New bike lane means less parking for City of North Vancouver
The City of North Vancouver is preparing a partial overhaul of two city blocks of Lower Lonsdale, widening the road, replacing car parking with motorcycle and scooter stalls, and fixing a longstanding gap in one of the city’s busiest bicycle corridors.
The Esplanade Avenue realignment project is expected to break ground next month and will cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars to revamp the south side of Esplanade Avenue between Lonsdale Avenue to the east and Chesterfield Court to the west.
While North Vancouver city asked The Outlook not to publish the exact budget for the overhaul as the tender process is still open for bidding, the work to be completed by mid to late October is extensive.
First, everything on the south side must go — from trees to gutters, sidewalks to lamp standards and even a fire hydrant — before the actual realignment and bike lane installation work can begin.
“There will be some loss of parking in the area from Rogers [Avenue] to Chesterfield [Court],” said City of North Vancouver streetscape planner Alex Kurnicki in a phone interview with The Outlook.
On that block, three to four car parking spaces will be removed and replaced with two or three smaller spaces for motorcycle and scooter parking, Kurnicki said, adding the choice was made in order to preserve a large ash tree situated in the middle of the block.
“For the perhaps minor impact on on-street parking, there is a surplus of paid underground parking in the area,” Kurnicki said.
For the handful of businesses fronting the two-block stretch of Esplanade Avenue whose owners have not yet been notified of the city’s road renewal plans, Kurnicki said he hoped they would be amenable to the necessary inconvenience of the construction work.
“We would hope that they would be,” Kurnicki said. “We’d be enhancing the pedestrian experience — we’re going to be repairing and replacing sidewalks, removing tripping hazards — so we would hope that they would be.”
Those businesses will be notified of the construction work only once the winning tender is accepted, Kurnicki said, at which point the city will address any concerns that owners and employees on those two blocks may have with the contractor’s plan.
The road construction is expected to tie up car and pedestrian traffic on Esplanade Avenue for the four- to six-week duration, though Kurnicki said the work would be completed in segments to mitigate its impact on people transiting the neighbourhood.
All contractor tenders for the work must be submitted to city hall by 4 p.m. on Aug. 23.