Vancouver’s newest bike lane was approved by city council Wednesday, and construction could begin in early 2013.

The $5.5-million Comox-Helmcken Greenway will run along Comox Street through the West End, connecting Stanley Park with Burrard Street.

The path, which will be developed in two sections, will include a separated bike lane as well as some pedestrian-only areas.

Residents of the area expressed concerns that the project would create a lack of parking, impact traffic patterns and make it more difficult for emergency vehicles to access homes, according to the City of Vancouver.

The proposal includes a number of features aimed at improving the area, such as upgraded lighting for pedestrians walking at night, seating areas and revamped social spaces.

The second phase of the project, if approved, will connect the Comox-Helmcken Greenway to False Creek through Yaletown.