Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Archive for August 13th, 2016

Arbutus Greenway Conversations continued

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HAPPY

The stencilled graffito has appeared on the Greenway at 29th Avenue at the north end of Quilchena Park

A man using one of those small wheeled Brompton style bicycles stopped, and got off his bike to lift the front wheel over the lip of the bitmac. He started the conversation and told us “A lot of people opposed the use of blacktop.”

“A lot of people?” I asked

“Well, five.”

He was unwilling to take his bike onto the gravel, and felt that the opposition was overstated. He doubted that there was much danger from the runoff from blacktop and concluded

“I know that there are some people opposed to this because they want to extend their gardens.”

Crushed rock surface

The crushed rock use starts south of 33rd and continues up the hill towards 37th. The top surface is loose: in some places very loose indeed.

Unrolled

This kind of loose surface is not acceptable – especially for bicycles.

I have come off my bike on loose gravel, and it was not a pleasant experience. There are some significant drop offs on the west side of the right of way here.

As we were walking up the hill, a cyclist drew alongside us and continued to ride as we walked. He thought that there had been some loss of character in the greenway, as it used to be kind of wild and rugged. Maybe not everywhere needs to be entirely smooth and safe, he suggested. I have read something similar from Patrick Condon.

“People have gotten quite used to the Arbutus Corridor as kind of a romantic landscape — the kind of unkempt quality of it,” Condon said, adding that “it’s level of decay has become something that people kind of like, that they’ve gotten used to.”

He said the path (“A little wide to be called a bike path and way too wide to be called a pedestrian path”) makes some sense from an engineering perspective. It would have been easy to plan and cheap to install — ideal for a temporary path, Condon said. Meanwhile, its foundation of crushed stone would offer drainage and stability.

“I think from a political perspective, they maybe today wish they had not acted so quick,” he said.

 

He might even be right in some places but the area between the two Boulevards in Kerrisdale is definitely not one of them.

Between the Boulevards

There is no reason at all why this could not be blacktopped. On each side is a road and a parking lot. In fact between the faces of the buildings this is the only bit not paved!

Towards 41st

and from Christopher Porter’s twitterScreen Shot 2016-08-14 at 10.35.10 AM

 

Postscript August 22

The section up from 33rd to 37th has now got a finer, better rolled surface.

Bikes and strollers

None of the people in this group seemed to have any problem with the rolled gravel surface, though one lady wearing open sandals was none too pleased. You will note that the single wheeled stroller to the right of the group seemed able to cope with the coarser base on the outside of the rolled section.

Written by Stephen Rees

August 13, 2016 at 3:19 pm

Posted in Arbutus Greenway