It’s taken a few months, but now we have some action.  This just out from the City of Vancouver – slowstreets@vancouver.ca

On May 22, we’ll start installing 12 km of Slow Streets signs and barriers. Other routes across the city will be added in the coming weeks.

Slow Streets – routes for walking, cycling, and rolling that make it easier to exercise and access businesses in your local neighbourhood.

  • Motor vehicle access is limited to local traffic only.
  • People walking may pass each other using the roadway.
  • Drive slowly and watch for people on the road.
  • On-street parking, access for emergency vehicles, and waste/recycling collection is maintained.

Have your say

In a few weeks, we’ll be asking the public for ideas and feedback on how to make these routes more comfortable for walking, cycling, and rolling. Using input from residents and businesses, we’ll make adjustments and improvements at key locations.

Questions? Email us at slowstreets@vancouver.ca

It appears that this choice of route – entirely through the east side and a diversity of neighbourhoods – was seen through an equity lens.  That’s council-speak to make sure the voices of their support are heard.

This Slow Street route builds on the already-established leg-and-wheel networks – notably 37th Avenue, the Ridgeway Greenway.  Not only did 37th Avenue get priority when greenways were first funded in the 1990s, it was given extra special treatment with a lot of small interventions – traffic calming, parklets, art, landscaping – with funding that might otherwise have gone to an extension of greenways through the West Side.  But some residents there were fearful of the idea – something bringing outsiders through their neighbourhood – and didn’t really see a need.  Most of their streets were already lush and green.

The City happily spent the money east of Granville.

But after the Beach Flow Way was done in the West End, the next one this time had to be east of Granville too.

Comments

  1. The official North/South bike route shown on that map follows Gladstone up an awful hill between E19th Ave and the Skytrain line which then continues climbing fairly steeply for another block or two. I see people having to walk their bikes up that hill all the time. It’s one of several places where I suspect city staff drew lines on a map without actually going out and looking at the terrain.

    When I’m traveling southbound in that area I much prefer to divert west to Findlay/Commercial St. up to 22nd Avenue and then back to Sidney St – the grade is much more manageable. I surveyed that route by studying the contour lines on VanMap, which I think is a tremendous resource for cyclists.

  2. Lakewood between 6th Ave and 1st is also a major hill. I bike down Victoria if I’m going down to Hastings. Wider, more traffic, less effort.However, these are called slow streets. I assume they are meandering, pleasant rides.

    Thanks to Gordon Price for including an inquiry email to the city, and mentioning that no parking spots are to go missing.
    We have some difference of opinion here as to weather we will lose spots. I sent an email today to check.

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