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Imagine pedaling in time to the chorus of songbirds, zipping past traffic and native shrubs and plants.
Imagine threading your way along the seaside, pedaling in time to the chorus of songbirds, zipping past traffic congestion and arriving at your workplace invigorated and ready to start the day. In some communities, this idyllic scenario is already in place.
The 25-kilometre Central Valley Greenway, which stretches from False Creek in Vancouver through to Burnaby and end at the Fraser River in New Westminster, is roughly one-third now complete, says Richard Campbell, Better Environmentally Sound Transportation’s (BEST) manager of active transportation.
When the SkyTrain Millennium Line project was announced in the ’90s, BEST and the Vancouver Cycling Coalition came up with the idea to build a greenway along the same route. A $1-million grant from Vancity helped propel the project into motion and, to date, more than $16 million has been spent. Campbell estimates that costs could come close to $30 million when the entire greenway is finished.
The first completed segment runs from Victoria Drive to Broadway and Slocan Street. The Burnaby route, which traces Still Creek, will be completed this year and usable commuter routes between Vancouver and New Westminster are expected to be finished in 2008 were completed in time for the greenway opening in June 2009.
The Greenway follows the SkyTrain route closely, so walkers or weekend cyclists can opt to hop aboard the train and link up to other trails or bus routes. For a map, visit www.best.bc.ca, select “programs & services,” then “maps and photos” at the top right.
[Updated: 16 November 2010]