The provincial government has completed the $7-million project to construct dedicated bike lanes and expanded pedestrian footpaths along both sides of the Stanley Park Causeway.
Construction crews widened the eastern pathway to a width of 3.6 metres for one-way northbound cyclist traffic and two-way pedestrian traffic. On the opposite side of the road, the western pathway was widened to a width of 2.1 metres to accommodate one-way southbound cyclist movements.
Along both sides of the entire length of the 2.2-kilometre three-lane road, green-coloured safety fencing has been installed to separate cyclists and pedestrians from vehicle traffic.
The project was announced by the B.C. Ministry of Transportation last spring in response to a high-profile fatality on the Causeway in May 2013. In the incident, a cyclist fell off the narrow pathway, onto the road, and was subsequently killed after being struck by a transit bus.
“The completion of this project is good news for people who cycle and those who want to start cycling more, because the safety fence and the designated cycling spaces make it safer and easier to navigate this route,” said HUB Cycling executive director Erin O’Melinn in a statement.
Construction began in mid-September and was originally scheduled for a completion in December, but the Ministry says there were delays due to poor weather and the implementation of additional mitigation measures to protect route’s trees. A total of 14 trees between the ages of 30 to 60 years were removed and another 122 trees required protection, with measures ranging from soil removals to backfills. Approximately one acre of forest space was permanently affected by the widening.
“We are pleased the impact to the environmental footprint was very minimal here as the ministry worked with our team to deliver a safer and more efficient roadway for cyclists and pedestrians, while preserving the ecology and natural beauty of our park,” said Vancouver Park Board chair Sarah Kirby-Yung.
Between 60,000 and 70,000 vehicles use the Stanley Park Causeway on a daily basis and more than 2,200 cyclists and about 200 pedestrians use the route during the busy summer months.