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The Vancouver Sun and writer Harrison Mooney outline the Strathcona Business Improvement Association’s (SBIA)  plan to make East Hastings Street Vancouver’s most walkable within the next four years.
“The campaign intends to transform East Hastings into a pedestrian destination by making it more walkable,” the association said in a news release. “The SBIA will improve walkability on East Hastings by enhancing amenities, comfort, access and sociability and promoting local business.”
With stated goals improving health, environment  and economy, the  intent is to make the area more attractive for inhabitants and visitors. What is missing from the statement and the news release is that this section of East Hastings is already the living room for a significant part of the population who live in smaller units along the street. While street beautification does include public art, murals and sculptures, I’d argue that benches are not beautification but should be a necessity in any commercial street area, especially one with a population that is using the street. By raising the bar on street furniture and enhancing cleanliness you are also saying that you care about the local inhabitants too.
There was  push back in the design and development of the Carrall Street Greenway in this section of the downtown where benches were placed for local residents and are actively used by locals and visitors alike. The benches are now an accepted part of the community, and universally used.
The business association who will be launching a Walk Strathcona Summer Series with pop up shops next week and a street party on June 24.
 
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Carrall Street at East Hastings Street installation-Carrall Street Greenway
 

Comments

  1. Something I’d like to see more consideration of on Hastings Street is that for more than a century it’s been the eastern half of downtown’s surface transit ‘main line’. I think of Granville Mall as being incomplete so long as it doesn’t extend further east, where numerous buses are caught in traffic and lose time – the 95, the 20, 16, 14, and one direction of the 3 and the 8.
    With the current set up of peak-only lanes, buses are frequently delayed by traffic in off-peak hours or by turning cars or lane-cheaters, and this is a heavy contribution to the erratic reliability of buses like the 20, despite their heavy use.
    I’d like to see some real bus lanes on Hastings, at least as far as Main and perhaps to Commercial or Boundary and beyond, which would have the potential to considerably improve transit across the corridor and improve the reliability of corridors that run through beyond such as Broadway, Commercial, or Arbutus.
    See this map of base frequencies https://www.google.ca/maps/@49.2825998,-123.1163194,14.97z/data=!4m2!6m1!1s1USPPwCQ0-AmY8QnZPD7O4q9slKY

  2. I thought East Hastings was already Vancouver’s most walkable street. I see so many more people walking across it than anywhere else in the city….

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