The City of Vancouver has revealed its waterfront revitalization plan for the West End, involving significant terrain alterations, amphitheater construction, and a proposed road modification that has stirred unease among local cyclists, according to CityNews.
The preliminary vision, spanning a 30-year horizon, envisions a transformation of the area from Stanley Park to the Burrard Street Bridge. Key elements of this vision include raising the ground level along the waterfront by one meter, a response to climate change and the threat of rising sea levels.
Another aspect of the plan proposes converting Beach Avenue, located west of Denman Street, from a one-way street to a two-way thoroughfare. It had temporarily served as a bike lane during the pandemic. This particular element of the proposal has raised concerns among cyclists.
Jeff Leigh, the President of HUB Cycling, expresses contentment that the proposed plan preserves a dedicated bike lane on Beach Avenue. However, he apprehensively predicts that the addition of a vehicle lane may lead to heightened traffic and increased congestion in the area.
“If that becomes one of their priorities in terms of what to implement first out of this plan, I think they’re going to receive some pushback over that,” he said to CityNews. “We’re talking about changing the landscape, we’re talking about recognizing climate change and all of those things I think are very positive for the city, it seems strange to say, ‘and let’s increase vehicle lanes at the same time’ because it’s one of the contributing factors to climate change.”