Monday, December 12, 2016
Fellow Residents of Strathcona,
First, we’d like to thank all of you who attended the November/December meetings of the Strathcona Residents Association and shared your opinions about the Union Street bikeway. We’ve attempted to condense your recommendations into a letter we are planning to send to city planners and representatives. See below. To be effectively heard, we feel it’s best to keep our recommendations brief and specific.
Second, it is our goal for 2017 to make SRA more of a force to be reckoned with among the many political organizations and interest groups that impact us. Currently we are confronted by challenges on all sides: to our south, the major urban redevelopment plans for the Flats, the viaduct, the new hospital and Prior St.; to our east, the port expansion and railroad's intent to increase traffic on the tracks that cut through our neighbourhood; to our north, the future of Hastings street, the expansion of low-barrier services and the impact of a growing fentanyl crisis; to our west, the rapid transformation of Chinatown; within our borders, the increasing unaffordability of rental housing.
Strathcona is one of Vancouver’s most historic, diverse and artistic neighbourhoods and the SRA can potentially be a powerful voice to keep it that way. But for that to happen, more of us need to step up to the plate and get involved. We need volunteers willing to serve on committees dedicated to stay on top of each of the many issues we face - or to serve as links to various outside groups. If you’re game, please send an e-mail with your name, contact info, skills and specific interests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Third, we invite you to attend our first monthly meeting of 2017 on Wednesday, January 4, at 7 PM at the Community Centre, where representatives from the Flats Planning Committee and Park Board will be in attendance to give a presentation and answer questions about evolving plans for the Flats, including options being considered for shifting arterial traffic from Prior Street to an alternate route: Malkin, National or an extension of Williams that would mean losing a section of Strathcona Park. A hot topic and great way to kick off the new year.
Please forward this e-mail to any residents who might not be on our list. To join the list, go to http://strathcona-residents.org/
Happy holidays all,
Recommendations for the Improvement of the Union Street Bikeway
Problem: Too many bikes. The Union St. bike route has become a victim of its own success. Because it is the only viable east/west bike route between Clark and Main north of Great Northern Way, this busy residential street it is often overwhelmed by bike commuters. Between Glen and Gore is a straightaway with little to motivate bike traffic to slow down. Residents have cited instances of children, adults and cars being hit or narrowly missed, especially at intersections and the busy half block in front of Union Market.
Add a new east-west cycling corridor to alleviate the volume on Union-Adanac or move the bike route to Prior.
Improve cyclist awareness of the pedestrian right-of-way.
Find ways to better enforce existing rules, such as issuing tickets.
Add marked crosswalks, like the one at Hawks (and possibly small speed bumps), at Jackson, Princess, Heatley and Campbell.
Problem: The Hawks Chicane. The block between Heatley and Hawks is downhill going east, and some bikers try to get through the narrow curved chicane at Hawks without slowing down (they seem to consider it more a challenge than an attempt to slow bike traffic). Because the intersection of Hawks and Union has frequent pedestrian traffic crossing to Union Market or Strathcona Park, this is where many collisions and near collisions occur.
A speed bump or other mechanism on the west side of the chicane might force bikers to slow down.
Switch the stop sign at Hawks from N-S axis back to E-W axis.
Additional signage to alert both bikers and pedestrians.
Problem: Campbell Intersection. Vehicle traffic headed north or south Campbell (our only unimpeded north/south through street) has difficulty crossing Union because of poor sight lines and bikes passing rapidly in either direction without slowing down, forcing drivers to “gun it” when they see a gap, resulting in weekly car/bike collisions.
4-way stop sign or a traffic light.