Let’s make the Beach Avenue Bikeway (connecting Stanley Park to False Creek North) permanent.

This incredibly popular and scenic route provides a safe, direct and flat connection between Hornby Street and Stanley Park for people of all ages and abilities, for recreation and commuting – all day, every day. It is a great use of limited open public space in one of Vancouver’s most popular and densely-populated neighbourhoods.

The Beach Avenue Bikeway will also relieve pressure on the very busy seawall route when bikes are allowed back on it post-COVID distancing measures.

Sign here if you agree and HUB Cycling will keep you updated on the future of this valuable cycling bikeway.

Drop by a HUB Cycling tent this Saturday, August 8 and Sunday, Aug 9 between 9 am and 3 pm on Beach Avenue at Broughton Street to sign your support.

Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing this, I wonder why it wasn’t in HUB’s August Bike Bulletin that I received by email yesterday or on their Facebook page.

    1. Because City permits were only issued yesterday. Stay tuned. Promotion underway.

      Stop by and say hello this weekend!

  2. Lovely if you live on Beach; rotten if you live on Nelson. Big uptick in traffic, particularly trucks. We have lived here for 34 years and this is easily the worst we’ve experienced.

    1. There is also a two year project to replace the water main and then rebuild the street on Haro, parallel to you. That work will run through to 2021.

      1. Yeah, I don’t think the big delivery trucks would normally be using Haro. Haro is not even a through road between Denman and Thurlow. Does anyone know where the Beach traffic is Getting diverted to? Where are those vehicles driving instead?

        1. Remember that traffic is not a fixed unchangeable thing. Much of it is induced by the built environment. Someone wants to go somewhere and they look around at the available options. What options there are determines the choices they make.
          What I’m saying is that some of the previous trips are likely now done by bike. Some are now done with a Zoom call. Some aren’t done at all.

        2. Where is the traffic going?

          Vehicles coming from Georgia trying to reach the Burrard Bridge are now likely using Thurlow instead of Denman.

          Those that do travel south on Denman will be directed east on Davie. Some may take Nelson, but if they want to get further east, the real lesson is to not come down Denman, but go from Georgia down Thurlow. Denman becomes more of a local street, which is what the width of it suggests it should be.

          Westbound traffic on Pacific and Beach hasn’t been impacted much. There is a narrowing of the lanes at Denman, but that just shifts the point at which the vehicle lanes go from 2 to 1 a little further east, it doesn’t reduce through capacity.

          West of Denman, I presume that the eastbound vehicle traffic is coming straight out to Denman.

          1. Thanks Jeff, that makes sense. Maybe this is why it seems Denman hasn’t quite returned to the level of frenetic insanity it was pre-covid. People still seems to believe that when a light turns red it means, “just the next couple vehicles in line get to continue through the intersection”, but we’re not seeing cars and trucks lined up straddling the crosswalks half-way through the intersections at Haro and Barclay like we used to.

  3. Not good for the seniors who can’t catch the bus on Beach Ave and have to walk blocks ( some uphill streets) to get to catch a bus on Davie Street which is 4 long blocks from Beach Ave,

    1. That would be a good point to raise at a public consultation on making the bikeway permanent.

      One option to consider is that Beach is wide enough in many places for a protected bikeway, westbound vehicle traffic, eastbound vehicle traffic, and a lane of parking. Pick any three of the four. If having an eastbound bus on Beach is more beneficial than parking on the non-water side of Beach, then that could be a reasonable trade off.

  4. Wondering why the beautiful, wide, separate bike path all along Sunset Beach to Stanley Park is suddenly no good. Is the message that if a safe, separated bike path is built, HUB will then want two parallel bike routes??

    1. Different routes for different purposes. The sea wall path is most suited for leisure rides, as it is slower and more relaxed. The Beach Ave route is a transportation route, for faster riders, or those just wanting to get somewhere, Both need to be safe, all the sport riders heading to Stanley Park would likely use Beach, as an example. When people say that some ride too quickly on the seawall, they are making the case for a parallel alternate route.

      This is exactly analogous to the South False Creek seaside route. The way congestion is managed on the sea wall is via the Seaside Bypass, along Charleston and 1st. Congestion is being improved on the path by Science World with new lanes on Quebec. It is a proven technique to manage higher volumes of users and make it safer for all.

      Some of the people excited about a potential route along Beach Ave earlier today were food delivery workers connecting to Denman,; no reason to force them onto a seawall recreational route.

      If you think that he seawall route is wide and safe then you haven’t risen from Hornby to Thurlow. Or in front of the restaurant at Denman. Or alongside the sidewalk west from Denman. Check the current numbers for usage along Beach. Now we have data. Counts have been exceeding the Burrard Bridge bike lanes in volume of people cycling. Those numbers just don’t fit on the current seawall path. Would you prefer that more of the park be paved for a wider path, or should we divide the volume?

    2. Sorry for the typos.

      “ Is the message that if a safe, separated bike path is built, HUB will then want two parallel bike routes?”

      David, you really should read the petition before commenting. Not then. Now. And the numbers support it.

      You have commented yourself that you prefer the waterfront path for a leisure ride. All people should have the option of either route. We support your choice. And ask that you support the choices of others.

      1. I appreciate the explanation as it was an honest question. Having heard from people who live in the area, I know there are other issues about the need to have Beach Ave work for driving in both directions. It’s a road I only use when I visit English Bay, but when I bike there, I find the seawall route very nice and in my experience, never too crowded for faster riders to pass by, but I admit I my experience is more limited than others who may use it daily. I wonder if there is any video to support the notion that it is too crowded to use as a transportation route.

        Also, I did read the petition and it didn’t answer my question. It says that the road will relieve pressure on “the very busy seawall route”, but as I say, I really only see it very busy on summer weekends when there are many tourists. Here is a Youtube video of Sunset Beach bike route in 2018 on a beautiful sunny day. https://youtu.be/1nS6WmAXQjU?t=872

        It sure doesn’t look busy in this video, so if not then, when is it so busy? I realize my experience is anecdotal, but it would help if you had some hard evidence to counter what many see as a perfectly adequate bike route which exists right now.

        And here’s another video taken in August, but back in 2013. It looks busier, but it doesn’t look in any way too busy to bike. https://youtu.be/e-_Et5cyqTY?t=124

        Clearly HUBs view is that you want two parallel bike paths right beside each other so that there is effectively a fast and slow route. I guess it’s a matter of opinion as to whether a temporary emergency measure should be made permanent so that there can be two bike options along the same route. To be clear, if the existing one did not exist, I would fully support building it. I would even suggest that maybe it could be widened to make it even more spacious. I’m less convinced that a whole road lane needs to be added to an existing route which is right there.

      2. So have driving in both directions. Trade it off for the parking. That would be a good discussion point in the public consultations.

        The bikeway along Beach also needs to connect up to Thurlow and Pacific, where the current westbound bike lanes end (unidirectional, each side of Pacific). That is part of the design challenge. If people coming off the bridge cycle down Thurlow to Beach, there isn’t a safe path down to the seawall path. And people see cycling up the hill on Thurlow as an obstacle. The few people claiming that the hill to Prospect Point is insurmountable would well understand that.

        There is lots of data from the last few months on usage along Beach. The numbers are way up for active transportation. Video from 2013 or even a few years back won’t be particularly relevant. But the hard data generated as part of this trial will certainly inform the discussion. We heard from different user groups this past weekend. The food delivery workers coming from restaurants on Denman are often travelling quickly. They benefit from the bikeway on Beach. Those just wanting to get to Stanley Park benefit. We could push all those people onto the seaside path, but it would need to be significantly widened, even leaving aside the choke points at the restaurants, and that would be expensive, and come at the cost of park green space.

        When you refer to the existing seawall bike route as perfectly adequate, you must not be referring to the part between Hornby and the Burrard Bridge, where people squeeze path the Beach Ave Bar and Grill. Or the section from Bidwell to Park Lane, where the sidewalk is next to the vehicle lanes, and the bike way is on the park side of the sidewalk. The two paths are at the same elevation, which means that people often step into the other path inadvertently. More physical separation would improve safety for people walking and people cycling. How about the section in front of the Cactus Club restaurant at Denman? I have never heard anyone refer to that section of the bike path as perfectly adequate. The language is usually much more colourful. How about the section from Denman to Davie, where people coming from the beach step right into the bike lane?

        City Council has given direction to Engineering staff to shift more road space to other uses, up to 11%. Staff are identifying locations. We benefit from long standing and clearly stated City policy directions on wanting to further shift mode share to active and sustainable modes. We have data on how much effect we can get along Beach Ave by doing just that. I guess the question is, if not here, then where? People who stopped to sign the petition often asked incredulously, “But they would never take this out, would they?” This isn’t so much HUB pushing for a new bikeway just because we like bikeways. This is HUB responding to residents of, and visitors to Vancouver, who can’t imagine not doing this. We are just channeling their clearly expressed views.

      3. David posted: “Clearly (your) view is that you want two parallel bike paths right beside each other so that there is effectively a fast and slow route. I guess it’s a matter of opinion as to whether a temporary emergency measure should be made permanent so that there can be two bike options along the same route. ”

        Well, given the success of it, you could call it a temporary emergency measure. I guess if nobody ever used it, it could be a temporary emergency measure. But now you could call it one of the busiest bikeways in the City.

        As to two parallel paths, the situation is different along the route.

        Near the Aquatic Centre and at Sunset Beach, the routes are not right beside each other. It is two blocks to Pacific at Thurlow.

        From Thurlow to Bidwell, one route is in the park, and the other is on the roadway. Different purposes, as already described.

        From Bidwell to Park Lane, the official seaside bike route is right next to the road, but separated by a narrow sidewalk. A redesign would likely see a wider sidewalk on the park side, and a wider protected bikeway next to the roadway. There wouldn’t likely be two routes for all of this section, as the two routes are immediately adjacent.

    1. More than will use the recreational path along the water the same months. Transportation vs leisure. The latter varies more with ambient temperature.

    2. How many cars are driving on Broadway at 2 in the morning? And yet, 8 lanes of traffic that sit idle for most of the day.

      I am sure you will question this waste of public space next.

      1. Obviously many amenities are not used 24/7, but Broadway is used 7 days a week for many hours all year long. That’s considerably different than how this proposed 2nd bike lane along Beach Ave would be used.

        1. Well, since it’s about a lane and a half wide, or so, we can more readily compare it to any typical residential street in the city. Certainly the bike lane will be used at least as much as most of those. So, obviously, we should never have built all those residential streets.

          When will the bike lane naysayers tire of always being wrong?

          1. It’s a little tiresome that you can only respond with these facetious comments. You surely know full well why there are residential streets and how they are used.

          2. It is not a given that residential streets are required in front of each and every single family residence in the city. In fact, there are, in effect, two streets (lane) serving most every house. Overkill? You bet. Heavily used? Not at all. Would more bikes ride Beach than motor vehicles on most all these streets? Of course.

            If you didn’t come out swinging against every proposal for improved cycling facilities for the fastest growing mode of transportation in the city I wouldn’t have to spend so much time challenging your comments.

            Yes, it is tiresome.

        2. “but Broadway is used 7 days a week for many hours all year long. ”

          Sure, but it’s overbuilt. We should take the average and design for that. Instead people like you want to build for rush hour capacity, regardless if most of the space is not used for a large portion of the day.

          If we take the weekly per hour average of vehicles on Broadway we could probably cut the vehicle space in half. You’d be okay with that, right? We don’t want to take space away from pedestrians and patios after all.

          1. Or, cancel the grossly expensive subway and use the overbuilt Broadway for streetcars which will serve so many people at far lower cost and then use those savings to build more streetcars on other routes so as to take the pressure off Broadway. The remaining lanes should be for cars and bikes should go on the very lovely residential roads which run parallel. In fact, 10th is a bike route, so what’s the problem?

          2. “so what’s the problem?”

            That the car lobby does not want to share the road with anything that isn’t a car. Much less an LRT. I was always a proponent to build an LRT network along Broadway to UBC and build it out from there. But considering how they killed LRT in Surrey for the robo trains I doubt we’ll ever see any kind of sane mass transit in the lower mainland.

          3. David posted “10th is a bike route, so what’s the problem?”

            The problem is that it would be a challenge to move all those businesses up to 10th, where you propose to relegate the bikes to.

            Complete streets accommodate all modes.

          4. The idea that bikes should not be on Broadway but instead be on 10th suggests that people only bike for commuting through the area. This isn’t true. People bike to shop on Broadway. Broadway is their destination. Currently it’s difficult if using 8th or 10th if there is more than one store that they’re planning to stop at.
            Broadway is super wide with lots of room to become a complete street. Some of the people driving now will be riding the subway and cycling. This means less motor traffic.

          5. True about biking to shop on Broadway. I do that myself in Kits. At the same time, major arteries like that seem to me to be better suited for transit with bikes using the myriad parallel streets right near. There is a bike lane all along 10th and 8th as well.

            As far as Ron’s assertion that I “come out swinging against every proposal”, this is patently false, but speaks of your binary view of these issues. Anyone who asks questions about say, Beach Ave, is to you, “coming out swinging against”. I have supported many existing bike routes, but I don’t need to make that point here, so you can just assume away. It seems to me that I’m the one who is advocating for the Stanley Park seawall to be opened up to bikes. Are you? I haven’t seen you do that. Why? Are you against biking on the seawall??

          6. When Covid is under control and distancing is not so important I’ll be very happy to see the seawall open to bikes again. But while I suspect a slight drop in peak Covid cycling numbers, there will remain a significant and permanent bump up in cycling that will necessitate increased capacity.

            Your comment that Broadway is better for transit and cyclists should suffer the inconvenience of not being able to ride to where they shop or do other business – be pushed to parallel roads that have no shopping/bars/restaurants/businesses/doctors/dentists etc – speaks volumes. That they have steep hills to deal with to connect is of no concern to you. It betrays an attitude that bicycles are a toy, not a means of transportation. If I suggested that motorists should be the ones detoured to the parallel roads you’d probably think that’s absurd. But why? Imagine how pleasant Broadway would be with only transit, bicycles, wide sidewalks, more trees, fountains, patios, shoppers and strollers…

  5. Dale Bracewell (CoV Transportation Planning) just posted that the numbers on Beach Ave for total one day trips peaked on July 5th (not sure how current that is, they may not have August yet in those figures).

    https://twitter.com/Dale_Bracewell/status/1292942691253121025

    The one day total along the Beach Ave Bikeway was 12, 700 trips. Think about that for a moment.

    Now how does it compare to the one day peaks we have seen on other popular cycling routes (from CoV data, various dates)

    Burrard Bridge: 8,676
    Point Grey Rd at Stephens: 5,852
    Seawall at 2nd Beach pool: 8,253
    Seawall at David Lam Park: 7,785
    Seawall at Science World: 9,428

    1. And how does the CoV deal with high volumes on these popular routes? By creating parallel routes, with choices for direct connections and leisure riders.

      Burrard Bridge: these numbers show why there is demand for the Granville Connector.
      Seawall at 2nd Beach Pool: the Park Board have created a temporary protected lane on Park Drive and started a process to talk about longer term improvements on Park Drive
      Seawall at David Lam Park: The Drake St bikeway will provide an alternate route, connecting to the painted lanes on Pacific, and to Marinaside
      Science World: new protected lanes being built down Quebec St.

    2. It’s great that a lot of people are using that, but how many are using the existing bike route right now? Is anyone using it? If not, why not? What happens if all those cyclists use the existing route instead? Too crowded? So what about one lane on Beach instead of two, so that bikes can go in one direction on the existing and the other on the road? Or perhaps the existing can be widened. Maybe we find that volumes are way down once the pandemic is over and schools are open again and so we review the options then, not during this unusual time. Maybe it’s a thing which is only done in the summer? These are all things I would want to consider before making two lanes on

      1. Nobody is suggesting we make final decisions now.

        Much of the Beach Bike Lane is one lane. One good, wide-two way lane is probably enough. Adding a little additional width for passing where appropriate makes sense. It needn’t remove more than one lane from MVs. I’d like to see it at sidewalk level if (when?) it becomes permanent.

        I also really like the idea of working with Beach/Pacific instead of just Beach. Once the seawall is open again I think a stronger case can be made for commute/business/travel cycling with a better connection to Burrard Bridge leaving the lower route for recreational. It’s a bit better connection into the core, eliminating a steep climb and ties in with new bike lanes going in around Vancouver House and where the loop ramps will be removed from the Granville Bridge.

      2. The entire point of this discussion is to learn about the potential. We have real data. That can and should inform the upcoming discussions about reallocation of road space.

        City Councillors have asked their staff to find more locations to repurpose road space, to do more. Park Board commissioners have asked their staff to report later this year on options for reducing vehicle traffic in Stanley Park. Both of these are well aligned with longstanding City policy directions on encouraging mode shift. They aren’t revolutionary concepts.

        We know that there is a longstanding gap in the cycling network from Pacific at Thurlow, through to the west end and to Stanley Park. We know that there is too much vehicle traffic along Beach near the Aquatic Centre. We know that the seawall bike and walking path has significant capacity and safety issues where the path narrows at choke points such as the restaurant under the Burrard Bridge, the restaurant at the foot of Denman, and others. We have an upcoming West End Beaches transportation study (joint with PB and CoV) that will look at improving access to the beaches.

        And for all of that, we now have data. And the public has had a chance to see what is possible, just with a temporary installation. Looking forward to when longer term initiatives are under discussion. And when that happens, the cry of “nobody will use it” will ring pretty hollow.

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