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

Archive for the ‘Arbutus Greenway’ Category

Arbutus Corridor Official Development Plan Amendments

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The image and text below is taken from the latest Arbutus Greenway Newsletter from the City. I would expect that if you are deeply concerned about the Greenway that you would already have signed up for, but I suspect there might be a wider audience who will find this information of interest.

The Greenway currently ends at Fir St. The former CP right of way ran beyond this point northwards to West 1st Avenue where it was joined by the line from Terminal Avenue (that became The Olympic Line) and then went over False Creek on a trestle. The Olympic Line terminated at Granville Island and the land between the station and West 2nd Avenue was used to build a Starbucks. If the proposed amendment goes forward non-transportation use of this land would be allowed, and the potential to re-establish a through route following the former Interurban line could be lost.

POSTSCRIPT

I have received that following information from the City

“The intention is to connect the former Olympic Line with the Arbutus line, and the Citywide streetcar network plan is considering routing options to do that. We are not using the Option Lands due to engineering and safety constraints.”

SECOND POSTSCRIPT August 31

Loonie deal: City of Vancouver may resell portions of Arbutus corridor for $1

In the Georgia Straight

“In the purchase agreement between the city and CPR, Article 11 stipulates that if these properties, which have a total combined area of 0.62 hectare, are removed from Arbutus Corridor Official Development Plan, CPR will have the option to buy back the lands for $1.”

Arbutus map

In line with the Arbutus Greenway Design Vision and the Arbutus Greenway purchase agreement we have determined that the area between West 1st Ave and West 5th Ave is not required for future greenway purposes. Therefore, the City is proposing to:

Amending these bylaws will not change the current zoning of the properties.

The proposed changes are supported by the Arbutus Greenway Design Vision which has highlighted a number of safe and accessible alternatives for the proposed greenway extension routes to False Creek and Granville Island.

To learn more about the amendments please visit our website here. You can also read the July 24, 2018 Policy Report.

 

Share Your Thoughts with Council on the Arbutus Corridor ODP

Vancouver City Council will hold a Public Hearing on the Arbutus Corridor ODP Amendment on:

  • Date: Wednesday, September 5, 2018
  • Time: 6:00 pm
  • Place: Council Chamber, Third Floor, City Hall

There are two ways you can participate:

 

Written by Stephen Rees

August 23, 2018 at 4:35 pm

Arbutus Greenway

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The greenway is really showing how well the plan is working now. The start of sunny weather and car free days in Vancouver is bringing people outside. We walked from King Edward Ave to Granville Island

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13th Avenue

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10th Avenue

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6th between Cypress & Burrard

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6th between Cypress & Burrard

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5th at Fir

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5th at Fir

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5th at Fir

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5th at Fir

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5th at Fir

All these photos were taken on my iPhone 6 and are as shot, no post processing at all.

Written by Stephen Rees

June 16, 2018 at 2:50 pm

Consultations on the BLine for 41st and the Greenway

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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!

Screen Shot 2018-04-20 at 10.00.32 AM

  • 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 at https://www.translink.ca/bline.
  • Vancouver has a “proposed design concept” for the Arbutus Greenway 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.

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

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

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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