As many of you may have heard, recent open houses over the fate of the viaducts reveal that despite promises of traffic calming on Prior Street, the city's plan calls for quite the opposite. In their own words :
Pacific Boulevard is combined with Expo north of the Skytrain
guideway and connects east to Prior/Venables thereby maintaining
a direct east-west link to the downtown for commuter vehicles and
large goods-movement trucks.
It should be noted that in addition to a direct connection to the new six-lane Pacific boulevard (which will be collecting False Creek traffic AND downtown traffic via a new Georgia ramp), Prior will now be linking directly to Main Street. Although the City had promised traffic calming of Prior when they pitched the idea to the community, there is no commitment or timetable for any reduction of traffic on Prior, in fact Prior now features quite prominently in the post viaduct traffic flow. Of course, the traffic along Prior is a direct result of the viaducts - so any discussion of the latter's removal should in fairness include one of the many available options to reroute traffic off Prior, not enhance it.
The City seems to be more preoccupied with the post-viaducts development along False Creek, and there is a great deal of political and developer will to see this project happen. Now is the time for Strathcona to speak up.
Online comments on the proposal are being accepted at http://vancouver.ca/viaducts until wednesday, at which time staff will make their report to Council.
Council will be voting on the Viaducts Removal in July so we have a limited window to organize some kind of neighbourhood response.
Please join us for a brief organizational meeting in the multi-purpose room at Strathcona Community Centre this Wednesday June 13 at 7pm to discuss what we as a community can do.
Please pass this note on to friends and neighbours