Hello friends and neighbours,
We have a number of upcoming events here in teh neighbourhood to share with you, as well as announcement of our next meeting:
Our December Strathcona Residents Association meeting is this coming up on Wednesday December 7th, 7:15pm at the Strathcona Community Centre.
This will be our Holiday Party and will include a potluck dinner. Our main topic will be a discussion to identify strategic goals for us to pursue in 2017.
Agenda for regular SRA Meeting and Holiday Party, December 7th:
We’ll start a bit early at 6:45 for a chance to mingle and chat informally. Please bring some food to share!
- Update on SRA board structure
- Safety, Film, Hastings
- Call out about local charity activities and needs taking place in December.
- Update from Treasury
Updates from November Meetings
- Actions taken since last meeting
- Summary and update on Union Street meeting with City of Vancouver
- Summary of work with Vancouver Coastal Health and City regarding new supervised injection and other services being relocated to the area
- Agreement on key points and further actions
Main Topic: Discussion on SRA focus areas for 2017
- Main topics/needs to focus on (viaducts, hastings development, hospital, drugs, bike)
Update on important upcoming meetings:
- Healthy Communities Conversation: VCH, City, VPD will join local residents and businesses for a community health and safety forum early in January
- Business and Motions from the Floor
Other community events this week we would like to inform you about:
Thursday, Nov 24 - City of Vancouver info session/open house on Community Economic Development
Find out about the City’s Economic Development Plan for the area. The plan is to be voted on at City Coucnil by the end of the month
4:30 - 5:30 Strathcona Community Centre, Activity Room
Friday, Nov 25 - RayCam 40th Anniversary celebration and open house
Ray-Cam is celebrating 40 years of serving the community with food, ceremonies, art and entertainment
4:00 - 6:30pm Ray-Cam Co-operative Centre, 920 East Hastings
Friday, Nov 25 - Neighbourhood Town Hall with City Councillor Adriane Carr
Vancouver City Councillor Adriane Carr, official Neighbourhood Councillor Liaison for the DTES neighbourhoods is holding a town hall.
Find out about work being done at City Hall and share your thoughts about issues that matter to you and our City.
6:30 - 8:30pm Strathcona Community Centre, Senior’s Lounge
Saturday, Nov 26 - Strathcona Winter Craft Fair
The 6th annual craft fair is dedicated to promoting local and non-profit artists, with over 50 vendors
10:00am -4:00pm Strathcona Community Centre
Up-to-date events around Strathcona can always be found on our website events page at http://strathcona-residents.org/events
Strathcona Residents Association
Strathcona Residents Association_ Minutes_ Nov 2nd 2016
Sholto calls meeting to order- 7:20PM
Business and updates:
- Sign in sheet
- City contact re: Union Street bike route- Ross Kenny, City of Vancouver, Transport Engineer, Active Transportation, Engineering Services, Tel: 6048716967 Fax: 6048716192 email: email@example.com
Start with a bit of business, committees
-introduce the new executives: Sholto, Wilson, Alex, Matthew, Charis
Film Committee and treasurer are missing
- Dan Jackson has signed up another counsellor onto SRA.
- Welcome Dan
-Roberta Robertson is sick, treasurer, An amount of $ 9280.89 in the Strathcona Community Center’s bank account is for SRA and will be transfer to SRA account when is set up. Explain the backpack program: take home food for kids who don’t have a nourishing meal for the weekend, in tandem with the breakfast program. The money comes through film revenue, Carolyn Neufeld and Susan Adams. Cheques- half go to community centre and half go to the SRA.
Strathcona-residents.org –let them know when there is filming
SRA to open new bank account; Sholto and Roberta to be signees on the account.
Put forward the motion:
Discussion: -Strathcona Community Centre Association: advice: should have more than two signees on the account.
Amendment to motion: Matthew, Roberta, Sholto, Wilson, Dan, Alex, Charis all agreed to be signees on the SRA bank account. All agree, yes,
Prior Street Safety Committee
-waiting to hear back from the Prior street team, planning, Dick has heard from the city, not confirmed
-will have digital boards to notify speed
-up enforcement on speed watching, pedestrian safety is a major concern
-ask that the speed limit is reduced to 30km in the school zone.
Comment: I’ve had two incidents when people ran a red light on me and my children.
Problem with an officer to pull cars over in the bus zone. Request that if they are ticketing people that they (police) do it out of the bus zone.
-Is that a call to 311? If I had that problem?
-My goal is to stop the practice, it’s a very different issue. I don’t want to get an individual in trouble.
-City: if you call 311 it will eventually adjust policy. Issues can be tracked.
-Pete (Fry): last month there were rumors about new supervised injection sites.
They will be managed in a clinical setting, at: Heatly and Cordova, Powell and Princess.
Rumors and concern, misinformation going around. VCH can do a better job interacting with the community. SBA letter and CBC follow up with the SRA, went to Steven Quinn show, harm reduction and better consultation with community. Holistic harm reduction solutions. City of Van, managing director of social planning, a call agreeing, harm reduction ethics group all agree and believe the process is broken. People are interested in seeing the conversation move forward. RayCam and SRA, VANDU (Vancouver area network of drug users) we will connect and move forward. Positive experience that is coming out of this. Resolution that I hope we can pass, we don’t actually want them to be blocked, these are well managed, a continuum of care. Reads resolve. Supportive collaboration. Overall health and long-term vision for the community. *see resolve. Included in this resolve: VCH, SRA, City, VANDU, residents and businesses.
-Include where the sites are, include the VPD
-I would like to say that before we say that we support the sites, I’d like to start with the consultations with all of those groups. I think this should be the other way around.
- In a perfect world I would agree with you, there are illegal harm reduction sites now, this is very serious. The legalization of marijuana has pushed fentanyl into our markets, the number two fire hall is seeing several overdoses a day, this will be approved with or w/o us. The need for a better consultation process. I would hate to see people die because we are consulting.
-Anyone watch the news? Gregor and VCH, they’ve done their due diligence, but they are going ahead with their proposal, my days as a mobile health care worker, they are designed to do what they are needed to do. For the sake of the neighbourhood, we are going to be the forefront, in Canada and the US. This is going to bring great focus to the city and this community. This will bring a lot of focus to Strathcona, changing the image, people care this is a living, vibrant community.
-Are you voting to support it as a resident’s association? I heard a lot of people talk about the approval of the sites.
-This is to get us on the same page, the SIS (Safe Injection Sites) are going to be clinicla harm reduction models, it’s the ancillary activity that is the concern. Where are the drugs going to be obtained?
-I live in the cul-de-sac; we are for safe injection sites. I’m concerned about the movement of those services eastward. The two elementary schools. East Hastings is not a barrier. We have had to call the city to get sharps removed. Those SIS are critical, where are they going to be accessed. Are we going to be bringing more of those users into our neighbourhood?
-The living room and triage, these are the Dr. Peter model. Patient based. HIV, it’s not an opened door. Seeing a doctor as a patient. This is why we have issue. I had to find out as a citizen, inquired instead of being told.
-This is what this motion is about: there is not enough liaison between these groups.
-My experience of the SIS is the opposite. There was a lot more drug debris on the street. Since the SIS there has been a massive change. The SIS is a huge positive to the neighbourhood. I think we should ask someone from VCH to come and talk in the Jan meeting.
-It may happen sooner than that, the city will take the lead. Q&A style. These are minor changes to the neighbourhood. Redevelopment, Dunlevy and Hastings, lots of relocation plans.
-I would never want an SIS next to a school. From what I have read it makes it better for the neighbourhood.
-I’m in support of it. There is a lot of litter. How do we be responsible with what is actually is happening in the street. This is the reality. The young kids know what those things are which is good, but there is way too much of it.
-You are the chair; I don’t think it’s your role to comment on everything.
-Creating two more sites. It’s like creating a ghetto for drug users. Look at Granville.
-We as an organization have a seat at the table, that’s Pete’s point. The contact of the media is a good thing. We should get behind this. We should be grateful for this seat.
-And to listen to our opinion
-Just for clarity: in your communications with everyone. What is the percentage of drug crisis in Strathcona compared to the rest of Vancouver? Then the other question: how much money are we getting here to deal with the crisis in comparison?
-Number two fire hall is the best indicator: so overwhelmed with calls on drug overdoses.
- I couldn’t tell you the comparison to here and the rest of Vancouver
-My understanding is that the overdoses are happening closest to this area which is why the SIS are happening/opening in this area.
"Be it Resolved that the Strathcona Residents' Association supports the Vancouver Coastal Health application for two new supervised injection sites within the Downtown Eastside Mental Health and Substance Use Drop-In Centre (528 Powell St.) and the Heatley Integrated Health Centre (330 Heatley St.) as part of a harm reduction response to the growing drug crisis. Be it further resolved that the SRA work to develop a supportive collaboration with Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), The City, Vancouver Area Network Drug Users (VANDU), Vancouver Police Department (VPD), local residents and businesses to discuss and develop strategies around the overall health and long term vision for the community, inclusive of all its residents."
Re-read the statement. Second the motion. All in favour. Closed.
Ross Kenny and Lindsay Neufeld.
Union and Adanac. Gore to East past Nanaimo
-Early planning stages. Make route more comfortable for everyone. Route interventions. Looking for locations to make improvements.
-What are the issues that you are experiencing along Union and Adanac
-It’s getting harder to cross the street, where are these locations? Time? Street width? Too fast? We want to know, to make pedestrian improvements. Reduce vehicle shortcutting.
-January plan, open houses, pedestrian improvements come with community plans- gardens
Sholto- we are going to collect this info. How would we engage with you to share our summary?
Adanac@vancouver.ca -send an email with concerns here.
We are here to listen.
-Thank you. My concerns have been my baby son, on the street. Youngest got hit, she wouldn’t slow down and hit him. Cyclists fingering you when walking you children to school- at Heatly and Union- it’s always there. I get that people like the bike route here, more energy, less crime. I don’t like when they don’t stop, tell my children to f- off. I’m sick of it. They are commuters, not cyclists. There is a big difference. Halloween- we asked them to stop.
-A little boy got hit because a guy wouldn’t get off his bike. He was asked to stop and wouldn’t.
-So we are situated by the cul-de-sac watching the hill and cyclists. People speed up to go down the hill. It’s because it’s downhill and when people are going home from work. Heatly and Union 700 –right at Strathcona linear (?) park. Hawks and Union.
-Different perspective- I am a commuter, commuters bike differently, hard and fast, exercise for the day. Creates a more dangerous environment for the neighbourhood. Gore to Clark, take the route as fast as possible in that route. The S thing that you have to do in the park.
*UPSET and disagreement
-Continues, when I try to leave Strathcona in my car, you can sit there for a long time to get through the bikes in a car, Campbell and Union. Some type of pedestrian light to get bikes to slow down.
-Campbell and Union corner- actually counter-intuitive for cars to stop coming off of Prior Street. You have to go beyond the stop sign to be able to see the bikers. Lots of obstacles to get through. I hear one to two accidents a week there. Top ten lethal intersection in the city. I have lived through successive neighbours who have lobbied for change at this intersection.
-Union and Hawks- Union market creates pedestrian traffic, store, people, issue about that corner. Campbell and Union.
-Heading North is worse. Campbell and Union. Changes to the cars that are parked there, would help. As a cyclist- anything that allows you to slow down instead of stopping are a lot more cyclist friendly in my opinion.
-Having lived here for 18 years some improvements have been made. Foliage. My kids track bikes that stop. The sidewalk- five bikes in twelve years have stopped. The route is not safe. I feel fear for the bicycles from the cars. There isn’t enough room, can’t park my car. It’s hard, it’s a cul-de-sac, if you take it away I won’t let my kids cross the street. They have almost been hit lots of times. I want that bike route to be safe.
-What is the concern to allow them to cycle.
-They have a negative feel for cyclists
-It’s a cultural issue
-Kids are scared of them (cyclists)
-If I have to park across the street from my house I want them to be able to walk across.
-More bikes are good, but faster is not good.
-Cul-de-sac and S slow down thing. I would encourage city to stop installing. It has simply made a challenge for the S. I disagree about slowing down, I think that they need to stop.
-There were stop signs at that intersection. City took them out, it was not an accident
- I was the engineer, they were removed because of traffic imbalances
- All of the stop signs were taken out and now there are no stop signs
- I would like to point out that pedestrians still have the right of way, we could start by obeying the law
-I have a question for Pete. There was some consideration for Union being an all access.
- Pete: Sure. Special circumstances, stop sign and crosswalk. Since we have flipped the stop sign cyclist don’t care. (There were stop signs at Union and Hawks East and West- gone now). Lots of past considerations, worried about Bennies to be operational. Not looking at protecting bike lanes. Triple A all ages and abilities. Looking at the street as a whole. Looking at where there is vehicle shortcutting. Looking for trends and numbers. Lots of traffic bypassing traffic signals on Prior. Cars and bikes to slow down. Focus on interventions at intersections to make it safer for everyone.
-I hope that this group is consulted before anything happens. Gregor…My car has been hit when parked, cyclist hit my door, flew, he was speeding, it says 30km, these commuters who don’t live in the neighbourhood I don’t say much because I don’t want my car hit again. Spoke with ICBC – unless you can prove speed forget it, absolutely nothing vehicle owner can do because there is uncertainty. We haven’t thought this through.
-Hawks and Union. Have had to call an ambulance four times, cyclist getting through the S. Some of them smile and some scowl. I saw a guy driven off of union on his bike by other bikers. These very aggressive people who ruin it for everyone. Need barriers that slow people down, people in the lycra, keep them from going top speed.
-Or get an alternate commuter lane for people who want to race.
-I walk, cycle and use a cane, feel like I’m taking my life in my hands. People going up Hawks to Heatly on Union, I’m afraid that they are going to clip me. I see happening as an alternate transportation space- Union and Georgia- always cars in that lane going quickly. I’m worried that you are just going to make the lane between Union and Georgia more of a road or freeway than it already is. Between Heatly and Hawks, Union and Georgia. You have to look at the impact in the lane.
-Jackson and Union, down the hill from Finches store, roll through and see some accidents, biking and walking. Gore, lights at S/N no lights going E/W it’s like a peloton playing chicken with the cars, there should be a four way stop, because there isn’t a light at E and W the cyclist are overriding the button
-I live on the N side of Hastings. I have to hit the Adanac bike route. Clark Street, Wall Street, people to get to Alexander. Over the overpass it’s great. If there was another artery, then you can dissipate the volume. I have to come this way and take the Adanac bike route. If you could give us option’s it would improve
-Main and Union, turning bays are really confusing, Full left on onto overpass. Cars think it’s a one-way street and try to back up. People get cluttered and you can’t make a proper left turn.
-Just to add onto Campbell Adanac route, we will turn from prior and Vernon, because bikes have the right of way. The bike pump, while it was working I liked it. I would like it to work.
-Everywhere else in the city they have designated bike routes and you can’t ride three in a row. You aren’t allowed to bike three in a row. Lighting at night is terrible, tiny lights, black, no lights, quiet. Ride in the middle of the street. Why is Union being treated so differently. People playing music on their bikes, why is this allowed. Point Grey has the most beautiful bike lanes. I’m sceptical about the consultation, we sat and talked to that guy for months (that was me-laughter). It didn’t work, it’s a zoo, they swear at you, I feel like I’m being held ransom in my own house.
-There is nowhere to bike east and west except Union Street. Lots of swearing on on this path. Should have more paths between 1st and Burrard Inlet.
- Too many needs on Union Street for change. Need to think outside the box. Cannot make everyone happy. Problems for cyclists, pedestrians, residents and drivers.
- Plans for the Inlet Flats may address a long-term solution. We can get involved in that by contacting Ross (City contact).
- Need to look at both, short- and long-term solutions.
- Union Street Cyclist Owner: Adanac is the busiest bike path in North America. Super-highway for bikes. Alexander would be alternate route.
- Alexander is one of the city’s interest for alleviating the pressure for cyclists on Union.
- Speed of cyclists is a huge factor in causing accidents. Vehicles driving on cycle paths: Need a cone. Taxis are the worst at speeding or trucks unloading in the middle of cycle path – cyclists are at danger. Cyclists have elitist attitudes. Need law-enforcement. And education. Cyclists need to adhere to the laws, they are not above the law. Cannot identify bikes or cyclists the same way you can drivers and cars. There is a bike registration program which might help. Rules need to be obeyed and enforced. Enforcement of laws might mean that not a lot of changes in the infrastructure need to be made. We need to advocate for law-enforcement for everyone: same rules for cyclists as for drivers, including prohibition of texting on bikes.
- Cycling down Union, between Gore and Main, there is alley before Main: lots of cars speeding out of the alley. Suggested speed bump on Union. Calming traffic on Keefer: cyclists riding on Keefer will be going on sidewalk and cycle ramp – close encounters between pedestrians. Fix: Include a small pathway for bikes on the middle of the road. Good to get more cyclists on the road. City hasn’t kept up with setting up places to lock up bikes. Had four bikes stolen within a year.
- Need better crossing lines at Princess, etc. to indicate crosswalks clearly.
- Crosswalks at every crossing will slow down cyclists.
- Cyclists needs to slow down – is possible to do that. Cyclists and drivers can co-exist. Different interventions are possible. When city comes to talk about cycle safety, no matter what people say, what city hears is: let’s take street parking out to allow more cyclists to be safe. Parking is a big issue in this neighbourhood. This is still a blue-collar neighbourhood. Lots of contractors need to park their trucks on the side of the street. Do not take out parking. Do not block off cars. Otherwise you force traffic into other streets where cars increase traffic pressures. Cyclists here are commuters and cars are “short-circuiting” – but cars have laws as well and choose best route.
- Are there commuter vehicles on Union? We don’t want those here.
- City has encouraged cycling. So city should also encourage better cyclist behaviour. HUB gave recommendations on what to do when cyclist gets hit, but there needs to be mindshift also about pedestrians being hit. Prior/Venables would be a great option for rerouting cyclist traffic: wider roads, less hilly and less residents. Confusion for drivers at Main/Union intersection.
- Traffic policeman should enforce laws on Union and remind cyclists of the crossings and speed limit.
- Increase of electric bikes on bike lane. Racing. Will increase. No insurance required, but high speed. It is like a motorcycle.
- Speed bump request for 700 block before cul-de-sac.
- Exclusive biker: Wants to preserve the character of this neighbour to include cyclists. Want to discourage speeders on bikes and electric bikes.
- Reconsider the traffic calming for the ENTIRE neighbourhood. Rethink every single corner. Rethink the official bike routes. Better awareness of design. Look at the Netherlands and their models for traffic calming. Without traffic calming this neighbourhood will not be a nice neighbourhood anymore. Look at European designs.
- Viaduct will come done – reconsider rerouting cyclists to Prior.
- False Creek Flats might address this. Discussion is underway.
- 350,000$ was spent on S-shaped cul-de-sac for cyclists on 700-block. Want to make this worth the expenditure. Pedestrians are more important than bikers. Take bikes away from cyclists for 24h who are speeding.
- Lots of money spent on cycle infrastructure, but they are not paying for it through insurance or tax money.
- “Project 529” could address that – registered 14,000 bikes so far. Police or anyone else can identify bike to owner. Cannot take off sticker. Next step: ICBC involved – have a way to register bikes like vehicles. All cyclists or specific type of bikes need to be registered this way. Can reduce also bike theft. This registration will be rolled out to more bikes, but lots of red tape and not all agencies are on board. X-box inventor is behind this. Union Cycle Bike shop is on board with this, too.
- More crosswalks at intersections. During winter: cyclists riding without lights and helmets. Need more regulation for cyclists adhering to these basic rules. Makes for difficult conversations with kids. Guests are affected by speeding cyclists. Bump-outs at intersections could help with slowing down cyclists.
- What are the next steps as SRA? We don’t have consensus.
- We condense the voices we have heard tonight.
- The city was here to listen to our concerns.
- Union street is over-capacity.
- SRA should prioritize a list of what we talked about tonight and send that out.
- Minutes will capture these conversations and will be posted on the website.
- Tourists come to Vancouver specifically for cycling. Better than Portland’s infrastructure. We have the best cycling in North America.
- contact details: firstname.lastname@example.org
MEETING NOTES FROM CITY OFFICIALS
Strathcona Residents’ Association Meeting - Notes
November 2, 2016
Strathcona Community Centre
COV staff: Ross Kenny, Lindsay Neufeld
- Concern about behaviour and speeds of primarily commuter cyclists
o Recent incident of child being hit
o Inappropriate language
- Should do things to slow down fast cyclists
- Bikes don’t stop at stop signs – wants route to be safe, but it’s not now
- Kids are fearful of bikes and cyclist behaviour
- More should be done to make cyclists stop, not slow down
- A key intervention would be enforcing laws
- Aggressive, racing cyclists are ruining it for everyone
- Would like to see speed reduction measures (rail track style)
- Law enforcement and education is needed – other changes won’t help without this
- We can change behaviour over time
- Education needs to be taken seriously
- Can we place traffic police at crossings to enforce?
- Rise in electric bikes with faster speeds
- We haven’t grown idiot cyclists in last 10 years – people behaving poorly have always been around
- See it like a garden – good conditions grow better cyclists and only a few “weeds” while poor conditions/infrastructure grow mostly “weeds”
- Need to educate cyclists that pedestrians are more important, enforce laws, and impound bikes if needed
- Need bike licensing – maybe through Project 529
- Enforce laws around helmets and bike lights
- Union carries all of the east-west cycling volume – no nearby alternative
- Another artery to split the bike traffic would help
- Many cyclists also don’t like how busy the route is
- Too much happening on this street – especially 700-block
- We are expecting a neighbourhood street with little traffic calming to hold all east-west bike traffic – is it possible to re-think Union?
- Too many needs on Union (laws of geometry) – maybe a little bit better isn’t what we need, maybe something bigger?
- Alexander Street could be an alternate route
- Any crosswalks heading toward schools, community centres, parks should be painted (Heatley, Princess, Jackson)
- Painted crossings at every intersection on Union would be a good visual cue
- Bump-outs/bulges could help at intersections
Main to Gore
- No east-west light at Gore – would like to see full traffic signal here
- Turning bays for bikes are small and confusing
- Problems with parking-protected bike lane between Gore and Main – cars driving in it/taxis parking in it
- Safety issue when cycling past laneway near Main – need a speed bump to slow down cars
- Predicted issues now occurring between Gore and Main – the block is confusing and needs a re-think
- Cars don’t always stop at the lane before they enter the bike lane
- Cars roll through downhill stop sign (southbound)
- Busy intersection – hard to cross on foot here
- Next to Benny’s Market – an important neighbourhood destination
- Cycling speed is particularly an issue on downhill between Heatley and Hawks, and at the Hawks linear park
- Lots of pedestrian traffic at Union Market, and pedestrians aren’t as attentive on a neighbourhood street as on a busy street
- If cul-de-sac is removed, kids won’t be able to cross the street
- Some cyclists use the ‘S’ curve as a contest to see how fast they can take it
- Pedestrians still have right of way
- Time to revisit the flipping of stop signs
- Dangerous to cross here on foot
- ‘S’ curve is an improvement but still dangerous – cyclists pass closely
- Put a speed bump at the bottom of the hill at Hawks (petition circulated)
- New bike path was a waste of money
- Is there a way to slow down bikes with skinny tires (fast bikes) compared to wider tires?
- Vehicles make risky manouevers to gun through bikes traveling along Union
- A pedestrian light could help
- Counterintuitive for cars to stop at stop sign after coming from Prior
- Vehicles need to move far into intersection to see bikes on Union
- heading north on Campbell is worse for visibility than south
- Very dangerous – adjacent resident hears 1-2 accidents a week
- Needs a massive stop sign or an island
- Concern about earlier COV proposal for Union one-way between Gore and Princess – impact on Benny’s Market
- Back lane between Union and Georgia (Hawks to Heatley) is used by short-cutting vehicles – concern this will get worse
- Vehicles turn from Prior to Vernon to avoid Campbell
- Concern that when people discuss cycling behaviour and speed, the City hears “block traffic and remove parking” – parking is already a challenge in the neighbourhood (contractors, etc.) and forcing traffic elsewhere creates more pressure
- Bikes are “commuters” and cars are “shortcutting” – why shouldn’t cars commute here?
- Reconsider entire traffic calming plan in neighbourhood – there are better designs now
- Hope SRA will be consulted regarding designs
- Why is Union Street treated differently than other routes like Beatty Street or Point Grey Road?
- Need more bike parking with increase in people biking
- Long-standing vision of Grandview-Woodland Area Council and Strathcona Residents’ Association to see bikeway moved to Prior
- As a neighbourhood, this is a high-quality problem to have
- Closure at Keefer and Heatley needs a path through for bikes – currently you have to get up on the sidewalk and it’s hard to see pedestrians around the foliage
- More crosswalks needed near the school
- Prior Street
o Have requested a 30km/h speed zone adjacent to Strathcona Park
o Red-light running near Park