Vancouver Street

Vancouver Street is an important north-south connection in the City’s All Ages and Abilities (AAA) cycling network.

Vancouver runs from Bay Street to Dallas Road, including portions through Beacon Hill Park. Once complete, this corridor will connect the Humboldt, Fort and Pandora AAA routes and provide cyclists with access to a number of parks, schools, residents and employment destinations. The design concept for Vancouver Street will include protected bike lanes on busy streets and shared-use neighbourhood bikeways on traffic calmed streets.

STATUS: The Vancouver Street project is undergoing detailed design and is anticipated to start construction by the end of 2019

ENGAGEMENT: City staff conducted public engagement from August 2018 to May 2019. In this time, staff collected feedback through open houses, on-street pop ups, walking tours and an online survey. Changes to design were made based off public feedback collected to confirm the proposed design is taking the right approach.

Click here to see the design concepts and engagement content for the 2019 projects:Vancouver Street 2019 Engagement Boards.pdf [PDF - 29 MB]

The first phase of enagagement took place in November and December of 2018. You can view the boards that were shared with the public here: VancouverStreetOpenHouseBoards-Nov2018.pdf [PDF - 26.1 MB]

Background:

All Ages and Abilities (AAA) bicycle routes are designed to provide a safer, more inviting and low-stress cycling experience.

Cook Street was originally identified for priority investment on the City’s AAA Network. This was based on the findings from the 2016 Biketoria Network Study which identified the benefits of direct connectivity to urban village centres and a more gentle topography compared to other north / south routes. 

Further analysis of Cook Street in early 2018, however, revealed that significant trade-offs would be required to maintain vehicle traffic performance and cycling safety (not only on the corridor, but also at intersections) with the 3 lane roadway design. In particular, vehicle levels of service would be negatively impacted at peak travel times posing significant delays in the downtown core. This would likely result in motorists choosing parallel routes, including short-cutting through neightbourhoods on local streets, which raised further safety concerns.

Staff’s analysis indicated impacts could be mitigated by maintaining 4 vehicle travel lanes and building bike lanes in the boulevard, but these changes would have imposed additional impacts. Several iterations of design and cross sections for different blocks were assessed to determine how to best balance traffic flow and cycling safety. In short, providing a functional design with 4 lanes would come at the cost of pedestrian comfort, numerous boulevard tree removals, and a number of utility and infrastructure conflicts.  All of these impacts would have increased overall project costs and construction length.

More information about the three-lane and four-lane design assessments for Cook Street and benefits of near-term investments on Vancouver Street is found in the staff report and video from the May 24, 2018 meeting. While Cook Street remains on the City’s long term network, investments in Vancouver Street have now been prioritized to complete the eastern leg of the downtown AAA network.