Update: JSB.org has a petition on this issue, that you can sign here.
I saw this article last night on the Times Colonist website, in which johnsonstreetbridge.org director Ross Crockford argues that the City “should at least try closing one lane [on the Johnson Street Bridge (JSB)] to cars and converting it for use by cyclists before rejecting the idea.” Here’s a link the organization’s letter to City Council: The Case for Trying Two Lanes on Victoria’s Johnson Street Bridge. They make the case that switching one of the three lanes on the JSB to two bicycle lanes would probably work, would cost less than other options being considered and would not prevent other options from being implemented later if it was found to be unworkable. They offer several suggestions about how surrounding intersections and approaches could be resigned and re-engineered, something that will have to happen in any case. (Whether or not the bridge is even replaced or refurbished, a lot of problems could be solved by dealing with the problem intersections/approaches, like the labyrinth where Johnson, Pandora and Wharf streets meet on the east side of the bridge, or the bicycle approach from the Galloping Goose on the West side, which forces cyclists onto the rail/pedestrian crossing.)
(See the JSB.org letter for better photo illustrations of the problems at each end of the bridge.)
As the JSB.org letter puts it,
A greater principle is also at stake here. Governments have a duty to thoroughly explore simpler, less-costly solutions to problems, before throwing millions of dollars at more expensive ones… Experimenting with a lane reduction on our bridge will show residents that our city is willing to innovate, to improve facilities for cyclists, and to make the best use of taxpayers’ money at the same time.