Bike lane on Kingsway proposed by residents

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.

Comments

8 Comments

David Emerscam

Oct 7, 2010 at 9:38am

Great idea!

e.a.f.

Oct 7, 2010 at 1:55pm

yes, Kingsway is a dangerous place to ride a bike but given the amount of traffic on it the loss of a lane will not help. I would suggest the bike lane be created in a lane behind Kingsway or one street over.

Migzy

Oct 7, 2010 at 6:48pm

@eaf I think you missed this part:

“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.”

Basically what they are proposing, is build taller buildings and in the process have those buildings further back from the street, in essence making the sidewalk space wider, thus providing room for a bike lane without affecting road width.

6 9Rating: -3

gnome

Oct 8, 2010 at 9:42am

I agree lane ways are an underutilized waste of space at the moment some of them are excellent bike paths but traffic MUST be controlled at crossings or bikes will not use them.

Bikers you might want to start mapping usable back alleys and passing on the info to your local councils.

Ken Simpson

Oct 8, 2010 at 1:17pm

@eaf it's not possible to create a bike lane one street over or behind Kingsway, because Kingsway is a diagonal highway that cuts across the city. I think this is a great idea considering a) how dangerous it is to ride your bike on Kingsway, hemmed in by car doors and traffic, and b) how the new development will open up more sidewalk space that could be used for bikes.

Taxpayer

Oct 8, 2010 at 1:17pm

Bike lanes on Kingsway were promised in the 1999 Bicycle Plan and still they have not been implemented. It is about time they got around to it.

0 0Rating: 0

Yuriy

Oct 8, 2010 at 3:44pm

If people request them (and they are the ones paying taxes for them) then that is an amazing idea. Also, connecting those lanes to the rest of the network of bike lanes is essential. I might even cycle down there from downtown instead of driving.

0 0Rating: 0

john bacon

Oct 9, 2010 at 1:50pm

why put extra bike lanes in when idiot bikers still use the sidewalk and jeopardize the safety of pedestrians.
Bikes should have mandatory insurance to ensure that any accidents caused by bicyclists are covered. Be it damage to other vehicles or injuries of pedestrians
Stop spending my tax dollars on idiocy and start enforcing the laws that already exist.