It’s all out in public now:

Updated Interim Design: Room to Move- Beach Avenue

Work starts soon on new features along Beach Avenue to improve access for people walking, taking transit and driving while maintaining the two-way protected bike path and increased walking space.

  • Improved pedestrian crossings at key locations
  • Eastbound travel restored for vehicles and transit between Denman St and Jervis St. following completion of other project elements
  • Replacing traffic cones with sturdier and harder-to-move concrete barriers
  • Working with the Park Board to provide accessible parking in the waterfront parking lot near Bute St
  • Retention of the two-way protected bike path

Construction starts in December.

Notice the difference between the City and the Park Board.  No theatrics.  Interim but satisfactory.  Another step forward.

Jeff Leigh went to take a look:

Very happy to see the confirmation that it will remain to Park Lane, with one way westbound vehicles, so the rat running through Park Drive from the causeway will not dump onto Beach.

Inspected the site work today, and the widths look reasonable.  Not always as wide as it is now, but not cramped down – except at some crossings, where the median islands (safer crossings for those walking) mean potential pinch points for people cycle.  We will watch that one as they proceed.

 

Comments

  1. The three additional “improved crossings” are “impressive”. For years I have tried to get the city to install another pedestrian crossing at Broughton because they do drop the sidewalk there on both sides, indicating a crossing. But nothing, no road markers, no signage and so far I have been ignored.

    I am curious to see what they will put there.

    1. There are 10 crossings indicated on the map and not all of the improvements will necessarily be included at all of them. The announcement from the City says

      Improved pedestrian crossings at key locations, which may include:

      Painting crosswalks to better prioritize pedestrians crossing the street
      Adding median islands to shorten the crossing distance for people walking
      Incorporating accessible design features like tactile walking surface indicators, level bus boarding islands, and modified traffic signals

      The islands can be seen today with survey markings and paint at several locations along Beach. Crews were busy this afternoon.

      1. Having more and better pedestrian crossings is really good. I like how they’ve added more to this design. I get the sense that instead of waiting until they had the entire thing designed and then working on it, they got part of it done (maybe the easier part) and are doing that for now.
        What I see left to do is in the future the #23 bus going east of Jervis on Beach again. It could be that the intersection at Jervis would need to be redesigned in a more drastic way for that to happen.

        Another spot needing work is the pedestrian crossing at the walking-only path where Stanley Park and Vancouver meet. (Between Park Lane and Chilco.) There is already zebra crossing marks there. The problem is poor visibility because just west of there there is a curve and a hill. The curve means that when walking across you can’t see anyone coming from the west (and are surprised when they suddenly appear.) When biking (or driving in the past) going east you can’t see someone wanting to cross ahead. When biking westward there’s an incentive to not lose momentum by slowing for someone crossing there. The spot needs a major reworking.

      2. The City is consciously using a rapid deployment model for these temporary and interim improvements, and continually circling back to improve the installations based on feedback. There is a CoV survey open now on how the diversions are working.

        The final design will be informed by the West End Beaches access plan, for which public consultation starts in 2021. This interim design is designed to see us through that period. I and many other people cycling along here would like to see Beach improved to the Granville Bridge (there is a section that doesn’t even have a local street bikeway designation), and the protected lanes extended up Pacific from Jervis to Thurlow, for those wanting to travel over the Burrard St. Bridge.

        I suspect the issue for allowing eastbound vehicle traffic along Beach east of Jervis has to do with the parked cars more than the intersection at Jervis.

        There are a few issues impacting that crossing at the Park Board office at the edge of Stanley Park.

        1) The continuation of one way vehicle traffic westbound will mean that improvements can be made to the cones, with more permanent barriers. That will help address the issue of some people cycling having returned to the former cycle path that meets the sidewalk at that crossing. We had people cycling, in two directions, crossing with people walking, in two directions, at the same location as the crosswalk. It led to confusion, very understandably.

        2) The path from that crosswalk to Ceperley Playground is scheduled to be improved. It was identified in the 2012 Stanley Park Cycling Plan, but it has now made it to the stage of project drawings and a tender by the PB. The intent is to separate the walking and cycling paths along that stretch, down towards the playground and tunnel. Approaching the crosswalk, there were design proposals to bring the eastbound walking path out to Beach Ave just west of the planted bed, instead of just east, thus improving sight lines from the rise you mention, and reducing confusion at the crosswalk. That component is likely to be delayed until the West End Beaches access study is completed, because it isn’t clear if the cycle path along that section of Beach will remain on the water side of the sidewalk, or flip to be next to the roadway, or use the roadway (as it is on an interim basis)

        Lots of moving pieces. And two separate jurisdictions, as that crossing is CoV responsibility on one side, and Park Board responsibility on the other.

      3. I saw them redo some of the corners along Haro and quite happy that they are extending the curb out and do install the tactile markers.

        Now all I wish they would be doing is stop dropping the sidewalk for every single drive way just so that cars don’t risk damaging their suspension or rims when they cut across it. The way they are taking sidewalk space away and giving it to cars has been bugging me for years. It seems lately they are a bit less aggressive with angling the sidewalk towards the road but they still can’t help themselves in making it clear that you’re now crossing car territory.

  2. Fascinating to see how a pandemic can create a power grab. An organized group just has to mobilize their supporters to respond to a City of Vancouver survey (was it even promoted to non-residents who use the route) and the illusion of mass support is given.

    1. Power grab is an interesting term. It suggests that you support the notion that there is in fact an All Powerful Bike Lobby ™ .

      The City survey was promoted through the same channels as other City surveys, using news releases, Advisory Committees, posters, the West End Seniors Network, and social media. All of this is documented in the engagement summary that the City published. You can read it here:

      https://shapeyourcity.ca/making-streets-for-people?_ga=2.100920321.164967647.1607105984-964119521.1582611319

      Our volunteer group of supporters for improved cycling infrastructure held an event back in August, on Beach near Jervis. We had a tent, and a socially distanced team that had laminated QR codes so that people cycling or walking along the path could scan the code, and register their support for keeping the lanes. We had a lot of respondents, and not just from those cycling. We analyzed postal codes to see where they were from. Yes, there were many from outside the City. What they had in common is that they had come to use the path, either walking or cycling. We provided anonymized data to the City (postal code, no email addresses) so that the City could have another dataset, separate from their survey.

      If you don’t believe any of the survey information, just look to the installed counters and the numbers that we have seen. This is now the busiest cycling route in the City. People are voting with their pedals. Mass support isn’t a question.

    2. Ah, yes. You don’t like (or believe) the results of public opinion so you try to create distrust in the process.

      1. I certainly don’t think it is reflective of the public at large. Perhaps of the people who sign up for city surveys.

        1. Then you can only blame those who take no interest for having no stake. It’s not for lack of the city trying to engage.

        2. As I wrote, you don’t believe the results. That’s fine.
          It’s pretty easy to be in a bubble and not be aware of how popular good quality cycling infrastructure is among the general populace. I get it.

          Most people around me seemed to be okay with it. It ranged from being unaware of it, to indifference, to enthusiasm. This particular project is so obviously good to everyone that it can’t even be considered controversial in a true sense.
          The only negative things I heard were lamenting that it was only temporary, that it needs improvements, etc. I didn’t hear anyone be against it. (Of course there was an attempt to manufacture controversy but that doesn’t count IMO.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *