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HomeBusinessAnother bike lane by stealth in Vancouver, construction begins next week

Another bike lane by stealth in Vancouver, construction begins next week

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Bob Mackin

Good news for vehicle drivers. You will be able to drive eastbound from Denman to Jervis again on Beach Avenue in the West End.

Beach Avenue near Sunset Beach in Vancouver, Dec. 3 (Mackin)

Bad news: The ban will continue from Jervis to Hornby, as city hall moves to create a permanent bike lane.

The traffic changes were imposed in the spring when the Park Board, dominated by left wing COPE and Green commissioners. They banned bikes from the dedicated bike lane on the seawall in order to displace vehicles when traffic decreased during the stay at home spring. The lanes remained shut even after the economy reopened.

A Dec. 3 memo to Mayor and Council from Lon LaClaire, general manager of engineering, said the seawall bike path will remain closed at least into 2021.

“Staff have developed an interim design for Beach Avenue that will start to be installed in December 2020 and would be replaced with more permanent treatments depending on the result of engagement and design through the master plan process.”

Beach Avenue near Sunset Beach in Vancouver, Dec. 3 (Mackin)

LaClaire claims the move was the result of an online survey that received 2,500 responses. There was no formal public hearing. 

On Dec. 3, theBreaker.news photographed some of the preliminary markings where a traffic island and other alterations to the roadway are planned.

A news release issued Dec. 4 says the work will begin “next week.” The budget was omitted, but theBreaker.news has confirmed it is $250,000.

The memo says pylons will be replaced by a concrete barrier.   

“Construction crews will work as quickly as possible to minimize local impacts, but changes like restoring eastbound motor vehicle and transit access (between Denman St and Jervis St) may be delayed as they rely on other project elements (which are weather dependent) to be in place before they can be implemented. Staff will continue to monitor and make additional adjustments to the design as needed.”

Ultimately, the new bike lane is part of a bigger strategy, connected to the West End Waterfront Master Planning process. The council-approved project is marketed as a rethink to parks, beaches and other public space. This happens during a wave of upscale condo tower development around the West End, transforming the dense forest of apartment buildings into a resort district appealing to foreign investors who want to buy close to Stanley Park.

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