Cyclists propose new bike loop
A North Shore cycling group is hoping to get more bicycles on West Vancouver’s streets with a proposed new bike loop.
The district is playing catch-up with other municipalities when it comes to developing bike-friendly infrastructure, said Peter Scholefield, Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition’s North Shore committee vice-chair. The majority of the municipality’s streets don’t have bicycle lanes and most are tight for space, he said.
The committee has mapped out a bike loop which circles 13th Street and 25th Street. It passes by five schools, including Pauline Johnson elementary and West Vancouver secondary, five parks, such as Ambleside and Hay, and the West Vancouver Memorial Library and community centre.
“I think all that is really needed initially is signs,” Scholefield said.
Since the loop passes by so many schools, chunks of it are in 30 km/h speed zones, making it safer for cyclists, he noted. It could also become a motivational factor in getting the younger generation on bikes, Scholefield said.
The bikeway would connect into an existing bike route that runs east to west through the district, as well as the new Spirit Trail.
The committee and the district are planning to sit down this summer and review all the municipality’s bike routes. The municipality has a cycling route and green master plan which it adopted in 2007. Since then, cycling within the district has increased, said Raymond Fung, director of engineering and transportation.
“There’s been a desire to revisit it,” he said.
Staff will look at the cycling routes’ connectivity, while also examining other practicalities such as vehicle traffic, road grade and physical constraints such as street width.
“All these types of considerations go into designating routes,” Fung said.
The Ministry of Transportation has been busy upgrading Capilano Bridge and the entrance to the Lions Gate Bridge. After consultation with the cycling coalition, there will be a separate 3.5-metre pedestrian and cycling walkway across Capilano River and the lead up to Lions Gate has been widened, Scholefield said.
“It is really going to be quite a break for cyclists on the North Shore,” he said.