I had to take several deep breathing exercises to regain my composure on this city update. The city wants to “cure congestion” but they keep on taking away lanes, making streets narrower, to construct bike lanes and wider sidewalks. They claim that narrower streets will enable pedestrians to cross the street faster (and therefore “safer”) and new bike lanes will encourage residents to be more active and also reduce cars on the road. It's hard to pinpoint where this logic comes from or how they're able to justify this idea aside from spending pre-allocated budget. If they really want pedestrians to cross busy intersections, increase the crossing time or build an pedestrian skywalk, not narrow down the street. Bike lanes are so overrated. It's under utilized (compared to streets dedicated to normal traffic) and is only available a few months every year due to change of seasons. Bikes can already share existing roads. They don't need dedicated lanes. The city should widen the streets to accommodate population growth. It's like blood vessels, you can't ease blood flow by constricting it.
Mass transit won't be able to address transportation needs of residents alone. It's vital but it's not the only solution. Bikes in Canada will never become a “primary” means of personal transportation, simply because its more of a recreational transport (and for single and abled persons). You can't ask the elderly, or people with physical impairments or big families to ride bicycles, this isn't North Korea. Sure mass transit is important, and a wider reach and longer operating hours are essential, but it will not solve Vancouver's congestion problem. Not if the city keeps shooting itself on the foot with its on-going street narrowing for the sake of bike lanes and shorter crosswalks.
Anyone who tries to get around this region knows: Metro Vancouver is still suffering from a bad case of congestion. It’s the congestion on our roads and transit system that frustrate commuters every single day.