Comox-Helmcken Greenway (through heart of the West End)
(Updated Jan 2013) The Comox-Helmcken Greenway was approved by Vancouver City Council on December 12, 2012. See our article on the topic, from just before the decision. Work on the ground began first thing in January, all along the route.
The Greenway will be part of the City Greenway network, and connect Stanley Park to False Creek. It will run right through the heart of the West End, along Comox Street. City staff held an open house and consultations in the autumn of 2011, and in September 2012 announced four public open houses to display the proposed design, with construction to begin in early 2013 if approved by City Council. Many people have provided input to the City, including ideas, suggestions, concerns, and questions. The last night of open houses was on Oct 4. Click here for some questions we raised to consider. Among other things, one factor is the newly launched process to develop an up-to-date West End Community Plan.
The official city website is http://vancouver.ca/streets-transportation/comox-helmcken.aspx. Another recent WEN post on the topic is here.
The Comox-Helmcken Greenway is part of the City Greenway network, connecting Stanley Park to False Creek. The Greenway route was approved by Council as part of the 2002 Downtown Transportation Plan. The City announced that public consultation on the Comox-Helmcken Greenway project would occur over the fall and winter 2011, with project approval expected in spring 2012. If approved, construction on the Greenway was originally to have begun in fall 2012.
WEN encourages residents to consider this proposal carefully and to get involved so that the best results for all users of the paths and roads, for taxpayer money, for minimal disruptions, etc. will be achieved for this initiative.
What are “Greenways”?
- Greenways are public corridors for pedestrians and cyclists that connect parks, nature reserves, cultural features, historic sites, neighbourhoods and retail areas.
- They are for “people of all ages and abilities to explore their city by walking or wheeling by bicycle, wheelchair, stroller, skateboard and in-line skates in a comfortable, convenient and interesting way.”
- They can include many features, such as “corner bulges and traffic circles to calm traffic and improve pedestrian comfort while providing opportunities for people to personalize their street through gardening” and much more.
- Official information from the City of Vancouver is here.
- This Courier wrote an article entitled Residents rally against the Greenway project.
- Comments from residents are here.
- The final plan is here.
- This is a “FAQ” on greenways.
- An article in the Georgia Straight on December 21, 2011 entitled “Comox-Helmcken Greenway needed, Vancouver transportation director says indicated that project costs were not yet known at the onset of public consultation in the fall of 2011.
This question may be particularly relevant to some residents:
6. “Will I lose on-street parking or access to my street or home? Every Greenway will have a distinctive character. Many of them will be constructed along existing residential streets. In projects so far, emphasis has been placed on maintaining on-street parking, especially in front of residents’ homes. Roadways would only be closed to vehicular traffic where access to existing homes from their street or lane is not affected and where the adjacent residents support the closure.”