Sunshine, Concrete Couches and Ping Pong Next to a Brewery on a Bike Route

The refreshed bottleneck at Vernon and Union. Photo: Frida & Frank

Right where the Adanac Bikeway begins/ends its journey through Strathcona it must navigate the tight bottleneck where it meets the offset corner of Union Street and Vernon Drive. Until the traffic pattern was changed earlier this year to close it off from vehicles it was a pretty janky, dangerous arrangement.

These days, however, it’s become an oasis of sorts for commuting cyclists; a place to gather, pause, take a seat and hydrate on concrete couches or shaded stadium-style steps (that are waxed and grind-able if you ride a skateboard instead). Cyclists still regularly blow through the Stop signs with no fucks given, but it will forever be thus. The nabobs in charge grandly call it “Vernon Plaza”.

Lately on Wednesdays during rush hour (5pm to 9pm), the location has also been playing host to pop-up ping pong games organised by the civic fun-lovers at Frida & Frank. Unsurprisingly, there’s been some bitching and moaning about it being a neighbourhood disturbance, a waste of City money and a traffic snarler, but the same things are said of just about anything new in Vancouver — NIMBYs are gonna NIMBY. Word is it’s only a temporary solution to the bottleneck anyway, so dig it while you still can.

Bonus: there’s a pretty sweet brewery conveniently located right around the corner.

See also: The Wrath of Strath, Strathtopia, Peak Vancouver.

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