The striping is on the asphalt like a new suit of well-cut clothes: It makes the Richards Bike Lane look smart.  This is the street engineer as designer and tailor.


What’s different about this one over Dunsmiur and Hornby?



Imagine cycling on the Hornby Bike Lane past Robson Square … two rows of trees to one side, a gothic frame for the sidewalk.


Now imagine cycling with trees on both sides.

Voila, Richards.





  1. Three rows of trees – although not with a segregated bike lane – was in fact, the original Arthur Erickson Architects’ design intent for both Howe and Hornby Street sides of Robson Square and the Law Courts. This idea, like many other major elements of the project landscaping (waterfalls and ponds, integrated steps and ramps, large scale planter boxes, flying planters and the landscaped mound at Robson Street) originated with Erickson and various members of his design team. In particular, the multiple rows of trees were inspired by project coordinator Bing Thom’s 1971-2 exposure to large-scale street tree planting in Chinese cities.

  2. Very nice to see.
    I’m a bit confused by one part of this though. It seems like they made the curbs around the trees before digging the tree well. Maybe that’s how it’s done or maybe the trees will be in planters set into these curbs.
    I guess we’ll see. The plan on the city’s website shows trees in the ground though.
    Another thing that the row of trees might do is create a sense of separation for anyone driving who might claim that having a two-way bike on a one-way street is confusing. The trees will make it an off-road path in a way so unrelated to what the rest of the street is doing.
    I think it’s great what’s going on with Richards St. It took a long time to get all the details figured out but is ending up being much better than some other, more quickly done parts of the network. So this means that getting from Water St. to Dunsmuir will be better. Bravo to all who were involved, the designers who worked on the design, the businesses who gave feedback, the public who gave input, the politicians who supported it.

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