City of Vancouver to hold open houses on the future of Cornwall Avenue and Point Grey Road


Share the RoadIn just under two weeks, the City of Vancouver will hold three open houses on the future of Cornwall Avenue and Point Grey Road. The City has identified these streets as a target in 2013 for a triple-A (“All Ages and Abilities”) cycling route as part of its Transportation 2040 action plan.

There are a number of good background documents you can read to familiarize yourself on why these streets are being targeted. There’s the city’s presentation last year at West Point Grey Community Centre (pdf), there’s the HUB (formerly the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition) report from October 2012 on riding along the route (pdf), and the UBC report on safety and accessibility on Point Grey Road from 2011 (pdf).

The TL;DR version of these reports is:

  • A large of vehicles use these roads all day
  • The average speed of the top 15% of vehicles using the road exceeds 50 kph all day long yet the speed limit is 30 kph
  • There is high transit volume along these roads, reaching a peak of a bus every 3 minutes during rush hour
  • A large number of cyclists use these roads all day
  • The road passes through the area of the city with the highest bike-to-work population
  • There is a gap in the cycling network between Jericho and the Burrard St Bridge
  • Cornwall is a “high cyclist collision corridor”
  • The area is “uncomfortable” for pedestrians
  • There is a gap in the seawall between Jericho and Kits Beach

The UBC report provides three proposals on what modifications might be made to the route. In particular, one suggests removing parking to provide for a separated bike lane, and another suggests traffic diverters at Alma and Macdonald to reduce traffic to local traffic only. The diversion proposal was previously backed by local residents.

We’ve discussed cycling on these roads a fair bit in the past too. See here, here, here, here, and here.

The open houses are:

  • Tuesday, 29 January 2013, 4-6 pm, Maritime Museum (TK Gallery), 1905 Ogden Ave
  • Thursday, 31 January 2013, 7-9 pm, Queen Mary Elementary School (Gym), 2000 Trimble St
  • Saturday, 2 Feburary 2013, 10am-2pm, Kitsilano Community Centre (Snowy’s Lounge), 2690 Larch St

I suggest you attend one of the open houses and familiarize yourself both with the problems with the road, and the proposed solutions. This change is likely to be a hot-button issue in local politics, but the difference in this case is that instead of a groups of NIMBYs opposing the change, the local residents seem to be on-side right from the get-go.

Last modified: January 22, 2013

13 Responses to " City of Vancouver to hold open houses on the future of Cornwall Avenue and Point Grey Road "

  1. Alex P says:

    Excellent, I’ll be at the 31st one as that’s by my place. I hope this becomes a reality.

  2. 604 Commuter says:

    It is helpful to note that:
    * 30km/h speed limit on Pt Grey Road applies during daytime hours only – it would be interested to see if City issued any tickets to those that were driving at 50km/h on that street after sunset – that would open the city to a liability

    * There is a connection between Kits and Jericho – 3rd Ave bike route

    * tens of thousands of daily commuters from Point Grey Village, Dunbar, UBC, UEL and the Musqueam Lands rely on this route – prohibit cycling on arterial and bus routes

    * STOP NIMBYism – roads are a shared, public resource not for the 1-percenters on bikes and local residents that wish to have a private road

  3. Anthony says:

    Dear anonymous “604 Commuter”: there are so many things wrong with your comment that I can’t let it stand. If you’d bothered to read even just the City of Vancouver backgrounder, you’d find…

    * The 30 km/h speed limit applies all the time. I have no idea where you get the idea that speed limits vary with time of day, but the speed limit was reduced to 30 km/h in 1992.

    * 15% of drivers exceed 50 kph during the daytime, 52 kph during the evening, and 56 kph during the night. According to VPD, however “there is minimal speeding enforcement on the corridor because enforcement is instead prioritized for areas with greater crashes and/or complaints”.

    * The bike “connection” between Kits and Jericho goes along a combination of roads, including 3rd Ave, which are: not direct, hilly, has many intersections, and have an unsignalized crossing at Alma. For many cyclists, particularly novice and young cyclists, this route is neither practical or safe.

    * The average 24 hr motor-vehicle count along Point Grey Road is 13,000, and along Cornwall east of MacDonald, it’s 30,000. There are, of course, other routes available to motorists.

    * Calling cyclists 1%-ers is patently ridiculous. In straight numbers, the UBC report shows that about 10% of all residents in the area commute to work by bike. The 1% reference usually refers to income and then you say that those in Point Grey, Dunbar, UBC, UEL, etc are somehow entitled to use the road. Those areas, of course, have a much higher average income than Kits, and are more likely to be the 1%. Cycling, of course, does not tend to skew to any particular income group.

    I don’t expect everyone to agree to changes on these roads, but if you feel this strongly about it, you owe it to yourself to educate yourself better before spouting off.

    I suggest attending one of the open houses.


  4. 604 Commuter says:

    Anthony – for your reference

    *30km/h playgound zone signs as placed on Pt Grey Road, place the 30km/h speed limit from dawn to dusk, you will find that confirmed at the ICBC Learn to Drive Smart publication (chapter 3, page 31)

    * I encourage you to visit the VPD website and Chief Chu’s pleas to Mayor Robertson for adequate funding that were denied for 3 years in a row. Chief Chu very openly outlines that the VPD will not be able to provide adequate road rules enforcement and in the most recent performance report indeed points out the VPD’s failure on that front. It appears that Mayor Robertson made a concious and repeated decision to deny the VPD adequate resources to improve traffic safety.

    * Interesting how you direct motorized commuters to other, longer routes that result in longer commute times, higher costs and more pollution while you are not willing to take advantage of a deisgnated bike route just 3 blocks away from this arterial route – so much for “sharing the road”.

    * For information on cycling one percenters you might turn to the UBC Transportation website
    where you will find that only 1% of UBC commuters get there by bike. For the most infamous route – Burrard Br – this figure is stuck at 5% since mid 90’s and even the City staff admit that there is no increase in cycling (google the article on increase in cycling accidents on Burrard and Pacific and you will find the slip up, in the past you were able to pull the traffic count data on the COV website but it was removed since it does not fit the talking points)

    Have a safe commute

  5. Stinky says:

    Ah- I thought I heard something moving under the bridge. Must… not… feed.

  6. Interesting developments!
    I like the idea of a solution that makes Point Grey Road easier to navigate, and safer, for both drivers and cyclists. It comes down to the cost/benefit analysis, and I’m highly skeptical.
    I used to make use of Point Grey Road, commuting from downtown, when I lived on 3rd. Actually, part of the reason it felt “safe” was because there was so much traffic. Personally, I could keep pace with most cars between Cypress and Balsam, where the road opened up, and cars could take off. Eventually I realized there are much safer and less stressful routes only 1 block away. This, to me, falls under the question of why any cyclist would choose to ride on an arterial. It’s dangerous, creates additional friction with drivers of all kinds, and just plain stressful.

    If I’m coming over the Burrard bridge and heading west, I now choose to turn left at Cypress and ride up to 3rd, or even 10th. If you cycle for the fun and stress relief of the activity, Point Grey Road ain’t worth it in my mind. If you cycle for different reasons, maybe Point Grey Road is appealing to you… but why is that?

  7. Bill Barilko says:

    While the speed limit was indeed reduced back in 199whatever it has never been enforced because of some obscure requirement re: placement of signs-I had a police officer tell me this-ever seen a speed trap on Cornwall St Boys & Girls?

    Anyway I see the pernicious influence of social engineers is creeping westward-In Fact there is no room on WPG Road for bicycles (I was riding there yesterday not my brightest move) and as mentioned there’s a bike route on 3rd Ave.

    If I’m not working I’ll be @ one of the Open Houses-not that the forces of social engineering want to listen to someone who doesn’t agree with their Bee Ess agenda to smother us all in pablum.

    The Fact is that we need arterial roadways just like we need vehicles without them there is no commerce and no goods to supply life in the city.

    I love the pamphlets the city sent around with the pics of the lame, the halt & the downtrodden who are pining to be released from their wheel chairs & walkers if only speed limits were lowered /evil vehicles were banned for streets meant for same.

    Anyone remember the services that were starting up to deliver goods by bicycle around the city?

    One group paid over $10,000 apiece for special European made cargo bicycles that never even hit the streets-bicycle deliveries
    @ local farmers markets have quietly folded.

    There may be a place for such services but they are small & localised and it’s easy enough for them to use bike routes like everyone else.

  8. Phil Johnston says:

    ^Bill – there is no “like” button, so this is my “like” 🙂

  9. Anthony says:

    I attended the open house today and felt that I needed to correct myself. Apparently the 30 kph speed limit *is* dusk to dawn along Pt Grey Road (and perhaps Cornwall too, I don’t recall).

    1) Sorry about asserting otherwise.
    2) I have no idea how the public would know this, all the signs and any online documentation I can find indicate 30 kph without any mention of time of day
    3) What a stupid, stupid thing. *Increasing* the speed limit when darkness falls? Why on earth would you do that? Visibility is much worse in darkness and, guess what? People still walk and cycle there after the sun has set, particularly in winter when the sun is setting at 4:30pm. So why would you increase the speed limit, increasing the risk to everyone involved? Utter nonsense.

    At any rate, I wanted to correct the record and admit that I was wrong.

  10. Bill Barilko says:

    The reason speed limits increase after dark is simple-fewer cars on the road.

    As to people walking on the road after dark well that’s Darwin @ work isn’t it!

  11. Anthony says:

    Oops, I got that backward. 30 kph dawn-to-dusk, 50 kph dusk-to-dawn.

    Bill: Uh, I don’t understand why fewer cars on the road would lead to a higher speed limit. Same hazards, reduced visibility = higher risk with higher speed. In US states where speed limits used to vary with time of day on the interstates (not sure there are any now) it was higher (sometimes not limited) during the day, lower at night. And, guess what, there was definitely less traffic at night.

  12. Everyone Wins says:

    See following link for a Point Grey – Cornwall solution that works for everyone!