The oldest section of Vancouver’s seawall will undergo a multi-million dollar improvement project that will widen the pathways and designate separated spaces between cyclists and pedestrians.
The City of Vancouver is exploring options to upgrade and reconfigure the long span of 1975-built seawall on the south shore of False Creek, stretching from the Burrard Street Bridge all the way to the Cambie Street Bridge. This project was approved by City Council last December as part of a city-wide, five-year bike lane expansion plan.
According to city documents, improvements are needed on the basis that sections that sections of the seawall path are too narrow, with blind corners that can lead to conflicts, and have uneven surfaces. As well, the design of the pathways is inconsistent and can be confusing to navigate.
Preliminary proposals would widen the existing pathway and separate walking and cycling spaces with the use of paint, centre medians, and improved signage and pavement markings. Additionally, the existing stone surface along the pathways will be replaced with smooth asphalt paving.
All paths for cycling and pedestrians will each have a minimum width of three metres, and there will be a priority to position the walking pathway closest to the water.
The plan would also improve the connections between the seawall and the seaside bypass cycling route on Lamey’s Mill Road, Charleson Road, and Commodore Road between the Burrard and Granville bridges.
Currently, the most convoluted section of the South False Creek seawall is the westernmost section between Burrard Bridge and Granville Island, where the seawall path veers away from the water to avoid Fisherman’s Wharf.
This span of the bike and pedestrian paths is bridged by diverting the route onto Creekside Drive, which will see interim improvements as part of the planned slate of upgrades. A permanent solution that brings the pathway next to the water will be completed as part of the future redevelopment of the Fisherman’s Wharf facilities and parking area.
Construction could begin later this year for a completion sometime in 2017, but when complete the False Creek seawall as a whole will still have two remaining rough spans needing improvement.
The span from the Cambie Street Bridge to the Olympic Village hinges on the redevelopment of the lands immediately to the south of the area. And towards the east, the span from Science World to the Plaza of Nations to the north side of the Cambie Street Bridge depends on redevelopments by Concord Pacific and Canadian Metropolitan Properties.