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Move On: 2024 predictions for active transportation on the North Shore

Upgrades to transportation routes in Horeshoe Bay, Lynn Valley and Deep Cove are on columnist Heather Drugge’s 2024 forecast
The Casano-Loutet Overpass should come to fruition in 2024. | City of North Vancouver

2024 is a New Year. I shook my snow globe, looking to see the future. Here are my predictions for the active transportation projects you will see on the ground or a drawing board during 2024.

Casano-Loutet Overpass

Finally! Crossing Highway 1 poses logistic, safety, and psychological challenges for pedestrians and people rolling.

The City of North Vancouver has planned and championed a new pedestrian and micro-mobility bridge to span the highway where there has been no access since 1961, when the highway split the community.

I see in my snow globe that this project will break ground in 2024, re-uniting us across the asphalt divide.

The overpass will make rolling and walking from the Grand Boulevard area to Lynn Valley a safer, far more pleasant experience.

Horseshoe Bay to Squamish?

In an interview with West Vancouver Mayor Mark Sager early in 2023, I learned about his vision for a safe, multi-use path between Horseshoe Bay and Squamish.

This would extend along the CN Rail right of way by the seashore.

The land is owned by the province and leased to CN. West Vancouver has a history of negotiating successfully with CN, so if there is room, it is possible.

The MUP is a wonderful idea if it can be executed, and it would make riding from Vancouver to Squamish much safer than the current situation on Highway 99. Seaview Walk is now part of the Great Trail, the old Trans-Canada Trail.

There is no Great Trail land link between Horseshoe Bay and Squamish, so this section needs a solution. Cooperation by CN, coupled with funding from the province and federal government, could make this conceptual idea a concrete reality.

Upper-Levels Greenway

Located north of Highway 1, the Upper Levels Greenway is a multi-use path stretching west from Lynn Valley Road to Westview Drive.

The path follows the Highway and moves west through Tempe Park. The exact route will be revealed in Winter 2024.

The path will connect to the Jones Street overpass and the Green Necklace to the south. To the east, it will ultimately link to the Casano-Loutet bridge, which will also join the Green Necklace, although the exact route for that linkage is currently undetermined.

It improves connections to neighbourhoods and key destinations, including Tempe Heights Park, Greenwood Park, Larson Elementary School, Holy Trinity Elementary School, Ecole Boundary Elementary and Westview Shopping Centre, as well as Harry Jerome Recreation Centre and Sutherland Secondary School.

Spirit Trail East to Deep Cove

A new commitment from District of North Vancouver council to fund the Eastern Extension of the Spirit Trail came early in 2023.

The first phase will address the “southern’ route, divided into five segments below the Parkway: Seymour River Place to Burr Place, Windridge Park to Roche Point Drive, Roche Point trail, through Whey-ah-Wichen (Cates Park) and then on to Deep Cove.

After topographic surveys, tree, environmental, and archaeological assessments and designs, the District expects to start construction on the trail segment between the Seymour River and Berkley Road in late 2024/early 2025. Walking or cycling along a safe path, separated from Parkway or Dollarton traffic, will be revolutionary for folks living in Seymour.

Readers will notice a consistent theme: These projects are all multi-use paths.

MUPs attract funding from various levels of government and have a lot of public support despite their pitfalls. Even the most diehard car-driving, councillor, MLA or MP can appreciate the health and financial benefits of walking and rolling.

Let’s all Move On into a new year with bright prospects for active transportation on the North Shore.

Heather Drugge is a sustainable transportation advocate who has used her bike for transportation for more than 20 years. She’s got an e-bike now, and maybe a jetpack next. [email protected]