Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Willingdon Greenway concerns raised

As the proposed Willingdon Greenway linking Brentwood Town Centre and Willingdon Heights continues to move forward, a local cyclist group is raising some concerns.  The greenway will run along the the east side of Willingdon Ave between Brentlawn Drive and Hastings Street.  The current design will require cyclists and pedestrians to use the same path whereas the cycling advocacy group HUB is suggesting 2 separated paths along the greenway.

Burnaby Now story below

Path problems: Moreno Zanotto, a member of HUB Burnaby and the City of Burnaby’s transportation committee, is unhappy with the city’s proposed Willingdon Greenway, which would be a shared pathway for pedestrians and cyclists travelling between Brentlawn Drive and Hastings Street.   Photograph By Jennifer Gauthier

Cyclists raise concerns about greenway proposal

OCTOBER 6, 2016 10:59 AM

Cycling advocates in Burnaby are standing firm against a proposed shared pathway that would link the future Brentwood development to Hastings Street.
HUB Burnaby, the local branch of a non-profit organization that promotes cycling in the community, is calling on the City of Burnaby to rethink the design for its proposed Willingdon Greenway.
The current design is a 1.2-kilometre multi-use pathway that would be accessible to both pedestrians and cyclists. It’s proposed to run from Brentlawn Drive to Hastings Street, connecting Brentwood Town Centre to the north part of the city.
There are already several similar urban trails throughout the city.
In the past, HUB Burnaby has sat back as the paths were constructed, but enough is enough, according to Moreno Zanotto, a HUB Burnaby member and a representative on the city’s transportation committee.
“Their effectiveness is predicated on their non-use. So as long as pedestrian volumes stay really low and cyclist’ volumes stay really low, they can work, but as soon as those numbers start increasing, the number of conflicts between road users explodes,” Zanotto told the NOW.
The main concerns with the proposed Willingdon Greenway are safety and growth of transportation modes like cycling and walking, Zanotto said.
Chances of a collision are especially high with cyclists travelling at higher speeds than pedestrians and even more so if they’re forced to dodge other obstacles along the four-metre-wide path, including benches, park spaces and art pieces as proposed, Zanotto said.
A shared path will also discourage prospective cyclists from using the greenway as a commuter route, he added.
Currently, less than one per cent of trips within the City of Burnaby are made by bike, and it’s been that way for at least the past 30 years, according to research conducted by HUB using data from TransLink. During that time, the city has focused on urban trails, Zanotto said.
“It’s not an effective facility in increasing cycling, and we’re not seeing growth,” he said. “We need a new approach.”
Zanotto, who lives in the Heights, said he wouldn’t use the proposed greenway unless it was the only option. Instead, he and other cyclists in the area prefer the Sea-to-River Parkway that runs north to south along Carleton Avenue.
What he’d like to see along the Willingdon corridor is a separated bike lane like those in Vancouver or European countries like the Netherlands.
“They’re not only safer, they represent really good choices for encouraging cycling,” Zanotto said.
HUB Burnaby is currently circulating a petition asking the City of Burnaby to build a separated cycle path on the Willingdon Greenway. The petition is aiming for 100 signatures before it's presented to council. So far, 21 people have signed. To sign the petition and learn more about what HUB's proposal for the greenway, click here.
On Sept. 14, the City of Burnaby held an open house to provide residents with more information regarding the proposed Willingdon Greenway.
The NOW contacted the City of Burnaby for details on when the project would go before council but have yet to hear back.

© 2016 Burnaby Now

1 comment:

  1. If you add a separate bike lane you might as well call the greenway a driveway. The whole line from Brentlawn to Willingdon will need to be paved with asphalt to accommodate these demands. A bike lane would need to be 3 meters and a separate pedestrian pathway 2m. Add the divider to the equation and it would be necessary for 5.5 meters of asphalt.

    Deal with it bikers. If this means that people riding bikes would have to slow down than this plan is a great one. Indeed, there are a plethora of laneways on the path. The last thing I would want is for a biker flying at 40 km/h while I am trying to take a left turn onto Willingdon.