Notes from Meetings with City of North Vancouver Staff
From HUB - Cycling Advocacy - North Shore
Date: July 17, 2019
Present: Erika Rathje, Heather Drugge, Daniel Watson, Justin Hall, Karyn Magnusson
Thank-you’s : )
- Delineators on the 100 Block E 13th Street between Lonsdale and St Georges
- Delineators on lower Chesterfield south of Esplanade
- Delineators at NE corner of Chesterfield and 13th
- Thank-you for the new attitude of helping to create streets comfortable for all users!
- Thank-you to Bylaws for enforcing fines where people are parking in bike lanes. (HUB to send letters to council for bylaws and incremental improvements)
Meetings with Councillors and HUB Goals
- Goals: three safe routes: Main and Marine (M&M), Harbour to Headwaters, and Peak to Creek. Active transportation manager. Meetings went well with all councillors in conceptual agreement with both goals, though Councillor Bell probably would not vote in favor of allocating budget to them. The next step is for us to ask council to direct staff to create an implementation plan and budget for City portion of these routes at the October 7th delegation. No one could figure out how the active transportation manager should be funded or operationalized.
- Staff asked how the goals were being received in neighbouring municipalities and we did not have an answer because I am not sure that any meetings regarding the goals have taken place. This will remain a question in all munis and must be addressed (somehow).
- Heather relayed to staff about the history of the AAA network. In 2015 it was approved by council including an estimated cost of 20M. Funds were never allocated to implement, however protected lanes like the one on West Keith along the MUP are part of the network, so $ are being found – not just in a big lump or earmarked for AAA. A planned approach to implementation and year to year funding would be an improvement : )
Bicycle Master Plan
- The funding for the bicycle master plan update was diverted into consulting fees for the new design for the Main and Marine (M&M) bike route as a result of the B-Line along Marine.
- The project is exploring 5 possible routes as well as studying the issues of using MUPs, bikes in bus lanes as well as ebikes and their requirements for different intersection-approach design due to higher speeds.
- The Mobility Strategy is the new Long-Term Transportation Plan – an update of the 2008 version. This version ties in with the City’s social, environmental and city standards for built environment as well as transportation requirements. The strategy identifies “great streets.” This document will go to council in September for discussion. Once at council, public can access / discuss as well. The Mobility Strategy is a forward looking document.
Projects in Process
- Esplanade Protected Bike Lanes. A new protected bike lane will be ready shortly along the Prominade development. This design has room for sidewalk, trees, bike lane, trees then car lane. there will be a textured surface separating the sidewalk and bike lane (similar to Carrall St approaching Expo Blvd in Vancouver) with the street trees between the bike lane and the curb. It will set the precedent for any new lanes.
- Staff cannot remove parking unless there is a council directive to do so. There is some concern that if parking is removed, businesses will respond negatively. Staff are aware that changes are required and quickly, but would like to include an education component to help avoid negative feedback. A design concept for Esplanade will be presented to council in September. Council will approve or not. If approved the concepts will go to public consultation. HUB will be asked to review more detailed designs.
- Off Marine Drive Route. Part of HUB's Main and Marine (M&M) route. Staff are exploring 3 different routes: 1) Marine Drive, 2) 3rd and 15th , 3) 1st Street. Of the three the 1st Street route seems the easiest to proceed with, though long term the 3rd and 15th street route would be more pleasant. Marine Drive would mix bikes with buses. We expressed that bikes and buses don’t mix. There will be a bus every minute and realistically, that design will not increase (bike) ridership.
- Staff recognize the 1st Street route will need alterations to the section between Bewicke and Mackay. Fell and 1st is a high cycle-car conflict zone due to right turns. The segment where the road curves over the creek and merges into 2nd is a tough spot due to the overhead. The conceptual routes will go to council and when they do, will be made public (HUB can review them then). Staff are planning public education and consultation to avoid negative feedback.
- 3rd Street at Cotton chicane. Erika asked about the push button. The push button will be replaced by a detector loop and a light that indicates to cyclists that the flashers are “on”
- 3rd Street hill. The storm sewer project is underway and the pavement and bus lane markings will go down this week. The bike route is off-street through the park in this location.
- New Mosquito Creek Bridge there will be wide sidewalks for peds and cyclists and a pathway underneath to connect to the trail, though with the off Marine bike route, the Marine Drive bike lanes are not likely to stay.
- Mackay Street Parking has been removed in some segments. A MUP is being constructed on top of the dyke being built for flood mitigation and there will also be bike lanes on both sides with parked car buffer in places. Should be done soon.
- 29th Street. If the District holds its position on the bike lanes, then the City will do the same. Staff noted that the alternate route put forward by a resident ties in with the City’s planned Upper-Level Greenway above the highway. That route has no timeline on it (?) but seems important to council. It is too bad that this route, which is not a priority route is attracting backlash and is positioning bike lanes vs. parking.
- 16th between Mackay and Fell. To get a proper facility, one side or both sides parking needs to be removed. However, staff are aware of the high potential in that area for bikelash and know they will have to go to public with education and consultation. Residential off-street parking was underbuilt for present demand. Staff are exploring other options and are aware this segment is a significant gap. Erika made the suggestion to make it a one-way street.
- Casano Bridge and connections up to Lynn Valley. The bridge needs another 2.5 million in funding which staff hope to get next year. HUB will review connections and routes up to and from the bridge to Lynn Valley Center. Staff feel this could be part of the Harbour to Headwater route. They are looking at which of 13th, 15th or 17th to use as the connector. 17th goes straight through to Rufus, which is the road leading up to the bridge. 13th is 3 blocks away from completing a route to Grand Blvd. 15th is very busy and not in the current BMP. We will see conceptual routes in late 2019.
- Routes up from Brooksbank at Keith are being explored. Better to use Salop trail or local streets?
- The TAC guidelines for geometric design were updated with a chapter on bicycle facilities (June 2017). City infrastructure that does not meet the guidelines will be reviewed.
- New signage through the bus shed at Lonsdale Quay will remind all users to be courteous of other users. There is no requirement for a dismount. The same signage will be applied to the Jones overpass (woot!).
- Staff have developed protected lane design standards for Chesterfield. When a new development comes forward, the building must comply with standards that accommodate protected bike lanes on both sides. The first example of this = below 3rd Street on the east side. This process is automatic now. When a development occurs that does not substantially alter the block (eg the SW corner of 16th and Chesterfield) the boulevard is future proofed to ensure appropriate space for the bike path to be constructed later. If the block is substantially altered (1/2 or more) the City aims to work with the developer to deliver a complete block of bike path. Above 21st is more difficult because the road allowance is skinnier. This may also result in the removal of parking. Note that the plan is laid, but it will take years for the full implementation as it relies on re-development.
- One-way streets came up a couple of times as a way to include protected bike lanes. The street under discussion was 16th between Mackay and Fell.
- Staff report that conflicts between different users along the Spirit Trail are increasing in popular segments, in particular the new section through the Mosquito Creek Marina.