Reopening Beach Ave to cars will cause more traffic in West End: transport advocate

The City of Vancouver’s plan to reopen Beach Avenue to two-way traffic near Stanley Park isn’t going over well with some active transportation advocates.

Lucy Maloney, part of Love the Lane Active Transport group, tells CityNews the reopening will mean more drivers will “rat-run” through Stanley Park, and effectively cause more traffic through the city’s West End neighbourhood.

“We think it’s a mistake. Council have decided to go ahead with it, so, I really hope that they’re going to put other measures in place to protect people trying to cross the road,” Maloney shared.

A section of the eastbound lane of Beach Avenue was converted during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic into what has become one of the city’s busiest bike paths.

Vancouver city council approved a plan late last month to restore the two-way traffic, parking, and eventually construct new pedestrian and bike paths.

The plan, which was included in the city’s West End waterfront plan, came after councillors decided to scrap the 30-yearImagine West End Waterfront Parks, Beaches and Transportation Vision project, which had been in the works since 2021.

However, Maloney says the approved plan won’t actually allow for added transit options in the neighbourhood.

“TransLink doesn’t have any plans to put a bus route in there,” she said. “They have no resources and no intention of doing that.”

As a member of Vision Zero Vancouver, a road safety advocacy group that wants to eliminate serious injuries and deaths on roads, Maloney is concerned traffic is being prioritized over pedestrian safety.

“Unfortunately, I suspect it’s for the convenience of drivers and that is being put ahead of the safety of people outside cars, once again,” she said.

-With files from Raynaldo Suarez

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