City Releases Cornwall/Point Grey Road Design Proposals


2013-05 Cornwall-Pt Grey proposals 600px

This past weekend, the City released its design proposals for improvements along Cornwall Ave and Pt. Grey Road. The proposals were presented at three public meetings (the last one is today, May 27th, at the Kitsilano VPL Branch, in the basement, 4-6pm). Staff presented the designs that were considered and set aside, as well as those designs that are likely to be proposed to city council.

The corridor was broken into five sections:

1. Jericho to Alma

In this section, the proposal (pdf) is to remove parking from the north side of the street, and implement a two-way separated cycle track. Access to the sailing club and tennis club will be maintained. Overall, there are no surprises here, and nothing particularly controversial other than the loss of a few on-street parking spaces.

2. Alma to Macdonald

There are two proposals for the stretch between Alma and Macdonald.

Proposal 2a (pdf) involves preventing through-access along Pt Grey Rd by making Alma to Waterloo one-way for eastbound motorized traffic, with a two-way separated cycle track on the north side of the street. Between Waterloo and Macdonald, motorized traffic is allowed in both directions, but through-traffic is prevented by extending parks across the street. There is no separated cycle track in this section; cyclists will be expected to ride on the street. This sort of calmed, mixed-use street design works quite well on the stretch of the Central Valley Greenway between Victoria Dr and Nanaimo St. The expected motorized traffic volume under this proposal is a few hundred vehicles per day.

Proposal 2b (pdf) involves making Pt Grey Rd a one-way street, westbound. A separated cycle track is proposed for the south side of the road, and both Collingwood St and Trutch St would be blocked off. The expected motorized traffic volume in the one-way lanes is 5,000 vehicles per day.

3. Macdonald to Balsam

A two-way cycle track is proposed (pdf) for the north side of this stretch. Between Macdonald and Trafalgar, motorized traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction. East of Trafalgar, the track will continue north along Pt Grey Rd, and motorized traffic will be relatively unchanged with two lanes each way along Cornwall Ave. Under this proposal, motorized vehicle access to Pt Grey Rd at Stephens will be prevented. Where the cycle track runs up along the western edge of Kitsilano Beach Park (by the Showboat) it will be integrated with future unspecified improvements to the current Seaside Bicycle Route and on towards Vanier Park and the Burrard Bridge.

4. Stephens to Chestnut

A new traffic-calmed bike route is proposed (pdf) for York Ave between Stephens and Chestnut St. A hodgepodge of no changes, one-way “counterflow” bike lanes, one-way roads, two-way roads, and two-way bike tracks are proposed for this critical stretch.

The segment between Stephens and Vine St will be essentially untouched and remain two-way to all vehicles with no changes to parking. Between Vine and Yew (1 block), it will be one-way for westbound vehicles with a one-way eastbound “counterflow” bike lane on the south side. Between Yew and Arbutus (one block) it will be one-way for eastbound vehicles with a westbound counterflow bike lane on the north side. The next block between Arbutus and Maple will be one-way westbound, with an eastbound counterflow bike lane on the south side. East of Maple, it will be one-way westbound with a two-way separated cycle track on the south side of the street. It’s unclear how westbound cyclists on the south side of the road will merge with westbound motorized vehicles at Maple St, as those cyclists will have to cross from the south side to the north side, certainly creating the potential for conflict. North-south bicycle traffic on Cypress will be in separated bike lanes north of York, but not south of it.

5. Burrard/Cornwall Intersection

Some very welcome and important changes are proposed for the Burrard/Cornwall intersection. The proposal greatly simplifies the intersection and provides clear pedestrian and cyclist access to the different corners. It also closes off Chestnut St to the north of Cornwall, a source of many cyclist/motorized vehicle conflicts. The proposed design will not affect traffic volumes and will make it much safer for everyone involved.


Overall, there seems to be considerable public support for changes along these two roads. There is significant local support to reduce traffic volume along the stretch of Pt Grey Road west of Macdonald, and proposal 2a seems to address this support directly. There has been resistance by the Cornwall businesses to a cycle track along Cornwall (despite several studies, including a recent one from New York City, showing a significant increase in business for those along cycle tracks) and proposal 4 seems to address that resistance directly.

Personally, these changes are all welcome, and improve on the current state considerably.

In my opinion, the 2a proposal is much better than the 2b proposal. The 2b proposal doesn’t satisfy me at all. For one, cyclists heading from Jericho have to divert from a north-side cycle track to a south-side cycle track at Alma, and then back to the north side east of Macdonald. This doesn’t make any sense, and has the potential for cyclist-motorist conflicts at the transition points. Further, the 5,000 motorized vehicles per day cut through this neighbourhood like an angry river, dividing the north-side from the south-side, doing nothing to alleviate the concern on residents who currently feel unsafe crossing the street. Also, studies have shown that the mere presence of traffic intimidates cyclists, even those who are physically separated from that traffic by barriers. New and novice cyclists will not feel safe with that volume of traffic (despite statistics that show that they actually are safer). On the other hand, based on my experiences riding the Central Valley Greenway east of Victoria Dr, I think the 2a proposal works well for everyone.

The proposal for Cornwall is deeply unsatisfying. It does not meet the goals of a “AAA” cycling route. New and novice cyclists will not feel comfortable at all with the mixture of traffic, sometimes two-way, sometimes coming at you, sometimes going with you, sometimes separated, often not. Further, this proposal keeps cyclists away from destinations in the neighbourhood: Kits Beach and the Cornwall businesses. Cyclists coming from the east off of Burrard Bridge will be expected to divert north to the Seaside Bike Route, or cross Cornwall at Cypress to get to York. Westbound cyclists will be expected to divert south to York at Stephens or divert north to Seaside at the edge of Kits Beach.

The city staff has explained that the road width along Cornwall is very limited and it was not possible to put separated cycling facilities along it. While I recognize that Cornwall provides some significant design challenges, I think that the proposal fails to meet the design goals and predisposes the effort in that stretch to be viewed as a failure. It’s designed to move cycling traffic away from where it wants to be, is an indirect route for through-cyclists who will just travel the direct route regardless, and the mish-mash of improvements to York do nothing to encourage cycling for “All Ages and Abilities”. Interestingly Jerry Dobrovolny, the city’s director of transportation, gave the staff presentation Saturday morning at Bayview Elementary and noted that the proposals aren’t intended for current cycle commuters, “…they’re already riding and will continue to do so.” If this stretch isn’t intended for current cyclists, and doesn’t seem to do much for new or novice cyclists, I’m not really sure who it’s targeting.

By not including any changes to Cornwall itself along this stretch, city staff is essentially endorsing the status quo, for cyclists, motorists, and pedestrians alike. I cannot see many cyclists who currently travel along this stretch changing their habits: those who feel comfortable will still cycle along Cornwall, and those who don’t will divert north to Seaside as they currently do. New and novice cyclists will still view the situation as a huge unsafe mess.

This is the city’s chance to make a change in this area, and the current proposal is an opportunity lost.

Proposal 3 seems to be common-sense. Proposal 1 also seems reasonable, but given the current volume of traffic on this stretch, might not really be necessary. Proposal 5 should be accepted regardless what happens west of Burrard, in the name of safety for everyone.

The City of Vancouver wants to hear from you! Review the design proposals here, and then take the feedback survey here. Staff will collect feedback for the next month or so, and may make revisions to the proposals based on that feedback. It’s anticipated that staff will make their presentation to City Council in July.

Last modified: May 27, 2013

46 Responses to " City Releases Cornwall/Point Grey Road Design Proposals "

  1. christina says:

    Are you kidding me? This is ridiculous all the way around!!! We have more cars than bikes on the road!!!

  2. sandy says:

    I have lived at Cornwall and Arbutus for 2 years. I have been a bike commuter for 30 years.
    I only take York Ave. EASTBOUND!!! I have never taken it WESTBOUND because it is a long slow hill. There is very little traffic on York Ave but I still take the beach path then Point Grey Rd to MacDonald[then to 3rd Ave westbound to Jericho] just to avoid that hill. I can’t see me changing this because you designate an already quiet street as a bike route. And I don’t think I am the only cyclist who avoids hills.

  3. Kat Sat Lonk Go says:

    It’s a fairly well designed proposal. The engineers have really listened to many voices and looked at all possibilities.
    It’s unfortunate that the newsmedia has made it sound like all this is only for cycling when it benefits all other modes as well. One reporter even got aspects of the two options mixed up and said that the reason they’re going to close it to traffic is to make a bike lane. (The option with the bike lane is the one that doesn’t close it to motor traffic. The option that does close it doesn’t have a bike lane.)

    I think parts of Point Grey Road are too narrow to be an arterial for motor traffic and it should never have been allowed to become one.

    Just a few points, west of Alma they wouldn’t be removing all the parking on the north side. Some will change to parallel parking from nose-in parking. It’ll be nice to have a real curb there instead of just the gravel fading into grass.

    My preference as well is for Option 2A. It will benefit many more people. Motor traffic, having more options to start with, will adjust and be fine. Those living there will finally have a nice neighbourhood and some might even remove their tall hedges. Those travelling through by foot, bike or rollerblades will have a nice route to get from the seawall to Jericho Beach. Locals driving home will find it easier to get in their driveways. Those going to the folk music festival will especially appreciate this.

    You mention the bit of York where, when cycling west, you would have to get to the other side. A similar thing is now in place on Comox street. It’s already being used so we can look to that to see how it would work.

    I agree that it’s disappointing to not have anything on Cornwall at this time. I hope in the future, after the traffic volumes are lower along that strip that they can consider it. I also think that if they did reduce the width of Cornwall now to make room and the current levels of motor vehicles were the same it would look so bad that the whole thing, (and cycling infrastructure in general,) would be considered a failure and pointed to as something to avoid in other places. I’d rather we did this interim thing with cycling on York and then in the future when conditions change, such as the reduced volumes on the corridor from the closure of Point Grey Road and rapid transit along Broadway, that it can be put in then. There will be an opportunity in the future for it.

    I disagree that this won’t attract those who would like to cycle and currently don’t. I think many of them will use this to cycle from their homes in the area, along York to Cypress or Arbutus and then to Cornwall to shop.

    The section from Burrard to Cypress is really good. Instead of the two-way lane on one side (which is a way to not have to remove too many parking spots) there will be one-way lanes on each side. It’s a bit better as the transitions when it ends are more in line with cycling on the general street.

    Some of this is not “AAA” but it is a huge improvement.

  4. Lots to digest here in this design.

    I hope there will be good wayfinding signs for those going to Kits beach or UBC, similar to some signs that have appeared in the downtown routes and as you might find in a few places in Seattle and Portland. I could imagine signage at the West side showing continuing along the pathways for the route up NW Marine, or showing the option along Highbury to Off-Broadway.

    I have to think more about what I think about the 2a vs 2b. Yes the segregated option has more crossovers of the road, but they are at places that there are already traffic lights, so it seems it will just be a matter of waiting for a different signal phase than before when proceeding through, so I would think no big losses in safety or time compared to before. But interesting point about aversion to high traffic despite separation, I wonder if this has been studied previously?

    Obviously the most contenious point is the choice of York. Currently very few people ride that way, but currently it’s not like there are easy connections along that way – coming off the bridge, to get to it requires riding along busy burrard, or making a tricky left turn at Cypress, which is definately not an all ages and abilities move. Really as it is, simply because it avoids that tricky turn, I feel safer continuing on Cornwall than I would turning onto Cypress to use the signed bike route. But with signal phases and separation, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad.

  5. Greg says:

    Ok, now I’m starting to understand: 4 wheels bad, 2 wheels good.

    The Greenshirts have really overstepped themselves this time.

    I live in Kits, walk and cycle there(weather permitting) and commute downtown by hybrid car.

    These proposals will increase my automobile road use (both in time and distance travelled) by a significant amount each day, with attendant increase in GHG emissions.

    My immediate neighbourhood will lose 59 of 127 on-street parking spaces. There is currently a sortage of on-street resident parking spaces, for which we pay a significant annual user charge.

    The roads system in Vancouver is in a very poor state of repair.
    This is an appalling and disgraceful waste of taxpayer dollars.

  6. Stupid City says:

    The City should have bought the properties along the waterfront many decades ago. It would have been cheaper before 1990. They should have created park and pathways from Kitsilano to UBC. The city missed the chance and would be very expensive to buy the properties now. That road should be left as is. What is wrong with improving bike route south of Cornwall? Everyone complains about hills because they are not fit enough to bike up them. There is less hilly streets that could be used with less traffic.

  7. Stupid City says:

    Agree with you Greg. Many in Kitsilano use cars to both cars and bicycles. The Mayor is on a mission to eliminate cars in the city.

  8. R C says:

    This is beyond ridiculous. We are catering to bikers in a city where NOBODY rides to and from work for 8 months of the year because it’s always raining here. Complete waste of tax payers money, it’s crazy to think highly educated politicians can actually think this is a good idea. Mind Boggling

  9. Chandrandra says:

    I disagree with Greg, Stupid City and RC. I think this is a good use of our tax money. Finally something we can all use. I don’t think the mayor wants to eliminate cars. (I doubt he even has much to do with this project at all.) This is a world wide movement, people all over the world want this including here. Don’t give credit to one person. Motor vehicles are useful for certain things and will never go away but, like everything else, when there are too many of them, and when you try to use them for purposes that they’re not well suited for, there are problems. Just like everything else. This is just a tiny bit of balance.
    You’ll still be able to drive down streets in the future. This city has no plans to eliminate cars. Have you read the city’s Transportation 2040 plan? In that, they fully expect to have and accommodate as much motor vehicle traffic as now. The only difference is that there will also be more options for the type of trips that make more sense to do in other ways. What’s wrong with more choice? I think it’s a good thing. Aren’t you multi-modal?

  10. PN says:

    Parking is already a challenge, routes in and out of the area is gridlocked, stop and go in peak periods, and that’s not accounting for beach days, fireworks nights etc.

    Spare us. We already have a number of bicycle route experiments in the area, at great expense to the residents. How many more failed experiments do we need

    How about getting back to the tasks the City is supposed to look after, like sanitation and road maintenance.

  11. Vanier Lover says:

    The only part of the plan that could be really improved upon is the closing of Chestnut. Right now that’s the main access for Vanier Park (which is home to the Maritime Museum, the Space Centre, Bard, the Vancouver Academy of Music, the archives, and the Museum of Vancouver, AND Vancouver’s largest marina). It’d be a shame to drive all the access through Kits point residential area – not to mention more than a million people enter the park that way every year. A right turn lane would be a great compromise.

  12. D A says:

    Third Ave and Eighth Avenue are designated bike routes, Second Avenue has mock round-abouts (to slow traffic and make it cycle-friendly) all the way from Cypress to MacDonald…how many streets do cyclists need?

    As a resident of Kitsilano, I can attest to grid-locked traffic in rush hour year round. Throughout the summer months, the main routes are grid-locked parking lots. What does the City think this does for the air quality? When the City added more traffic lights on 4th Avenue, they forced traffic onto the Point Grey/Cornwall corridor and to filter through the neighbourhood (the cars didn’t go away). Now this proposal effectively limits traffic on the Point Grey/Cornwall route – that will force traffic to go where exactly? Onto the side streets, which are already challenging to navigate with the traffic that is being forced to filter through!

    With the current three bicycle-dedicated streets out of eight, the neighbourhood has amply accommodated those wishing to cycle. I’m all for serious long-term planning solutions that benefits both bicycles and cars, but there are more intelligent ways to provide room for bikes, than doing it at the expense of vehicle traffic which is already burdened by inept planning.

    Parking, by design, is already impossibly scarce.

    This is not a resort but a neighbourhood where people, both young and old, need to be able to function on a daily basis. What is the City thinking? It would be a start to use property tax dollars as they were intended; for maintenance of our pot-holed riddled streets and snow clearing when needed.

  13. Anthony says:

    I feel compelled to point out that there appears to be some astroturfing going on here. At least two commenters have posted under different names.

    Stop that.

  14. brent granby says:

    Thanks for the post Anthony. I am astonished by the tone and content of some of the comments. Do folks really think that Vancouver is going to be the way it was the last 50 years for the next 50 years? Climate change is a critical issue that all levels of government need to take action on. Our transportation choices are an important part of reducing GHG. Making a better built environment for pedestrians, people with different physical abilities, and people riding bikes will be the first step in the process of inviting folks to embrace more active lives that will make them and our planet more healthy. Really, is it such a big deal to ask cars to use 4th? How much does this add to a commute? Are folks really saying I would rather see people killed so they can get to downtown a little faster? Or are people saying that would prefer a life of chronic diseases rather than walking some?

    Beyond emissions from cars and climate change, adopting a more active life by incorporating walking, bicycling and using transit will make folks happier and healthier. Change is hard, but this is the future we need to adapt to.

  15. First off, the Point Grey – Cornwall Corridor has consistently been identified as the TOP priority for cycling & pedestrian improvements. This was identified as an area that needs improvements over 20 years ago by the City.

    HUB is glad that the City is finally addressing a number of the safety and comfort issues for people along this corridor. We are very supportive of the plans for both ends of the corridor west of Balsam (sections 1, 2 & 3) and east of Cypress St (section 5) to the Burrard Bridge, including the great new intersection at Burrard and Cornwall.

    We are, however, dismayed to see that the City has removed the option of having an all ages, all abilities (AAA) cyclist route along Cornwall from Cypress St to Balsam. Developing a safe cycling route directly on Cornwall and Point Grey is the ultimate goal for cyclist and pedestrian safety, convenience and comfort. The City has cited that adding a separated lane in this area would result in major impacts to transit and traffic congestion in the area and are not considering this to be a viable option until rapid transit is established on Broadway.

    We are encouraging the City to implement an AAA route in conjunction with effective transit priority measures on this segment as soon as feasibly possible. Separated cycling facilities on this segment would significantly decrease pedestrian/cyclist conflicts and provide more direct access to the destinations (Kits Beach, restaurants on Cornwall, MOV) that residents, families & tourists will want to visit. Until the lane is built, cyclists trying to access these places will continue to be put at risk. At the very least, we hope the City will continue to improve way-finding to the final bike route, clear & safe connections to key destinations along Cornwall & consider working with Park Board to create an off-street path through the park.

    Regarding the segment west of MacDonald, we believe that option 2a, which combines traffic-calming and local traffic restrictions, is the best option for cyclists and other active transportation modes. It creates an ideal environment for the comfortable, safe movement of people on bikes and on foot along that stretch. This is also the option supported by resident groups who want to reduce speeding traffic and improve pedestrian safety in that area, based on our discussions.

    Thanks again for the great summary and analysis, Anthony!

  16. Kat Sat Lonk Go says:

    I’m now pondering whether or not it would be a good idea to do a trial closure. Put in temporary closures at the places mentioned in Option 2a, for a month or so and then we can all see how things go. The people on Point Grey can get a taste of what it could be like, the surrounding areas can see how the traffic flows and everyone can get past the scary unknown stage. Then we can go from there.
    They could even then test Option 2b in the same way and see how that goes.

  17. bc says:

    I live in the 3rd/Macdonald area, bike regularly, and am opposed to these changes. I’m kind of amazed at them, really. The area is already gridlocked. Closing Cornwall will result in an appalling situation on MacDonald and 4th, with more drivers diverting through the small streets in the area, which are already experience gridlock because several, like 3rd, are really just a single lane.

    I’m sure the residents on the west end of Cornwall would like the street turned into a park, and why not, for them. They already live in a very privileged situation, which will get better – while for the rest of us it gets worse.

    I bike regularly, never use Cornwall anyway, and don’t feel the least bit inconvenienced by avoiding it. Closing it to car traffic is going to create misery around here.

  18. Adam Smith says:

    Brilliant plan (with a few exceptions; I don’t agree with closing Chestnut St. access to the Music Academy, Maritime Museum, marina and boat launch, and Vancouver Museum; that’s too much traffic to reroute through narrow Kits Point streets; a bit of paint and a yield sign at the intersection would suffice) and I look forward to its implementation.

    The neighbourhoods will be better for it and drivers will adapt. Its odd that drivers complaining about the current gridlock think that creating conditions favourable to bike riding, and thus having the effect of taking cars off the roads, will create more gridlock. If you’re stuck in traffic while bikers pass by doesn’t that get you thinking about joining them?

  19. Lewis says:

    Being a new resident to Kits, Vancouver, and BC, I find the neighbourhood and traffic to be terrible as it is.

    I try to walk / bike / transit as much as possible. Cars in this area, Burrard to Balsam and Cornwall to 4th, are operated by mostly terrible drivers. Often speeding, rarely obeying traffic signs ( S T O P ), tailgating and honking constantly.

    Seriously??? Where are these people going?? Why so much road rage??

    This entire area NEEDS MORE traffic calming. A major component of this would be reduced lanes of traffic and increased dedicated bike lanes.

    For those who complain about street parking, the city is not in business to provide you with subsidised parking on public space, while taxing your non-car-owning/driving neighbours for your privileged lifestyle. Perhaps don’t own a car, or find private parking alternatives…or move to a neighbourhood with more parking spaces available.

    And street parking on arterials is such a waste!!

    Here’s the simplest solution:

    1) Remove all street parking on Cornwall from Burrard to MacDonald.
    2) North curb lane becomes separated dedicated two-way bike-way.
    3) Three remaining lanes are reserved for vehicle traffic, with the centre lane access controlled, similar to the three lanes through Stanley Park and Lion’s Gate Bridge, with the centre lane option-flow based on time-of-day and traffic volumes.

  20. Mary says:

    You can read in detail about the proposed options of change for the Point Grey Road and Cornwall Corridor at the City’s Once you have done your due diligence in learning about the facts of the issue, you can express your views by filling out the online survey which is on the same website. Point Grey Road has been identified as a high fatality, injury, accident and property damage area of the City with extreme levels of pedestrian, car and cyclist conflicts because of the narrow road and lack of effective speed-reducing measures. Police enforcement, signage, blinking speed boards, marked crosswalks, and parking on both sides of the road have done nothing to slow down and/or discourage users of the road. Increasing density from single-family homes to duplexes, triplexes, four-plexes, etc. have increased the number of cars and residents in the area. Moreover, as Keith mentioned, over 40% of drivers on Point Grey Road have been identified by the City as not residing in the area but using Point Grey Road as a speedway arterial rather than taking 4th Avenue, which is controlled by stop lights. Extending existing parkspace across Point Grey Road at Trutch and Macdonald Streets will enhance greenspace for recreational use and will reduce the number of cars from 14,000 per day (mostly through traffic) to 500 per day (local residents only). Speeds will reduce, as locals opt to care about the safety of their neighbour-users of the road. Almost all of the existing parking will be retained, and the road will be equally available, used and safe as a two-way Local Street for resident drivers, and as a through route for cyclists and pedestrians. If you would like to support this Local Street option 1(2a), please contact before June 9th to sign the Petition in favour of this option.

    The other option proposed by the City,a one-way westbound street on the North side of Point Grey Road, with the eastbound lane (South side) removed and almost all of the parking removed on the South side of Point Grey Road to accommodate a two-way separated bikelane addresses bikes only. This option 2(2b) would reduce the 14,000 cars to 7,000 per day, not reduce speed at all but likely increase it, and push those who currently park on the South side of the street into the side streets to find parking. I urge Vancouver residents to send a strong and clear message to the City by choosing Option 1 (2a): neighbourhoods exist and are important to preserve and enhance; Vancouverites are not all going to abandon their cars in favour of transit, bikes and walking, so parking cannot be arbitrarily eliminated; safety is of primary significance for all users, which includes cyclists but is not limited to cyclists; and public consultation with the most-affected stakeholders is essential for their input before major decisions about changes to the accessibility, availability and viability of neighbourhood streets are made or implemented by the City.

  21. Mary says:

    One further point: the City has done extensive research on where the current 40%+ through traffic on Point Grey Road will go in the event that Option 1 (2a) is implemented; some of the traffic will be on 4th Avenue, and the City has determined that 4th Avenue can unquestionably bear the increased car volume, and designated left-hand turn lanes as well as left-turn only and right-turn only intersections are planned to prevent delays. Moreover, the businesses along 4th Avenue will have increased trade from the new drivers. Other traffic will opt to use Broadway, 12th, 16th or 25th.

  22. KD says:

    Both of these ideas are ridiculous. First off, this area already provides safe bike routes. In response to the person who made the comment about how things will change over 50 years, think of this, within the next few years there will be more options for “greener cars” so the carbon argument doesn’t not hold a lot of water. Further, now or in 50 years, due to density, there will always be problems with traffic and parking, so why make things worse for the majority so a select few can ride their bikes? By a select few I mean the perfectly abled bodied. But what about the rest of us, like families, the disabled, the elderly who are just trying to get from point a to b. And don’t get me started on the weather! It seems that the people spearheading this thing just cannot relate to the rest of us,because if they could, they would be happy with what they already have.

  23. Kat Sat Lonk Go says:

    The current bike routes that we have, (which are really nice and serve many) are fine for those currently cycling but there are those that want to but currently don’t or only do it with the right conditions. There was a study that showed that 60% of the population would cycle as a normal part of their transportation if there were the right conditions.
    The motives are not ecological and have more to do with quality of life issues.
    Vancouver is now at the point where it’s going from the low percentage of people who are willing to cycle under the past conditions to starting to provide also for those that desire something better before they will.
    No city has ever managed to make enough car lanes to handle the demand because the mere existence of too many car lanes causes the demand. Smart cities are the ones that have several choices for travel and not just one. Many people would like this to be one of those smart cities.
    The western edge of this project is only partly about cycling through it, it just happens to coincide with the desires of the locals who find that a narrow street like theirs cannot handle the motor vehicle traffic of being an arterial.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I don’t ever bike in the city yet am pleased to see our government realises that owning/operating a car is a privilege and not a right. If you can’t afford the extra travel time or to pay/compete for a parking place then take the bus.

  25. Tomina de Jong says:

    As a cyclist and as a taxpayer – this could be a disaster for that section of Kitsilano around Macdonald north of Broadway and especially north of 4th Avenue and blocks just east and west of it. Has anyone noticed that the city proposal includes diverting 7000 additional cars a day not just down 4th, but down the short stretch of Macdonald north of 4th Avenue? Today’s 3rd Avenue cyclysts and even those along 8ths Avenue and 10th Avenues will have major difficulties at intersections crossing Macdonald. Car traffic won’t appreciate the diversions and turns and will be threading through the side streets. To the norht Macdonald has driveways, a crosswalk, garbage pick up (no back lane for some of this as with other arterials) and lots of pedestrians! City engineers have only looked at curb-to-cub width and have not considered land use aspects! There is not even one staff member assigned to the project from the Planning Department! West of Macdonald the project is a costly endeavor for Sunday recreation primarily (and affluent residents?).
    Hey – it is actually the other side of the Burrard bridge that is the most dangerous, the most dangerous in the City according to ICBC.
    If you’d like to be part of a meeting with the City focused on the Macdonald aspects, do write me at

  26. Pamela McColl says:

    Point Grey Road from Tatlow Park to Alma has an identified problem – the speed of traffic, the volumne of traffic and the mix of cyclists and pedestrians with no speed stop signs or lights. Anyone who thinks Point Grey should remain as it is does not understand the issue. This has already been identified as a problem by the City and they have a solution 2A at hand. It may have effects on other areas and that needs to be discussed but keeping the status quo is not the answer.
    2B does not address safety adequately. The first public consultation done in the winter of 2013 had an overwhelming support for changes to address safety for all users. Standing still is not a viable option. The Transportation Team at the City have been available to discuss the project, held public meetings repeatedly, put notices in publications, held surveys, questionaires, met with stakeholders, held public open houses and their doors were open all the way through this process. This elected government has the mandate to act in the interest of safety and it is up to them to make the decision on behalf of the all those who want to access the area and not just speed through it due to there not being speed impediments. The drivers of which 85% of them who are going over 50 km in 30km park areas need to be put on streets with stop lights – the party is over.

  27. Mary says:

    Tomina, the City has studied that 3-block stretch of Macdonald Street between 4th Avenue and Point Grey Road. As you know well, there is a park on one side, and there is a church and gas station on the other, with only four houses fronting Macdonald Street. Thus, the estimated increase in traffic from the diversion of cars if Point Grey Road is closed at Macdonald Street is for only 3 blocks and affects very few homes. The City has also determined that Macdonald Street and 4th Avenue can more than bear this increase in traffic. As well, advance left turn lanes are planned at 4th Avenue and Macdonald to keep cars moving. This has been carefully explained to you at the Open Houses that the City attended. Why don’t you listen?

  28. Mary says:

    As a further comment to you, Tomina, you know that the City has also told you that enhanced pedestrian crossings and signage are planned to prevent drivers snaking through the side streets, and to allow for safe pedestrian and bike traffic in the event that Point Grey Road is closed to through traffic. Also what you don’t seem to understand is that by preventing the fast through route of Point Grey Road by closing it, the entire area of Point Grey Road, Macdonald Street and Cornwall will be calmed, meaning there will be less overall traffic because drivers will stay on the remaining arterials of 4th Avenue, Broadway, 12th, 16th and 25th Avenues. Try to envision the bigger picture, not just your backdoor. Thanks.

  29. Dave says:


    As both a vehicle operator and bike rider the City should be searching for a solution which will allow safe and efficent traffic flows for all forms of transport for the greatest number of its citizens.

    The proposals for Point Grey Road will divert up to 14,000 vehicles of passengers per day from their most preferred, direct, and seemingly most efficent routing into a quagmire of difficult turns and increased traffic on West 4th Avenue and MacDonald.

    Additionally a large number of vehicles will be forced to transit the narrow streets and avenues between Point Grey Road and West 4th between Alama and MacDonald creating safety concerns for the residents on the secondary roads.

    Other than the benefit to bicyclists, these proposals will produce huge benefits in terms of reduced traffic, increased green space, and increased property values for owners/residents along Point Grey Road.

    Unfortunately these benefits are clearly at the expense of the safety and convenience of almost all other area residents. It is not surprising that some Point Grey Road owners have been inundating the local area with self-serving petitions urging support for Option 1(2a) which would completely close Point Grey Road to 2 way traffic.

    Clearly both the proposals for the Alma – Macdonald corridor are deeply flawed and need to be scrapped. A more balanced solution needs to developed. As has been proposed for York Avenue, the shifting of bicycle traffic from arterial to secondary roads is logical. Improvements to the designated bike route along 3rd Avenue and/or the construction of a seawall with bike path are also solutions which would allow safe traffic flows for all transport modes without endangering local residents and causing huge inconvenience to vehicle traffic

  30. Dave says:


    The current proposals have divided my community (north of 4th between Alma and Macdonald) into camps defined by whether they live on Point Grey Road or not.

    Of course the Point Grey Road owners/residents motivation for the support of Local Street Option 1(2a) has very little to do with improved bike lanes.

    Rather it is largely a self-serving opportunistic attempt to personally benefit from the closure of Point Grey Road to through traffic.

    If it is truly the City’s objective to increase safety and increase efficency of all forms of traffic it is hard to believe these proposals would even have seen the light of day.

    Even with today’s traffic, it is a dangerous and daunting task to exit my community south bound or eastbound by crossing or turning left onto West 4th Avenue. As it can be next to impossible to access 4th Avenue, I often cringe when I see drivers or passengers (sometimes children) exiting vehicles to push the pedestrian crossing red light activation button and then quickly return to their vehicle.

    With the increase in traffic on West 4th (and MacDonald) these proposals would bring, I hope the City planners realise that a full set of traffic signals will be required on every intersection along West 4th Avenue between Alma and MacDonald in order to handle the increase in traffic departing my community (north of 4th between Alma and MacDonald).

    Obviously the huge increase in traffic and the stoplights will only further gridlock 4th Avenue. I barely need to mention that the high accident intersections at West 4th/MacDonald and West 4th/Burrard will become even greater nightmares than they are at the present time.

  31. Mary says:


    Clearly, you have entered into the discussion and decision-making for the Point Grey Road-Cornwall corridor a little late, to say the least. The alternative options that you propose have already been investigated, studied and dismissed by the City over the past year. Look at the City’s website that describes alternative proposals that have been rejected and why. Your suggested solutions are there. They are unworkable and do not address the project goals, which by the way have nothing to do with the rich getting richer but with solving the extremely serious safety concerns of a too narrow road for the current speed and volumes of car and bike traffic. Your comments are obsolete. Try getting with the program.

  32. Mary says:


    Local streets have been configured all over the City, most notably in the West End. The option to make Point Grey Road a local street has been under discussion actively since 1992. So, the current proposals by the City have been a long time coming. Further, the City has already ratified its Transportation 2040 Plan, which includes closing “gaps” in the current transportation networks for cyclists, pedestrians and motorists. The fact that there are many other existing East-West arterials that have been determined able to carry the extra traffic from Point Grey Road means that your comments to the contrary are simply your uninformed opinion, not substantiated by the existing data and study details. You can continue to spout vitriole, but it is not going to get you anywhere.

  33. Dave says:


    City Hall has a major problem with the optics of the proposals for Point Grey Road from Alma -MacDonald.

    City Hall is advocating the closure of Point Grey Road to all through traffic and up to 14000 vehicles and their occupants per day will be forced from their preferred routes.

    Those residing between Point Grey Road and West 4th Avenue will be subjected to a large increase in traffic and increased demand for on street parking.

    Questions are begging to be asked:

    Who are the beneficiaries and who is to be disadvantaged?

    To what extent can the rights of a majority of Vancouver’s citizens be forfeited in order to benefit a minority?

    Why is City Hall so unsympathetic to rights of Vancouverites to use their preferred routes and chosen modes of transportation?

    Why is City Hall adamantly only allowing two options along the highly controversial stretch of Point Grey Road?

    Why was the option of improvements to the established bike route on 3rd Avenue discarded?

    Where is the seawall and bike path which has proven so successsful around Stanley Park-English Bay-False Creek-Kitsilano?

    Could it be that Point Grey Road lobbyists prefer semi-private cul-de-sacs rather than a seawall and bike path?

    Are the residents/owners of Point Grey Road truly concerned for the bicycle lobby or opportunistically seeking to remove all vehicles from Point Grey Road except for their own?

    How much influence over City Hall do multi-millionaires hold?

  34. susan smith says:

    To sign the Petition in support of Option 1(2a) to achieve safety and shared road usage for pedestrians, cyclists and local motorists without bike lanes impeding all of Point Grey Road, and to preserve the majority of existing parking for residents and visitors, go to

  35. Dave says:


    Mayor Robertson. Tear up your ridiculous plans to close Point Grey Road and build semi-private cul-de-sacs and parks for your lucky friends on the bluff!


  36. Janice says:

    None of these proposals make any sense to me! Why not focus your energies on getting the Arbutus corridor developed into a bike and walking pathway? I know there are issues with CPR, but your efforts here would serve THOUSANDS of residents both serious commuters and people who are simply out to enjoy the city and get some fresh air and exercise. The proposals for Cornwall Point Grey will NOT change the current use of the route for commuters. The proposals take people up hills and send them into dangerous and terrifying traffic, not to mention the inconvenience for local residents with the loss of parking and increase in traffic on calmer side streets. I thought democracy meant we had a say in things. It seems more and more that decisions are made for us whether we like them or not. Seems more like we have a dictatorship on our hands here.

  37. C. A. O'Sullivan says:

    Why is the city appearing to railroad residents with this controversial proposal? The objections are not dying down. Rather, they appear to be growing.
    City planners, I ask you to please address people’s informed concerns:
    The potential for increase traffic of 7,000 vehicles along an already congested 4th Avenue is not being taken seriously by the city – but is of huge concern to regular users of those roads, whether as a cyclist, pedestrian, motorist or transit user. It is not enough for planners to express an opinion that traffic will split among other routes. That is not a valid evidence-based argument.
    I also think Duane Nickull raises a valid question in the following CBC news item:
    This is being rushed through, which raises the queston: Why? Bad planning results in problematic solutions and unhappy, disengaged citizens.

  38. Johnny Boy says:

    I think it’s silly to say driving is a privilege not a right. If you live and pay to be in kits it’s a right. Okay so it sounds like out of shape bikers don’t like hills fair enough just take into account that many families here have more then one car but only 1 underground parking spot. Is your argument to sell those cars to cater to lazy cyclists? Where do you propose they park? What if they are old or handicapped? Will they have to park blocks away? I dont think this has been well thought out, if you can create safe paths and allow residents parking that’s fine by me.

  39. Kat Sat Lonk Go says:

    In my opinion, anyone who has ever been speeding down Point Grey Road has nobody to blame but themselves.

  40. Adam says:

    Bring it on. What resident wouldn’t want quieter streets?!

    Keep heavy traffic on streets that can support it, and off narrower streets like Point Grey Rd.

    Nothing controversial about this, it’s good urban planning in my mind, and makes the entire north of 4th area more attractive. The naysayers on this board resort to exaggerated hyperbola (“mayor on mission to eliminate cars”) and name-calling because they have nothing solid to say.

  41. Wade says:

    As a cylist living in Kitsilano for the past twelve years I am glad there are plans to construct a cycle path along Cornwall and Point Grey Road. The segments from Cypress to Yew and then from Trafalgar to Alma are the most dangerous. I suppose riding on the sidewalks is one alternative! As for the worries about cars turning left onto Fourth Avenue, it seems to me there are stoplights at almost every corner now.

  42. Jinks says:

    As 53 year residents of Kits Point we think that if cyclists coming off the bridge would OBEY the traffic light at Burrard/Cornwall, accidents there would lessen considerably. Isn’t safety for everyone the main concern ???

  43. Robert says:

    The intersection of Cornwall and Cypress is dangerous for Hudson Elementary’s children. The speed that cars come off the bridge is excessive. Cornwall is a poorly marked school zone from Cypress to Maple. It’s residential beyond that. The speeds cars go is stupid. I think the cyclists who take that route are either brave or crazy. As we all digest the proposals, we need to think safety. A Hudson student died at Cornwall and Vine in 1997. Apart from pedestrian controlled lights being installed nothing has deterred traffic speed.

  44. Jo-Ann says:

    I have commuted by bike in this city for over 15 years. I work at St. Paul’s and currently live in Kits. I originally biked along Cornwall, however changed to York for my daily commute. York is much safer than Cornwall and although Third is the designated bike route, it is narrow, with parked cars allowed on both sides, has a long hill, and is several streets out of the way. I bike out to Jericho on Cornwall, but not during busy times because it is terrifying – there is NOT enough room for bikes and cars on both sides of the street. I live on MacDonald and have no issue with any increase in traffic as the road is wide enough to accomodate it. I feel totally safe on my bike on MacDonald. In general, Cypress is dangerous for bikes and pedestrians from 4th to Cornwall – I don’t think a cyclist had input in this street’s design.

  45. jeff lerenard says:

    As a biker I usually support all option taking cars and pollution off the map,but I feel this issue of traffic, noise and congestion as become a higher one about the accommodation of a few versus the rights of the many.
    It seems the concern is not cars against other modes of transportation but my front yard against the rest of the commuters. They are ways to slow down or discourage traffic like lengthy lights,numbingly low enforced speed limits, bumps etc but the semi privatization of a public access is unacceptable as an axiom.
    Or maybe lets close Point Grey Road to ALL motorized vehicles.