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A tour of the Central Valley Greenway: a major new bike and walking path through three municipalities!

A section of the Central Valley Greenway in New Westminster.

A section of the Central Valley Greenway in New Westminster.

I don’t know if you know about this, but after more than six years of development, the Central Valley Greenway is launching on Saturday, June 27!

What’s the Central Valley Greenway? It’s a new 24-kilometre pathway through Vancouver, Burnaby, and New Westminster. (Here’s the Greenway page on the main TransLink site.)

That means you can now walk or cycle on a dedicated path from Science World to New Westminster Quay, with all sorts of parks, shopping, worksites, and major transit hubs along the way. (Most of the trail is accessible to wheelchairs, skateboarding, and in-line skating, too.)

It’s a new, high-quality backbone for the regional cycling network, helping our region cut greenhouse gases and encouraging alternative modes of travel.

But more than that—the Greenway is just a really great walk or bike ride!

And to show you just what I’m talking about, I’ll do a picture/video tour of the Greenway here. (The route is still not totally finished, but I got to bike the route a few weeks ago!)

Just bear in mind that this will be a highlights tour. For more detail, check out the Buzzer’s Flickr set of Greenway photos, which illustrates the entire route and provides lots of commentary and instructions on the trickier bits.

A short overview of the Greenway


View Central Valley Greenway in a larger map

The Google map above shows the route overview, including points of interest. I’ve opened the map to public edits, so feel free to add your own points or notations too! Update, Oct 7, 2010: I’ve had to close the map to collaboration as strange, irrelevant map points keep getting added (ie: a trip in Dublin? What?). In the last round, somebody also deleted the entire CVG route so that kind of defeats the purpose. So if you find you do have points to add, please just send me a note at thebuzzer@translink.ca.

The Greenway is a really flat trail, so it’s very easy to bike and walk. It’s also mostly separated from traffic, and you go through lovely green areas for many sections of the route. The path has a different feel depending in which city you’re in, too.

And as you can tell from the map, the Greenway gives you central access to many awesome destinations throughout the region. There’s Hume Park, Burnaby Lake Park, and more, plus 11 SkyTrain Stations, 23 bus routes, 16 existing bike routes, and 11 greenways!

It’s been a long time coming, too. The Greenway project really got off the ground in 2003, when TransLink, Metro Vancouver, and the three municipalities won federal funding to build the Greenway through Transport Canada’s Urban Showcase program.

TransLink and its partners also pitched in their own funding and coordinated the planning work to finally build a high-quality path along the Greenway.

In the end, the partners who worked to bring you the Greenway are Transport Canada, Province of British Columbia, TransLink, Metro Vancouver, City of Vancouver, City of Burnaby, City of New Westminster, BEST and Vancity.

All right… now on to the tour!

New Westminster

The start point for the Central Valley Greenway, at the enormous tin soldier on the New Westminster Quay.

The start point for the Central Valley Greenway, at the enormous tin soldier on the New Westminster Quay.

The New Westminster part of the path is really scenic—it’s a ride filled with greenery, with a lovely jaunt through beautiful Hume Park and along the Brunette River.

It starts at the New Westminster Quay, in front of the big tin soldier pictured above. Also pictured is Michelle, who was my tour guide on the Greenway that day – she’s coordinating the Greenway’s opening event in June. You’ll see her in a bunch of these photos!

The bike route on Columbia Street.

The bike route on Columbia Street.

After the Quay, the Greenway continues on Columbia Street’s bicycle lanes through the City’s historic downtown, past bridal gown stores and antique shops that attract many shoppers each year.

The on-street cycle path has really revitalized Columbia Street. By the way, there’s a huge number of bridal gown stores and antique shops here, in case you’re in need of either!

On Columbia Street in New Westminster.

On Columbia Street in New Westminster.

The route then turns into a wide path, separated from the busy traffic of Columbia Street by a landscaped boulevard. At Brunette, the path becomes on-street bike lanes again and travels uphill to the Royal Columbian Hospital and Sapperton Park.

The entrance to Hume Park, just off Fader Street. This is a panorama -- click for a much larger version!

The entrance to Hume Park, just off Fader Street. This is a panorama -- click for a much larger version!

Off Columbia Street, you head down a few side streets and you’re at the entrance to Hume Park!

The bike path through Hume Park. The baseball diamond and off-leash area are to the left!

The bike path through Hume Park. The baseball diamond and off-leash area are to the left!

The path curves around Hume Park’s off-leash area, the baseball diamonds, and the picnic grounds. Perfect for a summer day out with your family or friends!

Also, notice that lamppost near where Michelle is standing? That’s one of the many lampposts that have been installed along almost the entire Greenway – meaning you can ride at night with good visibility.

Ride out of Hume Park and you’ll be in the Brunette Fraser Conservation Area. You’ll ride on a gravel path through an idyllic wooded area, which eventually runs alongside the Brunette River. Check out the video above and the photo below to see what I mean. It’s so pretty!

The bike path along the Brunette River.

The bike path along the Brunette River.

Burnaby

The bike lanes on Winston Street.

The bike lanes on Winston Street.

Once out of the Brunette River area, you’re in Burnaby!

Like New Westminster, the Burnaby section of the route features lovely greenery through Burnaby Lake Park, and rides near some big shopping destinations.

For pedestrians, after leaving New Westminster, you can walk on a path through Burnaby Lake Park. Cyclists aren’t actually allowed to ride through the park on that path.

Instead, cyclists take the bike lanes on Winston Street and cruise on until reaching Sperling SkyTrain Station.

Piper Spit!

Piper Spit!

I just have to mention this little detour if you have time on your Winston Street journey. If you turn left at Piper Ave, you reach Piper Spit, a gorgeous little nature spot filled with geese, ducks, and more. There’s a birdwatching tower there too!

Okay, back to the regularly scheduled Greenway.

The Winston Overpass near Sperling SkyTrain Station.

The Winston Overpass near Sperling SkyTrain Station.

At Sperling SkyTrain Station, you reach the Winston Overpass, which cyclists and pedestrians can use to cross the busy street and reach the northern edge of Burnaby Lake Park. Cyclists can ride through this portion of the park!

The Winston Overpass is a brand new bridge built specifically for the Central Valley Greenway. It was still under construction when we rode the Greenway, but it will be completed for the end of June.

Also, just to the left of this photo is where the Greenway’s opening celebration will be held on June 27!

Anyway, the path through Burnaby Lake Park’s north end is quite green and lovely to ride through. Check the video above out to see what it looks like!

A few stops along the way in Burnaby’s industrial areas.

A few stops along the way in Burnaby’s industrial areas.

Once the path ends, you wind up cycling on lesser-used streets in industrial areas.

There are a few destinations you might think about dropping by along the way, including the Rocky Mountain Chocolate factory outlet, and Costco!

Under the SkyTrain guideway in Burnaby.

Under the SkyTrain guideway in Burnaby.

At Gilmore Ave, you start riding on the flat pavement under the SkyTrain guideway. Keep on following it, and you ride right into Vancouver!

Vancouver

While Vancouver’s portion of the Central Valley Greenway doesn’t run through natural parkland, it has wonderful greenery found in surprising areas, and feels quite separate from busy streets.

The video above shows the Vancouver path beginning under the SkyTrain guideway, running from Rupert Station to Renfrew Station. The path is lovely new pavement, which makes for a smooth ride, and because you’re under the guideway, there’s no car traffic to contend with!

After Renfrew Station, the path goes over Great Northern Way in Vancouver. Wide sidewalks have been built for the Greenway, which easy to walk and pedal on. (Cyclists use the street on some parts of Great Northern Way.)

Street furniture along Great Northern Way in Vancouver.

Street furniture along Great Northern Way in Vancouver.

West of Renfrew Station at Slocan, the path follows Grandview Highway North in Vancouver, a traffic-calmed street. Cyclists share the road with local traffic to Commercial, and on bicycle lanes to Clark. And here the City has built lush landscaping and wide sidewalks, making a pleasant journey for pedestrians.

Along Great Northern Way in Vancouver.

Along Great Northern Way in Vancouver.

At Clark Drive, the path becomes a wide sidewalk for pedestrians and cyclists beside Great Northern Way. It swings by Vancouver Community College, the Great Northern Way Campus and St. Francis Xavier School. Again, this path is surprisingly green, considering it’s beside a roadway!

Across from St. Francis Xavier, near Brunswick Street, the path turns down onto E 1st Ave. It’s another smooth ride all the way over to Main Street. At Main Street, a new pedestrian crossing get you across the street safely.

Heading toward Science World -- the end of the Greenway.

Heading toward Science World -- the end of the Greenway.

Then after a few more turns, you’re right at Science World.

And here’s where Central Valley Greenway ends!

Further exploring the Greenway – plus the upcoming opening celebration

Again, if you’d like to try out the Greenway, please check out the Buzzer’s Flickr set of Greenway photos, which illustrates the entire route and provides lots of commentary and instructions on the trickier bits.

Or come on out to the Greenway’s opening on June 27, where the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition (VACC) will be giving bike tours, and the Vancouver Parks and Recreation folks will do pedestrian tours!

There will also be a performance from soul/funk band Freeflow, activities for the whole family, bike performers, free snacks, and more!

I’ll remind you about the Greenway opening as we get closer, too :)

And I hope you enjoyed this tour. Again, while the Greenway is definitely a major new connection between our region’s greenways and recreation areas, it’s also just a ton of fun to ride and walk the pathway. I urge you all to check it out!


130 Comments

  • By Kayla, June 11, 2009 @ 5:27 pm

    Thanks for this! I was trying to visualize the route from the map but your photo tour really helped out.
    If I wanted to get from the New West Quay to Science World, would this path be flatter than the current Expo Line path?

  • By Holly, June 11, 2009 @ 8:17 pm

    Thanks for this detailed update on the Central Valley Greenway! I went on a couple rides of the greenway back around 2003 when there were several unfinished sections. Glad to see it’s nearing completion!

  • By Chris, June 11, 2009 @ 10:59 pm

    You should geotag the Flickr photos so they appear on a map.

  • By Ruby, June 11, 2009 @ 11:00 pm

    Thanks for the tour! I don’t have a bike right now, but hopefully in the near future I can get one and ride through the CVG with my brother. :)

  • By vfk, June 12, 2009 @ 5:55 am

    For those not familar with geotagging. Sony sells a GPS data logger ( http://www.navigadget.com/index.php/2009/02/09/sony-gps-cs3ka ). I use the older CS1 model in my travels and it’s great to apply spatial information to my images. Geosetter ( http://www.geosetter.de/en/ ) is a low cost option to apply geotag information to your images with or without a GPS.

  • By rob, June 12, 2009 @ 12:11 pm

    To be frank, I dont understand much of this. Looking at the pictures.. some of the spots are just paved shoulders of regular roads .. not dedicated paths of any type. I wonder, what’s special about that??

  • By chris o, June 12, 2009 @ 2:32 pm

    I volunteered with a guided tour of the greenway back in 2004 – it has really come a long way! Nice to see the paved trails under the sky train through Burnaby.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, June 12, 2009 @ 5:43 pm

    Yep, I’ll do the geotagging eventually — just had to get them all up first!

  • By vfk, June 12, 2009 @ 8:55 pm

    The point is if you use a data logger or GPS, the location information is embedded in the image EXIF. Flickr was one of the first sites that read the EXIF information and overlayed the images onto maps automatically.

  • By Bryn, June 13, 2009 @ 10:08 am

    We’ve been riding the Science World -> Burnaby Lake section of the Greenway now for a few months – it’s a TERRIFIC route even with a larger group or inexperienced riders.

    The stretch from Burnaby Lake in towards Sapperton along Still Creek is super gorgeous – unfortunately the “official” route makes you hike up a big hill right before Sapperton Station just to roll right back down again… There is another secret route you can go, but probably only under the cover of darkness… ;)

    I haven’t done the stretch from Columbia to Sapperton yet – I’ve been having a hard time figuring out where the route went after Sapperton! Glad to finally see a map put together.

  • By Jason, June 14, 2009 @ 9:24 pm

    While the opening of the Greenway is not a bridge opening, I hope Translink learns from today’s events at the Golden Ears Bridge (which I enjoyed) and is ready for potential large crowds.

    On the other hand, all of us cyclists should get out and make it a really big event!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, June 15, 2009 @ 8:54 am

    Hey Rob, I’ve asked and here’s some more info that might explain the Greenway better.

    I think that the answer is that although some of those photos make the path looks like a paved shoulder, they are actually paths (sidewalk height) running next to the road. There are a few sections of the route, such as Winston Street (photo shown on the blog post), which are bike lanes. Most of these are in very old parts of the city (ex. Columbia Street), where narrow streets cannot easily accommodate a full multi-use path. In other places (ex. Winston Street), the bike lanes are planned to be upgraded to parallel paths in the future. No sections of the Greenway are paved shoulders.

  • By Dickson, June 15, 2009 @ 2:13 pm

    The documentation is amazing. Kudos to you for riding the whole way, and giving great descriptions.

    I’m particularly excited about the Vancouver to Burnaby connection. I hope there is a light to help with crossing Boundary road.

    I’m a little disappointed with parts of the actual route, with parts requiring riders to walk their bikes on sidewalks, and having to ride on Main street with trolley buses chasing behind.

  • By Richard, June 16, 2009 @ 1:19 pm

    My only area of concern other than the area of construction still going on on Columbia Street is the gated entrance to the Brunette Conservation are off North Road. Is there room for wider bikes and wheelchairs/scooters to get through? From the photos I have seen it looks like there is only a narrow area to the side where people of gone around the gate. Having a recumbent trike and having to stop and lift it over a gate does not seem to bike friendly, never mind the wheelchairs/scooters. I have already seen that the bollards on the Golden Ears Bridge ramps appear to be to close together. I hope this is not the case here as well. Does anyone have more details about this area?

  • By ELM, June 16, 2009 @ 2:15 pm

    Kudos Jhenifer! This is a fun way to showcase the CVG and what’s more, it gets the word out that the CVG is complete and ready for rollin’ and strollin’!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, June 17, 2009 @ 9:49 am

    Hey Richard, I’ve asked about your question and here’s the response:

    The City of Burnaby is in the process of replacing those gates with staggered arms through which everyone will be able to pass. There are four locations: Sperling (to pedestrian path in Burnaby Lake Regional Park), at Cariboo, Cariboo Place, and North Road.

  • By Richard, June 17, 2009 @ 12:52 pm

    Great news about the gates, Jehnifer. Thanks

  • By someguy, June 17, 2009 @ 8:34 pm

    Thanks for the photos! It really helps with visualizing the CVG route from a rider’s perspective.

  • By Jot, June 18, 2009 @ 3:06 pm

    Rode the trail today with a bike novice. Its truly excellent to see a bike initiative like this, we need more dedicated bike lines for novice bikers since they are too scared to ride on the road with a simple bike sign painted on it.

    The starting of the bike way near science world isn’t so great. Once you get past the railway you end up right on the road ! This is when you are crossing Quebec Street.

    We also got lost at several points, its not clear which way to go. We actually had to turn back on Gilmore. We went north and it looked like it dead ended. We crossed the street where it appeared the trail continued and the trail sign was further ahead, but it just ends up being a gravel running path, is this the trail – if so how do rollerbladers go on it ? On the google map link it just magically crosses over some grey section.

    This is just minor points though. Overall fantastic project.

  • By Wayne, June 18, 2009 @ 6:28 pm

    The bike path is great. I have now started biking 15km to work. I’ve now done it 3 times. I ride from the Burquitlam area down Stoney creek to the CVG at Government @ Cariboo. I then bike out to the Rupert Skytrain area. There is more gravel than I was hoping for but the route is pretty good.

    I do have a few concerns/notes:

    1. There is no separation at all between bikes and cars on Government street between Brighton and Cariboo (near the old Costco).

    2. There is no separation at all between bikes and cars on Winston street as you approach the new pedestrian/bike bridge.

    3. What is the recommended route when traveling eastbound from the still creek gravel path just west of Burnaby Lake on to Winston Street? Are bikes supposed to use the new bridge or cross the train tracks at ground level? I hope that we can continue to just cross over the train tracks at ground level so that we do not have to cross back over Winston street at rush hour to get to the eastbound bike lane.

    4. The path approaching the west side of the small bridge over a Still creek in behind Dick’s lumber on Gilmore Avenue has a lot of loose gravel and it is also a very sharp turn. I find that I have to walk my bike up the steep bridge and there is also a high probability of a collision there.

    5. Between Rupert street and Gilmore there is a lot of bikes and pedestrians on the afternoon commute. It it probably just a matter of time before there are conflicts. Are there rules about how to share the paths. A good rule would be for pedestrian to walk on the left side so that they walk toward the bike. Anyway, whatever the rules/etiquette is, it should be posted somewhere.

    6. I thought crossing Boundary would be a problem but so far it has been quick, easy and safe without a light.

    7. Are there any plans to pave the gravel sections? Are there any other improvement plans?

  • By Stan, June 21, 2009 @ 8:10 am

    We peddled the trail yesterday, and while the experience overall was great, we have some concerns. We got lost several times due to non-existent or confusing signage, one being by the bridge over Still Creek, mentioned in a post above. We found the yellow signage was difficult to read, as the lettering is so small, and sometimes there are 5 or 6 signs on a post. You literally have to stop to read them. We also found a number of times we got to intersections or forks in paths, and didn’t know which way to turn–no signs. I’m sure these confusions will be worked out in time.
    The map and photo description you’ve provided here is great! Thanks.

  • By Ken, June 21, 2009 @ 3:28 pm

    The little stretch on Cariboo is a bit of a pinch point. But really, overall I love this route. I cycle along the Brunette River every day.

  • By Stan, June 21, 2009 @ 6:26 pm

    I biked the route again today, and made a few additional notes (I posted some comments yesterday). Signage is a big, big problem in many areas. I met many cyclists, and without exception they were confused with the route. The route is fantastic, but before the opening I hope better signage will be in place, or people will be getting lost, frustrated and discouraged. My comments are based on a commute from Vancouver to New Westminster. I don’t want to come across as negative, but I really do feel there are sign issues which really need to be addressed.
    1. When you reach the T at Gilmore, there needs to be an arrow indicating right turn. Otherwise one has no idea which way to turn. There is a yellow sign indicating New West, but would it not be best to stick with “Central Valley Greenway” (CVG) signs throughout, as is the case for the other bike routes? A person may not know that New West is on the route.
    At this same corner, there is no indication for someone traveling in the reverse direction that they need to turn left off of Gilmore onto the bike bath heading West. Often one can see green signs in the distance, but they’re not readable without getting much closer.
    2. At Gilmore and Still Creek, again heading to New West, there needs to be a left turn sign. And the “Sea to River” sign can be confused for a “Central Valley” one.
    3. The “jogging trail”, just before crossing the steep bridge, is very narrow and gravelly. Are there plans to widen it and make it safer? And as you enter this trail, there is a sign saying it’s a jogging trail, but nothing to say its the CVG route. Confusing?
    4. At the steep bridge, and a fork in the path, there is no sign saying to cross the bridge. Whichever route your take, straight ahead or left over the bridge, there is no sign when you arrive at Mcdonalds as to whether you turn left or right.
    5. Immediately past the steep bridge, there is a major fork in the path, both options being about the same size. No sign.
    6. At Douglas there is no indication which way to turn–there’s a left turn lane for cyclist, which might lead you to think you should turn left, but you must in fact turn right.
    7. Right after that there is no sign indication that you need to turn left onto the trail, and how will this be done safely? It’s a left turn off a busy street with no left turn lane. There ARE some of those yellow signs near this turn-off, but they are too far away to read what they say. The font size for these signs is far to small to be of use (everyone I’ve spoken to about the signs has said the same thing)
    8. At the Sperling overpass, there is a sign indicating CVG which heads straight for the playing fields at Burnaby Lake. This is very misleading, as it does NOT lead you to the correct trail. We took this route yesterday and ended up biking on hiking trails which we later found out were closed to cycling. What you need to do at this point it get onto Winston. Along all along Winston there are no signs indicating that you are on the CVG.
    9. After you turn right off of Winston onto Cariboo, there is no sign telling you to turn left almost immediately onto the road leading to the trailer park, where the trailhead is for the route along the Brunette River.
    10. When you get to North Road, there is no sign indicating whether to turn left or right–It’s only by opting for the right that you come to a sign that tells you where to go.
    11. Once you enter Hume Park, the sign for CVG is not obvious
    12. After leaving the park, and entering the residential area, there is a green sign telling you to head west on Garrett, but no sign to tell you to turn left on Fader (which you must do).
    I really feel that signage must be idiot-proof. I have some limited knowledge of the area, but many users of the route won’t. Having spent much of the weekend on the route, and having met and spoken with many cyclists and walkers, all of whom were confused, I strongly feel that signage must be upgraded before the opening this coming weekend. The standard green signs in New West were generally pretty good, in that they indicated with an arrow which way to turn–the ones in Burnaby did not indicate which way to turn, and this led to confusion. I think the trail is great and I’d like to see it used to its fullest. I can be contacted at swhack@intergate.ca

  • By Patti, June 22, 2009 @ 11:17 am

    I agree that signage is a big problem on this route. I tried twice last week, both times unsuccessfully, to ride from Vancouver to New West. On both days, I ended up hopping on the SkyTrain – I don’t know my way around Burnaby! The part I was able to ride was lovely, though, so please make it easier to follow the route. It’s a great idea!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, June 22, 2009 @ 1:02 pm

    Thanks for the comprehensive list of signage needs, Stan! I’ll pass it along to our planning staff—they definitely will want to know about this.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, June 22, 2009 @ 1:03 pm

    PS: Wayne, I have passed your questions on, and am waiting on answers!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, June 22, 2009 @ 3:10 pm

    Hey Stan, here’s a quick response from our CVG team in the planning department:

    Hi Stan,

    Your fresh eyes on the CVG are much appreciated. Keep in mind that the CVG is not yet open. The City of Burnaby is working hard to get signage up consistently along the route. We’ll make sure your comments are forwarded to them so they can check them against their design. We are anticipating that the signs should go up pretty quickly, and definitely in time for next Saturday.

    The type of sign you are asking for is a green, route confirmation sign indicating you are on the route, and where it takes a turn. The yellow signs have a different purpose; they point you to destinations of interest (regional parks, post-secondary institutions etc), convenience (e.g. washrooms) and transit travel connections (good SkyTrain connections) which are generally less than 2 km away (about 20 minutes walk). The yellow signs are posted at decision points for accessing those destinations, usually along bike routes. The yellow signage system, (which is very close to completion) complements the green guide signs. A few new locations for the green signs have been identified by users like you and the Cities will take those suggestions into consideration.

  • By Stan, June 22, 2009 @ 9:08 pm

    Hi Jhenifer,
    Thanks very much for your response, and those of others. I am glad to hear that there are plans to complete the signage by Saturday (or at least have the route clearly marked from both directions). I now understand that the yellow signage is completely separate from the green signs, but would repeat that the green signs should get you from start to finish, in both directions, without confusion. Having the ARROWS on the green signs is really important in many places–the signs themselves don’t often tell you where to go. You have my contact information, so if I can be of any help, please let me know.
    Stan

  • By Terrence Sakamoto, June 23, 2009 @ 1:43 am

    I haven’t seen any comments on this post from walkers yet, and I’d be interested in hearing how their experiences compared to mine. I tried walking the Greenway from Westminster Quay to Sperling Station. Lack of signage was definitely a problem; there was nothing to indicate where the Greenway began at Westminster Quay, and I had to search around New West a little bit before finally finding the Greenway sign on Columbia (another problem for hikers: access to Westminster Quay is pretty tricky given that the pedestrian overpass seems to be out of commission for the forseeable future). The walk is actually pretty pleasant through New Westminster and Sapperton, although on Columbia Street you have to walk unnervingly close to oncoming truck traffic in the blocks approaching Royal Columbian Hospital.The real problem came with the total lack of signage between Hume Park and Sperling; I walked almost all the way up North Road to Lougheed Mall before I realized there was an unmarked turnoff.Once I figured out where the route was supposed to go via the B.C. Parkway and Burnaby Lake Park, it was pretty easy going until I got to Winston Avenue. I don’t know how it is for cyclists, but it’s pretty disquieting to walk down this long stretch, a busy road with lots of truck traffic and virtually no sidewalks or even shoulders to walk on for much of it(was it not possible to continue the walking section of the route through the park rather than to go this way?) I’m hoping that maps specifically detailing the route will eventually be available, and perhaps even posted at key points along the trail. I’d like to continue walking the rest of the route in a week or so, and it will be interesting to see if some of the concerns I and my fellow posters have raised will be addressed.

  • By Tim, June 23, 2009 @ 10:32 am

    Signage is also a problem at the Golden Ears bridge. While there is no shortage of signage for vehicles it is a lot more confusing for bikes. On the Langley side west of the bridge there is a confusing industrial areas the bike routes go through, I ended up on a dead end street and had to turn around. How much do signs cost? There was also no pavement markings there for bike lanes.

  • By someguy, June 23, 2009 @ 11:52 am

    I’ve used this CVG path to work lately. The photos here did help alot. A few things that I noted which echoes some of the comments here are:

    - There is no bike lanes on Cariboo to Government. Those who need to make a left has to decide whether to straddle b/t two lanes. each goes left and right. Can be dangerous as if I were to stay on the right side of the lane, then it leads me to right turn lane. But to go west, I need to turn left. Wee bit tricky there.
    - On Government, there is a stretch of road that basically requires one to share the road with cars.
    - I do not know if I want to use the new Sperling bridge. Seems more work than it is worth. A Zebra crossing would’ve done the trick. But there’s still the railway track. Heading east, it’s even worse as one has to double back and cross the street again! It’s a real head scratcher that one.
    - That little green bridge past McDonald’s is just a spot waiting for an accident. You climb a the steep bridge only to have to descent quickly to make a sharp right hander…. on loose gravel! Add the hedges which provided a blind corner. I had to keep ringing the bell the entire way.
    - Heading east bound on that bridge yields the same potential danger. Walking up would be safer. But still you never know who might Banzai across it. Replacing the bridge for a flatter one and clear out the hedges will significantly raise the safety level in that area.
    - On eastbound, I find the hill at Hume park to be rather steep. it is also a bit of a curve. There is a path that leads to Braid Stn. should one wants to catch the bus and Skytrain. However the path is very narrow to navigate.
    - Eastbound… How do you cross from Still Creek to Douglas without having to cross over Still Creek to activate the traffic light signals? that means having to travel at opposing direction.
    - Eastbound…. There doesn’t seem to be any crosswalk facility to allow one to turn into Cariboo Pl @ Cariboo. I saw a few pedestrians just cross Cariboo to the other side when the traffic clears. Will there be a proper Zebra crossing to allow peds and cyclists to cross safely and into Cariboo Pl? Cariboo Rd can be quite busy during rush hour.

    I think that’s all I noticed. Overall once you figure out the route, it’s quite enjoyable. But large signage would be great. I quite like the Brunette River stretch. It’s a pleasant stretch despite it being gravel.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, June 23, 2009 @ 12:10 pm

    Terrence, thanks for the walking review! Here’s an answer to the questions you posed plus a bit more:

    The walking route through Burnaby is separate: from Cariboo Road to Sperling pedestrians will walk through Burnaby Lake Regional Park. The reason that exists is because Winston street has no sidewalks. The good news is that the City of Burnaby will be gearing up to get that section designed, funded and built (no timeline yet).

    TransLink is also preparing a detailed route map which will be available in hard copy at the launch and will be posted on the website. It will show the Burnaby walking route very clearly. Hard copies will also be available and distribution points will be on TransLink website.

  • By Bike Novice, June 23, 2009 @ 1:26 pm

    Hey, I just travelled on this path with my husband, another bike novice but enthusiast. We started at around the back of Costco in Bby then finished at Science World.

    I’m not an athlete by any means but found it enjoyable, and challenging enough. I really enjoyed travelling through the different neighborhoods that you would never drive by otherwise. The public art along the way was really interesting too (i.e. two chairs facing different ways, in repetition, along great northern way I think). It was a wonderful surprise to see someone had planted thousands of seeds of bright pink flowers under the long route under the skytrain around near grandview-boundary. Beautiful!
    Will definitely try to see how the rest of the route is from New West.

    I felt mostly safe because most of the time the path is removed from main roads. Most of the time when you have to cross a busy street using crosswalk, honestly there are a lot of cars politely letting you through. I second that there are some weird connections between routes, and that steep little bridge around H.Depot is accident waiting to happen. Lots of people walk around that area, and sometime a bike is going to go hurtling into someone because of this strange blind spot.

    Thanks to all the cities that contributed to this wonderful new addition to the Lower Mainland! I am so proud.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, June 23, 2009 @ 4:48 pm

    someguy:

    Here’s an answer from our planning dept regarding one of your questions:

    I agree that the Hume Park hill is a tough one but there is no alternative within New Westminster. There is a switch back to the south side which one can use. The CVG in New Westminster is maintained by the City of New West Parks and it has recently been re-gravelled. If there are issues with the surface or vegetation encroachment of the switch back path in Hume Park, please contact the City of New Westminster Parks at 604-527-4567.

  • By Joe Goodwill, June 23, 2009 @ 7:02 pm

    Thanks for doing this – it’s great! I can never really understand maps, but your hard work has brought it to life for me. I look forward to biking the CVG.
    Joe

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, June 24, 2009 @ 9:04 am

    Stan, Wayne, someguy:

    The City of Burnaby has given us a response that might shed more light on the issues you’ve raised. Here it is:

    Signage:

    We have prepared a signage plan for the Burnaby portion of the Central Valley Greenway with about 105 green and white guide signs, white and black regulatory signs and orange construction signs, plus over head street signs at every controlled intersection and about 100 yellow way finding signs. The overhead intersection signs have all been installed. Most of the yellow way finding signs have now been installed and can be used to help navigate the CVG. Many of the green and white signs at the western end of the CVG have been installed and the white and black and the orange signs will be installed at the end of the week.

    Most of the green and white signs east of Douglas Road to North Road will not be installed in time for the greenway opening on Saturday. We are producing some temporary signs for the most confusing areas such as Still Creek & Douglas Road and North Road. The remainder of the signage will be installed over the summer as construction of the greenway is completed and our crews can get access to areas that are currently under construction.

    When complete this will be the most comprehensively signed route in Burnaby.

    Construction:

    As the summer progresses the Central Valley Greenway will become even more user friendly. Here are some of the items that will be changed from east to west:
    - North Road: the Metro Vancouver Gate will be replaced with a gate and bollard combination by October 2009 to facilitate easy passage;
    - Cariboo Place: the Metro Vancouver Gate will be replaced with a gate and bollard combination by October 2009 to facilitate easy passage;
    - Cariboo Road: a 4.0 meter wide asphalt path with lighting and a planted boulevard is under construction to the BNSF/CN railway line at Government which will be completed by October;
    - BNSF/CN Railway Crossing: CN will be rebuilding the crossing with concrete panels. We don’t have a timeline from them, but hope that they will be able to complete this by the end of the year;
    - Government Road (Brighton to East Lake): a 3.0 meter wide asphalt path with lighting and a guard rail is under construction in each direction from Cariboo Road. At East Lake a new pedestrian activated signal is being installed and over Silver Creek a new bridge is being installed. Completion: October 2009. BC Hydro pole relocations may take longer;
    - Greenwood and Winston where the bike lanes transition on and off the trail, new curb bulges will be built this summer to narrow the crossing. Completion October 2009;
    - Douglas Road and Still Creek Avenue through the City Transfer Station have temporary bike lanes that will be replaced by a new trail on the north side of Still Creek Avenue and on the east side of Douglas Road. Construction will start this fall and be completed by 2011;
    - At Still Creek Avenue and Still Creek Drive the sidewalk has subsided around the base of the light standard and will be rebuilt by the developer by the end of July 2009;
    - At Still Creek (the actual creek) where cyclists and pedestrians are temporarily using the exiting steep bridge, a new bridge will be constructed this summer on the preload to the north. Completion: October 2009;
    - Seating and street trees will also be added between the new Still Creek bridge and Home Depot on Gilmore Avenue. Completion: October 2009.
    - At either end of the pedestrian route through Burnaby Lake Park we will also replace the Metro Vancouver Gates with a gate and bollard combination by October 2009.

    We would have preferred to open the Central Valley Greenway when all of these items where completed, but for most cyclists there are no alternatives for much of this route and we thought it best to allow people to have access as soon as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience while we finish the CVG over the summer and improve the CVG over the coming years.

  • By someguy, June 24, 2009 @ 9:38 am

    It’s great to see the municipalities pulling together on this. Since Burnaby is on a signage spree, thought you might want to know, I was on eastbound at Gilmore by the Home Depot railway tracks when I came across 2 joggers looking for the CVG. As you know the CVG continues down Still Creek near Dicks’ Lumber. However there is also another path up Gilmore towards the new Condos/Starbucks. That path behind the Condos/Starbucks is north of the train tracks which I believe does not connect with the CVG, unless one somehow crosses the railway tracks.
    I managed to explain to the joggers where the CVG continues which they appreciated.
    I think it is an opportunity for Burnaby to put a signage by the Home Depot path to show the direction to the CVG… if there isn’t one already.

  • By Margaret Mason, June 25, 2009 @ 4:01 pm

    I rode the parkway home to NWest from downtown to Vancouver and I reiterate the comments regarding the confusing signage. I couldn’t even figure out where the trail started at Science World and ended up using my old Ontario/5th Ave. route. The new and paved portions of the trail are really terrific though – I found myself yelling “I love this trail”. One last frustration – a good map showing all the streets? I haven’t been able to find anything – the Google map isn’t detailed enough. Perhaps a brochure like the VAncouver bikeroutes one? Thx again for all the hard work from Translink and the municipalities.

  • By SomeOtherGuy, June 26, 2009 @ 4:50 pm

    I see why the question about crossing the railroad tracks when traveling eastbound was not answered.

    I rode my bike eastbound today and the railroad tracks are now closed. I talked to a construction worker on the bridge. I asked if the closure was permanent and he said that was the point of spending $6 million on the bridge. He said that there would be a chain link fence put up on both side of the track at that location. Eastbound cyclist are supposed to cross the bridge (over the track and Winston) and then about 100 meters or so east of the bridge cross back to the south side of Winston on the crosswalk to continue eastbound.

    I am very disappointed in this situation. It is a lot more dangerous to contend with cars crossing Winston than crossing a set of railroad tracks. The same set of tracks have to be crossed anyways at Gilmore and at Cariboo. I am not looking forward to seeing the death toll mount as cyclist try to cross using this crosswalk.

    I suggest that a traffic light be put in and until this is done eastbound cyclist on the CVG should detour to the pedestrian trail through Burnaby Lake park and re-join at Piper street (after crossing the railroad track of course).

  • By Bill, June 27, 2009 @ 9:53 pm

    I rode the path today, and it has some great parts, but there are a few things I’m curious about.

    1) Why are the car lanes and the bike lanes not separated by a little curb? That would make people feel infinitely safer and probably encourage people to ride more. Sharing the road with cars, especially in the Winston St. area which has its fair share of large vehicles, can be a little overwhelming.

    2) Is there any way to get the financials for this project? Twenty four million dollars is a lot of money to spend on a project, and I’m curious to see how it was spent. The main reason being that many parts of the route are existing roads, so I’m curious to see where the money was actually spent.

    Thanks!

  • By Sue, June 28, 2009 @ 12:10 am

    Thanks for the trail and posting replies to comments and suggestions. I travelled a short part of the route in Vancouver both ways and found signage is needed:
    1. on Grandview heading west to Clark. You’re in the bike lane which all of a sudden peters out before Clark. You need to cross Grandview to get on the east sidewalk of Clark in order to cross in the south crosswalk.
    2. the same issue on 6th Ave. heading east to Clark
    3. heading either east or west on Grandview, the intersection of Victoria and Broadway is very confusing
    Thanks very much.

  • By Frank, June 28, 2009 @ 6:23 pm

    It’s great to see the CVG for the most part completed. I commute along the Burnaby Lake stretch by bike several days a week. I’m somewhat disappointed that the outer trails along Burnaby Lake (Cottonwood trail, etc.) haven’t been changed to multi-use. Some of them would make for a great and truly green alternative especially on hot days as they provide much shade.

  • By AP, July 1, 2009 @ 10:35 am

    This is a reply to Terrence Sakamoto’s post regarding the trail along Columbia Street in New Westminster.

    You said: “…although on Columbia Street you have to walk unnervingly close to oncoming truck traffic in the blocks approaching Royal Columbian Hospital”

    I only know the “real” part of the trail here because I live in New Westminster and this part of the path is between mine and my boyfriend’s house. It also appears to be unmarked as well but I’ve not walked it in a couple of weeks.

    When you get to where the trail appears to end on Columbia at the corner of Columbia and McBride Ave instead of going on the sidewalk thats very close along that giant concrete walk and very close to traffic (scary!) you go up and into that new development of what used to be the Woodlands site. I think you might have to go down three or four stairs (not bike/wheechair friendly?) and the path picks up again and comes back out to meet the rest of the path near Richmond and Columbia Streets. Hope this helps.

  • By Olive, July 1, 2009 @ 10:46 am

    Ok I think the new route is great, BUT I was walking on the Burnaby Lake trail today, which is pedestrians only, and I saw about 8 cyclists on the park trails. I know there must be some confusion about the cycling path, but there are signs as you enter the park that indicates no bikes allowed. There should be more signs indicating that these cyclists are going the wrong way, that there are no bikes allowed on park trails.

    More signs please! And cyclists…please pay attention to park signs.

    The park trails are too narrow to share with bikes, walkers, joggers, and dogs….

  • By Wally, July 2, 2009 @ 4:08 pm

    My wife and I biked the CVG both ways from Broadway/Victoria to North Road on Canada Day. It was fabulous. What we liked most were the wild flowers. I bike to work downtown from Broadway/Victoria and knew about the wildflowers on Grandview Highway near Clark, but to see other areas with wildflowers was very pleasant.

    I had biked it on Monday and had trouble with lack of signage at the Home Depot on Gilmore and was happy to see the extra signage on Canada Day. More signage is needed; especially the bridge on Winston. It is not obvious that all bikers need to go over the bridge. In fact, I was only certain of that after I got over the bridge and noticed the yellow direction signs that had a walker or biker as appropriate.

    All in all, very nice.

    Other suggestions for the future:
    (1) Upgrade Burnaby Lake trail to allow bikers. It is a beautiful area and is a shame we need to bike on Winston.
    (2) Move the CVG east of North Road to be more at the railroad grade so we don’t have to go over the steep hill by Hume Park.

    Thanks to Vancouver, Burnaby, and New West for a massive improvement in biking.

  • By alexvelo, July 2, 2009 @ 4:35 pm

    I agree that signage is problematic. I lost the path a couple of times on my first ride of it. I travel clark to gilmore on the path. Perhaps some simple arrows on the signs would be useful? particularly at the points where it jogs about or breaks across streets? at renfrew, at gilmore.

  • By Eric, July 2, 2009 @ 10:54 pm

    I tested the Greenway last weekend by running west from Sperling Station to Woodland Drive. I agree with many commenters about the need for additional signage that at least tells you that you are still on the Greenway. Vancouver already has such signage on the established section between Victoria and Slocan. Hopefully by the time I attempt to run the whole length of the Greenway later this summer, there will be enough wayfinding and signage for me to get through it without getting lost. :)

    Otherwise, I would greatly recommend the Greenway as a suitable running path; the section I ran is generally flat with a mix of asphalt and gravel.

  • By Agnes, July 3, 2009 @ 9:20 am

    Loving the Greenway! I can’t wait for the Burnaby portion (esp. the Cariboo area) to be finished.
    However, I disagree with a couple of the comments that suggested we open up Burnaby Lake Park trails to cyclists. Burnaby Lake Park is a NATURE SANCTUARY filled with lots of rare wildlife, especially birds. It should not be open to commuting cyclists, nor should paths be widened for that purpose. It’s just my opinion, but the park is a place for quiet downtime.
    Plus, in the future there will be adequate routing along Winston, since the CVG is still under construction.

    Take a nice quiet walk in Burnaby Lake Park and enjoy the peace you’ll get.

    P.S. Please don’t take bikes out to Piper Spit, where all the birds are. Park your bikes if you go out there.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, July 3, 2009 @ 2:11 pm

    Thanks guys! I just wanted to mention that all these ideas you’re suggesting are being captured by our planning staff for consideration by the municipalities and other partners in the project.

  • By someguy, July 6, 2009 @ 11:14 pm

    Here’s another discussion on folks who have travelled on the CVG. Overall a good move. But that Sperling bridge is counter intuitive given the dangerous crossing down Winston where cars travel at high speeds.

    http://www.clubtread.com/sforum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=31356

    They also thought it is ashamed to not make Burnaby Lake park an MUP.

  • By someguy, July 7, 2009 @ 4:45 pm

    There’s another discussion about the CVG by cyclists.
    http://www.clubtread.com/sforum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=31356

  • By Alexwarrior, July 7, 2009 @ 7:24 pm

    Awesome project! I finally got the time to ride it this weekend. I saw in some places what looked like temporary signs (laminated 8.5×11′s) so it looks like the signage has been addressed while the permanent ones are being made and put in. I filmed the whole thing and sped it up to fit in 5 minutes… (beware of motion sickness!)

  • By Mike Cline, July 10, 2009 @ 9:25 am

    I tried to ride the CVG yesterday, but got pretty lost in the Burnaby lake area. Up until that point I thought the route was pretty well signed. There are lots of little laminated cards that someone has zip-strapped on to trees and things directing the route, presumably in response to some of the other comments people have written. These were great.

    I was heading eastbound from Trout Lake area, so the route was entirely paved for the first while. The first point I was confused at was when I arrived at the jogging trail that goes through that business-park style area in Burnaby. I was kind of unsure whether to go down the unpaved jogging path since I didn’t know that parts of the route would be unpaved. Some signage here indicating that “yes, this is really the way” would be helpful.

    Then, arriving at Burnaby Lake I got really confused. Perhaps calling it the Central Valley Greenway is a misnomer, because the trail divides into different paths for cycling and walking here, so maybe it should be called “Greenways”. Up until that point I was just following the signs that said “New Westminster”, so where the path forked I mistakenly followed the “New Westminster” sign pointing into the park.

    When I arrived at the signpost inside of the park, I thought it was really unclear which way the arrow to “New Westminster” was pointing. (It pointed left, which could have meant the trail to the far left, or the trail immediately to the left of the signpost). I chose the far left trail, which was a long winding path that was also called something like the “Have a heart” trail. I did not encounter any CVG signage on this trail at all, and still don’t know whether it was the right or wrong way (obviously it was the wrong way for cyclists, but if I was walking the CVG I would have felt very frustrated and unsure)

    I emerged onto Cariboo St. and noticed the bike path and began following it, hoping that it was the CVG, but again there was no signage. Looking at the maps afterwards, I think I was too far south on Cariboo St, and the CVG had already diverged further north from where I was.

    Eventually I backtracked through the pedestrian walking trails that I had came through, seeing a lot of “no cycling” signs on the way back, which there were none of when I was heading in the opposite direction.

    When I finally arrived back at the point on Winston St where I had entered the Burnaby Lake park (45 minutes after my side trip started) , I finally realized that there were two arrows to New Westmister, one for cyclists and one for pedestrians. The icons were not something that I had noticed the first time.

    Suggestion for improvement: Place a more obvious sign here saying: “Attention: CVG Cycling and Pedestrian routes diverge here”

    After that I cycled further towards New Westminster and arrived at Cariboo St, which was frustrating because I’d already been to Cariboo St 45 minutes earlier. That was where I decided to give up and return home using the SkyTrain.

    Then there was another bit of frustration, because the sign there at that junction pointed westward saying there would be a skytrain station in 800 meters. After riding about 1km westward, I arrived at another sign saying there was a skytrain station 900 meters away!

    Despite getting lost and a bit frustrated, overall it was a good experience, and I think I will try the route again now that I have looked at some of the maps. I pity anyone who tries to walk this route without a good map.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, July 10, 2009 @ 9:27 am

    Thanks for your review & suggestions Mike — I have passed them on to our planning staff!

  • By Jerry T, July 10, 2009 @ 10:48 am

    Great commute to make your way into downtown safe. I used to ride the bike lane along Lougheed Highway from Gaglardi to Boundary …. no more. Not only is the CVG a much safer alternate route, it also provides a much cleaner enjoyable ride away from the exhausting vehicles along Lougheed. Many thanks to everyone involved in making this project. Great Job!

  • By Joyce, July 10, 2009 @ 11:57 pm

    I wonder, is there a map with alternatives to the on-street bike lanes? I’d like to start biking, but am finding riding with cars next to me daunting. Also, could you point me towards a map of the BC Parkway? Translink directs me to a description of the upgrade. Thanks!

  • By Kelly, July 11, 2009 @ 8:55 pm

    Thank you for this comprehensive guide to the Central Valley Greenway. As a volunteer trail builder myself, I know that good signage is very important and much appreciated. I plan to cycle the entire route tomorrow and can’t wait!

  • By Reg Molnar, July 15, 2009 @ 12:27 pm

    I got completely lost my first try due to poor signage. I ended up on the parkway, came back to the greenway and lost it again when it just ended at a road with no signs. So I gave up and can’t give an opinion yet. I will try again. My mistake for depending on signage.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, July 15, 2009 @ 3:08 pm

    Reg, not sure if you saw this, but have you looked at our Flickr set with 100+ photos of the trail? Maybe it’ll help a little to figure out where you went on and off the path…

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, July 16, 2009 @ 2:27 pm

    Joyce, here is a response from Liz Watts in our planning department:

    Hi Joyce

    Re: Bike Lanes

    You bring up a good point, and want you to know that our goal is to have as much off-street path as possible on the CVG. Unfortunately we do not have alternate routes for the bike lanes at present, but the good news is that the Central Valley Greenway will continue to evolve and we will work to reduce those. Please read my comments below and perhaps you will be interested to take a closer look at some parts of the Greenway. One suggestion I have if you choose to try the bike lanes, try a quieter time, a weekend morning for example. Another suggestion is to contact the VACC to sign up for a one day commuter cycling course. That makes a big difference. Here is their link: http://www.vacc.bc.ca. A third suggestion is to check out the map for ways to use the SkyTrain to skip segments of the trail which are not comfortable for you.

    In Vancouver: Once you are at Great Northern Way, the sailing is pretty smooth as it is primarily off-street. Between Commercial drive Station and Slocan the road is traffic is very quiet and I think you would feel comfortable riding there.

    In Burnaby: Still Creek Avenue is short, but has busy traffic. It will be upgraded to be an off-street path by 2011 when the road is rebuilt. Winston is a wide street with lots of room, so it has a more comfortable feel. Burnaby will make that an off street path in the long term. Please note that Burnaby has not completed a portion of CVG the at the east end; from Brighton to Cariboo will eventually be an off street path. I would wait for another month to try that section.

    In New West: The ultimate vision in New West is a flat route along the Brunette River and then along the Fraser River. Planning work for this is in the early stages. Columbia Street between Sherbrooke and Cumberland is a busy street and I see no off street cycling options there. Between Cumberland and downtown is an off street path, a huge improvement. Downtown has bike lanes, but has been traffic calmed and has a safer, more pleasant feel.

    MAPS
    Take a look at the CVG map on the web, this also shows the BC Parkway, which generally follows the Expo line. The BC Parkway is also shown on TransLink’s cycling maps.

     Liz

  • By someguy, July 17, 2009 @ 10:11 am

    ^ In regards to the CVG Map, the route pass Still Creek takes you right through Costco! LOL!!!
    I find cars on Winston St. travel at a great speed. Not to mention the trucks do spew lots of gas in that area. Wish we can go right through Burnaby Lake. Oh well. It’s a start.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, July 17, 2009 @ 10:13 am

    Someguy: can you fix the Google map (anyone can edit it!), or give me a description of how it should look so I can fix it?

  • By someguy, July 17, 2009 @ 2:51 pm

    OK I believe I’ve put in the correct routing that circumvents the north side of Costco. It goes under Willingdon and then connects with the path across McD’s HQ. However I do not know how to remove the original green line. you will need to remove it to avoid cyclists from crashing into Costco every day. ;)

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, July 17, 2009 @ 2:54 pm

    I don’t see an original green line to delete — it looks like you’ve adjusted the original line, which is perfect :) Thanks!

  • By someguy, July 17, 2009 @ 2:56 pm

    OK. Looks like google knows how to remove the original one.

  • By Iceman, July 27, 2009 @ 10:57 pm

    I took the CVG today.

    Generally, I’m quite disappointed. I think this is another one of those transit projects where the people designing the system don’t actually USE the system.

    I concur 100% with the comments made by “Stan” on June 21st (6:26 p.m.).

    I found the signage, in a nutshell, to be brtually deficient. I bike about 2,000 km a year in the summer around the GVRD, and had biked the Greenway prior to these latest sections being completed, so I didn’t have too difficult a time figuring out where to go…but, God help anyone who’s never cycled it before.

    The yellow signs are basically useless for 2 reasons: 1) to actually read the small print, you need to almost be directly underneath the sign; 2) on several corners, there are multiple yellow signs pointing in numerous directions. How is anyone supposed to know which “arrow” relates to the CVG? Could they not have made the CVG-trail signs one color, and “points of interest” (…but not neccesarily the CVG) another color?

    Also, it seems that soemone deemed that the CVG was “completed” the second they got the Sperling overpass built. From the looks of the Burnaby section, it’s probably going to be at least next summer by the time they get all of the trail built (i.e. Winston/Cariboo) and proper signage in place. Frankly, they should have waited to “officially” open the trail until more work was completed (…as the complete lack of proper signage has, I’m sure, turned off a lot of beginner cyclists).

    Also, what’s the deal with the Sperling overpass? Going eastbound (…assuming you know to go “up and over”, even though there’s another one of those yellow arrows also pointing straight), you end up on the north-side of Winston, but then you have to cross-over about 1 km later (east) at an uncontrolled crosswalk to get back onto the southside of Winston heading eastbound – frankly, they should have only gone over the railroad tracks, and had the westbound cyclists cross Winston at a controlled crosswalk.

    I though the Vancouver sections were great (i.e. fresh, smooth pavement directly under the SkyTrain), although I found the intersection at Broadwalk and Victoria a bit of a mess – they expect me to cross Broadway at an uncontrolled crosswalk? No thanks…I rode 100 feet east and crossed at the lights at Victoria.

    I live in Richmond, so I can’t say that I’ll be taking the CVG a lot, so I may leave my next trip for next summer, at which point I hope that they finally get all of the sections completed and install proper signage.

    “Chill”

    Iceman

  • By renee, August 6, 2009 @ 8:02 pm

    I need to run 26km this weekend, would anyone recommend this route?

  • By Steve, August 13, 2009 @ 1:55 pm

    We rode the Central Valley Greenway for the first time last weekend starting at Science World. Signage at the beginning was minimal and we managed to get off the trail, but eventually found our way back onto the CVG. All was fine until we got into Burnaby & came to the great white bridge that took us over the railway tracks and led to multiple kms of riding along Winston Ave. What is green about riding alongside cars and trucks, while the pedestrians enjoy the paths along Burnaby Lake? Is this only the temporary bicycle route or the fate of cyclists in Burnaby? The 6 million dollar bridge tells me that this is intended to be a permanent “solution”. Doesn’t really inspire me to return or to recommend this route to other cyclists.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, August 13, 2009 @ 3:14 pm

    Hi Steve:
    I passed your comments over to our planning department, and here’s what they’ve told me.

    Winston Street is the permanent route for cyclists, although the existing bike lane will eventually be upgraded to a separated, elevated path. Bikes are not allowed in Burnaby Lake Regional Park, because the path is too winding to provide sightlines that would make it safe to be shared by pedestrians and cyclists.

    We will pass this comment on to the City of Burnaby planning department.

  • By Danita, August 13, 2009 @ 3:53 pm

    My boyfriend and I travelled the route yesterday from New Westminster to Grandview & Commercial and back.

    We didn’t really know where it started but we live just up the hill on E. Columbia so we chose the entry across from Hume Park where we had seen a big sign indicating “in there” onto the path. I don’t know how riders are supposed to cross this busy street without travelling up the hill to the pedestrian controlled lights. Maybe change where that light is placed? The bike path on E. Columbia seems to end at Braid and it suggested that cyclists and pedestrians share the narrow sidewalks (with a lot of encroaching and overgrown vegetation). I chose to walk my bike down.

    On the stretch of gravel along Brunette River there is not one single solitary sign identifying where a person is. The gravel ends and pops on a street that leads into Cariboo RV park, where there is a letter size green sign across the street indicating “Central Valley Greenway” with a tiny arrow barely visible. At Cariboo (a very busy street) We mistakenly crossed at the crosswalk to get across Cariboo and found ourselves in the Caribou Dam Park. We did actually walk our bikes for 20 minutes until we got to the Burnaby Nature House. I understand the need to make this a pedestrian only path in spots as it is windy and narrow, but not entirely. Cyclists don’t disturb nature any more than do runners, people with strollers, boisterously loud speaking people or dogs. I don’t understand why people just can’t be considerate enough to allow mixed use i.e. cyclists ride with care and attention observing the rules of the road–keep to the right if you will–as well as pedestrians and those with dogs who invariably let them off-leash. Or find a way to allow cyclists to enjoy that greenspace as well and give them options to exit in the windier spots and join up with Winston. There are loops which have been carved out, perhaps they could be extended up to the roadway? Riding on the pavement on a hot day is no picnic.

    We left Burnaby Lake park on the little street that meets Winston which does have a bike path alongside.

    At Still Creek some obnoxious work crews had parked on the cyclist/pedestrian path, forcing us to detour off the beautiful smooth path into traffic, but we did notice the before the little bridge it clearly states that cyclists dismount. Even walking my bike I found the hill ridiculously steep, and the blind spot treacherous. We didn’t see pedestrians coming from the other direction until we were nearly right on top of them.

    There are a couple spots where the path crosses a road and there is definitely confusion as cars turning left onto the street and coming down toward the light don’t have a stop, but the path does. A lot of drivers tend to stop, some don’t want to. Conflict.

    Now where the heck is that street chair and so on? I didn’t see that at all? Perhaps that is closer to Science World.

    (On the way back we noticed there is a short stretch that has a person riding on the shoulder of the road, and mixing with traffic and I for one am not for that. Again the signage is scant. We ended up zooming down a marked bike path lane that continues down Cariboo–even though we had come from New West!

    At North Road there is absolutely no signage to indicate how one gets across the street to Hume to continue along the Central Valley Greenway.

    I don’t think it would hurt to encourage some commerce and some amenities along the route, because once one is out of Vancouver there is nothing but the path itself. A guy selling water or giving it away or whatever. A bench. The odd wildlife proof litter bin. Sell benches or trees for some fundraising?. Signage giving some information about the route itself; some “YOU ARE HERE” sorts of maps? We had printed one out from the Translink site, but it was really small and a little hard to read.

    I do hope to ride the whole trail soon. It was a fabulous way to spend a few hours and it also gives me a transportation option to get into Vancouver, which I really appreciate.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, August 14, 2009 @ 2:41 pm

    Hi Danita,

    Thanks so much for this. These are all really valid concerns, and we’ve forwarded your comments on to the municipalities responsible for completing these areas. A number of works are in progress in Burnaby to complete signage and the facilities. Your feedback is really appreciated—thanks for taking the time to tell us about your experience on the trail. We hope by the fall that things will be much closer to a complete state!

  • By Kelly, August 19, 2009 @ 3:41 pm

    Day 5 of my stay at home summer vacation: a little tired from so much riding on the North Shore, I decided to ride some flats today and thought I’d explore the CVG I’d heard so much about. I really thought this was going to be something special, boy was I mistaken. I got on the CVG at Nanaimo and headed east, intending to ride out to the end and back. The following are the primary observations I have which I hope you can use to improve the facility.

    1. Major road crossings should have cyclist activated lights. There are a number of major crossings just east of Nanaimo which are high speed and busy. At one, at least a dozen cars (including a police car) sped by me as I waited at the cross walk, until one kind person stopped. I don’t know the area so I don’t know the street names, but you need cyclist activated lights to provide for a safe crossing, lines on the pavement are not adequate, safe, or effective.

    2. At two points I passed through, the CVG seems to pass immediately in front of the entrance to skytrain stations, and I mean 10 feet or so from the front doors in one case. Wow, what a gong show. Foot traffic is hectic and unpredictable as people run to and from the trains, grab newpapers from the boxes, look for rides, hail taxis, hurry every way. The bike route needs to be distinct and protected from the mayhem of people using the skytrain. The opportunity for people-bike accidents is huge.

    3. As the route runs under the skytrain line, the huge concrete pillars are probably intended to divide traffic moving in each direction. However, the pillars also create blind spots and make it difficult or impossible to see people about to encroach on the wrong side of the trail. As I travelled along westward under the skytrain, suddenly a man with a bike and a trailer on the bike appeared from nowhere (well, actually from behind a pillar) and quickly entered the westbound lanes but moving eastwards. He nearly ran into me, and there was no possibility for me to have seen him until the last minute. As an experienced cyclist I was able to handle my bike out of the way in a hurry – most probably aren’t so adept. You need a better division between the east and west bound lanes under the skytrain to avoid these blind collisions. I suggest even having a bit of a barrier so people can’t move from one side to the next.

    4. Signage – where do I begin. It was bad and I got lost many times, eventually wasting so much time and spending so much time off route, i realized my effort to ride the CVG could be better spent just riding somewhere else. I note someone has put up some temporary (home made?) signs in some places, but signage is still really bad. I’d suggest starting at Gilmour and getting as far as I was did – which was the Burnaby Sports Complex where the trail turns into a walkers only trail – the signage to someone like myself who does not know the area at all, is not adequate.

    5. The steep bridge: what the heck is that. A super steep bridge with a gravel approach and a sharp corner. Luckily I was lost on my way out and only found it on my way back so only had to do it once. I obeyed the sign asking cyclist to walk, but even walking down that grade in road cleats is lethal.

    6. Isolation: I found much of the route isolated and not in a “oh isn’t this lovely” way. I found it downright frightful with the railway track, the barbed wire and such. I would not recommend using this trail at anything but the busiest times. With unfortunately unsolved murders of women in the Endowment Lands and in Lighthouse Park, I am certainly no more comfortable in this contained and isolated area.

    7. The recycling facility: who puts a bike route through a recycling facility? That is unappealing, dangerous with the heavy traffic, and just plain rude.

    8. Heading east on the road you get dumped onto after the recycling facility is lethal. I experienced an east bound bike lane so full of debris it was dangerous and I rode on the non-bike section of the road. I also note the angle parking on the south side of that street is such that some of the cars poke out into the bike lane. As I returned on that road heading west, I found the condition of the road to be less debris strewn on the north side, however, did encounter a large truck that used the bike lane as a parking spot and a driver who was rude and abusive when I pointed out to him he was parked in the bike lane.

    9. Use of Sidewalks as a bike street such as on Gilmour leaves me wondering what about that is a bike facility. The road is safer then the sidewalk there.

    10. Finally, as fun as gravel is sometimes it is not an optimal cycling surface.

    Thanks for the attention to cycling which the CVG represents, I just hope the bugs can be ironed out in time. I’ll try it again next summer and hope its a bit more rider friendly.

  • By Frank, August 26, 2009 @ 8:25 pm

    Some ground painted signage has appeared near Bby lake. Hopefully that’ll make it less confusing for first time riders.

    A couple of notes regarding the reply from the planning department to Steve.
    “Winston Street is the permanent route for cyclists, although the existing bike lane will eventually be upgraded to a separated, elevated path. Bikes are not allowed in Burnaby Lake Regional Park, because the path is too winding to provide sightlines that would make it safe to be shared by pedestrians and cyclists.”

    Nice to hear the plan is to have a separated, elevated path. As it is now I wouldn’t ride it with my kids.

    The reason given why bikes aren’t allowed in Bby Lake Park is rather weak. On Bby mountain with windier and narrower paths, bikers, hikers, runners, and dog walkers co-exist quite nicely. The Bby Lake trail, even though it is winding in places, can easily accommodate 4 people side-by-side. Sounds to me like a decision made by someone who doesn’t bike.

    I’m also a bit puzzled by the decision to fence of the rail road crossing forcing eastbound traffic to cross Winston using the overpass only to have to cross the 4 lanes of road again 200m further. You are trading a quiet rail road crossing for a busy road crossing.

  • By someguy, August 26, 2009 @ 11:15 pm

    Re: Elevated path on Winston
    I ride this road on my commute. I think the planning dept. is either not communicating with the dept. of works or they are trying to make half truths. The elevated area is not for the entire Winston. You can be sure of that. I would love to be made a liar. Given the long 4km stretch of Winston that has various light industrial complexes along it, it is inconceivable that city of Burnaby will build this elevated bike path. What they are doing however is putting together (or I hope so) some sort of path after Brighton St. (Costco) towards Cariboo Rd. Currently there is no designated bike lane. One has to share the road with cars.

    Re: Eastbound crossing of Winston
    I together with others have commented at the idiosyncrasy of this approach forcing cyclists to cross a busy Winston St. without any aid. Cyclists are at the mercy of the cars & trucks travelling at ~80km/h to stop for you. Since the bike crossing sign is pitiful and the fact there aren’t any crossing signal, an accident is bound to happen one of these days.
    This will just propogate cyclists to venture into Burnaby Lake just to avoid the dangerous crossing.

    Re: Green bridge by McDonalds.
    All I have to say is, I can’t wait for the replacement bridge. This tiny bridge is absolutely dangerous. Blind spot thanks to the bushes, gravel for ascent and descent and steep bridge makes for poor thought to designate it as part of the CVG. Cyclists are better off to circumvent the bridge and ride along Still Creek Ave to reach Gilmore.

  • By Luis Bernhardt, September 1, 2009 @ 1:57 pm

    I’ve been using the CVG at various times to get from my home at Burnaby Mtn to work in downtown Vancouver. The route is probably about the best one could expect from non-cyclists trying to accommodate a wide range of people riding bikes, from people afraid of riding with traffic to experienced riders who were riding on Winston before it had the bike lanes. Some comments:

    The money for the Sperling overpass would have been better spent on an overpass over the Trans Canada to connect the two parts of Sperling. This would have solved the problem of the Kensington overpass crossing on the Lakes bike route and would have been a very strategic north-south crossing point. A more effective solution for Winston would have been a level railroad crossing for cyclists, as there is already an overpass at Kensington that connects the CVG to routes from the north. Unfortunately, the railway wields far too much political power.

    The wooden bridge near McDonalds: I just take the road at this point between McDonald’s and Gilmore. Still Creek is reasonably quiet, and eastbound you’ve got an entire left turn lane next to McD’s that’s even blocked off with thin orange bollards in order to get back on the MUP as it goes past Costco.

    Riding past the Skytrain station at Rupert: This is really, really dumb!

    Eastbound on Winston, having to cross Winston after the bridge: This too is really, really dumb.

    For these last two items, the absolute minimum solution should be a cyclist-activated light. At the Skytrain station, it should be on the path, right next to the railroad tracks, so cyclists don’t have to make a blind turn at the sidewalk. It can be timed in conjunction with the pedestrian crossing in front of the station just up the street.

    The deluxe solution for the overpass would be an extension of the overpass for eastbound cyclists that lands the rider on the right side of Winston headed east, or even a spiralling ramp that could be used by cyclists coming from the west or going to the east. But the entire bridge could have been better-designed. Judging by the parts laying around during construction, I suspect it was prefabricated and purchased from a traffic engineering catalog, and built to accommodate an existing design rather than designed to fix a problem.

  • By Luis Bernhardt, September 1, 2009 @ 2:20 pm

    One more thing: I agree with those who have pointed out that the MUP along Great Northern Way is dangerous. I sympathize with those who feel more secure on a separated bike path, but objective studies (starting with the Ken Cross study in the 1970′s) have found that separated bike paths are more than twice as dangerous as riding on the road. And there is a vast difference between a MUP with no intersections, such as the gravelled Burnaby Lake section (Douglas to Winston), and an MUP with driveways such as at Great Northern. The latter is deadly because it presents the same hazard that wrong-way cyclists present – when the driver pulls out of the driveway, he’s looking to his left, where his own immediate danger is. The last thing he’s going to look for just before pulling out is someone coming along at 25 kmh from his right. I never use this MUP eastbound, that’s suicide! And even going westbound, I don’t get on it until the second BCIT driveway (the last driveway westbound) where it turns into a MUP without intersections, which is far safer.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, September 2, 2009 @ 11:35 am

    Danita:

    Sorry for the delayed response!

    Our partners in this project are monitoring this post, so all of your comments have been passed along to them.

    Here are some responses from Metro Vancouver Parks regarding some of the issues you have raised.

    Re: Additional Signs in Brunette Fraser Park
    - MV Parks considers the public advised of the route once they have passed the green confirmation signs at either end. The end point signs are the responsibility of the City of Burnaby. If they are not present, the City will be completing signage in September.

    Bikes in Burnaby Lake Park
    Bicycles are not permitted in BLRP and the official cycle route is designated otherwise (CVG). Metro Vancouver Parks does understand that this comment may have come from a commuter/recreational cyclist type user who enjoys the greener aspects of the park setting. The enquiry about access to BLRP by cyclists will be forwarded to park management for consideration.

    Local Maps
    Metro Vancouver Parks is developing park maps to be located at strategic locations which we understand will include the local context and the CVG/BFG.

  • By jake, September 2, 2009 @ 9:45 pm

    I have a question in regards to the Brunette River Park area. Why is there a gate to the entrance to the park? The gate pretty much blocks of 90% of the entrance leaving about 1.5ft sliver of path for one to enter the park MUP from Cariboo Pl. That sliver of path is right next to the ravine! It is quite tricky to navigate through it especially it is sandy and gravel.
    I understand that perhaps the park officials want to Close the park after 5pm. However that is when the majority of the CVG commuters will use it!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, September 3, 2009 @ 11:00 am

    Jake:

    Richard asked the same question and here’s the answer I posted.

    The City of Burnaby is in the process of replacing those gates with staggered arms through which everyone will be able to pass. There are four locations: Sperling (to pedestrian path in Burnaby Lake Regional Park), at Cariboo, Cariboo Place, and North Road.

  • By Simon, September 5, 2009 @ 10:35 am

    I fell down! I took my road bicycle on the trail, when I got to the recycle gravel section, at the end of the gravel trail, the trail was closed for reconstruction, so I decided to turn around in the recycle area, I got onto the heavy gravel with the road tire, and my shoes are clipped on the pedals, down I went! my question is will the gravel sections be paved? so that it is suitable for all types of bikes?

  • By ed, September 7, 2009 @ 3:05 pm

    Sissy! Hahaha… just kidding. Sorry that you fell. I’ve seen lots of road bikes going through this part of the path. Given that the CVG includes some gravel area (Brunette park & Still Creek after Sperling stretch), I don’t think paving the entire trail with smooth tarmac is a mandate. Perhaps you need a more aggressive tires??

  • By LA, September 23, 2009 @ 3:15 am

    I’ll be repeating many of the concerns I have already read but I feel it is important to voice these concerns if many people are experiencing the same difficulties.
    I rode from Commercial Drive in an attempt to make it to the New West Quay.

    I had a quick look over a few of the previous emails and can’t agree more with all of the riders who have mentioned the poor signage. I had to double back a few times.
    The path at Still Creek/Gilmore dips in and at the bridge it was really unclear which way to go. I followed another lost bike rider.

    I was on the translink site and it advertises the route as good for rollerbladers??? There are large sections of the route that are unpaved. You cannot rollerblade over gravel for more than a couple of feet. This is not a rollerblade friendly route and should not be advertised as such. Or somewhere on the site should say specifically where the paved and unpaved sections are.

    The shared roadway along the industrial area (near Rocky Mtn Chocolate Factory) is littered with debris. I saw a lot of glass today.

    Also, for those who have said the route is flat, well a great deal of it is but as others have mentioned, there are some hefty hills.
    The ride along Winston is particularly treacherous. I rode it today around 4pm and it was very busy, pretty hilly and I did not feel safe at all. There are parked cars and driveways on the right with people and cars entering the roadway; and speeding drivers on your left.

    At Production Way, the shared path disappeared and I could not figure out where I was supposed to ride from here. The sidewalk was under construction and completely unusable. The bike path was no where to be found and the road was so busy, without a bike lane I didn’t feel it was a wise decision to continue. Where do you go at Winston and Production Way?

    Also, as someone else mentioned, where is there a good map? (with specific street names and specific directions. ie go 100m North and cross xxxx Street until you get to xxx) the one on the translink site is too vague. If you are unfamiliar with an area, you cannot figure anything out from the map that is currently available.

    Crossing the road to head East on Winston was nearly impossible. There is a huge crane? between the corner and the ‘crosswalk’ (which no one stops at). So you can’t actually use the crosswalk since you are then invisible to cars heading Westbound and cars turning into traffic from the corner. There are cars trying to cross the intersection as well as cars turning off of Winston and at rush hour there is so much traffic coming from both directions it’s a recipe for disaster.

    Its a great idea but it has a lot of wrinkles to work out.

  • By Sam, January 8, 2010 @ 2:44 pm

    Just wondering has the Winston crosswalk light been completed yet? I know in the fall, there were some digging and pylons in that area.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, January 8, 2010 @ 5:24 pm

    Sam: I passed your question along to our planning dept, and here’s the response so far.

    To clarify, it is a marked crossing for bikes with a lit sign, not a signalized intersection. When I last rode the CVG in December, the crosswalk and sign were installed but the sign was not yet activated. Burnaby Planning is checking on the construction status.

    I’ll update you again when Burnaby Planning gets back to us!

  • By Al, February 19, 2010 @ 12:07 am

    Regarding the Winston bicycle crossing, the sign while up is still not lit. Cars did not stop for me. I had to raise my hand up pointing to the sign at drivers so that they even are aware that this sign is hanging over the crossing! To me, this is a half-hearted attempt to gain the bicycle-friendly status. City of Burnaby need to do better.

  • By Al, February 19, 2010 @ 12:16 am

    Oh one more thing. Since fall, it seems the city of Burnaby has been building this elevated pavement area for cyclists/peds to use on Winston. It is barricaded. Good idea. However it ends abruptly near the train tracks by Cariboo. It makes it awkward and dangerous as one has to traverse from paved surface to rock strewn, mud dirt surface. Then one would have to somehow merge back on Cariboo right before the tracks.
    Well therein lies the problem, there are cars making right to Cariboo as well! So unless a sympathetic driver stops, you would have to dismount and remount again. If this is the completed state, I can see cyclists continue to ride on Winston itself and turn on Cariboo.

  • By Wayne, March 29, 2010 @ 11:48 am

    I see that a section of the trail is now closed between Gilmore and Willingdon (behind Dick’s lumber). There is a detour around the closure on Still Creek Ave. Does this mean that the small bridge is now being replaced? Do you know how long this project is supposed to take?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, March 29, 2010 @ 2:16 pm

    Wayne:
    I sent your comment on to our planning staff and here is the response.

    Hi Wayne, Yes, the bridge is being replaced this spring by the City of Burnaby with a bridge that is much easier to ride over. For details of the schedule, please contact the City of Burnaby switchboard at 604.294.7944 and they can direct your call appropriately.

  • By Wayne, May 6, 2010 @ 3:47 pm

    I see the new bridge is now complete. I used it today. It is very nice.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, May 6, 2010 @ 3:48 pm

    Glad to hear it’s up and working!

  • By someguy, May 7, 2010 @ 9:27 am

    Yes the new bridge by McD/Dick’s Lumber is wonderful upgrade! Now if they could only improve on the Winston Eastbound crossing east of the $6M bridge….

  • By Grant, May 9, 2010 @ 12:11 pm

    After almost a year of procrastination I finally got around to cycling the length of the CVG. Given the various bureaucracies involved, the logistical problems of putting in a dedicated pathway through built-up areas, and the fact that the pathway was designed to be used by 3 distinct groups (pedestrians, tourists and commuters) I was impressed with the result.

    Before adding my 2 cents worth I read all the previous posts to this blog. Some of the complaints – the pathway’s isolation, it being too hilly, the blind areas created by the Skytrain pillars or (my favourite) the trail being no good because it runs past a recycling depot – simply prove the old axiom that you can’t please all the people all the time.

    The main complaint of inadequate signage seems to have been addressed as I only made 1 wrong turn.

    Some suggestions for improvements are:
    – the crossing at Boundary needs a user activated light; even on a quiet Saturday morning I had some trouble getting across
    – the west end of the bridge over Winston has the standard CVG sign in both directions so it isn’t clear which way a west bound user should turn
    – its been mentioned before but I’ll say it again; why Burnaby would go to the expensive of putting in a lit crossing for east bound cyclist at the west end of Winston and not a user activated traffic light is beyond me especially since the crossing is at an intersection
    – cycling in traffic doesn’t bother me but I can see how novice cyclists and those with younger children would be apprehensive about pedaling along Winston; would it be possible to put in Jersey barriers to separate the pathway from vehicle traffic
    – the east end of Winston from Brighton to Cariboo Pl is a mess; what’s taking so long to come up with a substantial solution to this stretch
    – and the section from Hulme Park to Cumberland simply isn’t up to snuff; hopefully New West won’t drag their feet on addressing this.

    Finally on a related matter I cycled back to New West using the 7/ll BC Parkway. It made me appreciate how much better the CVG is compared to this former crown jewel of regional pathways. Are there any plans to do some work along this route in the future? The section from Boundary to Nelson is in particularly dire need of upgrading and in several areas the pathway has broken asphalt due to tree roots.

    Thanks Jhenifer for providing this forum.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, May 11, 2010 @ 8:55 am

    Grant, I do know that we are planning on upgrades to the BC Parkway: here’s the public consultation page about that project. I’m not aware of specific timelines for its completion, however. I’ve also passed your other questions about the CVG trail on — stay tuned for an answer!

  • By someguy, May 11, 2010 @ 10:51 am

    Just to let you know the section by the new Costco/Garbage plant in Still Creek is undergoing some construction. The detour takes you onto some soft loose granular path. It is quite difficult to navigate through it unless you are on knobby MTB tires. Hopefully this will be compacted down. I saw a few folks complete lost forward momentum and fell.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, May 17, 2010 @ 10:39 am

    Grant: here are the answers to many of your questions from the City of Burnaby planning dept.

    - the west end of the bridge over Winston has the standard CVG sign in both directions so it isn’t clear which way a west bound user should turn

    I am forwarding new signs to the Sign Shop and hope to see them up within the next month

    - its been mentioned before but I’ll say it again; why Burnaby would go to the expensive of putting in a lit crossing for east bound cyclist at the west end of Winston and not a user activated traffic light is beyond me especially since the crossing is at an intersection

    - With no sidewalk we didn’t want to encourage pedestrians to use this as a crosswalk and the cost of a full pedestrian signal is significantly more than the overhead signs.

    - cycling in traffic doesn’t bother me but I can see how novice cyclists and those with younger children would be apprehensive about pedaling along Winston; would it be possible to put in Jersey barriers to separate the pathway from vehicle traffic

    - A separated urban trail has been approved for the north side of Winston. In the interim we have provided bike lanes. Regarding no posts, it would be difficult to maintain the blocked off road, they would prevent access to streets, driveways and on street parking and they would cost well in excess of $1.0 million.

    - the east end of Winston from Brighton to Cariboo Pl is a mess; what’s taking so long to come up with a substantial solution to this stretch

    - The City has been waiting for CN Rail to rebuild the crossing, before completing paving. We don’t have a timeline from them.

  • By Grant, May 18, 2010 @ 8:55 am

    Thanks for the responses.

  • By ColleenMacDonald, May 19, 2010 @ 8:23 am

    The Greenway is absolutely fantastic and a welcome route for Metro Vancouver. Now…if we could have an additional side route through Burnaby Lake Park (off the walker’s pathway) then this ride would be perfect. As it is, Winston Street leaves alot to be desired for a family day outing — especially when there is a fantastic park right beside it!

  • By ColleenMacDonald, May 19, 2010 @ 8:26 am

    What year is the June 27 opening?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, May 19, 2010 @ 2:30 pm

    Colleen: the June 27 opening was in 2009! The date isn’t very prominent on the post: sorry about that.

    I’ve also passed along your comments about Winston St. Thanks!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, May 19, 2010 @ 3:23 pm

    Grant: here’s the answers from New Westminster to your last question about Hulme Park to Cumberland.

    - this section of the CVG is considered an interim section. It will remain as part of the CVG however until the North Fraser Perimeter Road and related cycling facilities are constructed by TransLink, then routing of the CVG will be amended to reflect improvements in the corridor including low level connections to cycling routes in Coquitlam.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, May 20, 2010 @ 6:14 pm

    Colleen: here’s a response from our planning department with regard to your note about Winston Street.

    Thanks for your positive comments! Regarding a bike path through Burnaby Lake Park, that land is owned by the City of Burnaby and leased by Metro Vancouver Parks. Any enquiries to put a bicycle path through the park should be addressed to the City of Burnaby Planning Department, and Metro Vancouver Parks Planning.

    For your information, the City of Burnaby intends to make a separated multi-use path along the north side of Winston which will make that part of the ride much nicer, although the funding and schedule are not yet determined.

  • By Amy, June 10, 2010 @ 10:43 am

    I’m glad to see that this posting continues to be active. This is a welcome route, generally very good and it’s improved lots in the last year. The new pathway between VCC station and Main is particularly welcome.

    But… ;-) I’ve scanned most of the postings: is there a resolution to the crossing at Boundary? I generally have to wait for a break in traffic – cars simply don’t stop – and this can take a while during the morning or afternoon commute!

  • By Amy, June 10, 2010 @ 10:47 am

    PS: The google map that is linked in this post is very useful, and I do appreciate that it’s open to us to modify. However – there seem to be a few additions that are not relevant to the route or cycling in general (for example: “Cliff Jumper in Lynn canyon route”, and “1055 Richards St, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada”). I’m reluctant to delete these irrelevant extras, as I”m not the map owner, but Jhenifer, do you think that cleaning up the map would fall under your moral rights a map owner? :-)

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, June 10, 2010 @ 10:48 am

    Amy: thanks for the note, I’ll clean up the map!
    I think what happens is that someone visits the map, then goes off on a different tangent and starts adding things by accident. The trials of public access to documents :)

    Also I’ve sent your Boundary question along for an answer!

  • By Amy, June 10, 2010 @ 12:06 pm

    Thanks, Jhenifer! The map looks so much more focused now. I hope you link to it again in your next posting on the Greenway. I didn’t know I was cycling past a chocolate outlet store. :-o

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, June 10, 2010 @ 3:53 pm

    Amy: here’s the answer to your Boundary question.

    Boundary Road is on the Major Road Network, which requires a “Warrant” for any new signals, which is a formal justification process. A crossing at Boundary Road was originally envisioned, but deferred when the City of Vancouver did an audit and found that there were enough gaps in traffic for cyclists to cross for the light to not be “warranted” at the time. The crossing implementation was further complicated by the Province’s Gateway project in that area, and a lengthy process to negotiate an agreement with the Railroad company to install utilities beneath their right of way during installation of the signal.

    TransLink is working in partnership with the City of Vancouver through the 2010 MRN Minor Capital Program to obtain funding to construct a new bicycle/pedestrian signal at Boundary/CVG. We should know this summer if TransLink funding is approved for the project. Once TransLink funding is approved, the City of Vancouver will be responsible for the design/construction of the project and will be able to answer all public questions concerning when the project is scheduled to be constructed. For further enquiries please contact the City of Vancouver.

  • By Amy, June 14, 2010 @ 1:11 pm

    Thanks for the update on the Boundary Road signal. I’ll keep my fingers crossed!

  • By Paul C, June 19, 2010 @ 5:59 am

    Recently I just got into cycling plus taking skytrain to work everyday. About 6.5KM of cycling plus a 10 minute skytrain ride. So last Saturday I finally got around to getting some new tires and on Sunday wanted to try them out. So I picked up the Metro Vancouver Cycling Map (I would highly recommend this to anyone who would like to cycle). I’m down at Douglas and Still creek checking out the map and wondering if I should just turn back and head home. Well being a nice afternoon. I decided to check out the trail. Not realizing at the time that it was the CVG. Eventually I went all the way to New West and the followed the Expo Line all the way home. Had to stop a few times to make sure i was going in the right direction.

    I did make one error though. When I got to Sperling. I was going so fast that I missed the sign for cyclists to cross over to the other side of Winston the over pass.

  • By Wayne, June 23, 2010 @ 11:42 am

    There are some blackberry vines that are starting to encroach on the westbound bike lane on Winston.

  • By Paul C, June 23, 2010 @ 1:36 pm

    I noticed the blackberry vines as well. Forces you to the outside of the pathway. Which means there is the potential for a head on collision.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, June 23, 2010 @ 3:07 pm

    Wayne: I’ve passed it on to our Burnaby contacts! Hopefully it will be fixed soon.

  • By Janet, June 25, 2010 @ 2:12 pm

    I just want to let you know that the part on Winston eastbound crossing is quite dangerous despite the Bicycle Crossing sign. Yesterday on the way home, I nearly got hit.
    I was waiting at the crossing. Westbound car stopped. Eastbound SUV proceeded to slow down and stop. I waved thanks and about to ride through when a BMW behind the SUV decided to swerve right to pass the SUV. It was frightening. I can only presume the BMW driver thought the SUV wanted to make a left turn into Greenwood St. and wanted to pass him. Luckily the SUV person must’ve also realised the situation and honked at the BMW driver to gesture to him that this is a Bicycle Crossing.
    I read from above that this crossing is contentious and Burnaby seems to not want to make any improvements. I hope that the city will re-visit this crossing for the safety’s sake.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, June 25, 2010 @ 2:48 pm

    Thanks Janet — I’ve passed your comments on to our Burnaby contacts as well.

  • By Wayne, July 8, 2010 @ 8:41 pm

    I agree that the crossing near the $5 million bridge near Sperling and Winston is dangerous. Further east near Government and Gaglardi they have just put in a pedestrian controlled traffic light. Cars now have to stop when before they were not.

    However, a few of us from my office who regularly cross at Boundary road do not agree that a traffic light is required there. Most of the time we do not have to wait very long either because someone stops for us or there is a natural break in the traffic. I do not want to cause unneccessary expense or distruption to the vehicles.

  • By simon, October 4, 2010 @ 9:06 pm

    I was struck by a northbound vehicle while crossing the CVG at Boundary – heading east. The driver in the left hand lane stopped – the driver in the right lane did not. I was told by ICBC that cyclists are obliged to dismount at this crossing – though the signage here and elsewhere along the CVG appears to clearly indicate that cylcists (on their bikes) may use the crosswalk). Clarifications please…

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, October 5, 2010 @ 4:54 pm

    Simon: that’s awful! I’m so sorry you were hit! I’ve passed your question on to our planning team and am wondering if you can send your e-mail address to thebuzzer@translink.ca—so that we can put you in touch with someone directly at the City of Vancouver about the situation you experienced. The City of Vancouver is the Road Authority for Boundary Road.

    I can however report that TransLink and the City of Vancouver are cost-sharing the installation of a new traffic signal at the crossing of the CVG at Boundary Road. I hope this helps somewhat!

  • By Average Joe Cyclist, October 12, 2010 @ 10:50 pm

    I am delighted to find that there is this place for feedback regarding the Central Valley Greenway. I think that the CVG is awesome in some ways, but seriously fails in others – so I am pleased to see that there is someone listening to the problems and passing them on.

    I have reviewed the good and the bad points of the CVG extensively on my blog at both http://averagejoecyclist.com/?p=444 and at http://averagejoecyclist.com/?p=1215. I notice that this subject is extremely popular with my readers.

    Jhenifer, I would very much appreciate it if you could take the time to review my posts and respond to my comments. In particular, I am concerned that the part of the CVG from New West to Burnaby is more like a truck route than a Greenway; and that the other half, while very good, does not meet the criteria of providing safe cycling for all (which includes children and seniors).

    That said, I do think that the CVG is an impressive and ambitious project, and a sign, I hope, of a bright future for cycling in Greater Vancouver. I am grateful to those responsible for this impressive beginning.

  • By Average Joe Cyclist, October 13, 2010 @ 12:02 am

    My apologies – that first link SHOULD have been http://averagejoecyclist.com/?p=825 (NOT http://averagejoecyclist.com/?p=444).

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, October 13, 2010 @ 11:14 am

    Joe: I’ll pass the links on to our planning dept as they will be able to better comment on your suggestions. Stay tuned!

  • By Cecily, October 13, 2010 @ 11:54 am

    I took a ride on the CVG this summer and posted about it here – http://cecily.info/2010/08/30/how-green-is-my-valley/ – so finding out that Burnaby Lake Regional Park is off-limits to cyclists was certainly news to me. When faced with the bike bridge at Sperling versus a smaller bridge that leads down a gravel path, it’s easy to know which path inexperienced cyclists will likely choose. I rode down it, as did the group of 8 tourists who were riding that day.

    Will something be done about the portion of the route that goes through the recycling depot?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, October 13, 2010 @ 12:12 pm

    Cecily: Thanks for the link! I’ll pass that on to our planning staff.

    As mentioned in this other CVG post, the route near the recycling depot will be upgraded. Here is the word from the City of Burnaby:

    The activity in this area has to do with a contractor beginning the construction of the Still Creek Avenue Extension Phase 1.

    Phase 1 will be a new roadway and urban trail (Central Valley Greenway) from Westminster to the preload next to Costco.

    Phase 2 will occur next year and will complete the extension of Still Creek Avenue through to Costco with the CVG connection as well.

    At the moment, the contractor is installing services along the future roadway (watermains, sanitary and storm sewers) and will begin construction of the roadway shortly after that.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, October 21, 2010 @ 4:43 pm

    Joe: as promised, here is the response from our planning department! I will also post it on your blog in the comments.

    The CVG was part of Transport Canada’s Urban Transportation Showcase Program, which wrapped up in March 2009 in accordance with the multi-agency funding agreement. There has been a fair bit of criticism on the Buzzer Blog about launching the CVG prematurely, while some segments were incomplete or built to an interim standard. We were obliged to launch it as close as possible to the federal project deadline of March 31, 2009, after six years of planning and project delivery, and held our opening celebration in June to correspond with Bike Week and the completion of the Winston Bridge, which provided important connections. We acknowledge that the some areas are constructed to a interim design standard, due to budget or other temporal challenges. The major achievement of the project was to deliver a functional CVG, and it has been a valuable facility for thousands of people since it was launched. TransLink values feedback and will share it with our partners. At this point each municipal partner is responsible for improvements along the CVG that will achieve the ultimate design standard. Again, now that the cities fully own and manage their sections of the CVG, comments should be directed to them.

    Blog Part I: Downtown New Westminster to Winston

    Signage. Compliments appreciated. We will aim for 100% consistency, and timely completion on the next facility. We will also recommend larger fonts for the yellow destination signs.
    Jurisdiction: Cities

    Columbia Street – downtown.
    Average Joe Suggestion 1: separated path
    It is quite true, this is a high traffic street and may not comfortable for a good many riders, particularly new or young riders. Downtown New Westminster was considered a CVG destination, and an enhanced cycling facility objective was considered in the context of multiple City objectives: downtown revitalization, aesthetic improvements, enhanced pedestrian environment, and traffic calming. The compromise was to remove two lanes of traffic and to implement back in angle parking, an innovation in this region, which is safer for cyclists than parallel parking and opened up more road space for cyclists.

    The ultimate vision for New Westminster is a low level multi-use route running from Braid along the waterfront to the Quay which would provide a scenic, flat and comfortable separated route. It will take some years to acquire the necessary lands and resources to achieve the low level route, as most of it will be implemented as development occurs. This route is also identified in the Metro Vancouver Parks greenway network.
    Jurisdiction: City of New Westminster.

    Columbia Street – north east of Cumberland
    Average Joe Suggestion 1: separated path

    The original alignment for the CVG was routed along the Brunette River waterfront through the Sapperton industrial area. Because of serious budget deficiencies, technical challenges of crossing massive rail yard, and the need to meet the project completion deadline in 2009, the route between Hume Park and Cumberland was proposed by the City as an alternate which would provide a connection with the BC Parkway and the New West waterfront at the Quay. The choices were to work with Columbia Street, or stop the CVG at the Burnaby border. It is acknowledged that the on street portions of Columbia are busy and challenging to ride. Again, the low level route along the Brunette River in Sapperton, meeting up at Sapperton Landing (around Cumberland) is the optimal long term solution here.
    Jurisdiction: City of New Westminster

    North Road
    Average Joe Suggestion 2: a solution requested
    Exiting Hume Park and entering Burnaby, Columbia Street is actually named North Road. The City of Burnaby has identified the scope required to make a separated multi-use path here which requires path widening and a new bridge across the Brunette River. The New Westminster portion would consist of a multi-use path to the south of the Brunette River.
    Jurisdiction: Cities of New Westminster and Burnaby

    Brunette River Natural Area
    Suggestion 3: lights
    This corridor is owned by Metro Vancouver and managed by its Parks department. Metro Vancouver Parks has a policy of no lights in this area, for reasons of environmental sensitivity and because lights might create a false sense of security in this forested area which has limited visibility and surveillance at night.
    Jurisdiction: Metro Vancouver Parks

    Cariboo Road
    The unfinished intersection at Government was problematic for over a year and a source of frustration to all. The City was waiting for the railroad to install panels to permit a level crossing of the tracks, which only they can do. This work was completed in September 2010.
    Jurisdiction: City of Burnaby

    Winston bicycle Lanes
    Average Joe Suggestion 4 – separated path
    The City of Burnaby’s long term plan is to replace the existing bicycle lanes on Winston with a separated multi-use trail (aka “Urban Trail” in Burnaby), exactly as per your Suggestion 4. This would make a huge difference to the quality of experience on the CVG east of Sperling for both cyclists and pedestrians. At present, there is no sidewalk on Winston and so the CVG pedestrian traffic is routed through Metro Vancouver’s Burnaby Lake Regional Park, which for the same reasons as the Brunette River Natural Area, has no lighting and is only open during daylight hours.
    Jurisdiction: City of Burnaby and Metro Vancouver

    The map – and suitability ratings.
    TransLink notes the excerpted quote from the CVG Route Map: “Most sections are suitable for all kinds of walking and wheeling etc”. This is a really helpful comment on an oversight, and we will be making a note in the next map issue about the high traffic streets, noting they may be less comfortable for some riders. For the same reason, we distinguished between types of routes on the map.
    Jurisdiction: TransLink

    Blog Part 2: Winston overpass to Vancouver.

    Douglas Road and Still Creek Drive to Gilmore

    The City of Burnaby will be rebuilding Douglas Road, and Still Creek Drive all the way through to Costco in 2011/2012. It is acknowledged that the current interim route is unpleasant, and fortunately there is a quality solution in the near future for this section which will be a fully separated, multi-use path on the north side of Still Creek Drive and east side of Douglas Road. We are please to pass on the compliments on the rest area just close to the intersection of Still Creek Drive and Gilmore. The credit goes to the City of Burnaby.
    Agency responsible: City of Burnaby

    Great Northern Way
    As you noted, the slope connecting Clark Drive with the False Creek Flats is steep and a challenge for cyclists. One reason for providing a path on both sides of Great Northern Way between Clark and Glen Drives is to give cyclists more space and choice. The original vision for the CVG was to provide a bridge connection for non-motorized users between the False Creek Flats and Clark Drive at the top of the escarpment. Unfortunately the bridge was unable to proceed as part of the project because of cost and time constraints. As for the driveways, it would be worth letting the City know of your concern and experiences there.
    Agency responsible: City of Vancouver

    Safe cycling for everyone?

    Your observation that the point of view of seniors and/or kids is key in assessing bike routes is very valid. It echoes the philosophy of Gil Penalosa of Bogotá, Columbia, who heads an organization called 8 to 80 Cities which urges leaders to ..”make decisions about our built environment based on what would be good for an 8 year old and an 80 year old which would result in great cities for all”. ”. Through TransLink’s Bicycle Working Group, a forum involving representatives from the municipalities in the region, there are active discussions and plans to advance standards for cycling facilities which suit a large segment of our population which is interested in cycling, but concerned.

    We appreciate the time you have spent in creating this commentary and hope that understanding some of the context and forthcoming developments is helpful. It is important for the walking and cycling communities to focus their advocacy on projects which are important to them, and advance the realization of those projects realized. It took years of dreaming and planning to get the CVG to the present point. We consider it a work in progress.

  • By Mark Butler, October 16, 2014 @ 3:46 pm

    Nice views of this pathway. I like.

Other Links to this Post

  1. Central Valley Greenway Exploration « New Westminster Shopping Guide — July 22, 2009 @ 5:35 pm

  2. GoPiano — October 13, 2009 @ 9:34 am

  3. The Buzzer blog » Ride the Central Valley Greenway on its first anniversary! — June 10, 2010 @ 9:00 am

  4. The Buzzer blog » The Central Valley Greenway turns one year old — September 27, 2010 @ 9:01 am

  5. The Buzzer blog » Central Valley Greenway: an update from our planning team — October 27, 2010 @ 2:02 pm

  6. TransLink, the Buzzer Blog, and the Central Valley Greenway: Guest Post by Jhenifer Pabillano | Average Joe's Cycling Blog — November 10, 2010 @ 9:00 pm

  7. The Buzzer blog » Updated Central Valley Greenway maps are now available — January 6, 2011 @ 12:03 pm

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