Vision and COPE launch counter strikes regarding whether to close one or two lanes on Burrard Bridge
The final debate over the future of Burrard Bridge has begun, and it only took a few minutes for the missiles to begin flying back and forth. Vision moved a motion to close one lane, while COPE moved an amendment to close two lanes. NPA Councillor Anton was not at the meeting today, but she's on record opposing any lane closures.
It was Vision Councillor Kerry Jang that moved the original motion to close one lane, while COPE's Ellen Woodsworth moved the two lane closure option. The Chair of the meeting originally told Woodsworth that her motion was out of order, however, she eventually allowed the debate to continue.
It is worth noting that city staff stated in their report to Council the best option to increase safety for bicyclists would be the closure of two lanes, not one. Therefore, by supporting the closure of only one lane, Vision can no longer claim they are supporting this initiative due to safety reasons. If that were the case, they would have voted with COPE.
Jang made a passionate plea to Council to support his one lane closure motion. He stated:
People in cars, we have to change our behaviour...
Meanwhile, COPE Councillor David Cadman bolted to his feet and loudly stated:
It's time to get serious and do the bold thing...We need to have the guts to do this!
After Cadman spoke, the audience broke into applause in support of his efforts at convincing Vision to support the two lane closure option.
After both Cadman and Woodsworth spoke in support of their motion to close two lanes, the vote was quickly taken. It was 8-2 against support for the safest two-lane closure option.
In the end, the Vision majority voted to support the closure of one lane on Burrard Bridge. Gregor's Gridlock will start in about 6-8 weeks.
Update: Check out our new online poll question on this issue.