Once the transaction between the City and CP was completed, work to remove the track and formation proceeded – and faster than expected. Since the Arbutus right of way was always one of my regular walking routes I have been documenting the process on Flickr. Looking at my latest effort there made me think that perhaps the blog reaches a different audience, and this might be a place to start a conversation about what the Greenway is going to look like. My impression is that there cannot be a standard end to end treatment, though some elements will need to be continuous. The integration of the Greenway into the neighbourhood is going to be critical to its success.
Between King Edward and 16th Avenues there is now a wide smooth pathway, awaiting blacktop. Very much more comfortable to use than the old railway and informal path. Nothing has yet been done with the crossings, nor the transverse pedestrian paths.
Grading south of King Edward Avenue W
The new greenway path is at least 7m wide in this section, with considerable amounts of land on each side.
Apparently someone wants the crossbucks preserved in place. I am not so sure that is a Good Idea: road signs should inform or warn of real present situations not outdated ones.
You can search Orders in Council but I couldn’t find one using that number.
Very little has been done to the right of way between 16th and Broadway. Inevitably parking is spreading like a plague across the available space behind the car maintenance businesses at the intersection of Arbutus and 12th Avenue.
Abandoned ties that are not much use for landscaping as they would have been treated with creosote: the contractors seem to have been remiss in not removing these
This section has Quilchena Park to the right and Maple Crescent to the left. I am baffled why this park isn’t green on Google Maps.
Informal access to Quilchena Park
The designers of the greenway will need to consider how to integrate it into the adjacent properties. A railway needs to have a barrier to limit trespass, but a bike a pedestrian way needs something else. Cyclists need to be deterred from using it as a racetrack, and pedestrians need to have reasons – and opportunities – to linger. There has to be more than the occasional bench, drinking fountain and securable bike parking – though all three are essentials. A Greenway is not a sewer to pull traffic through like a stroad, but a place in its own right. A destination as a much a passageway.
At this particular point, it looks like stairs may be required. Fortunately alternate flat access is not far away.
I think it’s daft that the railway crossing signs have been left in place
Even dafter is removing the City’s own signage before the work is even started, let alone completed!
This pathway and its connections to the local road network need better definition and surface(s).
The amount of land available along the route varies considerably, but most bas been left to vegetate, mostly shrubs, scrub and the invasive, prolific himalayan blackberry. These sites must not be neglected but deliberately adapted to improve both their community utility and landscape value.
As matters progress I imagine that I will return to this topic. So for now I have given it its own category