May 7, 2019

Always-Better Bikeways

While the focus on cycling infrastructure is, as it should be, on expanding the network (#ungapthemap) or on the latest controversy, continual progress is being made on existing routes, typically in conjunction with new development – like here:

This small stretch of the Central Valley Greenway is adjacent to 339 East 1st Avenue on the False Creek Flats, where there is a proposal for a four-building complex, including a small hotel.

There’s another project near completion at the east end of this stretch on the Emily Carr campus, to provide cyclists and greenway users (more electric scooters noticeable now) with a necessary fuel: coffee.

And at the west end: beer.

So Mount Pleasant: bikes, beer, art and industry.

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On October 15, the City of Vancouver will release consultation results and the design for a temporary surface (or surfaces) on the Arbutus Greenway.
      October 15, 10:00 to 2:00
      Kitsilano Neighbourhood House (info boards also to be online)
      2305 w 7th Ave., Vancouver
Meanwhile, the grand design of the final Arbutus Greenway is still awaits the beginning of broad public consultations.
But how broad will they be?  Who will be able to get onto the Greenway, explore it and experience it for themselves, see and feel how they might use it and imagine what it could become? This is what’s at stake in the design of this temporary surface. Inclusion vs. exclusion.  Personally, I vote for inclusion. I’d prefer that we hear from a broad bunch of everyone in forming the final design.
Who will sway the day on the temporary surface design?  The “accessible to all ages and abilities” group?  Or the “bucolic park, blackberry bushes and able-bodied walkers only” group? Or some combination, or middle ground? Or something surprisingly different?
My personal prediction is that, at a minimum, we will see an asphalt pathway the full length (9 km), with possibly a few new (or improved) local access paths here and there, so that people with mobility challenges can get to the Greenway’s temporary surface.  My secondary prediction is perhaps a bit elaborate for a temporary surface design, but I would not be surprised to see some dual pathway areas: one side asphalt, the other “gravel” (apparently a slippery word that lay persons like me use to refer quite a large variety of materials).
I’m guessing that the (surprisingly few) intersections of the Arbutus Greenway with motor-vehicle roadways will remain much the same as they currently are.  And I guess that these will change significantly in the final Arbutus Greenway.
And speaking of final designs, here’s a look at a section of one of Vancouver’s oldest and longest Greenways:  the 25-km Central Valley Greenway (large PDF). There are a few things to note in the design of this section of the CVG.  (See photos).  Location is at North Grandview Hwy and E. 11th Ave.
Separated ped / bike areas, with treed boulevard between them and winding sidewalk around mature planted areas.  Seating area (middle right of frame). Motor vehicle bollard, large rocks (car scofflaw discouragers). Sidewalk ramp for those using mobility aids, like the stroller at mid-frame right (top photo). Lamp posts (or is that a sculpture support for a sheet metal crow?)
(Click image for a larger version)

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