Vancouver city council approves bike route for Point Grey Road and York Avenue

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      Vancouver city councillors have voted to approve a new bikeway in Kitsilano, following a series of public meetings that saw the neighbourhood divided on the issue.

      More than 200 members of the public initially registered to speak to the proposed cycling and pedestrian changes along Point Grey Road and York Avenue, and council met during the weekend to make it through the list of speakers.

      The staff recommendations for the corridor were approved this evening (July 29) with a series of amendments moved by Vision Vancouver Heather Deal, including working to address concerns raised by seniors and people with disabilities, and mitigating the impact of what is expected to be increased traffic on Macdonald Street.

      “Now we’ve given clear direction to staff, including some additional pieces around monitoring and working with some of the people, like along Macdonald, who may see a change that is challenging for them, and what we can do to mitigate those changes,” said Deal following the vote.

      “A lot of changes were made based on what we heard from people,” she continued. “This wouldn’t be as good without that input. I think it’s a much better project because all those people came out.”

      NPA councillors George Affleck and Elizabeth Ball voted against the staff recommendations for the corridor, with Affleck calling for the plan to be referred back to the community for further consultation.

      “At the end of the day, we saw 70 percent of the community saying they didn’t want this,” Affleck said in an interview. “They didn’t want the road closed at Point Grey, they didn’t want the York bikeway, why? We’ll never find out because we’re not taking it back to them.”

      Vision Vancouver councillor Geoff Meggs called the city's consultation process on the plan "comprehensive" and noted a petition in support of the closure of Point Grey Road to commuter traffic garnered more than 2,000 signatures.

      "It’s not, as many people have said, a requirement to ride a bike," he said. "But those choices are there for people who want to make them, and they’ll be safe choices."

      The changes to the corridor will include traffic-diversion measures along a stretch of Point Grey Road that will close the route to through traffic west of Macdonald Street, widened sidewalks and expanded park space. Changes to York Avenue will include alternating one-way streets between Vine and Maple Streets, and separated bike lanes between Maple and Chestnut.

      Council approved a budget of up to $6 million for the first phase of the plan. 

      Deal said the city will begin rolling out the changes over the coming months. Safety upgrades to the Burrard Street and Cornwall Avenue intersection approved by council last week will be the first on the list.




      Jul 29, 2013 at 11:12pm

      Glad to see this is happening. Upgrades are much needed, and no matter what you say, this Council has been courageous. Safer infrastructure for bikes and pedestrians is appreciated.


      Jul 29, 2013 at 11:26pm

      So a sensible decision was made despite the hyperbolic and egregiously histrionic positions of some people against the proposal...who are apparently against safety on Point Grey Road. Relief. And planned further consultation, so not quite "they didn't want": I don't think SOME of the residents are the ONLY people who get to decide what happens in their neighbourhood, since they are a part of a bigger community.

      Jim Howden

      Jul 30, 2013 at 12:03am

      Well the Visionless ideologues just told the vast majority of stake holders in this to go get stuffed. Hopefully we can return the favour to them next civic election. This from a long time supporter. Was I ever wrong!

      We thought we were getting progressive, instead we've got looney tunes.

      All they had to do was take some city land back that had been infringed on over the years by Point Grey Road home owners, and all stakeholders could have been accommodated. Instead, we have the many being disadvantaged for a few in a couple of special interest groups.

      Alex T

      Jul 30, 2013 at 6:33am

      This is perfectly in keeping with the 20 year transportation plan and, unlike what Jim H says, this is about the only way Vancouver can accommodate an additional million people in the coming years. Even still, it feels like a minor success. These plans have always been met with hostility yet when they are in place, they are first embraced and then become a defining part of our civic pride.

      Congrats to everyone that worked to pull this off.

      Smug alert throughout Vancouver today.

      Jul 30, 2013 at 7:46am

      Three cheers for ideology triumphing over practicality.

      Craig, your absolutely right. The communities and neighborhoods affected by Vision's decisions should have no say in what happens to their neighborhood. Frankly, the only opinions that should matter are from the bike lobby and hipsters on Commercial and Main.

      Shawn Davidson

      Jul 30, 2013 at 7:51am

      What fools - I am all for bike lanes but where are the people supposed to park along York? This is a residential street that is always hard to find parking on. Lets start a petition to remove the bike lanes - if we get 4000 then do we get them removed? This is poor planning that doesn't care about the average people that live here that need to park on the street. Millions wasted for a vocal minority. Vision needs to get some prescription glasses.


      Jul 30, 2013 at 7:56am

      What ever Gregor wants...Gregor gets.

      How much of taxpayer money has this council spent on non-essentials now? This year alone?


      Jul 30, 2013 at 7:58am

      Glad to see that city council had the guts to look to the future and get this done.


      Jul 30, 2013 at 8:29am

      If people want to rid the city of congestion, more bikes, buses, and rapid transit should be encouraged and driving should be discouraged unless for specific purposes like those in the skilled trades. Many far more densely populated cities around the world do just fine with massive quantities of bicycles and pedestrians and well integrated tram and metro systems, why the hell can't we? Oh yeah, nobody here wants their taxes increased to pay for that. This city and the surrounding GVRD is far too addicted to cars. I support Vancouver City Council's move!

      Alan Layton

      Jul 30, 2013 at 8:34am

      Was there any doubt that they were going to force this through? Unfortunately there aren't any real contenders to challenge Moonbeam and his merry band of cyclists. If there was, then this would probably be his last term in office.