bc-100310-dunsmuir-bike-lane

Cyclists who use a new bike lane to cross Vancouver's Dunsmuir Viaduct will soon have a bike lane to take all the way to Howe Street. (CBC)

Vancouver city council has voted unanimously to approve a new two-way bike lane on Dunsmuir St. in downtown Vancouver.

The lane will eliminate one of the three existing vehicle traffic lanes — which are all one-way westbound — between the Dunsmuir Viaduct and Howe Street.

It will be run on a trial basis for at least six months, starting June 15 for bike month.

The budget for the project is $810,000, which will come from the $25 million bike lane budget that was approved early in May.

Thirteen parking spaces will be lost and some transit stops will have to be moved.

The new configuration will also mean new right-hand turning restrictions at Seymour Street and Hornby Street.  

A group representing Vancouver taxi companies has objected to the bike lane concept, saying Dunsmuir Street is already a traffic bottleneck.

The Association of Pacific Taxi Owners says people will end up paying higher cab fares as a result of the change.

Vancouver city staff have argued that the community needs to provide safe bike routes if it wants commuters to try alternatives to driving cars into the city.

With files from the CBC's Lisa Johnson