British Columbia

City of Vancouver starts consultation on future of the Arbutus corridor

The City of Vancouver says it will begin what it calls a "visioning process" to determine what the Arbutus corridor should look like.

'The sky's the limit,' says the city on what the greenway could look like

Residents walk along the newly paved stretch of the Arbutus Corridor (Christer Waara/CBC)

The City of Vancouver says it will begin what it calls a "visioning process" to determine what the Arbutus corridor should look like.

Starting this fall, it will ask members of the public for ideas on what the city could do with the nine-kilometre-long stretch that runs through Vancouver's west side.

The city says the removal of Canadian Pacific Railway tracks finished ahead of schedule, and it now wants to move forward.

The transformation follows a deal that was struck in March between the city and CP that ended a long-running dispute over the future of the corridor.

Under that agreement, the city bought the land from CP for $55 million.

Temporary paving underway

Jerry Dobrovolny, general manager of engineering services at the City of Vancouver, says the goal now is to draw people to the corridor.

"We're hoping that lots of people will get involved in our visioning process," Dobrovolny said.

"The more they've experienced the corridor. the better equipped they are to take part in the process."

Jerry Dobrovolny with the City of Vancouver says the hope is that more people will use the corridor and contribute ideas during the visioning process this Fall. (Christer Waara/CBC)

The city has installed a temporary four-metre-wide paved path along the corridor between 16th Avenue and 25th Avenue.

The plan is to continue the path along the entire stretch.

Dobrovolny said the city has heard from people who have lived next to the corridor for decades who have only walked one or two blocks of it. 

"We want to get people walking much more of it," he said.

Concerns about asphalt path

The move to install the temporary path has been criticized by some residents who say they weren't consulted by the city.

A coalition called Concerned Residents and Corridor User Group released a statement saying the path was installed "without consultation and no notice to residents."

The group raised environmental concerns about the use of asphalt.

Dobrovolny says the the path runs along the same path the rail tracks followed and isn't disturbing new land.

He added the path could be removed at a later date.

"It's a temporary path — it's intended to be there for a couple years before we come in and build the finished product."