Every year around this time, I notice two things about Vancouver’s landscape.  First, the fresh new growth — what a friend called “virgin green.”  Also known as spring.

And how the city’s urban forest appears so much more lush than I remember, filling in the streets from top to sides with all that virginity.

Question: Is it really more lush than last year?  Answer: Why, yes it is.
Stuff grows fast here, especially the deciduous trees – and the rhododendrons that aspire to outgrow them.

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This looks to be the final piece of the Burrard Bridge upgrade — a masterpiece of engineering design: Complete separation of multiple modes while simultaneously addressing issues of infrastructure, heritage, safety, means prevention and traffic flow.
A few blocks on the south side of Pacific from Burrard to Howe remained unfinished until recently.  Now, as the pigeons quickly discovered, even the grass is planted.

Bridge drivers are still figuring out the new lane flows.  Here, for instance, north-bound at Pacific, there are two right-hand-turn lanes.  But (very Canadian-like), drivers tend to queue in the longer line-up at the curb, not realizing they have a choice.

Which means there is underutilized capacity for even smoother traffic flows once drivers figure out their options.
We haven’t seen any data yet to compare the pre- and post-upgrade traffic flows — but anecdotally, bridge traffic seems to be flowing better. Certainly more safely, and presumably happier.
So where oh where are the ‘mageddon predictors, who maintained that taking away two lanes from the bridge deck for bike and ped crossings could only lead to (all together now) Carmegeddon!

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After buying an abandoned, inacessible railroad, taking out the rails and ties, building a temporary set of paths, and holding 25 outreach events involving over 5,000 participants — it’s time to get a gander at some serious plans.  Read on, indeed, to a 38-page PDF that’s chock full o’delights.
It still amazes me that there is so much within a 5-minute walk or a short bike ride of the Greenway (check out the nifty map on page 2).  And I’m very pleased to see serious thought has gone into connectivity from the Greenway to the bike lanes on the north and the south — and all of them in-between.
It’s not specifically mentioned, but I really do hope that the design will find a way include those celebrated Heritage Blackberries.

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