Some residents of East Vancouver’s Norquay Village neighbourhood are suggesting that a bike lane be installed on their portion of Kingsway.
“What community members have said is that a lot of the bikers are using the sidewalk because they feel it’s too dangerous riding on the road,” resident Larry Deschner told the Straight in a phone interview.
Deschner is a member of a local volunteer group that’s monitoring the ongoing planning process by city staff for Norquay, an area centred on Kingsway between Gladstone and Killarney streets.
City planners are pushing for more residential and commercial density in the predominantly single-family-residential neighbourhood.
“What they’re looking at doing is increasing the height of the buildings along Kingsway to six storeys instead of four, and then getting a setback so the sidewalks are wider,” Deschner said. “When they do that, we’re asking them to put in a bike lane between the sidewalk and the street. So”¦it’s still three lanes clear for traffic. But we’re hoping to get a bike lane with that extra sidewalk space.”
City staff will meet with residents about the Norquay Village plan from 6:30 to 8 p.m. today (October 7) in the community room of the Vancouver Public Library’s Renfrew branch (2969 East 22nd Avenue).
Asked if six-storey buildings are acceptable to Norquay residents, Deschner said, “Some people like four. This is where we’re debating. Some like six. So that’s something in the air. That’s what we’re hoping to get talked about more at this meeting.”
Deschner’s group has drawn up a list of recommendations regarding the Norquay planning process. The list was one of three documents included with the group’s October 4 letter to Mayor Gregor Robertson and city council.
In addition to a Kingsway bike lane, one of the group’s proposals involves setting up off-road bike paths with “complete connectivity throughout the network in Norquay”. These include a bike path through the Renfrew Ravine that would connect the bikeway on East 38th Avenue to the region-spanning Central Valley Greenway.
City planning director Brent Toderian didn’t make himself available for an interview with the Straight before deadline.