The ALO Triangle lies between the Aberdeen and Lansdowne Canada Line stations and the Olympic Oval – the territory to be traversed by many thousands of Olympic visitors.    It’s only a kilometre from Lansdowne to the Olympic Oval – but it’s a dreary kilometre.

Here are a few of the enticing streetscapes along Lansdowne Road:

This is sure to impress the Europeans. 

At least Lansdowne Road has sidewalks on a few blocks (though at Minoru Boulevard it turns into an industrial lane) and has been extended from Gilbert to Hollybridge.    But try walking on Minoru Boulevard and you’ll find that there was never any intent to accommodate you – unless you’re making a trip from your car seat to a storefront, both placed as close together as possible.

It’s all too clear that the only critical urban design that went into the ALO Triangle at the time it was zoned for industrial (the 60s?) was done by the traffic engineers and the road builders.  At that time, sidewalks were a needless expense.   The only serious mode for good movements was truck – and so the roads were designed for them.  They had no foresight of an alternative future, except for one of unlimited automotive travel. 

Fortunately, for the Olympic visitor, there will be a choice.  More Monday.

Comments

  1. Oh god, I know what you mean… I grew up in Richmond and have seen this area “evolve” (or well, stagnate) for the past 3 decades. Although I now live downtown, I now work in Richmond. It’s like the hotels along Bridgeport or the River Rock Casino – surely to impress visitors with pseudo light-industrial streetscapes. Quaint and charming this ain’t.

    It’s too bad Steveston’s at the other end of Richmond.

  2. i hate to dredge up old battles, but the view atop Burnaby Mountain would have made a nicer welcome mat than an industrial park. But hey, at least maybe this way it can be a catalyst, we can hope.

  3. Remember that Lansdowne Rd. between No. 3 Rd and Minoru was only opened up a few years ago (presumabily after expropriating the land). I would expect that the road as built will be improved upon in the coming years as the area matures (presumably Richmond didn’t see the need to do so now as an “Olympic” project.

    BTW – I think this area would make an ideal site for a Richmond Trade and Convention Centre (close to hotels and shopping for economic sinoffs) – as opposed to the isolated location proposed on the Garden City lands.

  4. Hello Gord,

    I am enjoying yoour ALO tour. It’s the sort of classic Pricetags piece that got me hooked in the first place.

    An interesting note, in the course of reading the official spectator guide for the Olympics I learned that Aberdeen Station is the preferred stop on the Canada Line for the Olympic Oval. The Richmond Riverfront Walk is half a block from the station and takes people directly to the entry plaza of the Olympic Oval. I think that it is a clever way of playing to the city’s strengths to bring people along that corridor rather than the one you cover in your photo-tour.

    A pedestrianized street also takes one from the Richmond “O” zone at Richmond Centre/Richmond-Brighouse Station to the Oval and vice-versa.

    1. I agree with the previous poster about how much I appreciate this virtual neighbourhood “tour” and I would love to see more of this — especially in places that are not working, such as Richmond. Thanks for such a great series!

  5. Long, long way to go in Richmond. I guess the optimist in me says at least it is SOOOOOO bad it is obvious that it needs to be fixed over the next few decades.

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