Highway 99 needs bike greenway, cycling advocate says

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      Powell Street isn’t the only thoroughfare crying out for a separated bike lane in Metro Vancouver, according to a local cycling advocate.

      In a telephone interview on May 15, HUB Cycling executive director Erin O’Melinn also mentioned Highway 99 in Richmond, Delta, and Surrey.

      “If there was a corridor along Highway 99, that would allow people in Vancouver, for example, to cycle all the way to the ferry or to the border—and there’s tons of demand for that,” O’Melinn said. “Currently, there is no way for you to legally cycle that distance.”

      Ideally, this would take the form of a greenway, so cyclists could enjoy some “fresh air” and scenery, O’Melinn added.

      She noted that the B.C. government’s plan to replace the George Massey Tunnel with a bridge—construction could begin as soon as 2017—offers an opportunity to add cycling infrastructure to the Highway 99 corridor.


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      Colin Brander

      May 22, 2014 at 11:25am

      I agree. Highway 99 is the flattest most direct route. As they are upgrading the corridor, this is the opportunity to build this route. It will be good for tourism and the benefits will outweigh the costs.


      May 22, 2014 at 11:26am

      When she says "there’s tons of demand for that", how much is a ton, exactly. Where is the data?

      The fact is, most cyclists will NEVER ride to the ferry or the border. NEVER.

      So, is that really the best way to spend cycling dollars?

      Sure, if they are repaving or something, they should paint a bike lane on it. But is this a high-priority project?


      May 22, 2014 at 11:27am

      "Tons of demand" for a corridor so people can bike to the ferry or the border???? Really???? Someone is making up sh*t.

      Dharma Dog

      May 22, 2014 at 1:42pm

      Demand for shorter direct routes is difficult to gauge when those routes don't exist. You have to extrapolate from increases in bicycle counts due to new facility construction - "build it and they will come" has been shown to be the case in Vancouver's new bicycle infrastructure. That said, one could also use counts based on the Deas Island bicycle shuttle. Unfortunately, this only runs weeklong (including weekends) between May and Selptember. Thru the winter, it only runs on weekdays, and stops running early enough in the evenings so it's impractical for bike commuters anyway. A good start would be to replace the highly inefficient shuttle with bicycle bridge alongside Hwy 99, a good start to the whole Hwy 99 greenway project. Once this is in place, and with the $2 bicycle fee waived just by buying ferry tickets with the Experience card, I'm sure people will be quite surprised at just how much pent-up demand there is to ride to the ferry. When I worked in Victoria in 2010, I would ride home on Friday and return on Sunday - a two-hour, 45-km ride from my house in Burnaby. Yes, cyclists will ride to the ferry, much to the surprise of lazy, ignorant motorists!

      Bike propaganda

      May 22, 2014 at 6:22pm

      Funny but I don't see much "demand" for the bike lanes downtown for 8 months of the year. The largely vacant bike lanes from September thru April are a reminder that caving to special interests is an expensive proposition for taxpayers and a vote buying scam for political parties.

      Arno Schortinghuis

      May 22, 2014 at 7:43pm

      There are many safe and convenient ways to drive from anywhere in Metro Vancouver to the border or to the ferries, however, there are no safe and convenient ways to cycle there. I can get to the Twawwassen ferry terminal from Vancouver is a little over 2 hours via Alex Fraser Bridge and even quicker by using the Massey Tunnel Shuttle. I am over 65 years old, so this is certainly doable for most of the population - especially with an e-bike. Unfortunately, it is not a very safe ride. A greenway parallel to Hwy 99 with improved connection to the ferry terminal will attract many people to cycle to the ferry. the Hwy 99 corridor also offers a more direct routing, making the trip by bike even faster. A cycling greenway parallel to the Hwy 99 corridor should be a top priority for the Massey Tunnel replacement bridge project. It is high time that we had a decent cycling network in Metro Vancouver.


      May 23, 2014 at 6:29am

      There's definitely a need for a cycling route over the south arm of the Fraser River to link the whole Delta/Ladner/Tsawwassen area with Richmond. It's one huge missing link in the network.


      May 23, 2014 at 9:00pm

      A cycling link through the Massey Tunnel area would be transportation justice.


      May 25, 2014 at 10:38pm

      There is a greenway for pedestrians and cyclists from the Alex Fraser bridge to Colebrook Rd, but unfortunately it's a very bumpy route with many potholes. It would be great if that trail was paved or at least properly maintained. If the Massey tunnel is eventually replaced then building a greenway from richmond that connects to the greenway that already exists between surrey and tswwassen would be a great recreational asset.