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City of North Van takes second look at controversial bike lane

‘We are looking at everything that people are suggesting,’ says city deputy engineer
St Andrews Bike Lane PM web
Drivers now park their cars closer to the centre of St. Andrews Avenue in North Vancouver, part of an overall traffic calming project. The city staff are now taking a second look at changes, which have been unpopular in the neighbourhood.

City of North Vancouver council may be backpedalling on an unpopular bike lane and traffic calming measures installed on St. Andrews Avenue over the summer.

Council members and city staff were deluged with emails after crews moved the northbound parking lane between 13th Street and Keith Road into the street to create space for a new uphill mobility lane, while adding in raised crosswalks and curb bulges for pedestrians.

Several residents from the neighbourhood showed up at the council chamber Monday (Sept. 26) evening – the first meeting since most of the changes were made – and urged council members to reconsider. Neighbours have said the narrower street makes it harder for them to see oncoming drivers and cyclists when turning onto St. Andrews, and that it’s harder for drivers to see pedestrians approaching the intersection.

Mayor Linda Buchanan issued a mea culpa on behalf of the city, saying their hope was to make the street safer by slowing drivers down but that clearly, they had failed to get nearby residents on board.

“We will acknowledge that from my perspective, there have been some missteps on our side of the table,” she said. “I’m totally disappointed in the manner in which this was implemented. I’m disappointed in what I would say would be the lack of communication which occurred.”

Buchanan asked the city’s staff to report back with some ideas on changes that nearby residents can live with while still meeting the city’s main objective of traffic calming.

“We all want to be moving safely and efficiently through the community. We all want everyone, regardless of how you’re moving, to be feeling safe and be safe,” she said.

City deputy engineer Karyn Magnusson said staff have heard loud and clear the desire for a second look and that she will report back in about five weeks time, after staff have collected data about traffic pattern changes on the street.

“It is all in the mix right now. We are looking at everything that people are suggesting – both the qualitative and quantitative ideas and experiences that people are sharing with us, so we are not outright discounting any solution at this point,” she said.