The City has come out with proposals for the Point Grey Road/Cornwall Corridor – notably the concept for a separated route along the constricted connection between Kits and Jericho:


Point Grey


Details here.   HUB report hereSurvey here.


Also accompanying the plans for Cornwall-Point Grey is a proposal to reconfigure the intersection at the south end of the Burrard Bridge:




Details here – second page.
Essentially it would square up the intersection, making it much more like a typical part of the classic Vancouver grid, adding some green space while retaining the number of lanes and capacity.
I confess some embarrassment.  I sat on a Council that voted some considerable bucks to the rebuilding of this intersection in its current form, even though it was suggested at the time [‘m thinking of you, Chris DeMarco (and others – see below under Frank Ducote’s comments)] that we had an opportunity to do pretty much then what the engineers have come up with now.
But that, you see, was considered way too radical because it departed too much from the expectations of motordom design, i.e. maximizing flows for the car to make it as fast and seamless as possible.  The ultimate expression is the cloverleaf – the design used for the ends of the Granville Bridge.  Yes, those circular on-off ramps that we are now removing (see the post on the Obsborn proposal below) because the land is too valuable and a squared-up grid can quite easily handle the demand.
The same with Viaducts: should we remove them?  The answer can be found in a question: if they didn’t exist, would we build them now?  If not, then it’s clear they’re not solving a problem that it’s necessary to address.  We can live without them.
In the case of Cornwall/Burrard, we will serve more uses, more safely, by drawing our design from the pre-motordom era.



Public open houses scheduled as part of the first phase of consultation for this project:

Thursday January 31,   2013
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM*
Queen Mary   Elementary School Gym
2000 Trimble Street


Saturday    February 2, 2013
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM*
Kitsilano Community   Centre

Snowy’s Lounge2690 Larch Street


*These meetings will be drop-in open house format. City staff will be available during the times listed to discuss the project, answer questions and gather input.


  1. Re the Point Grey Road section of this bikeway proposal-We have the opportunity to make the pedestrian environment better along Point Grey Road, too. The City owns a substantial portion of the boulevard adjacent to the sidewalk in front of every residence. The area right up to the water service cap for each house along Point Grey Road-is city land.
    The City has looked the other way as fencing and hedging has been planted on top of the city owned boulevard in front of the private homes, crowding pedestrians to the sidewalk and the street. Since there are a string of pocket parks along Point Grey Road it would be great if the city would enforce the setback, making it easier for pedestrians and those with strollers and wheelchairs to use the sidewalk. In a city where public land is precious, we should be ensuring that land that is the city’s is available for public use, not for private gardens and fencing.

  2. Gord – yes, that post-1997 Transportation Plan concept for this intersection that Chris D., Brian Riera and I brought to Council was almost exactly the same as this one being proposed now. I’ll give credit where it is due, and that is arly to former CoV planner/landscape architect Alan Duncan, now with the Park Board.
    We estimated that about 1 acre of new and could be recovered by this reconfiguration, usable for open space, housing or simply just land-banked.
    The primitive Council Chamber technology of the day – overhead projections! – worked against us being able to sell Council on the idea, especially with the likes of the City Engineer of the day and powerful Councillor George Puil aligned against us. Only Councillor Sam Sullivan had the fortitude to speak out on the merits. Kudos to him as well as to the more creative engineers now leading the department.

  3. You may see a lot of residents complaining about the closure of access to and from Chestnut Street from Cornwall, as this will divert a lot of Planetarium, Vnacouver Museum and boat ramp/marina traffic (with boat trailers) through the Cypress intersection (which is also a bike route). You will also invariably have cars with boat trailers stuck at the intersections with traffic islands for those unfamiliar with the area.
    The Kits Point boat ramp is one of the only (if not THE only public boat ramp in Vancouver (the one at Jericho is for the sailing club)).

  4. Forgot to add – the normalizing of the Cornwall / Burrard intersection, does, however, make sense. If they get the signage right, pedestrians will find it much easier to cross from the prohibited side of the bridge to the permitted side of the bridge.

  5. The downside to this is every vehicle going from Cornwall to the bridge or back will have to slow for the intersection to round the bend.
    This might sound like something rather minor, but 90° kinks in traffic flow can significantly reduce the amount of vehicles which can make their way though an intersection in a given time. This especially occurs with large vehicles like busses.
    How much is the new space worth in congestion or how many additional lanes would be required at the intersection to keep capacity relatively constant? This could eat into the net land.
    Perhaps it’s time to make a more permanent solution for the bike lane and add something to the lower level of the bridge truss?

    1. With traffic in and out of downtown declining and with one reduced car lane, my guess is that a traditional intersection will be fine for handling the demand. Having vehicles slow down for an intersection isn’t always a bad thing.

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