VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – One of the jewels of Vancouver is just about ready for action. The City of Vancouver says the improvements to the False Creek bike lane are almost finished for the season.
There’s no doubt the route is very popular, says the city’s Lon LaClaire.
“(Especially) when the days get nice. So it really restricts the amount of time we can disrupt the seawall. So we’ve been working on it through the winter.”
That work has been between the Cambie and Burrard Bridges, including widening certain areas and separating cyclists from pedestrians.
“Before we can separate it. In those sections we had very narrow pieces that you couldn’t put a line in and expect people to stay separate, they were kind of forced to mix.”
“Some sections it’s pretty straight forward, we just need to paint a line or put in a barrier to separate them and put a sign that says ‘walk here, bike here.’ In some sections it’s too narrow so we need to widen the path.”
The city has also eliminated portions deemed too uneven for those on wheels.
“Some sections that meant changing the surface because that meant too bumpy.”
Construction will ramp up again next fall with a goal of final completion by next spring.
“We are going to temporarily pave it with some ashpalt in the sections that we have disturbed it but we’re not complete yet. We have trees to plant and a few other things to do. But we’ll re-start again in the fall after the rain comes back.”
Cycling group welcomes upgrades
The improvements are music to the ears of a local cycling advocate group.
Erin O’Melin with HUB says cyclists feel safer separated from pedestrians.
“Separation of people walking and biking is very helpful in terms of keeping people safer and reducing collisions. It is a shared facility and I do think there is an onus on the person who is going faster to yield.”
She also expects the all-ages route will encourage more people to cycle.
“Kids all the way up to seniors will feel much more comfortable trying this out so it’s a low-barrier way for people to get on their bicycles.”