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Council approves final funds for Green Necklace

Cycling path slated for West 21st between Jones and Lonsdale
Holly Back

The City of North Vancouver’s most expensive piece of jewelry picked up an unlikely ally Monday.

A $5-million extension of the Green Necklace cycling path along West 21st Street and Lonsdale Avenue won unanimous approval from council Monday, after Coun. Rod Clark made the personally unprecedented move of supporting the trail.

“I guess I’m throwing in the towel,” Clark said.

Clark, who had previously dubbed the cycling path “the black necklace” and branded its implementation on Grand Boulevard “butchering,” opted to vote in favour of the project’s completion.

The West 21st Street segment of the necklace will run from Jones to Lonsdale avenues, while the second leg climbs up to 23rd Street before sloping down 19th Street and then to Grand Boulevard.

The two segments will cost a combined $5 million between 2017 and 2026.

The design and consultation phase was initially scheduled for 2017, but council’s funding approval Monday means construction should be underway in the summer of 2017.

The concept of a trail around Central Lonsdale was first pitched in 1907, although its first segment along Keith Road wasn’t completed until 2005.

Council also approved $50,000 in funding for greenways along St. Davids and Queensbury avenues Monday. The paths are designed to act as connectors between the Green Necklace and the waterfront Spirit Trail.

The project’s objective is to move feet from gas pedals to the ground, according to a city staff report.

However, the stretch of Queensbury Avenue was a concern to Coun. Don Bell, who reminded staff that the street’s status as a special study area in the city’s official community plan could mean big changes to its streetscape.

The Queensbury greenway is designed to accommodate cyclists and pedestrians between Moodyville Park and East Keith Road at the foot of Grand Boulevard.

The St. David’s Avenue stretch runs from Alder Street to East Keith Road.

Council passed both projects 5-0. Mayor Darrell Mussatto and Coun. Pam Bookham did not attend the meeting.