Seaside Greenway: all the paths along the waterfront, from Coal Harbour to Spanish Banks.
One of the best continual waterfront pathways in the world. The result of a century and a half of political commitment and constant addition.
In the 1990s, separated routes were state-of-the-art design as the Seaside enveloped False Creek. Vancouverism at its best. (Examples in the video above.)
Certainly a new standard for active transportation.
David Lam Park Seaside Extension – 1998
Vancouver loved it. A generation of cyclists, runners, walkers was raised on it, of every age and agility.
But the road-like design was not a standard some park board commissioners were comfortable with, reflecting the general anxiety Vancouverites feel when it comes to paving paradise. In Kitsilano Park, they stopped trying.
Nonetheless, Seaside was connecting up. More kilometres opened every year in the nineties, the region was building a network in the 2000s, the Bikeway Network was in full bloom. Add in downtown bike lanes, Burrard Bridge, Point Grey Road – expansion of bikeways throughout the city. Growth was inevitable.
Like any attractive and free transportation option, it began to fill up. But we weren’t anywhere near incoherent congestion. Wheel and feet got along pretty well on Seaside – except in some of the parks. And there was still room for tourists.
Then, March of 2020. Overnight we found out what our very own latent demand was when Park Drive and Beach Avenue became Flow Ways*.
Vancouver immediately experienced the difference, and they liked it.
Best of all, it took the pressure off the seawall. If the Beach Flow Way didn’t exist, those bicycles would be back in places like this:
How could deliberately doing that be defended? It probably can’t.
Basically, there’s no status quo to return to. Now we have to design successfully for the world we are believe we are in.
As the awareness of the future of Seaside is developing, the summer will progress. And it will be just us Vancouverites on Seaside There are no tourists.
By fall, if we’re responsive and there’s a will for more change, we’ll have essentially designed the next stage of Seaside.
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