‘Complete Streets’ improvements coming to West Georgia Street

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Stanley Park causeway aerial
Aerial view of West Georgia Street at entrance to Stanley Park causeway. Credit: Ruth Hartnup/Flickr

The City of Vancouver has announced a round of consultation towards improving the travel experience along Georgia Street near Stanley Park.

The new initiative, dubbed ‘Georgia Street Gateway West,’ involves the section of Georgia between Chilco and Nicola Streets, and aims to make the street more safe, enjoyable, and efficient for those using it. 

This section of street has been prioritized, the City says, because it is a high growth area, and the street is not working well for many users currently.

The neighbourhood is certainly poised for significant growth in the near future.

At least six new condominium and rental towers — including projects from Bosa, Westbank, Landa Global and Brilliant Circle — are in various stages of approval along Georgia and Alberni. Two towers are also proposed for the White Spot restaurant site, and Anthem is expected to reveal the design soon for the former Chevron gas station site — a residential tower designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox of New York.

Improvements to tackle existing challenges

As users of the corridor have likely experienced, Georgia Street faces many challenges in this section.

Current issues include frequent vehicle collisions at Denman and Pender Streets, uncomfortable intersections for pedestrians, limited separated cycling infrastructure, bus delays due to vehicle traffic, complicated signage, and shifting travel lanes that confuse some motorists, according to the City’s report on the topic.

West Pender and West Georgia
The intersection of West Pender and West Georgia Street can be challenging and uncomfortable for cyclists.

City staff state that vehicle traffic along this stretch of Georgia Street has remained mostly stable over last decade, mostly because there is no more room for cars at peak hours on the Lions Gate Bridge. Acknowledging the unlikeliness that the Lions Gate will see an increase in vehicle capacity any time soon, the City is looking for ways to make alternative modes of transport more ‘attractive and realistic.’

This is the goal of a complete street, according to the City’s report.

Such streets are ‘designed to thoughtfully integrate neighbourhood context, transportation, vibrant public space, green infrastructure & sustainability.’ Most importantly, it goes on to say, they must be ‘comfortable and safe for people of all ages and abilities across all modes of travel.’

Georgia Street Gateway West goals
The City is hoping the Georgia Street Gateway West will help achieve not just transportation goals, but also placemaking and green infrastructure priorities.
West Georgia Street bike lane
Rendering of how a redesigned West Georgia Street could look, with a separated bike lane.

Improvements to make this section of Georgia a ‘complete street’ could include:

  • Public art
  • Improved crosswalks
  • Enhanced greenspace and landscaping
  • Separated bike lanes
  • Expansion of HOV lanes or bus-only lanes

At this time, the City is in the early stages of consultation, and is looking for feedback from residents regarding their experiences along this section of the Georgia Corridor.

While the open house on the topic already took place on November 18, the City’s online survey is live until December 2, 2017.

West Georgia complete streets
Area of West Georgia proposed for Complete Streets initiative.
Stanley Park causeway
Traffic heading north to the Stanley Park causeway.

Similar improvements to take place at other strategic locations around Vancouver

The Complete Streets initiative is a component of the City’s long term transportation plan, Transportation 2040, which aims to make travel around easier and more sustainable around the entire city.

Other priority areas for complete street improvements already announced include Water Street in Gastown, Commercial Drive, and the Cambie Street corridor, south of King Edward Ave.

  • Bill Robertson

    It’s so sad that these lunatics are in a position to force their ideology and ridiculous fantasies on us. They have no clue how the real world works. More gridlock on our already overcrowded streets while one or two cyclists ride by on separated bike lanes that are paid for by the motorist or a few folks stroll along a widened sidewalk. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of cars sit idling in needless traffic. You won’t see any financial contribution from any bike group – they want the drivers to pay for all this nonsense. Vision and Robertson sure don’t have any respect for the hard working taxpayers who pay their salaries – they only bow to the minority (cycle cult). I notice the write up on Angus Beaty says we can “find him biking to the beach or hitting the slopes” – NOT WORKING! What does this tell you! So, so sad…

  • Lysenko’s Nemesis

    Tart it up if you want but the City is dreaming if it thinks all those people that travel from North and West Vancouver and beyond are suddenly going to bike or take a bus.

    Any tiny fraction of people that then decides to bike to and from Horseshoe Bay, or upper Lonsdale will be offset by the growing population in those areas, plus growing Squamish, etc.

    Vision and Gregor are going to do it anyway, if they are re-elected, so why not save some money and drop the pretence that they are going to consult. Just screw us once.