May 16, 2017 6:06 pm
Updated: May 16, 2017 10:07 pm

Separated bike lanes could replace metered parking in Vancouver’s health corridor along 10th Avenue

WATCH: Vancouver council is reviewing its plans for yet another controversial bike lane that critics say will eliminate badly-needed parking spaces. Geoff Hastings reports.


Parking in front of key medical agencies like the BC Cancer Agency, the Blusson Spinal Cord Centre and the Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) could get a whole lot tighter.

On Tuesday, Vancouver City Council will be presented a proposal to remove meter parking spaces from 10th Avenue, in favour of separated bike lanes between Oak and Cambie streets.

The changes outlined would see a raised one-way protected bike lane on either side of 10th Avenue and increasing disability parking from one space to 13, and passenger loading spaces from eight to 20. While the plan also includes keeping 62 metered parking spaces on side streets, it would also need to remove 77 metered spaces from 10th Avenue and 18 from side streets.

City staff began the consultation process with the public and key stakeholders along the 10th Avenue corridor in June 2015. Through this process, the area between Oak and Cambie streets around VGH was identified as “a stretch of the corridor that didn’t work well for anyone using the street.”

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According to a report by the city’s director of transportation Lon LaClair, the area, known as the Health Precinct due to the sheer number of health care service providers, has grown causing the avenue’s narrow roadway to get busier.

The report says 10th Avenue now handles about 4,500 vehicles, 3,000 bikes (on busy days), as well as pedestrians, deliveries, ambulance access to VGH’s emergency room, HandyDART trips and patient transfers.

The design, LaClaire says, is based on best practices and approaches taken in other cities and a protected bike lane would help “alleviate many safety concerns related to people walking, biking, and driving along 10th Avenue.”

There are also plans in the proposal to convert 10th Avenue into a one-way street, heading westbound, from Cambie to Ash streets, except for bikes.

The redesign of 10th Avenue corridor has been endorsed by the Vancouver Coast Health, VGH and the Provincial Health Services Authority.

City Council will be listening to speakers on Tuesday and possibly voting on the proposal on Wednesday.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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