Don’t you love living in a town where this is a big news item:

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The City of Vancouver has backed down in a fight over the future of the Arbutus Greenway.

The fracas began after city crews — with little warning — laid an asphalt path along a section of the former rail corridor. The city recently purchased the land from Canadian Pacific Railway.

But the move to temporarily pave the popular green space angered some residents who organized, confronted workers, and even blocked the path of heavy equipment.

Jerry Dobrovolny, the city’s general manager of engineering, met with two groups of residents over the issue on Thursday evening, and later decided on a few concessions. …

Dobrovolny agreed to halt the paving at West 33rd Avenue (crews had been paving southward from 25th to 41st and had plans to pave a path down the entire corridor), where it can connect with a bike lane. A gravel path will be put in between 33rd and 41st, as well as from 10th to 16th.

He also agreed to start a consultation process with residents in the coming weeks on what the temporary solution should look like. When asked how long that would take, Dobrovolny said it depended on how the conversation went. …

When asked if that gave her assurance that the larger consultation process would lead to something she wanted to see, Davidson said it did not, noting that there were competing interests over the site.

That is a point Dobrovolny touched on as well, stating that the city has heard from residents who appreciated a smoother surface. He added that a compromise will need to be struck.


Ah, a compromise.

The most critical stretch of the greenway is that between Broadway and, eventually, Granville Island and Kits Point.

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Without this stretch providing a smooth, safe and connected route, the rest of the Arbutus Greenway is somewhat secondary for active transportation users.

So will this part of the old railbed be paved, or compromised away?

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And if this is the reaction to a bike route, imagine the response, years later, when an actual transit line is proposed.