City approves paved path through Grand Boulevard

After 109 years, North Vancouver’s Green Necklace is one step from making ends meet.

Council voted to fund the next-to-last-leg of the seven-kilometre walking/cycling loop around Central Lonsdale Monday, but not everyone was seeing green.

“It’s a strip of tarmacadam around the city, there’s nothing green about it,” said Coun. Rod Clark, adding he’d once dubbed the loop “the black necklace.”

The newest stretch of paved trail is slated to stretch 2.1 kilometres along East Keith Road to Grand Boulevard and north to 19th Street. However, the bike trails would be better suited to Ridgeway, Sutherland, or Moody Avenues, according to Clark, who said Grand Boulevard “has served the city extremely well just the way it is.”

Besides paving the pedestrian trail down the centre of Grand Boulevard, the plan includes two single-direction cycle paths along the park’s perimeter.

“What’s multi-modal about putting three strips of tarmacadam down Grand Boulevard; two on either side for exclusive use of bicycles, one north and one south?” Clark asked, adding he was dubious about the city’s ability to enforce the single-direction lanes.

The Green Necklace is essential for allowing North Vancouverites to travel freely and easily around the heart of their city, responded Mayor Darrell Mussatto.

“If we don’t give (commuters) alternatives they will continue to use their automobiles, so we have to give them proper, logical alternatives,” Mussatto said.

After initially resisting the Green Necklace, the public is now clamouring for it, according to Coun. Craig Keating.

“People want multi-modal trails where they can have bikes and strollers and wheelchairs,” he said.

The city has now allocated $2.3 million to continue work on the Green Necklace, as well as $200,000 already spent for planning and design. City staff expect the municipality to receive $382,700 in funding from TransLink for the project.

The $2.5-million price tag is too steep, according to Coun. Pam Bookham, who also criticized the selection of Grand Boulevard.

“Maybe it’s not the best thing to put cyclists, pedestrians, trucks and cars all in the same corridor,” she said.

“Anyone who has been on this particular route at rush hour – which is increasingly longer – knows that there exists already a huge challenge, and that’s without removing any parking.”

City staff promised to retain as many parking spots as possible. The plan also includes improved street lighting at each intersection.

While she was initially opposed to the trail system, Coun. Holly Back lauded the Green Necklace, particularly the decision to pave the centre of Grand Boulevard, which she said would allow easy passage for people in wheelchairs and parents pushing strollers.

“I think that we’ve started the project and we should take it to completion,” Back said.

The motion to fund the Green Necklace passed 5-2, with Couns. Clark and Bookham opposed.

After first being envisioned in North Vancouver’s 1907 town plan, the first segment of the Green Necklace along Keith Road was finished in 2005.

Coun. Craig Keating was nearly two hours late for the meeting, but arrived just in time to debate the Green Necklace.


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Source: City approves paved path through Grand Boulevard

6 responses to “City approves paved path through Grand Boulevard

  1. I have to agree with Jenna, pavement is bad for the bones and joints. I was just adjusting my jogging route to accommodate for this, thinking Grand Boulevard will be perfect because it isn’t paved! So much for that.

    Also, since they’ve added bike lanes around Victoria Park, I haven’t seen one cyclist use it. Waste of money and now I have to worry about (potential) bikes whizzing by while I’m out for a stroll. Meanwhile dog owners continue to let their dogs off-leash to run around and defecate unperturbed. But that’s another story!

  2. Florence L. Nicholson

    Of all the non-green decisions this has to be the worst The Grand Boulevard parkway will be ruined with all that tarmac taking over our beautiful, peaceful green space. Shame on Mussatto and his cohorts!’ What’s wrong with the sidewalks for pushing strollers? Bikes in a lovely park is just NOT ON!!!! What’s the point in voicing an opinion to this dictator run council?
    Florence L. Nicholson

  3. Brian Miltimore

    I used to have my offices in Gastown in Vancouver and road to work over the Iron Workers and back the Lions Gate Bridges. The difference between the choices made for bike routes in the City of Vancouver and the City of North Vancouver is so striking it’s shocking. In the CNV you ride on major traffic roads with steep gradients and no alternate routing to reduce the terrible hill climbs required. This is why so few CNV residents cycle and by not addressing this front and centre all the CNV efforts are going to a futile waste of CNV valuable staff time and taxpayers money.

  4. PS – The Green Necklace has existed for over 100 years. It was set up as the large parks which circle the city centre – Victoria Park, Grand Boulevard, Greenwood Park (the Quarry) and Mahon Park.
    I have never understood the need to spend millions on enlarging and landscaping sidewalks already in existence but that’s politicians for you!

  5. Jenna – You haven’t been paying attention! Did you actually watch the council meeting when the Green Necklace/Grand Blvd. changes were approved? If you did then you understand that the mayor and his cohort KNOW what is best for the city. They do not need input from users and experts. Those they selectively did hear were 100% in favour and even those who have spoken against the development over the past 10 years are now completely in love with it.
    You seem to believe there are still many citizens who are not happy – can you prove it? Opinions expressed at the 2 city information meetings have never been published; letters, emails and phone calls to councillors weren’t publicly tallied. I don’t recall any citizen speaking on the subject at a Public Input session, certainly not on the night the final vote was taken, but then, the council agenda doesn’t come out until the Friday before the Monday meeting and it’s difficult for ordinary people to get organized in a couple of days. If we were in West Vancouver a member of the public can sign up to speak on any item on the council agenda as it comes up for discussion at the council meeting.. When the Boulevard section of the Green Necklace vote was taken the public gallery was almost empty so it was easy to justify the assumption there was no opposition/no interest.
    I walked the Boulevard twice a day for almost 50 years- it holds precious memories for me- but if public opinions are to hold any weight, actual people must now be SEEN AND HEARD in great numbers to have any impact on decisions. It is useless to sign petitions which are ignored and write letters and emails which disappear into limbo. It is absolutely necessary to show up and speak up and, if all else fails, get out and VOTE in 2018.

  6. Maybe the City should have had the courtesy of listing to the main users of the Grand Boulevard Park today- the local walkers who use the part in large numbers and have typically done so on a daily basis for many years. Walkers who attended both the community open houses were virtually unanimous in asking that the centre path remain unpaved. Respondents included those who used the path with strollers and wheel chairs. Perhaps the City could also have consulted local physiotherapists who have also weighed in on the advantages of the present gravel path for the many walkers who are prone to bad knees and arthritic feet.

    And where is the green in the additional 3.4 acres of tarmac?

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