Esplanade Complete Street

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Phase 2 - April 2021

Last November, we reached out to the community about our plans to redesign Esplanade to provide a safer and more comfortable experience for everyone. We heard from many of you about how you experience Esplanade, what’s important to you and what would make it better. Throughout this preliminary engagement process, safety was identified as the single most important issue to be addressed when reimagining the corridor.

Over the last few months, we’ve developed a design for Esplanade based on the project principles, community and stakeholder feedback and guidance from Council-approved policy, including our Safe Mobility Strategy. The outcome is a design that supports people of all ages and abilities, and achieves our design goals of:

  • Creating a safer, more comfortable experience for pedestrians and cyclists
  • Maintaining the existing road capacity for transit, trucks and passenger vehicles
  • Providing good access to local businesses
  • Creating a street that feels vibrant and welcoming


View the Design

The complete corridor design and renderings are available below. We've also summarized feedback from Phase 1 into seven themes. Under each theme, we’ve identified what we heard from you and how that feedback has been reflected in the design. We welcome your questions and comments.

[ Click image to view the full corridor and detailed design changes ]


What We Heard:

  • Sidewalks are narrow and often cluttered
  • Seating areas are limited
  • Sidewalks are dark and unwelcoming
  • Driveways are points of conflict with drivers
  • Creating more green space would make the street more enjoyable to visit


How We Are Responding:

  • Creating wider sidewalks and relocating obstructions
  • Adding more accessible seating to provide places to rest or socialize
  • Adding pedestrian scale lighting
  • Creating safer driveway crossings by raising these areas to sidewalk height
  • Planting more trees to create separation between people moving at different speeds
  • Providing opportunities for businesses to create more attractive spaces for people to spend time

View of Esplanade looking west towards the Chesterfield intersection

1. Trees to be planted will provide shade and be more suited to an urban environment
2. New pedestrian scale lighting will contribute to a more vibrant and safe sidewalk
3. Planted medians provide space for seating under the urban tree canopy
4. Planted boulevards provide soft separation between mobility lanes and sidewalks
5. Wide boulevards have space for benches, bike racks, and street furniture, keeping the sidewalk clutter-free


What We Heard:

  • Crossing the street is uncomfortable due to traffic speed and volume
  • Intersections can be dangerous points of conflict for cyclists


How We Are Responding:

  • Creating larger waiting areas at intersections to give people more space
  • Installing advanced walk signals at intersections that give people more time to cross the street before vehicles start moving
  • Installing accessible pedestrian crossing signals where they are currently absent
  • Tightening the corners at intersections so drivers must slow down when turning
  • Introducing a protected intersection design at Chesterfield

A protected intersection design will provide safer space for people, pedestrians and cyclists to cross the street, while also slowing down vehicles turning the corners [CLICK TO ENLARGE]


What We Heard:

  • Cyclists feel unsafe riding in unprotected mobility lanes
  • Drivers feel uncomfortable beside cyclists in unprotected mobility lanes
  • People riding bicycles on the sidewalk create conflicts with people walking, rolling, and accessing shops


How We Are Responding:

  • Separating mobility lanes from vehicles, parked cars, and sidewalks
  • Creating safe passing space within the mobility lanes to accommodate different travel speeds
  • Improving connections to the broader Mobility Lane Network
  • Improving the existing separated lanes to reduce conflicts and improve accessibility

View of Esplanade looking east from Rogers Overpass

1. Physical separation between sidewalks, mobility lanes, and vehicles is achieved by reallocating space for parked vehicles
2. Planted boulevards provide soft separation between mobility lanes and sidewalks
3. Wider sidewalks provide opportunities for patios or other social spaces that do not impede pedestrians
4. High visibility pavement markings highlight areas where drivers cross over mobility lanes to access Esplanade


What We Heard:

  • Speeding is a significant safety concern for all road users
  • Excessive noise from speeding impacts the overall enjoyment of Esplanade
  • Cyclists riding too quickly on the sidewalk creates conflict with pedestrians


How We Are Responding:

  • Designing the street to support safe speeds appropriate for an urban street

View of Esplanade looking west from the Lonsdale intersection

1. Narrowed lanes support safe vehicle operating speeds and provide space for protected mobility lanes
2. Trees and other plants provide soft separation between people moving at different speeds
3. Curb buffers provide separation between mobility lanes and vehicles


What We Heard:

  • Maintaining frequent and reliable transit is important to transit riders and TransLink
  • Accessibility at bus stops could be improved


How We Are Responding:

  • Improving accessibility at existing transit stops
  • Designing bus stops to reduce conflicts between the sidewalk, mobility lanes, and bus stop areas

View of the bus stop area between Rogers Ave and Chesterfield Ave

1. Large waiting areas provide space for people waiting to cross the street
2. Bus stop accessibility upgrades aligned with RapidBus stop improvements
3. Bus stop designed to minimize conflicts between mobility lane users and transit riders
4. Accessible crossings allow for people to easily roll across the mobility lane when accessing the sidewalk or bus stop
5. Planted boulevards help with storm water management and provide greater separation from moving vehicles
6. Mobility lane narrows near crossing areas to slow cyclists


What We Heard:

  • Maintaining access to industrial areas and the Port of Vancouver is critical
  • Drivers are concerned about increased traffic and congestion


How We Are Responding:

  • Maintaining two vehicle lanes in each direction on Esplanade
  • Adding left turn lanes at St Georges to improve intersection safety and traffic flow around vehicles waiting to turn left
  • Coordinating signal timing to keep traffic moving
  • Reducing Forbes to one lane southbound from 3rd Avenue to provide safe separated space for people walking and cycling
  • Restricting left turns at 1st and 2nd Streets, 7am-7pm to keep the single southbound travel lane flowing

Forbes has been designed to keep trucks, buses, and cars moving, while improving safety for people crossing the street at 1st and 2nd [CLICK TO ENLARGE]


What We Heard:

  • Curbside access for businesses and customers is important
  • There are not enough loading zones or areas for short-term pick-up and drop-off
  • Safe space for people is more important than on-street parking


How We Are Responding:

  • Providing dedicated areas for commercial loading and passenger pick-up/drop-off
  • Setting time limits for curb spaces to encourage turn over
  • Working with local businesses to identify other areas that can support deliveries
  • Improving wayfinding to parkades in the immediate area
  • Reallocating some on-street parking space to provide safe mobility space for people

There are over 2,000 parking spaces available in parkades within a 3 minute walk of Esplanade. Some on-street parking has been removed to make room for mobility lanes and improved sidewalks. Less than 3% of all parking in the area has been removed to rebalance space for safely moving people along Esplanade.


Phase 2 - April 2021

Last November, we reached out to the community about our plans to redesign Esplanade to provide a safer and more comfortable experience for everyone. We heard from many of you about how you experience Esplanade, what’s important to you and what would make it better. Throughout this preliminary engagement process, safety was identified as the single most important issue to be addressed when reimagining the corridor.

Over the last few months, we’ve developed a design for Esplanade based on the project principles, community and stakeholder feedback and guidance from Council-approved policy, including our Safe Mobility Strategy. The outcome is a design that supports people of all ages and abilities, and achieves our design goals of:

  • Creating a safer, more comfortable experience for pedestrians and cyclists
  • Maintaining the existing road capacity for transit, trucks and passenger vehicles
  • Providing good access to local businesses
  • Creating a street that feels vibrant and welcoming


View the Design

The complete corridor design and renderings are available below. We've also summarized feedback from Phase 1 into seven themes. Under each theme, we’ve identified what we heard from you and how that feedback has been reflected in the design. We welcome your questions and comments.

[ Click image to view the full corridor and detailed design changes ]


What We Heard:

  • Sidewalks are narrow and often cluttered
  • Seating areas are limited
  • Sidewalks are dark and unwelcoming
  • Driveways are points of conflict with drivers
  • Creating more green space would make the street more enjoyable to visit


How We Are Responding:

  • Creating wider sidewalks and relocating obstructions
  • Adding more accessible seating to provide places to rest or socialize
  • Adding pedestrian scale lighting
  • Creating safer driveway crossings by raising these areas to sidewalk height
  • Planting more trees to create separation between people moving at different speeds
  • Providing opportunities for businesses to create more attractive spaces for people to spend time

View of Esplanade looking west towards the Chesterfield intersection

1. Trees to be planted will provide shade and be more suited to an urban environment
2. New pedestrian scale lighting will contribute to a more vibrant and safe sidewalk
3. Planted medians provide space for seating under the urban tree canopy
4. Planted boulevards provide soft separation between mobility lanes and sidewalks
5. Wide boulevards have space for benches, bike racks, and street furniture, keeping the sidewalk clutter-free


What We Heard:

  • Crossing the street is uncomfortable due to traffic speed and volume
  • Intersections can be dangerous points of conflict for cyclists


How We Are Responding:

  • Creating larger waiting areas at intersections to give people more space
  • Installing advanced walk signals at intersections that give people more time to cross the street before vehicles start moving
  • Installing accessible pedestrian crossing signals where they are currently absent
  • Tightening the corners at intersections so drivers must slow down when turning
  • Introducing a protected intersection design at Chesterfield

A protected intersection design will provide safer space for people, pedestrians and cyclists to cross the street, while also slowing down vehicles turning the corners [CLICK TO ENLARGE]


What We Heard:

  • Cyclists feel unsafe riding in unprotected mobility lanes
  • Drivers feel uncomfortable beside cyclists in unprotected mobility lanes
  • People riding bicycles on the sidewalk create conflicts with people walking, rolling, and accessing shops


How We Are Responding:

  • Separating mobility lanes from vehicles, parked cars, and sidewalks
  • Creating safe passing space within the mobility lanes to accommodate different travel speeds
  • Improving connections to the broader Mobility Lane Network
  • Improving the existing separated lanes to reduce conflicts and improve accessibility

View of Esplanade looking east from Rogers Overpass

1. Physical separation between sidewalks, mobility lanes, and vehicles is achieved by reallocating space for parked vehicles
2. Planted boulevards provide soft separation between mobility lanes and sidewalks
3. Wider sidewalks provide opportunities for patios or other social spaces that do not impede pedestrians
4. High visibility pavement markings highlight areas where drivers cross over mobility lanes to access Esplanade


What We Heard:

  • Speeding is a significant safety concern for all road users
  • Excessive noise from speeding impacts the overall enjoyment of Esplanade
  • Cyclists riding too quickly on the sidewalk creates conflict with pedestrians


How We Are Responding:

  • Designing the street to support safe speeds appropriate for an urban street

View of Esplanade looking west from the Lonsdale intersection

1. Narrowed lanes support safe vehicle operating speeds and provide space for protected mobility lanes
2. Trees and other plants provide soft separation between people moving at different speeds
3. Curb buffers provide separation between mobility lanes and vehicles


What We Heard:

  • Maintaining frequent and reliable transit is important to transit riders and TransLink
  • Accessibility at bus stops could be improved


How We Are Responding:

  • Improving accessibility at existing transit stops
  • Designing bus stops to reduce conflicts between the sidewalk, mobility lanes, and bus stop areas

View of the bus stop area between Rogers Ave and Chesterfield Ave

1. Large waiting areas provide space for people waiting to cross the street
2. Bus stop accessibility upgrades aligned with RapidBus stop improvements
3. Bus stop designed to minimize conflicts between mobility lane users and transit riders
4. Accessible crossings allow for people to easily roll across the mobility lane when accessing the sidewalk or bus stop
5. Planted boulevards help with storm water management and provide greater separation from moving vehicles
6. Mobility lane narrows near crossing areas to slow cyclists


What We Heard:

  • Maintaining access to industrial areas and the Port of Vancouver is critical
  • Drivers are concerned about increased traffic and congestion


How We Are Responding:

  • Maintaining two vehicle lanes in each direction on Esplanade
  • Adding left turn lanes at St Georges to improve intersection safety and traffic flow around vehicles waiting to turn left
  • Coordinating signal timing to keep traffic moving
  • Reducing Forbes to one lane southbound from 3rd Avenue to provide safe separated space for people walking and cycling
  • Restricting left turns at 1st and 2nd Streets, 7am-7pm to keep the single southbound travel lane flowing

Forbes has been designed to keep trucks, buses, and cars moving, while improving safety for people crossing the street at 1st and 2nd [CLICK TO ENLARGE]


What We Heard:

  • Curbside access for businesses and customers is important
  • There are not enough loading zones or areas for short-term pick-up and drop-off
  • Safe space for people is more important than on-street parking


How We Are Responding:

  • Providing dedicated areas for commercial loading and passenger pick-up/drop-off
  • Setting time limits for curb spaces to encourage turn over
  • Working with local businesses to identify other areas that can support deliveries
  • Improving wayfinding to parkades in the immediate area
  • Reallocating some on-street parking space to provide safe mobility space for people

There are over 2,000 parking spaces available in parkades within a 3 minute walk of Esplanade. Some on-street parking has been removed to make room for mobility lanes and improved sidewalks. Less than 3% of all parking in the area has been removed to rebalance space for safely moving people along Esplanade.


Do you have a question about the design for Esplanade?

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    To remove a lane of traffic to put up barriers is absurd. The Pedestrians already have sidewalks and cyclists have bike lanes on Forbes. It is perfectly safe. This is a very busy truck route and all it will take is one stall or accident and the traffic will be backed up to Fell. In your response to my earlier question you replied "The City has completed detailed traffic analysis of the Forbes corridor and we are confident that providing two lanes northbound and one lane southbound with restricted left turns will not cause traffic congestion. " I live on Second between Forbes and Mahon and I couldn't disagree more. There are not that many walkers and bikers compared to vehicles. Who completed the Traffic analysis?

    dkelly asked 1 day ago

    The current southbound painted bike lane on Forbes does not provide All Ages and Abilities (AAA) safe and protected infrastructure. Large vehicles can easily cross over the line and the lane itself is often filled with debris creating a complex condition to navigate around. Barriers are necessary for filling this gap in our AAA Mobility Network. You can learn more about our Mobility Network Project here 

    https://www.cnv.org/city-services/streets-and-transportation/sustainable-transportation/sustainable-travel-options/cycling/mobility-network-project

    Traffic analysis was completed by City engineers, reviewed by our design consultant, and is also being reviewed by TransLink. The analysis used pre-pandemic traffic volumes and also tested a condition with 30% more traffic to ensure the design could accommodate growth. The network continued to perform well through all modelling tests.

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    Why are you giving pedestrians and cyclists more room that they already have, considering the fact that Forbes is an intricate artery for the movement of large vehicles, ore trucks, transport trucks and buses.. All you will do is cause grief to those of us who live in the area.. The backups on 3rd will stretch back towards Bewicke but your supposed engineers and supposed elected officials, do not care for good flow of the vast majority. Cyclists and pedestrians are always going to be the minority and yet you seem to buckle under the impression they need vast stretches of roadways.. As to the rest of Esplanade, it works perfectly well as it is.. Although like every other area, councillors are using COVID as the ultimate driving force in their attack on easy flowing vehicle routes.. Sad.. Malcolm Millar 778-928-9658

    Dennis69 asked 3 days ago

    Thank you for your feedback. The City has analysed the traffic volumes and patterns on Forbes and the design has enough capacity for all of the different large vehicles using the street. The space for mobility lanes and sidewalks is not being increased significantly, but the space that is reallocated is necessary to provide room for protective barriers so that people walking and cycling are not at risk of serious injury from interactions with the large vehicles on this route.

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    Is Esplanade going to have designated handicapped parking spots? The City does a poor job in this regard.

    GBC asked 3 days ago

    There is designated accessible parking in the off-street lots through the area and these will be maintained. There are no accessible on-street parking spaces being removed on Esplanade.

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    How can you seriously consider changing Forbes to a single lane? There is far too much traffic and the congestion will be a nightmare. What about all the residents on 2nd and 1st that turn left to get to their homes? It seems that this plan is all about cyclists and pedestrians, yet this is a main traffic corridor.

    dkelly asked 2 days ago

    The City has completed detailed traffic analysis of the Forbes corridor and we are confident that providing two lanes northbound and one lane southbound with restricted left turns will not cause traffic congestion. Residents who live in the neighbourhood have many access points off of 3rd Street south into the residential area as alternative options during the hours of the day when left turns will be restricted.

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    Will the existing east facing patio's outside the 5 restaurants between Esplanade and Carrie Court remain ? I realize they were installed on an interim bases , with a 3 year life , but have been so well used by the community , it would be a shame to see them disappear

    John maxey asked 1 day ago

    This project will not be making changes to any of the existing patio spaces south of Esplanade

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    I'm curious about the width of the bike lanes in the proposed design? Hopefully this design will allow people of all ages and abilities to ride their bikes along Esplanade, but that does mean there will be a variety of different speeds and a need for safe overtaking space. If the design is for something like the new lanes along 1st & 2nd Streets, that would work well!

    hollandmatt asked 3 days ago

    The mobility lanes range in width from 1.5-2.2 metres depending on what space is available along the street and if we are navigating conflict points at corners or bus stops. Many of the blocks have lanes wide enough for side by side riding to support parents travelling with young children or friends who are social cycling but also to provide space for safe passing for those travelling at different speeds. When there may be pedestrians crossing the lane at intersections or bus stops we have narrowed the mobility lanes to prevent fast passing through these areas to minimize potential conflicts. When safe to do so, the lanes widen out again for passing.

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    Looks great. As a local resident, I (and other residents) have observed that loud “tuned” exhaust system noise from certain cars and many motorcycles has increased considerably over the past few years. Is there a plan for vehicle restrictions, signage, and/or more MVA law or noise bylaw enforcement to mitigate this?

    GDeans asked 6 days ago

    Thanks for your feedback about noise. The City has the ability to enforce noise bylaws and this project does not have an impact on those bylaws. Any changes to the Motor Vehicle Act would be the responsibility of the Province and are not within scope of this project. 

    By designing the street for a safer operating speed, the goal is to mitigate some noise as speeding vehicles are one of the largest contributors to noise on our streets.

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    Will there be signage reminding cyclists to ride in a single file? There are far too many cyclists riding side by side or too close to each other. This creates a great number of potential conflict areas. They can catch up and talk at red lights.

    Piper asked 4 days ago

    The mobility lanes are designed in most places to allow for cyclists to ride side by side or to pass safely. Cyclists who wish to pass others must communicate their intentions with a bell or other communication and wait for a safe moment to pass as with any vehicle passing another. The mobility lanes are now separated from other conflict points in the motor lanes and the sidewalk so overall conflicts will be reduced.

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    How much do you expect the average consumer to pay in parking? Will there be price setting? How much inflation does this cause to shopping in the area. If my customers need to pay 3 dollars more to shop in my area, why wouldn't they go somewhere else without pay parking. How much time do you expect to add to consumers to the shopping experience. Did you expect them to talk three mins with heavy goods? how is the public protected from price gouging by parking companies? Will certain companies have a monopoly? What I can say is that this will kill my business. 70% of my business is for 8 dollar items. Now you are taxing my customers for parking. So now you raise my price by 20-30%... why wouldn't they shop somewhere else!

    AngryResident asked 9 days ago

    There are over 2,000 parking spaces within a short walk of Esplanade in parkades owned by the City or private operators. Only 3% of parking in the area has been removed to improve safety for all road users. On-street parking is maintained wherever possible, without compromising the ability to provide safe spaces for people walking and cycling. Addressing feedback from the first phase of engagement, on-street parking will be signed for short-term use only to encourage faster turn over of the space for people who need to make quick stops at locations along the corridor.

    All businesses have been contacted by the City individually to discuss site specific access and delivery considerations. As a business owner, we’d like to hear from you directly; contact us at ecs@cnv.org.  

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    How much traffic will these plans create. What I see is an attack on families and the working people who visit the area to shop. How will my business survive if you keep turning away people to the area through poor traffic management. How does the plan ensure the area can support commerce? Only through the local population? Sounds like you listened to only local residents, how does esplanade fit into the wider city plan? Since it is zoned for businesses, businesses need to thrive, and they won't be able to as you are choking off the supply of consumers. Do you expect cyclists to show and carry home goods? Do you expect families to drive down to the congestion hell that has been created? These plans are awful and don't take into account that thousands of users that drive through per hour. What I see is poor urban planning cutting off the area for the local population.

    AngryResident asked 9 days ago

    Thanks for your feedback. We know Esplanade is an important road for east-west travel across the North Shore. Our design creates a safer experience for pedestrians and cyclists, while maintaining the existing road capacity for transit, trucks, and passenger vehicles. The plan maintains two vehicle lanes in each direction on Esplanade, as well as the left turn lanes. We’ve also added left turn lanes at St George’s to improve safety and traffic flow. Reducing Forbes to one southbound lane creates safe space for people walking and cycling, while keeping vehicles moving.