Last February I wrote about how The Ministry of Transportation began surveying the Stanley Park Causeway with plans to reveal a design last spring. Instead, the Ministry hopes to gain more insight from the public during a consultation session.

The Stanley Park Causeway is 2.2-kilometres of Highway 99 that connects Vancouver and the North Shore. The redesign project was introduced following the death of a 61-year old woman.  She was commuting by bike when she veered onto the roadway to avoid a pedestrian and collided with a bus.

The Province has committed to improving safety along the Stanley Park causeway.

The project was prompted by the tragic death of a 61-year-old cyclist last May.

Surveying is slated to begin later this month. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says they will spend three weeks looking at the existing infrastructure along the 2.2 km causeway. This will be followed by an environmental assessment and an archaeological review in March.

Traffic is not expected to be affected by the work.

This is welcome news for cyclists and advocacy groups in Vancouver and on the North Shore.

Erin O’Melinn is the executive director of HUB, a Vancouver-area cycling education and advocacy group.
O’Melinn says HUB receives regular reports from cyclists that they feel unsafe on the causeway. “You’re on a very narrow shared sidewalk and there’s no barrier between you and the very fast moving, loud traffic.”

HUB is hoping for two major improvements – the construction of a barrier separating sidewalk from the motorist roadway, and a wider sidewalk that comfortably accommodates cyclists and pedestrians. Since the tragic cycling accident last spring, the only safety measures taken include the repainting of a stenciled line encouraging cyclists to stay away from the edge of the sidewalk.

The Ministry of Transportation told the Vancouver Sun that members of the public will have an opportunity to provide feedback on any proposed improvements later this spring.

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At last, an update about the future of the Stanley Park Causeway. It sounds encouraging.

The province has made a commitment to improve cyclist and pedestrian safety along the Causeway. The initiative comes a few months after a 61-year-old cyclist died after colliding with a bus. There have been three recorded cyclist accidents on the Causeway and approach to the Lion’s Gate Bridge in the past five years.

“The Ministry of Transportation is absolutely committed to developing a plan for improvements,” said representative Todd Stone. “It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.”

A cyclist was killed on the Stanley Park Causeway Saturday evening when she came in contact with a pedestrian on the shared sidewalk causing her to fall into traffic.

The tragedy occurred only two days before Vancouver’s bike-to-work week and has fueled an ongoing debate about bike lanes in the city.

Those in favour of designated bike lanes draw attention to the success of those added to the Burrard Street Bridge a few years ago.