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Archive for the ‘Arbutus Greenway’ Category

Consultations on now

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Thanks to Rick Jelfs of Transport Action BC for the heads up on two sets of consultations going on at present. This illustration comes from the City of Vancouver’s PDF of the Arbutus Greenway in its expected final form with a streetcar!

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  • TransLink is asking for public input on four new B-Line routes – 41st Ave (UBC – Joyce Stn);  Fraser Hwy (Surrey Central – Langley); Lougheed Hwy (Coquitlam Central – Maple Ridge); Marine Drive (Dundarave – Phibbs Exchange). The 41st Ave. proposal includes the return of local trolley coach service along 41st Ave. More information, including a schedule of open houses and an on-line survey, at https://www.translink.ca/bline.
  • Vancouver has a “proposed design concept” for the Arbutus Greenway. Again, there are open houses and an on-line survey at http://vancouver.ca/streets-transportation/arbutus-greenway.aspx.

I must admit I was a bit sceptical of the 41st Avenue B-Line until I saw what was actually proposed – which involves a considerable change to the current #41 – which would be cut back to Crown and would use trolleybuses – which is something that I have been pushing whenever anyone would listen for many years.

2149 Training on 41st at Cambie

Trolleybuses aren’t used on the 41 right now, but the wires on 41st are used for training and relocating trolleys. Probably much less now that Oakridge OMC has been sold.

V9486 Hybrid

The current generation of hybrid Novabus, has a final electric drive – but no poles even though 600v is within easy reach.

Xcelsior bendy on 41st at Arbutus

The articulated buses used on the 43 and 49 that will be on the B Line

BYD Battery Bus

The short lived experiment with loaned battery buses from China (BYD). Another trial of different battery buses was recently announced. They will be able to charge along the route (100 Marine Drive) but again not using trolleypoles.  All those pictures were taken by me along West 41st Avenue.

I am of course also pleased to see a cross North Shore B Line running through both West and North Vancouver. I was involved with the first groundbreaking bus service to cut through the iron curtain that used to separate transit on that side of the water. There is even talk of combining City and District in North Van which at that time was unthinkable! But I digress. Even if you can’t manage the open houses you can still do the surveys.

Written by Stephen Rees

April 20, 2018 at 10:45 am

Weekly Photo Challenge: Favourite Place

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Favourite Place (and yes I have anglicised the spelling) ought to be harder to pick. But “you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone” and while there are many places in Vancouver that I could pick, the loss of our view cones and corridors is one I feel very strongly about. We are blessed with a place of quite extraordinary beauty – a deep inlet (actually a fjord) at the foot of the North Shore mountains. For a long time Vancouver was mostly concerned about cutting down trees and making stuff from them. The old growth forest is almost gone except for one or two areas of park managed to make it look like we imagine it ought to have looked. Stanley Park is actually just one of several such places.

For as long as I have been here, there was a firm policy to protect the view of the North Shore mountains and the inlet from a number of significant places. Now the pressure to allow ever more taller towers across the city means that these views are vanishing. And one such development is right next to where I live. I took this photo with my phone while walking on the Arbutus Greenway at W 37th Avenue. Overlooking Quilchena Park with a spectacular view – and two tall cranes in the process of blocking that view with condos. The developer has recently gone back to the City to ask for permission to add more floors to the part of the development nearest to our six storey building.

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The roof of our building is just below the height of the current tree canopy, so it almost invisible. The new buildings will be up to 72m (263 ft). The developer says that fits the view because it would match the nearest skyline of the North Shore mountains: the snow capped peaks will still peer over the top. The City has yet to rule on this proposal, and I took the photo so I would be able to look back in future at what we will have lost if the developer gets what he wants.

I went back and took a picture with my camera using the zoom lens.

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Written by Stephen Rees

March 21, 2018 at 10:35 am

Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth

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Growth

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The Arbutus Greenway has been covered extensively in this blog. A disused railway line has been converted into a multiple use trail, with different, temporary, uses in several sections. The bikeway and walkway is continuous but in other sections there is a chip trail for runners (and dogs) not that either of them seem to use it very much. Early responses to the use of blacktop for the bike/walk path was that it did not look very green, but a number of areas had been hydroseeded with native species – wildflowers if you prefer – weeds if you are an urban gardener.

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The close-up shows a yellow poppy and some white flowering something or other. The seeded areas had been looking barren for most of the summer: it was too dry and hot for the seeds to germinate. But with the return of the rains (these images were taken in September) this lot seemed to pop up overnight. OK – pardonable exaggeration. But growth nevertheless.

Like I said, all this is temporary pursuant yet more consultations and a more permanent landscaping plan, until, in the fullness of time, trams return.

 

 

Written by Stephen Rees

January 3, 2018 at 4:19 pm

Arbutus Greenway: March update

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I took some photos yesterday between Nanton and 41st. I didn’t get around to putting them on the blog yesterday – but maybe you already follow me on Instagram or Flickr – in which case you need read no further.

Nanton at Maple

A new crossing sign has appeared together with much paint on the road where the Arbutus Greenway crosses Nanton. While the elements used in the sign are standard the combination is not actually shown in the Uniform Manual of Traffic Control Devices. (But I have now seen it also used at the Highway #1 on ramp at Main Street, North Vancouver southbound to the Ironworkers’ Memorial Second Narrows Bridge.)

In general the Greenway street crossings are anything but uniform or standard, and many (not this one) have railway signalling equipment and crossbucks still in place.

One of my Instagram contacts commented

I believe it is telling you it’s okay to stand on your bike while jumping a snow fence. But I could be wrong.

Candidate for preservation?

This house and its delightful surrounding garden seems to me to worthy of consideration for preservation.

The city defines a “character home” as a structure built before 1940 that meets “established criteria for integrity and character of original features”. In addition, character homes are not listed on the Vancouver Heritage Register.

Georgia Straight

New Stairs

New access stairs near 35th Avenue

Broken box

Former signalling gear – used to trigger the crossing bells and wig-wags – are still in place. I am a bit surprised that the metal thieves have not scavenged all the copper from this box.

Written by Stephen Rees

March 31, 2017 at 10:01 am

Posted in Arbutus Greenway

Arbutus Greenway North End

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We walked from Valley to Granville Island today. Since I was on foot there are more photos than the last episode.

Arbutus Greenway North End

A woodchip trail has now been laid parallel to the blacktop between King Ed and 16th.

Arbutus Greenway North End

It would appear that some of the neighbours have needed to adapt a STOP sign to something more needful.

Arbutus Greenway North End

The first bike rental station I have seen on the Greenway itself, but I am still not tempted to use them – they are just too pricey. $7 a day – as long as the none of the individual rides is longer than 30 minutes.

Arbutus Greenway North End

The crossing at 12th seems to be utterly contrary to the City’s stated priorities: cyclists are expected to get off and walk their bike down to Arbutus street and back again.

Arbutus Greenway North End

From 10th to Broadway is the only section that has not yet seen any blacktop.

I have not taken any pictures of the crossing of Broadway since there isn’t one. There is also no signage. One group of cyclists we saw were riding in circles trying to see what it was they were supposed to be doing. The answer of course is to walk to the existing crosswalk at Arbutus Street.

Arbutus Greenway North End

There isn’t any official public art on the Greenway yet but this piece seems worthwhile.

Arbutus Greenway North End

This is the City’s poster on the trail – actually almost at the same point where the photo was taken before it was photoshopped to show the chip trail and “divided” blacktop.

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It was a nice day today

The crossing of Burrard Street is all in place but just not working yet. Even so, compliance seems admirable. Down at the Fir Street playground things seem to fizzle out. Like the southern end there is no signage but at least the right of way between 5th and 4th has been kept clear of parked cars, unlike the following sections.

Arbutus Greenway North End

Written by Stephen Rees

March 25, 2017 at 4:03 pm

Arbutus Greenway 2017

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Sunshine – and everyone (it seemed) was out on the greenway this morning. Though the pictures don’t show that.

Newly installed bench

There are to be benches at regular intervals: this is Maple Crescent around 29th Avenue

End of the line

The Greenway ends in one of those no-places – with no connections, or even signs to indicate onward connection. This is Milton Street at Rand Avenue. Note that the Greenway doesn’t appear on Google maps – even as a disused railway.

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Arbutus Greenway

This is the reverse angle looking back up the Greenway. The dashed lines indicate where the blacktop will be removed and replaced by a “landscaped” divider.

The bike ride is great – but will definitely get better as more separation between pedestrians and cyclists is established. Right now people tend to just keep to the right even where signs and paint on the path indicate otherwise. The biggest issue is the street crossings – especially on the busier streets like 41st Avenue and Marine Drive. The old train signals are still place – and what signage there is suggests that cyclists behave like pedestrians. 41st at the Boulevards has long been a vehicle only type of intersection with corrals and blockages to pedestrian desire lines. Much work is long overdue here – and the Greenway is going to increase that pressure.

But even so it was nice to be out on the bikes again – and enjoying the long sections of gravity assistance!

Written by Stephen Rees

March 19, 2017 at 1:15 pm

Arbutus Greenway: Temp Surface latest

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So since these are screen shots you need arbutus-greenway-temporary-path-oct-2016-open-house-information-displays which is a downloaded pdf from the City. You can also check out their webpage

 

Written by Stephen Rees

October 14, 2016 at 7:18 pm

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