As always, Ken Ohrn is on top of new developments in the world of Vancouver cycling – the latest on the just-opened Powell Street overpass: another separated bike lane.
More pics here.
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I haven’t been down there at all so correct me if I’m wrong, but is that a two-way bike route on one side of the street that then abruptly ends as soon as the viaduct is finished? Then what happens to all those bikes who are now biking on the wrong side of the street without a bike lane?
I agree that it is isolated and incomplete at the eastern end (Clark Dr.). The key concept being “network”. At the western end, Hawks is a reasonably useful connector to Union/Adanac, one of Vancouver’s busiest routes for people on bikes. Far from perfect, but reasonable. The option also exists to use Alexander, which takes you through light local traffic areas into Gastown, where the Carrall St. greenway could take you south.
As my friend Clark Nikolai says: “I realize that in the future there might be something the length of Powell and onto Wall Street but in the short term, maybe we can ask that there be something to connect to the Mosaic Greenway one block east of Clark Drive at MacLean Drive. A one block section of cycling infrastructure and then a crossing at MacLean. This would connect two cycling routes and be part of completing the network.”
The CoV site lists the project costs at $50m, with the city paying $3.75m of that. Other agencies (the Port, Transport Canada, CP, etc) paid the rest. What the city got (among other things) was a vastly improved separated bike route along that section, but now needs to build the rest of the network out to take full advantage of it. There have already been improvements made by the city at the western end, to connect to Alexander. It makes sense that at the eastern end, cyclists be directed to quiet streets such as Franklin, to get to McLean and Wall/Semlin, helping to complete the network. Building out Powell is likely a longer term project, but small improvements in the mean time will make a big difference. What we don’t want is cyclists carrying on eastward along the north sidewalk of Powell for lack of other options.
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