The Vancouver Park Board is gauging the public’s opinion on its new concept for its proposal to extend a separated bike lane through Kitsilano Beach Park.
The proposed route for the bi-directional bike lane extension appears to address the previous neighbourhood and park user concerns over the impact to green space in the previous controversial concept stalled in 2018. It abandons the previous concept of meandering through open grassy areas within the southern sections of the park.
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From the western end of the park at Balsam Street, the existing Seaside Greenway on the street would transition to the existing multi-use pathway running west-east over two blocks, parallel to Cornwall Avenue.
A new pedestrian sidewalk would be built along the length of Cornwall Avenue to provide a replacement east-west pedestrian pathway on the north side of the street. Currently, there is no sidewalk next to the curb, and pedestrians depend on the multi-use pathway.
At Yew Street, the bike lane on the existing multi-use pathway would then transition to a separated route running south-north, achieved by widening the existing parallel pathway from the foot of Yew Street to the beach.
Just before The Boathouse Restaurant building, the bike lane transitions west-east by sharing the existing service lane for delivery vehicles. This brings the bike lane to Arbutus Street, where it takes a turn north and travels along a separated route on the west side of the street, and effectively establishes a seamless connection for the Seaside Greenway. It follows the existing temporary on-road bike lane on Arbutus Street starting at Creeman Avenue, but the existing concrete barriers would be replaced with low curbing.
Arbutus Street between Creeman Avenue to the south and McNicoll Avenue to the north would remain open to two-way traffic, with curbside street parking on the east side of the street. This two-way “courtesy” street, as opposed to a one-way configuration, addresses the need for safe access in the area.
In May 2021, the park board installed a temporary east-west separated bike lane along the northern edge of the parking lot next to the tennis courts. With the use of the service lane next to the restaurant, the approximate 50 vehicle parking stalls currently affected by the temporary bike lane would return to their original use as parking.
The park board performed public consultation last year before establishing the new route and design, which are now up for discussion.
An online survey on the proposed route is now open until March 6, 2022. Park board commissioners are expected to make a decision in April 2022.