City of Richmond: Latest “White Elephant”
NOTE: There was some sort of roadwork project being installed at the Worst Intersection EVER built..ie the Garden City Rd and Granville Avenue “bend” and how traffic is directed through it…it is like a real- life Escher drawing. I often travel that route, and the project lasted several weeks. I could not figure out what they were doing. Below is a reply to my inquiry from the City Engineering Dept.
Dear Mr. XXXX
The work-in-progress that you see at the Garden City Road-Granville Ave intersection comprises a number of measures to improve conditions for both cyclists and pedestrians. Garden City Road and Granville Ave (west of Garden City Rd) are both designated bike routes but there is currently no north-south crossing to help cyclists navigate this complex intersection. Similarly, pedestrians cannot cross north-south and currently must walk west to St. Albans Road or north to Cook Road (approximately 400 m in each direction) to cross at a signalized intersection.
The improvements will comprise:
- · — addition of a new signal to stop southbound to westbound traffic (which is currently a free-flow movement) to facilitate the movement of southbound cyclists on Garden City Road across Granville Avenue to continue southbound on Garden City Road or eastbound on Granville Avenue including pavement markings and signage;
- · —- construction of a paved pathway to accommodate complementary pedestrian movements through the intersection;
- · – ——– installation of vertical delineators between the vehicular lane and pedestrian shoulder; and
- · —- addition of green paint within existing bike lanes at locations where vehicles cross the bike lane to highlight the merge areas and raise awareness of both modes.
Once the repaving of the eastbound lanes on Granville Ave are complete, then the new pavement markings and signage will be installed, followed by activation of the new signal.
The project has a budget of $212,000 and the City is receiving cost-share grants from both the provincial Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure ($48,850) and TransLink (up to $97,750).
As a bit of a History Lesson, the Garden City and Granville ” Bend ” was not always like that, what you see now was built in the mid – 1960’s. The (2) lanes that Head South and then West were once the route of the old tram line that ran to Steveston. The other (2) lanes that run East ….then North….. were once the road route..one lane in each direction.
IMHO, this intersection needs a major makeover. It is hard to avoid unless I go a mile out of my way, so i tolerate it.
One often sits at one of the several lights,waiting so that one traffic flow can proceed, while 4-5 other traffic flows sit. The only ” positive ” is that traffic flow around the bend southbound down Garden City and westbound down Granville ( ie from Cook Rd. to Cooney ) was unimpeded by any traffic light for decades.
As the response above outlines….We, the Taxpayers have made another imposed donation to the ” Go Green GAIA Cult ” to kiss the asses of cyclists and pedestrians.
I have requested from the City documents as to how this idea germinated..ie Studies ? Citizens petitions ? Nothing yet…..but I am not holding my breath .
Effectively , the City apparenlty ,wishs to accomodate pedestrians and cyclists that wish to cross this insane intersection. Thus these parties can move from the South – East corner of Garden City and Granville….to a small 5 ft. X 5 ft. newly- built cement Island….then cross 10 ft of pavement ..then to a newly “paved path” built on the grass median. From there you cross (4) lanes of the Garden City /Granville bend and end up on the North Side of this Mess.
So, in total, one activates a newly installed light system that effectively stops traffic in all directions to allow perhaps a single pedestrian and/or cyclist. We are talking of crossing a distance of approx . 80-100 ft. ( and yes, it is handicapped accessible ). In other words,…it will take a while to cross and thus traffic will back up..as I am sure that the traffic lights will be programmed to alot a fair amount of time.
Re: Cyclists ?…legally they are of the same status as motor vehicles..so this is un-necessary, it is a duplication of what exists ie cyclists can use the same lanes and traffic lights as motor vehicles.
Pedestrians ? Equally ridiculous…..a crossing to NO- where. There may be the remote possibility that people may wish to cross from South – East corner of Garden City and Granville to the other side ie right at the bend, but the converse is very unlikely. I doubt there would be more than handful of people that would even do this each day, or even each week. It is my observation that most people have crossed the roads ….if they need to.. already at Cook or Cooney Rds….due to bus stops and connections etc.etc.
What I can foresee is that the Garden City Southbound /Granville Westbound bend now has a red light…and most people are used to driving via the green arrows ie NO STOPS..and many of these will sail through not realizing the new change. The location of this new light is literally at a blind spot…you come around the corner then all of a sudden there is the red light, I can already anticipate many accidents with vehicle and/or pedestrians.
I know this area very well I do not see any demand for this insane project that warrants the change and the outrageous cost. $212,000….I don’t care that the City has accessed outside funding for this future traffic nightmare…its still tax dollars aka only ONE taxpayer. You have to see it to believe it !!!
Thus this is not only another Richmond White Elephant, it could very well be another Richmond disaster in the making.