Six years after the adoption of Transportation 2040 by city council, work continues to expand and connect the downtown Vancouver cycling network.

Up next are upgrades to an extension of the Richards Street protected bike lane, from Cordova to Pacific, to provide better access to downtown, and of course the commensurate infrastructure for the safety and comfort for people of all ages and abilities. (Can you say triple-yay?)

An open house is happening next week where the public can ask questions and provide feedback on the proposed design:

Thursday, December 6
4pm to 8pm

Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch
Promenade Trade Fair (North End)
350 W Georgia Street

Can’t make it? You can be part of the consultation — check out the design boards and information displays, then:




  1. This is a huge improvement, however, if they really wanted to do a proper job they should make Richards a two-way street and have a separated bike line on each side of the street.

    It would cost more money, but it would be safer for cyclists in the long run. and it would make the transition at False Creek easier as well.

    1. I don’t disagree with a two way Richards St. but I much prefer the two way cycle tracks. They are wider and have more capacity and flexibility: carry more cyclists in the dominant direction, easier to pass, can ride side x side where appropriate. They are also more social among cyclists – more likely to spot friends heading the other way. I wish they had done it on Beatty.
      One way cycle tracks tend to feel more like one way streets and they are often too narrow to easily pass.

        1. This is what Michael is talking about in your link:

          ‘For clarity, when I saw “on-street, bi-directional” I mean the creation of one lane for bicycles separated by a line, allowing for two-way traffic – on city streets. ‘

          I suggest you need more than a line. Even a fairly narrow buffer makes a significant difference. I also suggest that two way cycle tracks are now common enough here that motorists are used to them. Does anybody have safety data on our various configurations?

  2. With the earlier bidirectional cycle tracks implemented several years back, I would have preferred unidirectional tracks, but that was only due to the risks at the intersections. With the advancements that have been made in intersection design in the years since, I now prefer the bidirectional tracks for all the reasons Ron mentions.

    We are seeing phased protection at signals, for turning vehicles, and that makes a lot of difference.

    If Richards was made two way, with two protected cycle tracks, all the parking would have to go. And the loading zones. And the buses would stop in the travel lanes. And there wouldn’t be dedicated turn lanes, so cars would queue behind turning vehicles, reducing capacity of the street. And you couldn’t have phase protection for turning vehicles. Lots of non-starters. Better to separate all that from the cycle track discussion, IMO. If all those trade offs make sense to people, and there is support for them, then do it.. Just don’t try and do it as the same time as proposing improved bike lanes with a design that retains those features of the street.

    1. Good points on MV traffic flow. My support of two way MV traffic was as a traffic calming measure. But I see it could possibly go too far and be counter-productive.

      On the other hand, I’m increasingly impressed with the quality of the streetscape in the downtown south now that street trees have had a chance to become more dominant and the massive development phase has wound down. Seymour will likely always be an important MV traffic mover but Richards? As you suggest, maybe it’s time to have the conversation about the role of Richards Street.

  3. This is amazing! I’ve been waiting for this for years!

    Very exciting – I hope the public consultation piece goes well.

  4. I was all excited I thought it was going to be about completing Nelson and Smithe… and then see it’s Richards 🙁

    Oh well, I’m sure it helps somebody.

    1. Nelson and Smithe extended to Hornby are both on the list. Should be to Thurlow for Nelson. Drake is on the list, Hornby to Pacific.

    2. Extending the ones on Nelson and Smithe is definitely at the top of the list. I would also add something going down Beach Avenue down to English Bay. It doesn’t need to be 4 lanes.

  5. I just wish this design included traffic islands to protect cyclists and pedestrians from turning vehicles. IE force vehicles to make a wider turn and be completely perpendicular when crossing the bike lane.

      1. You need a bollard or something after the crosswalk. The cars do not need to be perpendicular to make the turn yet.

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