Councilor Sarah Fox suggested incorporating trees along the road to increase Vancouver’s tree canopy and add to a commuter’s experience. Mayor Pro Tem Ty Stober, Councilor Diana Perez and Fox showed interest in using roundabouts to reduce street racing.
Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle said further conversations with C-Tran must occur before creating a design.
Staff will seek community feedback on a final design in September and expect the process to wrap up by October. Construction is scheduled to unfold during summer 2023, coinciding with the pavement treatment of Southeast 34th Street.
Upgrades on Southeast 34th Street do not currently require large investments and may be eligible for grants; the staff has already begun that application process, Hall said.
No dedicated bike lanes
Even through 40 percent of commuters along Southeast 34th Street walk or rely on a bicycle, the four-lane street lacks a dedicated space for cyclists. There is only an on-street lane westbound on Southeast 164th Avenue, leaving eastbound cyclists in an unsafe situation.
As a result, many end up biking on the sidewalk.
Sidewalks on either side of the corridor can be as narrow as 4 feet wide, giving pedestrians little room for comfort as vehicles zoom past at up to 45 mph. Commuters and residents along the street relayed their fears of walking along the corridor to staff, as gleaned from a city-led survey.
In the 500 survey responses, participants posed concerns about a repurposed travel lane leading to increased traffic congestion and travel time.
Traffic will not be affected in the near term if a lane is repurposed, according to traffic estimates. Conversely, if no action is taken, congestion will inevitably worsen, Benoit said.
More corridors are slated to be upgraded in the coming years to support Vancouver’s accessibility goal, including sections of Northeast 112th Avenue, Fort Vancouver Way and McGillivray Boulevard.
Safety and mobility improvements along these corridors are organized under Vancouver’s umbrella Complete Streets program, which aims to create a transportation network that is available to anyone regardless of how they commute.
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