Newsletter – March 2015 – Plenty of Good News!

The Streets For Everyone Commercial Drive proposal made some very exciting steps forward this weekend!

This past Saturday, March 7th, the City of Vancouver hosted a workshop on the future of Commercial Drive as part of the Grandview-Woodland community planning process. This event is one of the key inputs that will shape the City of Vancouver’s plans for Commercial Drive. We could not be more satisfied and excited by the results of the workshop.

IMG_2626Over 100 community members volunteered their time on the sunny Saturday to discuss a variety of Commercial Drive-related topics of their choice in tables seating approximately ten people. At the end of the day, when each table presented their key discussion points, ALL FOUR of the Transportation and Public Realm tables recommended an improved pedestrian realm and bicycle lanes on Commercial Drive. A couple of the tables went as far as recommending that the city implement bus bulges (as featured in our design) and encouraged the city to take the bike lane south until 14th or 15th ave. The tone of the meeting was generally pretty positive toward pedestrian, cycling, and transit improvements.

Other successes:

December 2014 – Streets For Everyone’s proposal for Commercial Drive wins the Active Transportation Survivor event hosted by the City of Vancouver.
City of Vancouver Transportation Survivor Event

City of Vancouver Active Transportation Survivor Event

A couple of months ago, the Active Transportation Branch at the City of Vancouver hosted a game of Survivor in which city engineers, planners, advocates, members of the Active Transportation Policy Council and other individuals working on transportation projects in Vancouver each advocated for one specific project as the next priority for the city. After a couple of hours of intense discussion, creative presentations, and competitive voting, Streets For Everyone’s proposal for Commercial Drive as presented by Sarah FioRito won the game as the last project standing.

Jerry Dobrovolny, Vancouver’s Director of Transportation, Heather Deal, Vancouver City Councillor, and many key members of the city’s engineering and planning staff were there to witness the win. Having a room full of several dozen key people vote to keep Commercial Drive as a priority project was a concrete testament to Commercial Drive’s importance as a priority project for Vancouver.

February 2015 – Streets For Everyone coordinators meet with the Commercial Drive Business Society Board of Directors.

IMG_2178
Key messages we spoke about at the meeting included:

  • A large and growing contingent of Commercial Drive businesses support the Streets For Everyone proposal for Commercial Drive
    • They see the proposed improvements as a way for current and prospective customers to easily and safely access their businesses.
    • Many business owners strongly disagree with the Business Society taking an anti-bike lane stance in the past and do not feel that their needs are being well-represented by the business society.
  • A plethora of research from cities around the world demonstrates that making streets accessible to all transportation modes has a positive impact on business sales.
  • Updating Commercial Drive’s design to align with evolving transportation trends in the neighbourhood and city makes sound business sense
  • The Streets For Everyone Commercial Drive proposal will result in no net-loss in on-street parking on Commercial Drive-what’s not to like?
February 2015 – The Streets For Everyone coordinators meet with members of the City of Vancouver’s transportation and engineering department to discuss the technical details of our plan.

IMG_2493Last month, in order to prepare for their comprehensive data collection and analysis work around the big transportation questions in Grandview Woodland, Lisa Leblanc, the lead transportation planner/engineer for all of the community plans at the City of Vancouver, invited some members of the Streets For Everyone team to their Transportation office to talk about the specifics of our Commercial Drive Proposal with a team of planners and engineers from the city. We applaud the City of Vancouver for taking our proposal quite seriously and for taking the necessary time to go through each component of our proposal step by step with us. Among other things, we discussed how our proposal will speed up the #20 bus, improve pedestrian flow, and enable people on bicycles to access Clark Park and Trout Lake. No formal promises were made in the meeting (we’ll be working on that) but there was certainly a lot of nodding and general agreement.

SFE stickers are here.

IMG_2665Shoot us an email if you want some!

 

 

 

 

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