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Burnaby cycling and walking pathway will be a lasting local benefit

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Greg Edgelow walks his dog along the Burnaby multi-use pathway
/ Community, Partnerships

Long before we start work on a project, we start planning for how we’ll restore the area to the way it was before, and look for ways to make it even better. That’s why, as part of restoration on the six-kilometre Pattullo Gas Line Replacement in Burnaby, we’ll be building a new cycling and walking pathway. We’re partnering with the City of Burnaby to design and build the pathway to provide a lasting local benefit. 

Pathway is part of Pattullo project restoration plan

Woman rides a bike alongside a man running on the multi-use pathway in Burnaby

Mykol Wozniak, FortisBC’s project manager for the Pattullo project says the idea for the pathway came about during consultation with stakeholders to determine the preferred route for the new gas line. “Once the preferred route was chosen, the City of Burnaby asked that we include a pathway as part of our restoration plan,” he explains. "We know it can be disruptive when construction is going on in your neighbourhood, which is why we look for ways to leave behind a legacy. A cycling and walking pathway is something that can be enjoyed by the whole community." 

The new four-kilometre cycling and walking pathway will essentially follow the route of the new gas line. It will consist of a combination of a new designated pathway and upgrades to existing paths and roadways. This includes:

  • Burnaby Lake section (Sperling Avenue, Glencarin Drive and Freeway Trail): creating a new separated path
  • Lakefield Drive (Nursery Street to Reigate Road): adding new signs, road markings and speed humps to support cyclist shared use
  • Lakefield Drive/4th Street (Reigate Road to Robert Burnaby Park): creating a new separated pathway, with design work still ongoing.

Pathway helps address priorities in the Burnaby Transportation Plan

multi-use paved pathway lined with trees
The Central Valley Greenway is an important part of Burnaby’s cycling network.

Amy Choh, director of engineering transportation for the City of Burnaby, says the City had a number of reasons for wanting to team up with FortisBC to build the pathway, including how well the location of the pathway would address some of the priorities outlined in the new Burnaby Transportation Plan.

“We want to encourage our residents to take active modes of transportation, including cycling,” she says. “FortisBC’s construction in Burnaby presented us with an opportunity to take a closer look at our cycling network and move forward with our plans to build it out in a more timely manner. The route for the new cycling and walking pathway will be part of our Phase 1 Cycling Network, something we identified as a priority in our plans.” 

“The pathway will also help make connections to some of our recreational facilities in the Sperling corridor including the Christine Sinclair Community Centre and the new Burnaby Lake Aquatic and Arena Facility,” she adds. “Once the north and south sections of this pathway are connected by our planned Highway 1 pedestrian-cycling overpass, there will be access for our residents to travel across the city and use the pathway as part of their regular recreational or commuting route.”

Improving infrastructure for cyclists

Cyclist towing a child in a bike trailer rides along a paved cycling path through a forest
Pathways like the one being built as part of the Pattullo restoration project provides a safe alternative for cyclists. 

 According to Kate Shen, partnerships and events manager with HUB Cycling, both the new cycling and walking pathway and the planned Highway 1 overpass will be welcome additions to Burnaby’s existing cycling infrastructure.

“While there are several existing north-south routes in Burnaby, none are comfortable for most cyclists along their full length,” says Kate. “Highway 1 in particular is a major barrier for people cycling north-south. The new planned cycling and walking pathway will improve the cycling experience for people cycling around Burnaby Lake. It will also provide a safe and comfortable alternative to the on-road portion of the Central Valley Greenway to the north.”

FortisBC plans to complete its restoration of the new Pattullo gas line worksites, including the new cycling and walking pathway, by the end of 2022. Construction of the City of Burnaby’s planned Highway 1 pedestrian-cycling overpass is anticipated to begin by the summer or fall of 2023. 

FortisBC and City of Burnaby representatives will be sharing information about the pathway and gas line construction work in the area at Christine Sinclair Community Centre on Thursday, June 2 from 4-6 p.m. at one of the “Celebration Stations” that are part of Metro Vancouver’s Spring Go By Bike Week, organized by HUB Cycling.