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UPDATE: Changes to Union Street. Report back from yesterday’s Council meeting

Hello Strathcona friends and neighbours.

Together with other Strathcona neighbours, as well as residents and business owners from the 200 block of Union, I attended the first 3 hours of an all-day Council meeting yesterday at City Hall. Thanks to everyone who came out and for hanging in as long as your schedule permitted!

A big thanks to Pete Fry (SRA Chair), James Johnstone and Norbert Ruebsaat for speaking to Council on this issue at the meeting.

The result of the vote on transportation issues was that City Council passed a $3-million plan to improve several bike routes, including the connection to the Canada Line bridge at Marine Drive and downtown at the north end of the Cambie Bridge.

But thanks to our activism, they were forced to back down on upgrade plans for portions of the Adanac bikeway on Union Street within Strathcona (between Gore and Princess) until the Strathcona community has a chance to give City staff proper input. The proposed plan ( included a partial closure to motor vehicle traffic at Gore Avenue and converting Union Street from Dunlevy to Gore into a one-way street.

Staff have been given a one month extension for community consultation to rethink the plan.

Unfortunately, the upgrade plans for the 200 block of Union Street (which include blocking car traffic access to Quebec/Pacific at Main and removing significant street parking) were accepted - this is not especially good news for Chinatown, specifically for Keefer Street and the fledgling businesses on the 200 block of Union.

So how do we proceed from here? We need your input!

This is our chance to thoroughly examine the issue of co-existing with the busiest bike route in the City.

With the City’s 2040 Transportation Plan aim to upgrade the Adanac Bikeway for 'All Ages and Abilities', we can assume that further upgrades to Union Street will be coming down the line. This bikeway is the busiest in Vancouver, used by 4,000 commuting cyclists a day in spring and summer alongside 2800 local vehicle trips year round. A significant portion of this path is in Strathcona (from Clark to Gore).

How do we make Union Street a safe place for everyone?

How do we share Union Street with thousands of cycling commuters, many of whom feel ownership on the route?

What solutions can we envision on Union Street that work both for residents and cycling commuters?

How do we deal with aggressive cyclist behaviour on Union Street? (in the meantime call the non-emegency VPD number at 604.717.3321)

We are receiving constant reports from residents (especially from parents of young children and from senior citizens) of a marked increase in aggressive behaviour among cyclists on Union Street. Reports include intimidation of pedestrians and drivers, use of foul language, failing to yield to pedestrians at intersections and cycling on sidewalks to pass slower cyclists or cars.

Can/should the number of commuting cyclists on Union Street be encouraged to grow given the daily conflict between residents and commuters? What kind of changes can be made to the bikeway to deal with this?

Please send us your ideas, thoughts and suggestions.

— Elana Zysblat, SRA Executive Council


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Community Announcements

  • New Library and YWCA housing at 720 East Hastings OPEN HOUSE: Thursday June 20
    Strathcona Community Centre – Activity Room
    4:30pm to 7:30pm

  • 2013 Safety Fair at Ray-Cam: Saturday June 22nd (view poster)
    Ray-Cam Centre 920 East Hastings Street
    11:00am to 3:00pm

View all upcoming community events on our website.