Greenway development will make access to Langara easier, safer

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Part of 59th Avenue, above, will be turned into a greenway for use by cyclists and pedestrians. The route will provide safer access to the city, public parks and several schools, including Langara. Photo: Agustina Coccaro.

As part of Vancouver’s Greenest City 2020 action plan, the city is developing 17 greenways for use by cyclists and pedestrians, one of which passes by Langara.

The North Arm Trail is a new corridor that will eventually connect 59th Avenue from Champlain Heights to Southlands. The 11-kilometre path is expected to run along the southern edge of the Langara Golf Course, offering an alternative route into the city for cyclists and pedestrians.

“Work [on the greenway] is expected to be completed [in] 2012, with a few minor pieces of construction that could possibly occur in 2013,” said Alex Russell, City of Vancouver communications manager. “Residents should expect localized traffic disruptions at specific construction sites along the route.”

The greenway will also connect several elementary and secondary schools, community centres, parks and the Pearson Hospital. The path will provide a scenic route into the city as it runs down the Fraserview ravine and passes through many of the natural features of south Vancouver.

Bike lane controversies

Langara nursing student and cyclist Shelby Young says she is excited for the new greenways but is sure that the new bike lanes will come with the same controversy that the bike lanes downtown faced.

“The attitude in the city about bikes is pretty frustrating, but I think once drivers get over the fact that the roads have been shortened, they’ll like it,” said Young. “It’s nice to be separated from the cars, and it’s safer for the drivers too.”

The North Arm Trail will not only connect east-west but also south-north. The greenway already connects with the Ontario Street bike lane, and would be attached to two other proposed greenways that will on Arbutus Street and Renfrew Street.

Currently, 59th Avenue is a quiet residential street with minimal traffic. The city is hoping the new trail will be used by people in the immediate area, as well as those who want to connect from other greenways.

Reported by Agustina Coccaro

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