The first batch of more than 150 speakers had their say on a proposal to install bike lanes along Point Grey Road in Kitsilano at Vancouver city hall last night.
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The $6-million Seaside Greenway plan would extend bike-friendly routes from the Burrard Street Bridge to Jericho Beach. Thousands of vehicles would be diverted away from Point Grey Road to 4th Avenue and Broadway.
Coun. Geoff Meggs says the debate is expected to continue through the rest of the week.
"It’s the longest list we have seen in a number of years," he said.
Meggs admits many are lining up to speak out against the project, but says there are a number of good reasons to partially close off Point Grey Road.
"Safety is one of them, and the view is that it will support local traffic, provide safe cycling and good pedestrian access," he said.
Coun. George Affleck is trying to keep an open mind.
"You have to step back and say, ‘Okay. The neighbors aren’t happy.’"
Resident Susan Eltis has signed up to tell council what she thinks about the plan.
"I am very concerned about 7,000-plus cars going down MacDonald [Street]," she said. "That that creates a poor quality of life for the people who live along there, never mind the safety issues, the parking issues."
City staff say the diverted traffic can simply move along 4th Avenue or Broadway.
Council is scheduled to hear more from residents on Thursday.