Commercial Drive Bike Lane Plan Attracts Mixed Reviews in Vancouver

A cyclist along a downtown Vancouver bike lane. Photo credit: Paul Krueger | Flickr

A cyclist along a downtown Vancouver bike lane. Photo credit: Paul Krueger | Flickr

Will a new bike lane be good for Vancouver’s Commercial Drive? Well, that depends whom you ask.

Late last year, the city proposed a dedicated bike lane along the busy East Vancouver strip, part of a larger plan to add a dozen new bike lanes to the city over the next five years. Behind the push: a dramatic increase in the number of bike trips across Vancouver, which jumped by 16 percent last year alone.

A newly released study, however, suggests that a Commercial Drive bike lane is not without controversy.  84 percent of business and property owners surveyed do not support a separated bike lane on the Drive, according to the Commercial Drive Business Society. And 85 percent are concerned about losing parking on the street to make way for bike access.  Continue reading:
Commercial Drive Bike Lane Plan Attracts Mixed Reviews in Vancouver

Beach chair and umbrella rentals may be coming to Vancouver’s English Bay

Photo credit: Kenny Louie | Wikipedia

Photo credit: Kenny Louie | Wikipedia

On hot, sunny summer days in Vancouver, downtown’s English Bay beach is the place to be. But a bit of shade can be hard to find.

That may be about to change with a new initiative from the Vancouver park board. The board is actively looking for vendors to rent beach chairs and umbrellas to the public at English Bay.

The idea behind the pilot program is to give Vancouver beachgoers access to the same amenities available at beaches around the world.  Currently, sun worshippers need to lug their own chairs to the beach or just spread out in the sand. And the only minimal shade is afforded by the giant washed up logs that line the shore.  Continue reading:
Beach chair and umbrella rentals may be coming to Vancouver’s English Bay

New Citywide Greenway is Coming: Vancouver buys Arbutus Corridor for $55 million

Image from City of Vancouver

Image from City of Vancouver

Cyclists, pedestrians and outdoor lovers of all stripes suddenly have a lot to be excited about in Vancouver.

After years of dispute, the city of Vancouver has finally reached an agreement to buy the Arbutus Corridor rail route from Canadian Pacific Railway. The nine-kilometre-long stretch of track – which hasn’t been used in 15 years – extends all the from False Creek in downtown Vancouver to near the Fraser River on the city’s south side.

With the $55-million acquisition, the city plans to transform the corridor into one giant greenway. Designed for use by cyclists and pedestrians, the new pathway will connect neighbourhoods stretching all the way from False Creek to Marpole, slicing across some of the prettiest (and priciest) parts of the West Side en route.  The city is also considering using a portion of the corridor for public transit, either in the form of a streetcar or light rail.  Continue reading:
New Citywide Greenway is Coming: Vancouver buys Arbutus Corridor for $55 million

New Stanley Park Bike and Pedestrian Lanes Officially Completed

Image from Vancouver Park Board

Image from Vancouver Park Board

Biking and walking across the Lions Gate Bridge just got a whole lot easier.

This week, crews officially finished work on new $7-million cycling and pedestrian lanes along the Stanley Park Causeway, which leads through the park and to the bridge. The lanes give bikers and pedestrians significantly more space to navigate the busy 2.2-kilometre-long causeway.   Continue reading:
New Stanley Park Bike and Pedestrian Lanes Officially Completed

Carpooling 2.0: New App Launches to Let Vancouver Commuters Share Rides

Image sourced from sparerides.com

Image sourced from sparerides.com

Tired of waiting in long lines to catch the 99 B-Line bus along Broadway? A new app may be the answer.

A team of Vancouver entrepreneurs has just debuted a new app that takes carpooling into the 21st century.  Called Spare Rides, the iPhone app (Android coming soon) helps connect drivers commuting to work along the Broadway corridor with passengers looking for a lift.

Riders open the app, indicate their destination and then see drivers in the area and ETAs. After tapping to accept a ride, the car’s model and license plate number is shown.

Just a few days after launch, the app already has 400 users and plenty of satisfied drivers and riders, according to an article in the Vancouver Sun. All logistics – including pickup location and destination – are handled inside the app, and transactions are also processed in app, so no money has to change hands.

Sound a little like Uber? The creators of Spare Rides insist that the app fulfills a fundamentally different role. It’s intended for actual commuters driving to and from their job who are looking to offset the cost of the drive by picking up carpoolers. It’s not intended as a way for drivers to earn an extra profit. Continue reading:
Carpooling 2.0: New App Launches to Let Vancouver Commuters Share Rides

Bike Sharing Coming to Vancouver this Summer (for real, this time)

Photo credit: Paul Krueger | Flickr

Photo credit: Paul Krueger | Flickr

Bike sharing is at long last coming to Vancouver.

By June 15, 1,000 sharable bikes should be ready to roll on city streets, with 500 more to potentially follow by end of summer. And commuters looking for a cheap and convenient two-wheeled way to zip across town will finally have an option.

It’s all part of a five-year, $5 million agreement just signed by the city with CycleHop Corp., which operates bike share programs in more than a dozen cities around the world.  The snazzy new bikes, supplied by bicycle vendor Smoove, come with a seven-gear grip shift, oversized storage basket and front and rear lights.  They’re also equipped with a “control box” on the handlebars, which will enable riders to pay with smart cards or even their phones, in addition to paying at standard terminals. Helmets will also be provided.

So how much do they cost? Continue reading:
Bike Sharing Coming to Vancouver this Summer (for real, this time)

Vancouver’s English Bay Named One of World’s Top 50 Beaches

Photo credit: Kenny Louie | Wikipedia

Photo credit: Kenny Louie | Wikipedia

In the middle of a rainy February, English Bay may not be one of Vancouver’s biggest attractions. In fact, this time of year, you’re likely to find more seagulls than sun worshippers hanging out on the beach.

But that hasn’t stopped the strip of sand from earning a spot on a new list of the 50 best beaches in the world. According to the UK’s The Guardian newspaper, English Bay is the 47th best beach on the planet. It’s sandwiched between Rio de Janeiro’s Arpoador Beach and Durban, South Africa (not bad company!).

Here’s what the writers at The Guardian had to say: “By day, English Beach Bay sands are a mecca for families and volleyball players, but it really comes into its own at dusk. It’s then that Vancouverites stroll in to sit on the huge blanched logs that wash up here and gaze out at the sunsets, glass or guitar in hand. West End’s coffee shops and the iconic Stanley Park are within easy reach, and it’s a prime spot for watching the fireworks on Canada Day (1 July).”  Continue reading:
Vancouver’s English Bay Named One of World’s Top 50 Beaches