From Jeff Leigh of HUB, with photos by Clark.

Construction continues on Richards Street, with the new protected bi-directional bike lanes.  These lanes replace the painted lanes that were one way, and will provide valuable connections to our downtown cycling network.

Construction is underway from Cordova to Nelson.  This summer City crews will shift to the southern end of Richards and complete the improvements through to Pacific Boulevard..

Details here.

The planter boxes for the new street trees. (There are 100 trees planned.)

PT: Planning and construction for Richards did not take decades obviously, but the route to get to this point goes back to the 1970s when, after lobbying and advocacy by many of our two-wheeled pioneers, the first vision was developed by the cycling advisory committee and then approved by Council in the early 1980s.  From there, it took decades more to approve funding in capital plans, to develop specific work plans, to evolve ever more advanced designs (particularly the separated bi-directional routes pioneered on Dunsmuir Street), and to commit to a completely integrated network not only through downtown but across the city and region. That may take decades more.

But as the Beach Flow Way and the new Slow Streets show, it’s possible to advance a decades-long vision in a matter of months.  They, however, are temporary and experimental.  When you start pouring concrete, it’s best to have done the detail work only possible by building on the work of generations past.

Comments

  1. It’s great to see this project underway and within reach of completion next spring. I was always a fan of Montreal’s 2-way cycling lanes and regretted when I was doing the Downtown Transportation Plan (completed and approved in 2003) that 2-ways were ruled out for the downtown. The one-way cycling lanes on Burrard and Hornby Streets never worked, and the first 2-way cycling lane on Hornby Street was thus welcomed by both city engineering staff and the public. Then 2-ways on Dunsmuir in light of the fact that the proposed single way pair on Pender and Dunsmuir Streets wasn’t going to work out either. And now Richards Street! Also traffic signals for cyclists! The retirement of the assistant city engineer (traffic) whom had said that this other Montreal innovation would never “occur on his watch” assisted. It’s interesting that Victoria has also implemented this approach with its ambitious downtown cycling initiatives.

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