This is too good to leave to Monday. The Globe and Mail has done the first piece on the success – yes, recognized success – of the Point Grey Road greenway*:
There were protests in the streets, and allegations of class warfare and political favours. Even by Vancouver standards, the debate over the city’s latest bike lane grew especially heated.
But nearly one year after a stretch of Point Grey Road closed to vehicles, the city says the bike route that was later installed is often the busiest in Vancouver and the plan to shift traffic to major arterial roads has worked.
“It quickly went from having low ridership … to being one of our busiest routes,” he said. …
Mr. Dobrovolny said the city wanted to redirect as many vehicles as it could to 4th Avenue, Broadway and 16th Avenue. He said early returns suggest it has succeeded. He said the city had believed 17,000 vehicles would still travel along Macdonald Street – where Point Grey Road cuts off – but the number has been under 15,000.
Pamela McColl, a neighbourhood resident who supported the street closing … said several parents have told her they will now let their children ride bikes on the street.
Ms. McColl said the traffic along some of the streets has been quieter than she had imagined. …
George Affleck, an NPA councillor who promised his party would reopen Point Grey Road to all vehicles if elected, said he believes consultation for the project was poor. Mr. Affleck said councillors will receive a report on traffic volume in the new year. He said whenever he travels along 4th Avenue, it appears backed up.
The Kitsilano Chamber of Commerce – which has since joined the Vancouver Board of Trade – had opposed the project, but a spokesman said he had not heard any direct concerns since the two organizations unified.
Not even a chance to celebrate the first anniversary of the route – and already the New Point Grey Road has moved through the traditional, um, cycle of controversy and come out the other side.
Here’s what happens:
First, the controversy, the outrage, the promises of reversal.
Then the accommodation to change, followed by recognition, often begrudgingly, that the bad things predicted did not happen.
Then, increasingly, a celebration of its popularity, where it becomes a symbol of the city, its way of life and its people.
Finally, full acceptance and a wonderment that there was ever a controversy in the first place (and a difficulty in finding anyone who says they were adamantly opposed).
And eventually, a heritage plaque.
* A greenway, not just a bike route. Ken Ohrn is still annoyed that PGR gets referred to as a bike lane closed to motor vehicles. “What myopic nonsense. In fact, the New Point Grey Road is wide open to people on two feet, two wheels, three wheels and four wheels. Big trucks too. How could anyone miss it? All that’s not there is speeding commuters on a narrow neighbourhood street.”