Category Archives: Viaduct Removal

Viaduct plan stirs controversy

While councillor questions money matters, residents are angry new park is years away

To listen to City of Vancouver staff, tearing down the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts will be a Viaductswin-win.

There won’t be much impact on traffic, there will be a bigger Creekside Park, and the $200-million cost of tearing down the massive structures will be covered by a projected $300 million in community amenity contributions, development cost levies and land sales in the neighbourhood.

But there are skeptics…

Most of the criticism of the plan for the viaducts was levelled at the timeline for Creekside Park, which may not be finished for another decade.

False Creek residents have been angry at the city and Concord Pacific for years because of delays in completing the park — there are an estimated 1,500 green lights hanging in windows throughout the neighbourhood as a protest.

On Tuesday, council voted in favour of a staff recommendation to tear down the viaducts. Green Coun. Adriane Carr tried to add an amendment that stated the park should be finished by 2024, but was rebuffed.

“The people of False Creek have been waiting 25 years for the delivery of Creekside Park,” she said. “Supposedly bringing down the viaducts will facilitate the faster development of that park, and certainly Vision has been lauding the park delivery as a key part of the viaducts decision.

“(But) when I put it into the form of an amendment, they said that would be a false promise, and they couldn’t necessarily deliver it, and it was out of our hands.”

Meggs voted against Carr’s amendment…READ MORE

ViaductsOriginalViaductsProtest

1971…original protest

Tear ‘em down or leave ‘em up: Public divided on Vancouver viaducts removal

Vancouverites aren’t universally sold on demolishing the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts as council is poised to determine their future – an infrastructure decision that could forever change the city’s east side and False Creek neighbourhoods…

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John Murray, director of the False Creek Residents Association, questioned whether residents will actually get a bigger park if the viaducts are removed. The new map simply shows a reconfigured park, he argued, and it won’t be adequate for the thousands of extra residents.

Read more…

Viaducts decision at City Council Oct 21

The FCRA has several concerns that we have repeatedly voiced.

First and foremost is the Creekside Park Extension. This park,  which includes the completion of the NEFC seawall, was a contractual obligation of Concord Pacific in the Original Development Plan in 1990. They have consistently delayed the delivery of this much needed park space by shifting the parameters of that responsibility.

Now the responsibility and the possibility have been shifted to the removal of the viaducts. They are attempting to get ‘buy in’ by making yet another promise—13.75 acres instead of the 9.06 acres that is already part of the contractual agreement. Those 13.75 acres now include the land under the viaduct previously allocated to youth hard surface recreation as well as the closure of Carrall St to north/south traffic effectively making that area “park space” and the new cycling/pedestrian bridge to Dunsmuir St. They now say there will be an early phase in of the seawall. So if it is possible now to provide a completed seawall why hasn’t it been possible before?  The timeline for the park as stated in the viaducts report is 2025.

Waiting another 10 years is not expediting the park.

The Park Board park space requirement is still on the books as 2.75 acres per 1,000 residents. This rationale was again ratified by the Park Board unanimously a couple of years ago. With a possible increased density of 2,500 residential units, as reported today, in order for the COV to sell enough density to pay $200 M for the viaduct removal and road changes there is absolutely no way that the community can bear that increase in population, not to mention traffic, without more offsetting green space. Where are the plans for the required social infrastructure to meet the needs of these thousands of more residents? No schools, community centres, daycares—just more and more density to contribute CACs for the viaduct removal ($200 M). If the COV is going to be negotiating with developers regarding community amenities we think that there should be more transparency in that negotiation and not just a presentation of a done deal a week before a report to council.

We still don’t know if there is a traffic plan for North/South arterial streets like Abbott, Carrall and Quebec Streets, other than the plan to close Carrall St to north/south traffic.

For anyone who lives here we see the huge volumes of traffic sitting bumper to bumper on both arms of the viaduct, especially the Dunsmuir viaduct, during rush hour and most importantly when there are concurrent events at the stadia. Or on the Park site.

There are still ongoing concerns re traffic in the 100 and 200 Blks of Prior St.  The city has promised that there will be 8 M setbacks to take the pressure of the new traffic pattern off the residents who now live in those blocks. The residents never expected to have to contend with 6 lanes of traffic outside their front door. There need to be assurances that this will be mitigated.

It is unfortunate that there are still many unanswered questions. Especially: Who will benefit and who will ultimately be paying for this? What do the city taxpayers actually get? What do the developers get?

Will we be looking at a wall of condo towers separating our neighbourhoods rather than the viaducts, which we can still see over and walk under? The skytrain will still be a divisive component between neighbourhoods as will a six-lane roadway, which will need to accommodate the 40,000 vehicles currently using the viaducts as well as the 22,000 vehicles currently using the surface roads.

The Green Light Campaign remains our silent signature protest for neighbourhood green space, which has brought the community together and inspired imagination of what might be possible.

Welcome to your Flats—Launch Event

The City of Vancouver and the Vancouver Economic Commission would like to invite you to come out and celebrate the launch of the False Creek Flats planning process! The Flats is made up of over 450 acres of primarily employment land. Bound by Main Street to the west, Clark Drive to the east, Prior/Venables to the north, and Great Northern Way to thfalse-creek-flats-welcome-to-your-flats-bannere south, it is home to over 600 businesses and roughly 8,000 employees!

On Wednesday, May 27th come out to Circle Studio at 390 Industrial Avenue, between 4:30pm and 7:30pm and join us for the project’s launch. Meet your neighbours and local businesses over a snack from a resident food truck and purchase a Flats brewed beer while you explore the history, diverse economy and unique industrial character of the Flats.

false-creek-flats-landingWhile at the event you will have a number of opportunities to begin to provide your input to City staff into the future of the area, as well you will find information and sign-up sheets for upcoming events.

 

DATE: Wednesday, May 27, 2015

TIME: 4:30pm – 7:30pm

LOCATION: Circle Studio @ 390 Industrial Avenue

Sign up today, to ensure you do not miss out on any future opportunities to help shape the future of your Flats!

You have received this message because of interest you have shown in the Viaducts and Eastern Core or a related initiative over the past number of years.  While we are inviting you because of that connection, we want to ensure that your inbox doesn’t fill up with unwanted messages should you no longer be interested in the planning of this area.  To ensure that only those interested are emailed Flats related notifications in the future, please ensure that you sign up today to our project email list.   You can always remove your email in the future should you no longer wish to receive the information.

If you would like additional information on this event, or other issues as they relate to the planning, please phone 3-1-1 or email the planning team at falsecreekflats@vancouver.ca.

We hope to see you soon!

The Flats Planning Team

Join the conversation on twitter at #FalseCreekFlats

Ryan Reynolds movie to shut down Georgia Viaduct in April

The City of Vancouver has agreed to daily shutdowns of the Georgia Viaduct from April 5 to 18 for the filming of Deadpool (featuring locally grown actor Ryan Reynolds).

Details of the closure

April 5: Georgia Viaduct closed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

April 6-16: Georgia Viaduct closed from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays. After the road reopens at 3 p.m. there will remain a 100-metre section of the viaduct that will be limited to one lane.

April 11: Georgia Viaduct closed from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The production has also optioned the possibility of using the viaduct on April 12, 17 and 18.

More information can be found at the city’s website.

Burned by “Business in Vancouver”

The FCRA had a good presence at City Hall when Council met to decide on whether to proceed with the staff request for $2,000,000+  to continue their work on planning for removal of the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts.  FCRA Directors on the speakers list included Sean Bickerton, Andrea Mackenzie, and co-chairs Patsy McMillan and Fern Jeffries.

Following this, the local magazine Business in Vancouver contacted the FCRA for an interview.  On behalf of our association, co-chair Fern Jeffries agreed to be interviewed.  The reporter asked about property values.  Consistent with our published position, the response was “property values are not our issue.  Our issue is Quality of Life.

So what did they publish?  “Viaduct removal is good for quality of life and that’s good for property values,” False Creek Residents Association co-chair Fern Jeffries told Business in Vancouver.

Creative writing for sure!

City Council voted to approve the ongoing program for viaduct removal, which included a commitment for “meaningful community engagement”.  Subsequently staff have cancelled our Working Group meetings for the next two months.  More creative writing!

 

Full House at Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Garden

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Representatives from Chinatown organizations heard Brian Jackson, the City’s General Manager of Planning and Development urge them to support removing the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts –  in Cantonese, Mandarin and English!!

Along with Mr. Jackson, there was a full complement of city staff including Wendy Au from the City Manager’s office, Kevin McNaney, Assistant Director of Planning, and Jerry Dobrovolny, Director of Transportation.  City Councillors present included Kerry Jang, Geoff Meggs, Tony Tang, and Raymond Louis.

Chinatown organizations were enthusiastic about opportunities for bringing new people and prosperity to the community.  Henry Tom, representing the Vancouver Chinatown Revitalization Committee is a member of our Coalition of Communities.  He, along with others, urged the City “not to forget Chinatown” and to engage with the community in planning processes.

Parks, density, and traffic continue to be emerging themes in the discussion.  Hope we have a good turnout of residents at Wednesday’s Council meeting.

2 pm at City Hall.  Be there!