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Arbutus Greenway becoming well-used route through Vancouver

Several events planned on or along corridor in September
nesting nest arbutus greenway
Nesting Nest, at 57th and Arbutus Greenway, is on display until Sept. 13. Designed by artists Christian Blyt, Cameron Cartiere and Jaymie Johnson, it was erected to celebrate the 27th International Ornithological Congress, which took place from Aug. 19 to 26. Photo Jennifer Gauthier

A 12-hour snapshot of the number of people using Arbutus Greenway reveals a significant increase from 2017 to 2018.

On one summer weekend day in 2017, 1,970 used the route compared to 2,750 in 2018, according to city statistics.

The city currently doesn’t have automatic counters on the greenway — someone has to be sent out to do a count — but it’s in the process of installing automatic counters to better track use.

Lon LaClaire, the city’s director of transportation, said he’s pleased that people are increasingly taking advantage of the transportation greenway

“It’s very encouraging to see that use this early in the opening of a project. Usually it takes a little longer to see numbers that high. I think it’s probably due to the quality of the corridor,” he told the Courier.

City staff want people to travel the length of the nine-kilometre corridor to get familiar with it as they continue to work on development plans.

Vancouver city council approved the design vision and implementation strategy for the greenway on July 11, including prioritizing the development of two of the eight zones first (zones three and eight), the northern and southern extensions to the Fraser River and False Creek, as well as short-term spot improvements on the temporary path.

Further consultation is planned for those aspects although dates have yet to be determined.

A public hearing, meanwhile, is planned for Sept. 5, with proposed amendments to the Arbutus Corridor Official Development Plan to remove lands not required for transportation purposes. Details were outlined in the design vision and the 2016 purchase agreement between the City of Vancouver and CPR. See the story about the so-called “Option Lands” online HERE.

Ongoing and upcoming events on or along the greenway include an art installation called Nesting Nest at 57th and Arbutus Greenway. Designed by artists Christian Blyt, Cameron Cartiere and Jaymie Johnson, it was erected to celebrate last month’s 27th International Ornithological Congress.

The sculpture features nests woven from invasive plant species. It’s on display until Sept. 13.

This Sunday, Sept. 9, the three-kilometre Walk to End Social Isolation takes place at 10 a.m. in Kerrisdale on the Arbutus Greenway. One group will start at 33rd Avenue and another at 52nd Avenue. They will meet at Kerrisdale Park at 11 a.m. to listen to prayers from an Indigenous elder, speakers about how they overcame personal loneliness and to develop strategies to prevent social isolation.

Every Sunday in September, Dunbar Village Community Services Society is hosting events in the overflow parking lot of Kerrisdale Arena to promote different community sports such as hockey, soccer and family biking. The first event is Sept. 9 — there will be demo cargo bikes, trikes and e-bikes.

More details about events can be found HERE.

The City of Vancouver is also looking at future opportunities for public events and programming, in collaboration with Viva Vancouver and Public Art.

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