January 30, 2019

Council to World — Let’s Change Granville Bridge

I like it wide and central. What will the public say?

Council has unanimously supported directing staff to report on how to change the Granville Bridge, with design recommendations and costs.


See the staff Administrative Report HERE.


 A. THAT Council direct staff to engage stakeholders and the community regarding a design concept for the Granville Bridge which would reallocate the centre lanes for the creation of an accessible path so people can comfortably walk, use wheelchairs, strollers and other devices, and cycle across the bridge, in coordination with the rehabilitation and seismic upgrades, as generally outlined in this report; and

B. THAT Council direct staff to bring forward a recommendation on how to provide an accessible and enjoyable walking, rolling and cycling path for all ages and abilities across the Granville Bridge following the engagement and further technical analysis

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  1. I can see the benefit of having a single, wide pedestrian area, vs two narrower side ones. But the cars still get the best views.

    Can the ped area be on the west side, to be given the best view?

    1. With the centre path elevated, there will be views in both directions. People in vehicles will not have as good a view unless they are in buses, and up higher.

      Which side for the walking path, and the orientation of the benches, are good topics for the public engagement process that will now begin.

      Congratulations to Council. Also, the talks by the first two speakers, Charles and Brent, are well worth listening to.

        1. More for separation and buffering from traffic.

          Putting the path on one or both sides impacts vehicle movements on the ramps; the total costs should be considered, not just one aspect.

          1. Elevated above existing sidewalk & curb lane with PAY parking & bus stops below—- Elevated over ramps back to granville street—- elevator on both sides at bus stops

          2. Bob: Building two elevated paths (one on each side) sufficiently high enough to pass over the ramps, with spans at the four ramps, sounds a lot more expensive than the single structure, which is not as tall, proposed for the centre lanes. How much do you expect the cost premium to be? 3 times? More? Also, think about the grades at the north end. Given the greater change in elevation from the start to the higher ramp, you risk reducing accessibility and making it less comfortable with the steeper slope.

          3. Jeff—- (1) the higher elevated cost premium could be offset by the market driven parking fees below – The cost of a 16 ft elevation should not be 3 times of a 4ft ft elevation— Most of the cost is the new elevated deck regardless of its height (2) The grade spread over one city block would be gentle

          4. My thought was that building two taller decks instead of one shorter deck likely doubles the price, and adding in the four spans at the ramps increases it further. Also, the structure under the deck isn’t the same at the outer edges as it is in the centre. This bridge already has weight restrictions on it for trucks and tour buses.

            Then you need to drop about 5 m in 150m as you head for Drake, which is just over a 3% grade, added to the existing bridge deck grade up from Drake, which is already as steep as we would want it.

  2. A nice test for the new Council. It’s easy to support a pretty rendering. But keeping sustained support for a high profile project is hard, especially when there are inevitable technical and communication hiccups. Continuous defense for the removal of traffic lanes over the self-righteous howls of entitled motorists is also hard. Ignoring the apocalyptic certainties from small business owners – arms folded defiantly on the cover page of The Sun – is harder still.

    Let’s see if this Council can do the right thing when it is hard.

    1. The success of this project will hopefully be assisted by the fact that improvements have occurred on the other two False Creek bridges with out interfering without reducing driving times – in fact decreasing them a bit while accommodating at least the same number of vehicles (not that this should be a criterion). The Granville Street Bridge can hopefully also be transformed into an urban place. However, I’m not certain enough time has been allocated to the process.

  3. Love the sketch, could almost be standing there. How about a food and drink sit down destination at the crest of the span? open air in the summer, enclosed in the winter, could be very popular.

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