The City of Vancouver and TransLink are proposing to conduct upgrades on a congested segment of West 41st Avenue in Kerrisdale as part of the new 41st Avenue B-Line rapid bus project.
This past weekend, municipal planners revealed alterations to West 41st Avenue in the area between West Boulevard and Maple Street.
The most significant proposed change is the removal of the light-controlled intersection and crosswalk at West 41st Avenue and East Boulevard, which will be widened at its north side. Vehicles travelling westbound on West 41st Avenue will only be able to make a right turn into this new one-way portion of East Boulevard.
The crosswalk at West 41st Avenue and East Boulevard will also be realigned to provide a centralized street crossing for the Arbutus Greenway.
A new left-turn lane will be designated on West 41st Avenue for movements into the West Boulevard southbound direction. On the other side of this intersection, a new left-turn lane will also be created on West 41st Avenue for movements into the West Boulevard northbound direction.
“Currently many of the vehicle movements are hard to make and vehicles, including buses, are often trapped in the small queue space between the two boulevards,” reads the rationale for the intersection change.
“As a result, westbound vehicles often block the greenway crossing, making it challenging for people walking and riding bicycles to cross north-south. This is particularly challenging for people using mobility aids like wheelchairs, and for those with visual impairments.”
Between 16 and 20 on-street vehicle parking stalls will be removed to accommodate the changes in this area, with most of the reductions made to fit in the new B-Line bus stops.
Road design changes to other parts of the 41st Avenue B-Line route, running between UBC and SkyTrain’s Joyce-Collingwood Station, will be released over the coming months.
This will include bus-only lanes for at least a portion of the day along certain areas of 41st Avenue, changes to some bus stop locations, introduction of new turning lanes to improve overall traffic flow, queue jumper lane at the intersection of Kingsway and Joyce Street to help buses enter the intersection ahead of other vehicles, and changes to signal timing to increase reliability for buses.
41st Avenue B-Line bus stops will be spaced about one kilometre apart using new articulated buses and all-door boarding. Bus frequencies will be very high, with buses running every three to six minutes in peak times and every eight to 10 minutes during non-peak. It will operate daily from 6 am to 1 am.
Each bus stop will have a special B-Line shelter with digital signage showing arrival times.
Currently, this same future B-Line route is served by bus routes No. 41 and No. 43 Express, and both routes carry over 10 million riders combined annually.
With over 26,500 daily boardings, the No. 41 is the second busiest bus route in Metro Vancouver, just behind the 99 B-Line, but it makes frequent stops and has a slow average speed of 21 km/hr.
The No. 43 has a slightly higher average speed of 24 km/hr, but it runs less frequently, only operates on weekdays with service ending at 9 pm, and sees less ridership of 6,400 boardings daily as a result.
When the 41st Avenue B-Line is launched, No. 43 will be cancelled and No. 41 will use trolley buses and run less frequently between Joyce-Collingwood Station and Crown Street — instead of its current western terminus at UBC.
UBC’s Wesbrook Village will be served by a rerouted No. 49 with more capacity than today’s No. 41.
Overall, the 41st Avenue B-Line will provide 33% more capacity than existing services.
TransLink plans to launch all three new B-Line routes this fall, with the other two routes serving the North Shore and Lougheed Highway between Coquitlam and Maple Ridge.