When it comes to seaside biking, cyclists in Vancouver are spoiled silly. You can pick up the 22-kilometre seawall just outside the Convention Centre and circumnavigate almost all of downtown without ever going into traffic.
Cyclists can pedal the seawall along Coal Harbour and around Stanley Park, past English Bay and into False Creek, back out to Olympic Village and Granville Island and all the way to Kitsilano Beach.
But that’s where things get a little tricky. After Kits Beach, the seawall ends and bikes are diverted back into traffic along Point Grey. The official route detours bikes along West 3rd Avenue. But many cyclists skip the bike route altogether and take busy Point Grey Road instead, which has had 51 bike accidents in the last four years. After that stretch, a seaside bike path picks up again along Jericho Beach and continues as far west as Spanish Banks.
Now, however, it looks like city council is on the verge of approving that final missing link for cyclists: a Point Grey bike lane. The $6 million plan, which has attracted both vocal support and opposition, calls for calming traffic and adding a designated local bikeway along seven blocks of Point Grey Road, from Macdonald to Alma Streets.
According to estimates, some 10,000 cars would be diverted to surrounding arterial roads, ensuring cyclists a much safer ride. In addition, separated two-way bike lanes would be added on either side of that critical stretch, specifically, from Balsam to Macdonald Streets and from Alma to Jericho Park. (Check out this great Vancouver Sun article for a list of all the proposed changes.)
For Vancouver cyclists, this may all sound like a dream come true. However, not everyone is happy. Some area residents are concerned that the calming of Point Grey Road could end up diverting traffic to other neighbourhood streets.
Vancouver city council is set to vote next week on the proposal.
Do you like the idea of a bike lane along Point Grey Road? Share your thoughts below.
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