuel tax, business license surcharge, grants, and previously license tab fees. If you would like more specific information the City's Transportation Improvement Program provides more detailed information on the City's street revenues and expenses: https://www.cityofvancouver.us/sites/default/files/fileattachments/public_works/page/1744/2020-2025_tip_final.pdf.

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    Have there been studies performed to estimate the number of bicycles now using these streets, e.g. Columbia St, and to estimate the future usage? Has this usage been determined to have more benefit than the negatives?

    BobCat asked 5 months ago

    Thank you for your question. The project team did complete bicycle and pedestrian use counts along several corridors being considered. Information on those counts can be found here: https://www.cityofvancouver.us/sites/default/files/fileattachments/community_and_economic_development/page/38622/wbmp_bike_and_pedestrian_counts_2018.pdf.

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    What is the cost/benefit analysis of removing parking? How many parking spots will be removed in order to accommodate how many people who bike? Please provide specific data.

    Laura asked 5 months ago

    Thank you for your question. The 6 different route options being considered include information on how many parking spaces will be removed. That information can be found here: https://www.cityofvancouver.us/sites/default/files/fileattachments/community_and_economic_development/page/38618/all_routes_11x17.pdf

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    Can someone please provide us with the data of how many parking spots will be affected if parking is removed to form a dedicated bike lane? Also, how many people bike daily? We need to weigh the human impact through actual data.

    Laura asked 5 months ago

    Thank you for your question. An overview of the 6 routes being considered includes the number of parking spaces that would be removed for each route. That information can be found here: https://www.cityofvancouver.us/sites/default/files/fileattachments/community_and_economic_development/page/38618/all_routes_11x17.pdf

    The project team did collect bicycle and pedestrian along several corridors. The results of those counts can be found here: https://www.cityofvancouver.us/sites/default/files/fileattachments/community_and_economic_development/page/38622/wbmp_bike_and_pedestrian_counts_2018.pdf

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    ONE $IZE DOES NOT FIT ALL : a list of failed/revoked/rescinded Complete Streets / Vision Zero projects (including NYC, LA, Toronto, Amsterdam). Why is Vancouver choosing to follow this dangerous, expensive, and poorly thought out transportation model for $afety, mobility, and acce$$ibility? Date of Article Link Region or City 4/11/2019 https://nyc.streetsblog.org/2019/04/11/traffic-fatalities-are-way-up-is-vision-zero-becoming-unfocused/ New York 7/9/2019 https://www.amny.com/transit/vision-zero-nyc-1.33600035 New York 8/1/2019 https://www.jmlawyer.com/blog/2019/08/16/is-vision-zero-failing/ New York 4/17/2018 https://www.dailynews.com/2018/04/17/la-mayor-proposes-91-million-for-vision-zero-after-program-failed-to-meet-its-2017-goal-for-reducing-traffic-deaths/ Los Angeles 2/27/2019 https://www.radarsign.com/vision-zero-a-noble-plan-with-serious-drawbacks/ Los Angeles 1/18/2019 https://www.wsj.com/articles/vision-zero-a-road-diet-fad-is-proving-to-be-deadly-11547853472 Venice Beach, CA 9/17/2018 https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/sep/17/vision-zero-has-the-drive-to-eliminate-road-deaths-lost-its-way Venice Beach, CA 2/18/2019 https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/02/18/not-everyone-thrilled-with-complete-streets-roadshow/ San Francisco - https://yourboulder.com/right-size-bike-lanes-boulder/ Colorado / Colorado Springs 8/15/2019 https://www.cpr.org/2019/08/15/colorado-springs-bike-lane-backlash/ Colorado / Boulder 5/21/2018 https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/transportation/12-million-a-mile-heres-how-bike-lane-costs-shot-sky-high-in-seattle/ Seattle 3/26/2019 https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/transportation/sdot-eliminates-controversial-bike-lanes-in-35th-avenue-northeast-redesign-project/ Seattle 4/25/2018 https://nltimes.nl/2018/04/25/cyclists-motorists-killed-netherlands-traffic-accidents?fbclid=IwAR1JQe45BB3CxFOMyjY1BEJFKj7n77m-G9GqKtKNDIk3VoZlznsiB_WVfgk Amsterdam 7/10/2018 https://usa.streetsblog.org/2018/07/10/mad-about-bike-lanes-baltimore-fire-department-takes-it-out-on-advocates/ Baltimore 2/23/2018 https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2018/2/22/time-to-get-rid-of-the-complete-streets-or-bust-mindset N/A 5/8/2018 https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2018/05/how-to-kill-a-bike-lane/559934/ Pasadena, CA 11/17/2017 https://www.arlnow.com/2017/11/17/letter-complete-streets-a-complete-failure-just-ask-aurora-hills-residents/ Arlington, VA 3/6/2017 https://www.nlc.org/resource/complete-streets N/A 4/1/2019 https://www.wbaltv.com/article/roland-park-bicycle-lane-is-being-removed-after-causing-problems/27010065# Baltimore https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/essex/millburn-short-hills/2018/01/24/millburn-may-take-turn-disputed-street-designs/1055509001/ New Jersey

    KND asked 9 months ago

    In 2016, the Vancouver City Council adopted its 2016-2021 Strategic Plan, which set forth a vision for Vancouver as a vibrant, safe, and prosperous city. You can view this strategic plan here: https://www.cityofvancouver.us/sites/default/files/2018StrategicPlan/index.html.

    Goal 1 of the plan is to “Ensure our built environment is one of the safest, most environmentally responsible and well maintained in the Pacific Northwest” (see page 13). Within this goal are several objectives and related actions that include the adoption and implementation of a Complete Streets program (Objective 1.1, Action 1.1.1).

    With this direction, City staff developed a Complete Streets Policy ordinance that was adopted by the City Council in 2017. The policy ordinance included the following vision and intent: develop a safe, accessible street system that benefits all users, ages, and abilities, regardless of how they choose to travel; a convenient and interconnected transportation network that improves accessibility to adjacent land uses and fits the dynamics and character of each neighborhood throughout the City; and leveraging local funding for complete streets projects with regional, state, and federal grant funding programs.

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    Last night there 2as a discussion about removing the left turn lane on Columbia /4th Plain. There was input about timing and queue but is there any info on accident rates?

    #compromise asked 9 months ago

    Collision records for the Columbia at Fourth Plain intersection were pulled for the three-year period 2015-2017.  A total of six collisions were recorded.  Examining the records indicates only one of the six collisions was caused by a vehicle traveling north or south on Columbia; the rest are collisions which were caused by vehicles traveling on Fourth Plain, and would not have been affected by the presence or removal of the Columbia left turn lane.

    Safety studies use a measure of collisions per million entering vehicles as a threshold.  A rate of over 1.00 collisions per million entering vehicles is considered “elevated” and warrants further investigation. Using vehicle counts from 2015 and 2018, the Columbia/Fourth Plain intersection has a rate of 0.39 collisions per million entering vehicles over the 3-year period, which is considered low.  The type of collisions that are typically related to the presence or removal of a separate left turn lane are rear-end collisions or head-on collisions.  There are only two of these collision types over the 3-year period, and both were caused by vehicles traveling on Fourth Plain, which has dedicated left-turn lanes at Columbia.  Neither were related to the Columbia left turn lanes.

    In the case of Columbia at Fourth Plain, there is no recorded evidence that the presence or removal of the left turn lane on Columbia would increase the collision rate. Safety studies also assess risk of collisions as an assessment measure.  While having a dedicated left-turn lane on Columbia does slightly reduce the risk of rear-end collisions by providing a dedicated lane for left turning vehicles, this is offset by a minor increased risk of rear-end collisions by traffic in the oncoming direction when the left turn arrow is activated at the end of the Columbia Street green phase.  Both of these risks are minor.