There is a lot of misinformation being shared around right now about the potential impacts of the Vernon/Seymour leg of the new north/south cycle corridor. There is a rumour that Vernon is losing all of its parking.
Here is what is actually happening – At this point there is no plan to strip parking from Vernon. Right off the top there will just be shared lane markings and signs (see below) and then later possibly a local street bikeway, which also would likely leave most or all parking in place, but take a lot of steps to slow down car traffic to match bike speed (30 kph).
The other big change is to make a formal bike path behind St Pat’s High to connect Windsor to Quingate to Vernon, creating a continuous path from Windsor/Connaught to Seymore. This will create a north south corridor from Strawberry Hill in the far North End all the way to University Avenue.
Personally – I am tremendously excited about local street bikeways and the potential for significant enhancements to our neighborhood streets – they bring traffic calming, slower vehicle speeds, and other features. Have a look at this set of photos from local street bikeways in Vancouver.
Here is what staff report actually says:
Vernon and Seymour Streets
These streets would be proposed for conversion to a Local Street Bikeway following the adoption by Council of a policy to allow the consideration of such facility types. They already function reasonably well as bike routes due to their relatively low motor vehicle volumes and good proximity to origins and destinations. They would benefit from some type of intervention to improve cyclist crossings of Coburg Road, and possibly some traffic calming if speeds are found to exceed those recommended for Local Street Bikeways.
Local Street Bikeway
A series of quiet local streets designated for priority travel by bicycles. Traffic calming diversion measures may be used to reduce the speed and/ or volume of motor vehicles. Directional signage and assistance to bicyclists crossing major streets is also provided. Cyclists share the road with motor vehicle traffic in a comfortable cycling environment suited to a wide range of users. (emphasis mine) An HRM policy to guide implementation of Local Street Bikeways will be proposed through the Active Transportation Plan review, anticipated for completion in fall 2013.
Shared Lane Markings
Shared lane markings or sharrows are road markings used to indicate a shared lane environment for bicycles and automobiles. Sharrows reinforce the legitimacy of bicycle traffic on the street, provide continuity along a route and recommend proper bicyclist positioning on the roadway. Sharrows are not really a facility type, but they are pavement markings with a variety of uses to support a complete bikeway network.
Here is the staff report: