Lorne Milne's Blade Blog
Future & New Inline Skating Locations: Vancouver, British Columbia:
Eager to expand your rolls to new sites? Here’s a list below of Plans, Projects, and new Proposals for upcoming and newly arriving Blading Sites. Please contribute by letter writing to your local politicians advocating for more of these sites to be developed (earlier than later)! Inline Skaters are notoriously busy being active and traditionally don’t turn-out at new development open-houses (where new facilities like inline skate paths are discussed). If you know of any new pathways on the horizon please let us know!
1) Carrall StreetPathway (from North-East False Creek Seawall path along Carrall St., through China Town and Gastown): In the 90’s Lorne Milne proposed this pathway (which was later successfully championed by ex-city Councillor Sandy McCormick) that is a major link to completing the full loop of the Vancouver Downtown Peninsula. When accomplished Vancouver will be the 1st city in the world to have a inline skating pathway surrounding the downtown core! The city has installed the path and started doing the seawall connection finishing touches in spring 2012!
2) South-East False Creek Seawall Pathway(from Science World Seawall path to Cambie Bridge & South False Creek Path). This pathway was completed in time for the 2010 Winter Olympics! Imagine Science World as the head of the Octopus and this path as one tentacle in a variety of Inline Skating Pathways heading out from Science World to other Vancouver locations.
3) Finning Land Pathway(from Science World along East 1st Ave to Great Northern Way to VCC & the Gen St. Sky-Train station): Lorne Milne proposed this important pathway (linking the east Mt.Pleasant residential area to the False Creek Pathway & the Central Valley Greenway). In 2006 this land was slated for the University development on the Finning Lands and the pathway was developed in 2007. It’s one of the best blading pathway examples around but future plans are a link from Brunswick St. to South East False Creek along East 1st Ave.
4) National St. Pathway(from Science World seawall path Seawall to Thornton Park Pathway in front of Railway/Bus Station along National to Malkin St. & Strathcona Park); When this area was slated for development as a Hi-Tech industrial park the plan was to incorporate this inline skating pathway. As the land has now been purchased by the owners of St. Paul’s hospital the plan is up in the air while we await the new development plans. Here’s a situation to stay abreast of (please attend any future open houses and write in your support for pathway development);
5) Strathcona Park Inline Skating Racing Oval(on South side of park adjoining Malkin, surrounding soccer field); Lorne Milne proposed conversion of this eroded oval path (a heritage site for oval car racing earlier in the century) to a facility for Inline Skate Racing. The Torrents Inline Racing Club http://www.vancouverskate.com also championed this development. It could also serve as an outdoor Roller Derby training area. Write in your support to your local Parks Board politicians.
6) Central Valley Greenway Extension: The Finning Land Pathway & the Grandview Cut pathway are part of the plan to eventually continue a path from Vancouver through Burnaby to New West. The Expo 86 7-11 trail from Clark to Victoria drive (at the Grandview Cut Pathway) was re-built and continued to the South Side of Van Tech, past Rona hardware and on to the new Costco in Burnaby (just past Willingdon); There is still a need to build an underpass pathway at Clark to VCC; and to continue the Pathway farther east all the way to New West. Better Enviromentally Sound Transportation (BEST) has been a major champion of this effort. Give them your support. http://www.best.bc.ca
7) Kits Point Pathway: (connecting South False Creek Pathway at the Burrard St. Bridge to Kits Point & Kits Beach pathway): In the 90’s Lorne Milne proposed creation of a paved pathway (inset from the extremely popular walking /jogging /cycling pathway beside the Planetarium at the waters’ edge (using Molson Brewery’s funding for the Indy Race Track rental contribution). Unfortunately at that time the City & Parks Board stated that they did not have enough funds to do a full project. This proposal is due to be revived! Please write to your local politicians;
8) Arbutus Corridor: (from Granville Island False Creek pathway through Shaughnessy to Marine Drive & East Kent pathway). During the initial RAV Line open houses and city hall meetings before the Winter Olympics came to Vancouver Lorne Milne proposed that the Arbutus Corridor (previously the intra-urban railway line given to the Railway Company by the Federal Government for the express purpose of transportation) was wide enough to accommodate an inline skating/multi-purpose pathway and light rapid transit. The suggestion to install a multi-purpose pathway was immediately embraced (by the media nick-named) ‘crème-de-la-crème’ residents of that area. The city finally installed this pathway!
9) Tugboat Landing & E. Kent Expansion: The city has already installed portions of the East Kent pathway which hopefully will continue steadily to TugBoat Landing and further east towards Burnaby and westward to Marine Drive as the area develops
10) Coal Harbour East;This path runs from the south-east side of the Coal Harbour community center around the Convention center (installed in time for the Winter 2010 Olympics). It has some wonderful surface around the Convention center although the path around the Bayshore is a ‘mish-mosh’ of confusing lane changes, right angle turns and poorly designed brick surfaces (at the foot of Cardero St.)
11) Kits Beach Roadside Pathway: Something needs to be done to connect this residential area to the existing pathways in Vancouver. The residents in this area are active cyclists and skates and we need a safe Pathway connection along the water from all the way to UBC!! Kits Beach itself is a very busy place in the summer, so an addional pathway at the east side of the park would really take the load off the beach front pathway!
12) Over-Passes are needed at various busy auto intersections (eg. Main Street & 1st; Quebec & 1st; Main & Terminal). They can be funded by advertising companies (as per the model by the Justice Institute in New West or in Port Coquitlam);
13) Inner Harbour; A pathway is needed along the waterfront from the Convention center past Crab Park to the Main Street Railway overpass and over the railway tracks to Carrall St. to complete the downtown loop. When a soccer stadium was proposed to go over the top of the railway tracks (before BC Place was upgraded) Lorne Milne recommended a pathway surround the soccer stadium linking all this area;
14) Skate Park Plaza Plexi-Glass Peak Roofs; These are needed over various skate parks so that the sun shines in, the rain stays out, and the snow slides off! In a city with precipitation like Vancouver we need places to skate on rainy days!!
15) Ontario St. Greenway:Lorne Milne has actively advocated for a path to run up Ontario (from S.E. False Creek) to the Mt. Pleasant plateau south of Broadway. In 2011 the start of a pathway was installed from the water’s edge to 1st Ave. Just 12 more blocks to go!!
16) Indy Track North-East False Creek ‘Learn to Blade Area’; Before the Olympic Village development the Indy Track was 1 of the premier inline skate locations in the world. Empty Asphalt parking lots are disappearing at a fast rate and designated skate areas are immediately needed.
17) Jericho Beach; The pathway at Jericho is very pitted and needs new surfacing! It needs to continue east to Kits (pave the gravel) and west to Spanish Banks!!