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Granville Bridge Connector concept

City presents multiple design options for a new path for Granville Bridge

Public invited to weigh in for second phase of engagement

Each option for a new walking, rolling, and cycling path comes with a different set of benefits and challenges. We’re looking forward to hearing more from the public and stakeholders to help refine options for the path.

Paul Storer, Manager of Transportation Design

September 6 2019 –

The City is excited to launch the second phase of public engagement for the Granville Bridge Connector with six design options based on extensive feedback from across the city earlier this year.

Conceptual plans for a new walking, rolling, and cycling path across Granville Bridge are at the heart of a three-phased engagement process which began in April. The new path is key to sustainably accommodating the growing number of people in the city and region.

With project goals refined from phase one, staff explored over 20 alignment options before arriving at a shortlist of six – the focus of the engagement process over the coming weeks.

“Each option for a new walking, rolling, and cycling path comes with a different set of benefits and challenges”, says Paul Storer, Manager of Transportation Design for the City of Vancouver. “We’re looking forward to hearing more from the public and stakeholders to help refine options for the path.”

Staff explored numerous options, informed by public and stakeholder feedback, internal analysis, and consultant input. Through a multi-step screening process, the options were whittled down to a shortlist of six designs that share the following features:

  • Reallocate two of eight travel lanes on the bridge to create space for a safe and accessible walking, rolling, and cycling path
  • Rebuild the intersections at Granville and 5th Avenue and Granville and Drake Street to facilitate connections to make it easy to get on and off the bridge and connect to the rest of the network
  • Accommodate traffic volumes and maintains reliable transit

Design options

  1. West Side: wide sidewalk and two-way cycling lane on west side of bridge, with new signals at the Howe and Fir ramp crossings. 
  2. West Side +: similar to west side option, but with additional sidewalk improvements on the east side of the bridge and Hemlock ramp, plus an additional cycling connection on Fir ramp to 10th Avenue. 
  3. East Side: wide sidewalk and two-way cycling lane on east side of bridge with new signals at the Hemlock and Seymour ramp crossings. 
  4. East Side +: similar to east side option, but with additional improvements on the west side and 4th Avenue ramp, plus an additional cycling connection on Hemlock ramp to 7th Avenue. 
  5. Raised Centre: wide sidewalk and two-way cycling lane down centre of bridge with path elevated to about one metre above bridge deck. 
  6. Both Sides: slightly widened existing sidewalks and a one-way cycling lane on each side of the bridge, with signalized ramp crossings at Howe, Fir, Hemlock, and Seymour. 

For more information about each design option, view the open house materials (13.4 MB).

Opportunities to share input

The public is invited to learn more and provide feedback through a variety of opportunities: 

  • Open houses: September 13, 14, and 17, 2019
  • TalkVancouver Survey (at open houses or online): September 13 to 30, 2019
  • Deep dive workshops: September 19, 20, and 21, 2019

Staff plan to present recommendations to City Council in early 2020.

What we heard in phase 1

Staff are also reporting back on what we heard earlier this year from a range of participants that included residents and business associations; accessibility, seniors, transportation, and placemaking organizations; and many others.

Several key themes emerged courtesy of over 1,100 people who attended the public events, 5,000 people who completed a survey, and 600 people surveyed on the bridge:

  • Discomfort: Most people currently do not feel comfortable walking or cycling across the bridge.
  • Hidden demand: Many people avoid walking or biking across the bridge even when it would be their most direct route, indicating a pent-up demand for using the bridge.
  • Strong general support: There is support for the project and its draft goals from stakeholders and the general public, with many ideas about how the goals could be achieved.
  • Difficult for people with mobility challenges and those who cycle: These user groups find it especially challenging to use the bridge today, due to crossings with steps and no signals, and a lack of cycling facilities.
  • Suggestions for new or strengthened goals: Suggestions related to climate emergency, designing for adaptability, means prevention, and environmental considerations (e.g. rainwater management, habitat preservation).
  • Diversity of opinions on the level of investment required: Many people are interested in a once-in-a-lifetime placemaking opportunity, while others are more concerned with safety and transportation function.
  • Many ideas for particular alignments: There were suggestions to explore various alignments including centre, west side, east side, bilateral (both sides), and underside options.

For more information about what we heard, read the phase 1 engagement summary (1.9 MB).

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