Brian Gould and Kathleen Corey are urbanist filmmakers well-known to Price Tags readers, and anyone else following Vancouver’s progress with its growing bike network.
Seacycles (2014) could be considered their flagship video which, when released, gave the world a proper introduction to the multi-modal improvements at the south end of the Burrard Bridge. That video also includes a wondrous pairing of then vs now picture-in-picture comparisons, and drone fly-overs.
Now under the banner small places (“tiny plazas – quick transformations – big ideas”), Brian and Kathleen are back, this time with a companion piece to show how far Burrard Bridge has come in the intervening years.
“New West End” is a two-and-a-half minute long love letter to this special neighbourhood, now immeasurably safer and more accessible by bike and foot, thanks to the new Burrard Bridge bike lanes and improvements at the north end. And perhaps (at least to me), a lump-in-throat-inducing tribute to fatherhood.
Here’s Kathleen on dad (and chauffeur) Neil:
Brian and I have known Neil since at least 2011 — he was among the few cycling the Hornby and Dunsmuir bike lanes in plainclothes during their early years. His excitement and energy around cycling issues are inspirational to us.
And now Neil, on his low-riding co-star, and the ‘hood itself:
Phoebe was born mere blocks from these locations, and she loved nothing more than playing peek-a-boo with other kids around the big pink flower (as she called the megaphone sculpture in Jim Deva plaza).
The West End’s car-light, people-first streets — all those fused intersections and plazas, new and old — and mix of uses and amenities within walking distance made it a great place for our young family of four. Phoebe and her big brother rode daily to daycare from the day they could sit up until they got too big for daddy’s poor legs to push them.
I loved seeing all of Vancouver steadily open up to us with every new street improvement.
Why the past tense? Neil and fam recently moved to New Westminster. But never fear, Neil — there’s a West End in New West.
And yes, Phoebe — it’s becoming bike-friendly too.