Work to bring motorists back to Vancouver's Beach Avenue begins next week

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The City of Vancouver says work to bring eastbound vehicle traffic back to Beach Avenue between Denman and Jervis streets will begin next week.

In April, when few cars were on the road because of stay-at-home orders by public health officials, Beach Avenue's eastbound lanes were closed to motorists all the way to Hornby Street.

The changes were made to allow park users more room for physical distancing due to COVID-19 concerns.

Cyclists in Stanley Park had a two-lane road to themselves and pedestrians got exclusive use of the seawall.

Under the new plan, traffic will still be banned from Jervis to Hornby streets, as the city works to establish a more permanent plan for the area.

"These interim changes are based on feedback from more than 2,500 residents during the fall on the current street design," according to a statement from the city.

The changes include:

  • Painting crosswalks to better prioritize pedestrians crossings.

  • Adding median islands to shorten the crossing distance for pedestrians.

  • Incorporating accessible design features like level bus boarding islands and modified traffic signals.

  • Replacing traffic cones with sturdier and harder-to-move concrete barriers.

In September, the City of Vancouver launched an online survey to gather public input on the future of the Beach Avenue bike lane and the path.

A plan to gather feedback on the longer-term vision for the area, and whether the changes should be permanent will be rolled out in 2021.

The budget for the changes was not mentioned in the statement from the city.