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Archive for the ‘Arbutus Greenway’ Category

Arbutus Greenway: March update

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I took some photos yesterday between Nanton and 41st. I didn’t get around to putting them on the blog yesterday – but maybe you already follow me on Instagram or Flickr – in which case you need read no further.

Nanton at Maple

A new crossing sign has appeared together with much paint on the road where the Arbutus Greenway crosses Nanton. While the elements used in the sign are standard the combination is not actually shown in the Uniform Manual of Traffic Control Devices. (But I have now seen it also used at the Highway #1 on ramp at Main Street, North Vancouver southbound to the Ironworkers’ Memorial Second Narrows Bridge.)

In general the Greenway street crossings are anything but uniform or standard, and many (not this one) have railway signalling equipment and crossbucks still in place.

One of my Instagram contacts commented

I believe it is telling you it’s okay to stand on your bike while jumping a snow fence. But I could be wrong.

Candidate for preservation?

This house and its delightful surrounding garden seems to me to worthy of consideration for preservation.

The city defines a “character home” as a structure built before 1940 that meets “established criteria for integrity and character of original features”. In addition, character homes are not listed on the Vancouver Heritage Register.

Georgia Straight

New Stairs

New access stairs near 35th Avenue

Broken box

Former signalling gear – used to trigger the crossing bells and wig-wags – are still in place. I am a bit surprised that the metal thieves have not scavenged all the copper from this box.

Written by Stephen Rees

March 31, 2017 at 10:01 am

Posted in Arbutus Greenway

Arbutus Greenway North End

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We walked from Valley to Granville Island today. Since I was on foot there are more photos than the last episode.

Arbutus Greenway North End

A woodchip trail has now been laid parallel to the blacktop between King Ed and 16th.

Arbutus Greenway North End

It would appear that some of the neighbours have needed to adapt a STOP sign to something more needful.

Arbutus Greenway North End

The first bike rental station I have seen on the Greenway itself, but I am still not tempted to use them – they are just too pricey. $7 a day – as long as the none of the individual rides is longer than 30 minutes.

Arbutus Greenway North End

The crossing at 12th seems to be utterly contrary to the City’s stated priorities: cyclists are expected to get off and walk their bike down to Arbutus street and back again.

Arbutus Greenway North End

From 10th to Broadway is the only section that has not yet seen any blacktop.

I have not taken any pictures of the crossing of Broadway since there isn’t one. There is also no signage. One group of cyclists we saw were riding in circles trying to see what it was they were supposed to be doing. The answer of course is to walk to the existing crosswalk at Arbutus Street.

Arbutus Greenway North End

There isn’t any official public art on the Greenway yet but this piece seems worthwhile.

Arbutus Greenway North End

This is the City’s poster on the trail – actually almost at the same point where the photo was taken before it was photoshopped to show the chip trail and “divided” blacktop.

Arbutus Greenway North End

It was a nice day today

The crossing of Burrard Street is all in place but just not working yet. Even so, compliance seems admirable. Down at the Fir Street playground things seem to fizzle out. Like the southern end there is no signage but at least the right of way between 5th and 4th has been kept clear of parked cars, unlike the following sections.

Arbutus Greenway North End

Written by Stephen Rees

March 25, 2017 at 4:03 pm

Arbutus Greenway 2017

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Sunshine – and everyone (it seemed) was out on the greenway this morning. Though the pictures don’t show that.

Newly installed bench

There are to be benches at regular intervals: this is Maple Crescent around 29th Avenue

End of the line

The Greenway ends in one of those no-places – with no connections, or even signs to indicate onward connection. This is Milton Street at Rand Avenue. Note that the Greenway doesn’t appear on Google maps – even as a disused railway.

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 1.06.07 PM

Arbutus Greenway

This is the reverse angle looking back up the Greenway. The dashed lines indicate where the blacktop will be removed and replaced by a “landscaped” divider.

The bike ride is great – but will definitely get better as more separation between pedestrians and cyclists is established. Right now people tend to just keep to the right even where signs and paint on the path indicate otherwise. The biggest issue is the street crossings – especially on the busier streets like 41st Avenue and Marine Drive. The old train signals are still place – and what signage there is suggests that cyclists behave like pedestrians. 41st at the Boulevards has long been a vehicle only type of intersection with corrals and blockages to pedestrian desire lines. Much work is long overdue here – and the Greenway is going to increase that pressure.

But even so it was nice to be out on the bikes again – and enjoying the long sections of gravity assistance!

Written by Stephen Rees

March 19, 2017 at 1:15 pm

Arbutus Greenway: Temp Surface latest

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screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-7-12-28-pm

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So since these are screen shots you need arbutus-greenway-temporary-path-oct-2016-open-house-information-displays which is a downloaded pdf from the City. You can also check out their webpage

 

Written by Stephen Rees

October 14, 2016 at 7:18 pm

Posted in Arbutus Greenway

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More news from the Arbutus Greenway

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The track at the level crossings is steadily being removed from the section between 16th and 33rd.

Arbutus Greenway

Redundant street sign warning of the approach to the now removed railway: the stops signs remain in place at all the crossings north of Nanton Avenue where there are no traffic signals.

Arbutus Greenway

Track removed at Nanton Ave crossing

Arbutus Greenway

King Edward Avenue

Arbutus Greenway

King Edward Avenue: some new blacktop added across the median

You can see the edge of the new road surface on the extreme right, where the track used to be. The white truck has pulled well forward of the stop line, which I think is going to be a continuing issue for cyclists aiming to get back to the Greenway.

Arbutus Greenway

While the track has been removed, the stop line and detector loops remain where they were. Even so, the white van moves up to the marked crosswalk, and thus fails to trigger the green arrow signal for the left turn onto Arbutus.

Arbutus Greenway

16th Avenue

Diverter to encourage people to use the signalled crosswalks: the blacktop used to be part of the off street parking for The Ridge on the other side of Arbutus Street.

Arbutus Greenway

Oh for goodness sake, Gregor

Oh for goodness sake, Gregor, we know you haven’t had a chance to clean up this bit yet, but this is ridiculous!

PS for the last word on why paving should be the answer

Written by Stephen Rees

September 10, 2016 at 3:46 pm

Posted in Arbutus Greenway

Arbutus at 37th

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The tracks have been removed at the crossing of 37th Avenue, with an extension of the gravel path to the corner of West Boulevard. The level crossing signal equipment remains in place.

37th Avenue crossing lifted

37th Avenue crossing lifted

37th Avenue crossing lifted

37th Avenue crossing lifted

Postscript: September 3

The crossing is being removed at King Edward Avenue this morning.

The City of Vancouver is holding Public Feedback workshops. You have to register – click that link!

Written by Stephen Rees

September 2, 2016 at 3:39 pm

Posted in Arbutus Greenway

Arbutus Greenway Conversations continued

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HAPPY

The stencilled graffito has appeared on the Greenway at 29th Avenue at the north end of Quilchena Park

A man using one of those small wheeled Brompton style bicycles stopped, and got off his bike to lift the front wheel over the lip of the bitmac. He started the conversation and told us “A lot of people opposed the use of blacktop.”

“A lot of people?” I asked

“Well, five.”

He was unwilling to take his bike onto the gravel, and felt that the opposition was overstated. He doubted that there was much danger from the runoff from blacktop and concluded

“I know that there are some people opposed to this because they want to extend their gardens.”

Crushed rock surface

The crushed rock use starts south of 33rd and continues up the hill towards 37th. The top surface is loose: in some places very loose indeed.

Unrolled

This kind of loose surface is not acceptable – especially for bicycles.

I have come off my bike on loose gravel, and it was not a pleasant experience. There are some significant drop offs on the west side of the right of way here.

As we were walking up the hill, a cyclist drew alongside us and continued to ride as we walked. He thought that there had been some loss of character in the greenway, as it used to be kind of wild and rugged. Maybe not everywhere needs to be entirely smooth and safe, he suggested. I have read something similar from Patrick Condon.

“People have gotten quite used to the Arbutus Corridor as kind of a romantic landscape — the kind of unkempt quality of it,” Condon said, adding that “it’s level of decay has become something that people kind of like, that they’ve gotten used to.”

He said the path (“A little wide to be called a bike path and way too wide to be called a pedestrian path”) makes some sense from an engineering perspective. It would have been easy to plan and cheap to install — ideal for a temporary path, Condon said. Meanwhile, its foundation of crushed stone would offer drainage and stability.

“I think from a political perspective, they maybe today wish they had not acted so quick,” he said.

 

He might even be right in some places but the area between the two Boulevards in Kerrisdale is definitely not one of them.

Between the Boulevards

There is no reason at all why this could not be blacktopped. On each side is a road and a parking lot. In fact between the faces of the buildings this is the only bit not paved!

Towards 41st

and from Christopher Porter’s twitterScreen Shot 2016-08-14 at 10.35.10 AM

 

Postscript August 22

The section up from 33rd to 37th has now got a finer, better rolled surface.

Bikes and strollers

None of the people in this group seemed to have any problem with the rolled gravel surface, though one lady wearing open sandals was none too pleased. You will note that the single wheeled stroller to the right of the group seemed able to cope with the coarser base on the outside of the rolled section.

Written by Stephen Rees

August 13, 2016 at 3:19 pm

Posted in Arbutus Greenway