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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

HUB Release – Low Level Road Project Does Nothing to Improve Cycling Access, Shuts out Pedestrians


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HUB’s North Shore Committee today announced their dismay at the current preferred design for the Low Level Road project set to go before City of North Vancouver council for approval next Monday. The preferred design is not consistent with the active transportation aspirations of North Shore municipalities. The design alignment provides an un-separated cycling facility and introduces hills where none existed. Moreover, the design does not include a pedestrian facility at all.

Cycling and walking create healthier and more livable communities. They cost much less to the city and the province than transit and driving, and they reduce congestion by taking cars off the road.

“This project takes road design back to the 1950’s when the only form of transportation considered was vehicles,” said HUB North Shore Committee Chair, Jay MacDonald. “Today every municipality on the North Shore has transportation plans that promote walking and cycling over every other form. This road breaks all the rules of forward planning to meet our transportation strategies.”

The project provides for a 2 metre cycling lane on both sides, which is basically just the shoulder. In addition, north side cyclists will move from east to west unprotected from high speed traffic by anything but a painted line — against a 40 foot concrete wall. No rider, no matter how experienced finds that a comfortable situation.

“HUB has repeatedly presented options that reconfigure the available roadway to include a separated multi-use path on the south side only,” said MacDonald. “This would allow both pedestrians and cyclists to feel and be safe through this important transportation corridor. It would also allow other forms of transportation such as people in mobility devices to avoid using motorized shuttle services.”

The alternate route that both City of North Vancouver and the Low-Level Road project team point to is the steep, unlit Spirit Trail, which is a good recreational route, but not a good travel link.

“Given the number of taxpayer dollars being spent on this $104M project which will improve conditions for port workers and improve rail traffic flow for commercial operations, shouldn’t more consideration be given to other forms of transportation,” questions MacDonald. “This is not just a local issue.

The Low Level Road is a regional link for cyclists moving east across the Iron Workers Memorial Bridge and beyond. Creating a safe, direct route is imperative to promoting cycling and walking as attractive transportation options for all ages well into the future.”


HUB (formerly the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition) is a non-profit society established in 1998 to address cycling issues in the Metro Vancouver. Since then, we’ve grown a lot! We’ve educated thousands of children and adults, motivated thousands more, and advocated for improvements that will benefit folks that aren’t on a bike yet.

Working with award-winning communications company DARE and Seven25 Typography & Design, the VACC refreshed its image in 2012 and broadened its perceived reach as a central organization for programming, advocacy and engagement across the entire Metro Vancouver region. A member-based organization, we strive to remove barriers to cycling and improve the quality of our communities, our health, the environment, and local economies.

“The brand refresh introduces a modern image that fits a new understanding of bicycles being a part of our lifestyles”, said HUB Executive Director Erin O’Melinn.