From Metro News:

City engineers want to take advantage of extra capacity on the Granville Street Bridge by installing a two-lane greenway for cyclists and pedestrians in the middle of it as early as 2015.

The proposal is subject to further study and consultation as part of the city’s draft Transportation 2040 plan, which will be presented to council for approval in October. So far the greenway is just a concept, but transportation director Jerry Dobrovolny said repurposing the centre of the bridge at some point in the next few years would be an efficient move.

“Because the centre of the bridge leads into Granville Street downtown, which has no through-traffic for vehicles and also has a very high pedestrian component, it’s actually a good fit.”


Michael Alexander suggests one step further: take out the middle lanes of the bridge on Granville at the north end:


In other words, imagine the Granville Street part of bridge deck (or at least the middle two lanes) removed from where the Howe/Seymour ramps begin to Drake Street – the section in red, below.  (Remember, the cloverleaf ramps in between will be removed in any event to make developable parcels.)



This would allow for a direct connection to the underside of the bridge, where the BIG/Dialog proposal would create a commercial village, and for a direct Granville Street connection to False Creek and seawall.


Ron Richings also asks:

At one time there was a plan to build an elevator from Granville Island to about the middle of the Granville Street Bridge deck.   I am just back from Portland, where there have recently built a somewhat similar facility: a 10-storey elevator for walkers and cyclists that connects with a bridge deck – in this case over a freeway rather than water.

So why not here?


  1. Brilliant. I love the concept, especially as the Granville Street Bridge is a major missing link for cycling, but I have to wonder how it will connect to sidewalks and cycling routes at each end. As the new walk/bikeway will arrive at either end in the middle of street, how does it cross to get to the side there? Going under the bridge on the north end is a neat concept, and could be done at the south end too, though it could also end up being done in a way that feels unwelcoming and unsafe, or is awkward to get to from the street itself. Just something to think about.

    Also love the elevator concept, especially if it rises up directly to this walkway. I’ve often been bothered by the difficulty getting from Granville Island to downtown by foot without jumping on the ferry.

  2. It seems obvious to me that if there’s a pedestrian mall on the Granville Street bridge then there should be an elevator from it down to Granville Island. Heck, if the Granville Island merchants were smart they’d pool their resources and contribute to the cost themselves.

    The only thing I’m unsure of is whether or not that’s actually feasible from the centre lanes of the bridge, given that it would interfere with the moving gallery below the bridge deck which is used for maintenance.

  3. This is terrific news. But wouldn’t it be nicer if the greenway were along one side of the bridge, to give those strolling nicer views to the water below? And that way they wouldn’t be surrounded by fast moving cars.

  4. A thought. Don’t demolish the central Granville north end segment, close it to motor traffic and use it as the entrance to the central parkway. If the Olympic closure of the Viaducts for a few weeks is “proof” that they’re not needed, then certainly diverting the trolley buses to Howe/Seymour for 4 *years* shows we can live without the wall of buses on Granville Street. Turn the whole street into a true “Pedestrian” mall. No buses, no taxis, no police cars. Just people, bikes, and mounted police. What’s the downside, other than bikes slipping in horse apples?

    Obligatory historic photo,

  5. Idiotic, as are most schemes that springs from the brains of this council. I suppose all motorists are in the city for recreational purposes only. No one uses his/her car for business. That seems to be the assumption of this council.

  6. @Guest – thanks for the link. I’m surprised that I didn’t know about this rfp, given as closely as I’ve tried to follow this initiative. Guess my former City Hall network isnt as as strong as I thought it might have been.

    Having grumbled enough, I’m generally supportive of the concept, but it really has to work for the benefit of the South Granville business district, not to their detriment.

    Sharon, did you know this was moving forward already?

  7. I sat in the same Room as Jerry twice this week and he said absolutely nothing. Got to love the consultation process in this town.

  8. Stripping parking in shopping districts all day is not a healthy move for the businesses nor for pedestrians, IMO. Restoring it all day would be much more to my way of thinking, especially when other major infrastructure moves are made, as was done in Cambie Village after the Canada Line was built.

  9. I’m not in favor of the pedestrian walkway for the middle lanes of the Granville Street Bridge. It’s not a long walk… but it’s not interesting for children or adults unless they can bee close to the edge, the bridge railing to look down. Think about that Looking Looking down is the best part!
    If ‘they’ insist on going forward with this ideas, put the cars in the MIDDLE two lanes.

    I’m also upset about taking out the ramp that allows south-going traffic onto the Bridge from Pacific. I don’t understand why that needs to be omitted.

    1. I haven’t heard anything about this for awhile now. It might still just be in the idea stage.
      I think the idea to put this in the middle is because of the on and off ramps on the sides. This would reduce the number of crossings. If the park in the middle is higher up than the traffic, you’d be able to see over the traffic at the view. (Personally looking down is what I avoid when I’m going across this bridge but that’s me.)

      Maybe call up the city and ask them what the status of this project is.

      1. The Granville Bridge was in the previous five year plan (2016-2020). It was also in the Oct 2017 5 year plan (2018-2022)

    Otherwise: WHAT’S the USE??

  11. What is missing is a wholistic view of False Creek. It used to be an industrial harbour with a need for high bridges. Now it’s purely recreational.

    We ought to consider taking down the entire bridge, make a tunnel for cars and low bridges for pedestrians and bikes. The few sail boats that use False Creek can lower their masts, as that is easily doable with today’s sailboats. It behooves me that we are still so beholden to this Industrial Age with its super high, super wide bridge that is not required any more.

    Failing that, the lower portion of the steel structure could carry a subway, or certainly a bike or ped path.

    One could conceivably eliminate the entire bridge or tunnel due to cost, and re-route the car traffic over Cambie or Burrard, with a $10/crossing toll.

    Downtown Vancouver is feasibly without any car. Only bikes or pedestrians with e-shuttles for hotel guests with luggage. E-golf carts everywhere, to rent or hail, or eventually autonomous.

    It’s absurd we have buildings right and left where people on the floor look below a bridge deck.

    The vision is not bold enough.

    We can do better.

    1. “The few sail boats that use False Creek can lower their masts, as that is easily doable with today’s sailboats. ”

      Have you done it Mr Beyer?

      It’s like an old Carson ‘Carnac’ bit around here sometimes.

      A: An unworkable situation with lots of sailboats all stepping their masts while on the water, creating congestion and hazards.

      Q: What do you get by demanding sailboats go under too-low bridges to get to and from their moorage?

  12. Elimination of the bridge instead of upgrading to withstand an earthquake .. is probably the reason for no crosswalk & elevator. The (elevators) cost could already have been recovered with no need for the not convenient route 50 false Creek bus. ==Six years of silence on the issue speaks volumes ( hidden agenda)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *