North Van City does it again. Whenever the City or Park Board of Vancouver looks like they will consider doing something risky – like allowing liquor to be consumed in parks and public spaces – CNV does it first. Curbside patios? CNV did it years ago on Lonsdale.
And now as Vancouver just starts the process for the redesign of Beach/Pacific, CNV will redo Esplanade – a six-lane arterial the divides Lower Lonsdale:
The English Bay masterplan is a different kind of project, at a different scale, and definitely not the first time for Vancouver has redone a vehicle-dominant arterial. (Burrard and Hornby Streets!) But this a major step in Metro for a small municipality to undertake. Not without some nervousness.
The Esplanade) corridor works fairly well for transit, goods movement and people in passenger vehicles. It is, however, not an optimal experience for people on foot, travelling by bike or for local businesses.
Cycling groups have been adamant the street’s bicycle infrastructure must be improved from the current painted bike lanes sandwiched between the road and the curbside parking.
Coun. Holly Back signaled she would be very protective of parking out front of businesses. “That’s a major concern for me, having been in business in lower Lonsdale. I totally understand the safety concerns for cyclists and everyone else but those businesses are going to suffer hugely,” she said, adding she hopes the Lower Lonsdale BIA will be included in the consultations. …
Mayor Linda Buchanan said the city depends on the Esplanade corridor for a lot of things and warned that Complete Street Project will have to balance those many needs.
“This is as a trucking route. We can’t take trucking off of this. It’s a major road network for TransLink, and we do need to be able to move goods,” she said. “I just want to make sure that when we are engaging with the public that they are very clear on what are the givens for this road – what can change and what can’t change.
This isn’t the first time that CNV has redone a honking wide road to change from Motordom to Complete Street. Follow Third east to Moodyville and see for yourself.
The half dozen blocks from 3rd to 1st, St Davids to Queensbury, are converting from Fifties housing stock to what’s now called the Missing Middle – low to medium-rise townhouses and apartments – in one of the largest rezoning of its kind. Another example of how CNV takes lessons from other places and does its own version, often as a leader as much as follower.