03/24/2015 11:33 EDT | Updated 05/24/2015 05:59 EDT

Stanley Park bike path upgrades approved by Vancouver Park Board

The Vancouver Park Board unanimously approved a plan to widen the sidewalks along the Stanley Park Causeway in order to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists.

Under the plan, which was first proposed last December, the sidewalk on the eastern side will be widened to 3.6 metres to create two lanes for northbound cyclists, and one lane for pedestrians walking in both directions.

The western sidewalk will be widened to 2.1 metres and restricted to southbound cyclists only. At certain places it will be widened to 2.7 metres to create passing lanes for bikes. Pedestrian access will be restricted with signage at the entrance and exits.

Both sides will have a green metal railing installed to separate them from vehicle traffic along the 2.2 kilometre route, except alongside the emergency pull-outs for vehicles.

About 14 trees ranging in age from 30 to 60 years are expected to be removed for the project.

According to the park board report, B.C.'s transportation ministry, which is responsible for the route, is expected to complete the upgrades sometime this year. The route is part of Highway 99, connecting Whistler with the Peace Arch border crossing south of Metro Vancouver.

The changes were sparked after a woman was struck and killed after she accidentally rode off the southbound sidewalk and into the path of bus in 2013.