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Vancouver approves installing bike lanes outside VGH

Last Updated May 17, 2017 at 8:04 pm PDT

A bike lane in Downtown Vancouver (Photo credit: Dustin Godfrey for NEWS 1130)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Drivers will soon no longer be able to park at metres directly on 10th Avenue outside Vancouver General Hospital while cyclists will get new bike lanes following a vote by councillors.

In a 9-2 vote, council voted in favour of the $3-million 10th Ave Health Precinct Safety Improvements plan which would remove nearly all metered parking from five blocks of 10th Avenue between Cambie Street and Oak Street and install raised, one-way bike lanes on both sides of the road.

Councillor Melissa De Genova voted against the plan over concerns removing parking would make it harder for patients and visitors to access buildings.

“To take away a whole lane of parking for the most vulnerable people who use those parking spots either to take their loved ones to an appointment or to drive themselves,” De Genova says. “How many cancer patients bike to their appointments?”

The report to council says the plan would add 41 parking spaces, but condense them in certain areas.

A new 116-car parking lot on the corner of 10th Avenue and Ash Street would offset the lost road parking, according to the report, however De Genova says those with mobility issues will still have difficulty getting to the buildings.

“I think it’s mostly about having spaces in front of buildings,” she says. “I see major conflicts here. I see major congestion for people even trying to get to the hospital.”

The plan calls for 10 major actions:

  • Create “Hospital Zone” signage, pavement markings
  • Installing new sidewalks, shorter crossings, marked crosswalks, and lighting
  • Enhance pick-up/drop-off areas for patients, including longer raised passenger zones in front of the Eye Care Centre and Mary Pack Arthritis Centre
  • Ensure convenient parking is available for patients with mobility challenges and improve the area’s general visitor parking
  • Improve alternate bike routes to 10th Ave
  • Installing raised, one-way protected bike lanes on both sides of 10th Ave between Oak Street and Cambie Street
  • Convert 10th Avenue to one-way for westbound vehicles from Cambie Street to Ash Street to reduce vehicle volumes and maintain the tree canopy east of Ash Street
  • New bus stops for the #17 bus route and improving HandyDART and patient transfer access
  • Retaining permit parking on 900 block of 10th Avenue, where possible
  • Create 10th Avenue Health Precinct Evaluation Committee to evaluate the project’s impacts and recommend improvements