AFTER receiving almost 8,000 survey responses from the public, City staff are recommending the “West Side Plus” design option for the Granville Bridge Connector. Starting January 24, the public will have the opportunity to share final feedback before a proposed design is presented to City Council for decision.
“West Side Plus was by far the most popular option with the public during two previous rounds of engagement,” said Paul Storer, Manager of Transportation Design. “People also shared ideas, many of which we’ve been able to incorporate, for improving the design to ensure it offers the best possible experience for users.”
The proposed design for the West Side Plus option includes wide, accessible sidewalks on both sides of the main span of the bridge, and a two-way bike lane on the west side. It also includes safety improvements at ramp crossings, and improvements at each end of the bridge to link the Connector to the rest of the area’s walking and cycling network. The design leaves the bridge with enough capacity to accommodate transit vehicles and motorists.
“As the City’s population grows and climate-change concerns intensify, the need to offer sustainable travel options has never been more important,” says Storer. “This project will give people more travel options to and from downtown that don’t contribute to congestion or pollution.”
In 2016, 18,000 residents and 17,000 jobs were within a five-minute walk of Granville Bridge and 90,000 residents and 125,000 jobs were within a five-minute bike ride. Despite being a direct route to and from downtown, few people bike or use the bridge’s sidewalks because they feel unsafe and uncomfortable or because it’s not accessible.
As the City grows, even more people will live and work within easy walking and cycling distance of the bridge. Once the Granville Bridge Connector is completed, all three False Creek bridges will offer safe and accessible options for walking, rolling and biking to and from downtown.
The proposed design represents a vision for the long-term configuration of the bridge and will cost $30-40 million, excluding means prevention fencing. Like many capital projects, the project would likely be delivered in phases and through partnerships.
The City’s current capital budget includes $25 million for the Granville Bridge Connector. This spring, staff will present to Council a conceptual, phased budget for the project that will include the first phase of work that falls within the 2019-2022 capital budget.
People can share feedback on the proposed design starting January 24 at an open house or online: vancouver.ca/granvilleconnector. People can also give feedback on a proposed design for upgrades to Drake Street, which provides provide a critical link to Granville Bridge: vancouver.ca/drake-street-upgrades.