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Update: Council to vote on closing Union Street tomorrow! Minutes from last meeting and more.

Hello, Strathcona friends and neighbours.

This email is to remind residents that on Wednesday June 12, council will vote on a proposal to limit vehicular access in and out of Strathcona via Union Street. A reminder also that on Wednesday June 26, council will very likely be voting on Viaducts removal. In both instances, the feeling is that the criterea for community consultation has not been met.

We also have a few neighbourhood announcements and minutes from our last meeting, Wednesday June 5th.

Pete Fry - SRA Chair

1. Proposal to close Union Street to car traffic as part of upgrades to the Adanac Bikeway - to be voted by Vancouver City Council’s Standing Committee on City Finance and Service tomorrow, Wednesday June 12. At issue is a plan to close Union Street to car traffic without community consultation, and a planning mechanism that mis-identified the scope and location of the work to be performed; as well as the impacts these changes will have on local area traffic, safety and access.

  • Email your thoughts to mayorandcouncil@vancouver.ca
  • Consider speaking to Council. You must register by 1pm today if you wish to speak. If you wish to address the Standing Committee, please call Nicole Ludwig at 604.873.7191, by 1:00 pm on Tuesday, June 11, 2013. Please note speakers are requested to limit their comments to no longer than five minutes.
  • Please attend the council meeting to support community consultation!

DATE: Wednesday, June 12, 2013
TIME: 9:30 am
PLACE: Council Chamber, Third Floor, City Hall

background information:
http://vancouver.ca/adanacbikeway. The detailed report can be found at
http://vancouver.ca/files/cov/adanac-bikeway-open-house-info-boards.PDF.
City's Transportation 2040 Plan

2. Community Announcements

  • New Library and YWCA housing at 720 East Hastings OPEN HOUSE: Thursday June 20
    On Thursday, June 20, the City is hosting an Open House so that you can see the plans, meet with the City of Vancouver, VPL and YWCA staff, and the project team. Your feedback on this exciting joint project is welcome and needed. Application has been submitted to the City for a Rezoning and Development Permit.

    Open House details
    Thursday, June 20
    Strathcona Community Centre – Activity Room
    601 Keefer Street
    4:30pm to 7:30pm


  • Women & Children's Safety Fair at Ray-Cam on Saturday June 22nd
    The Inner City Safety Society, ALIVE and Ray-Cam are pleased to invite you to their 2013 Safety Fair, taking place June 22nd from 11am to 3pm. This year's featured event will be the presentation of the VPD Women's Safety Workshop from 1:00 - 3:00. They are also expecting visits from the VPD Dog Squad, the Mounted Squad and the Traffic Squad. There will be information there on community safety, emergency preparedness, the Vancouver Crisis Centre, and legal resources available. Poster is attached.

    Saturday, June 22
    Ray-Cam Centre
    920 East Hastings Street
    11:00am to 3:00pm


  • Powell Street Overpass - ongoing work expected to last the next year
    On May 23, SRA Chair attended an Advisory Committee Meeting for stakeholders. Please see last month's newsletter for some Strathcona-specific comments. Overview of the project can be found here: http://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/powell-street-overpass-project.aspx. Advisory Committee Meeting Summary can be found here

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Strathcona Resident's Association - Meeting Minutes for Wednesday May 1

Wednesday June 5, 7:15pm at the Strathcona Community Centre, 601 Keefer St.

Announcements:

  • Raycam having a safety fair June 22 with a clinic on safety for women
  • Summer crime spike - watch your open windows and doors - and baby crow season - watch out for divebombing crow parents for a couple of weeks.
  • And: upcoming council meetings June 11, 12, and 26.

June 11

We had a visitor at our June 5 meeting - Jack King from the Grandview Woodlands Area Council. Jack said that City Council is voting on June 11 whether to adopt something called a Regional Context Statement that is likely "the most important planning document we'll see in a generation." It will be linking local to city to regional planning, affecting the DTES LAPP, our community plan, new metro zones, new transit development areas, and will override all local planning decisions. For example, it is the Regional Context Statement that designates roads as arterial - in this case Pender in the LAPP - that sets height restrictions/ guidelines for them.

We are advised to write Mayor and Council to protest (sorry, these minutes are a bit late for that). Failing that, showing up at the Council meeting June 11 is recommended.

June 12

We had more visitors to our June 5 meeting - the bulk of the time was spent heaping abuse on the city transportation engineers who showed up to present their plan for "improvements to the Adanac bikeway Gore to Carrall," the primary goal of which is to reduce the confusion of the Main/Union intersection. Unfortunately, a late addition to the plan that is not reflected in its name is the closure of Union at Gore to east-bound car traffic, ie entering Strathcona from Gore, and the conversion of that block to 1-way west-bound traffic. An additional effect of the plan on Strathconites who drive is the closure of the spur of Union that takes cars from Main to Expo Blvd w-bound.

The room's hostility was primarily due to the feeling that this had been slipped by the SRA and Strathcona in general under a name that did not make it clear there would be traffic changes, to the point where we were stuck critiquing the finished plan at the 11th hour (it goes to a Council vote June 12) rather than providing input at the drafting stage. There was a consultation process, including open houses, but the SRA took little notice of it as it was presented as a bikeway issue. In addition, the details of the plan were upsetting to some, especially since it was felt the plan presented a mirage of greater safety for cyclists without actually being safer. It removes some cars from the stretch of Union from Gore to Dunlevy (possibly as many as 2000 per day), but since those cars belong to residents returning home, they WILL enter the neighbourhood somehow, and in doing so are likely to cross the bike route rather than travelling along it.

Some people in the room did voice support for the plan as presented. Others proposed alternatives, and pointed out particular issues they were concerned about. The engineers were requested to delay the Council vote date, to no avail, although the engineers listened patiently to objections, ideas, and support, this is unlikely to happen.

There was extensive consultation with the businesses in the 200-block Union with respect to parking, traffic being 2-way, and also parking on Main. The engineers also said that this plan is predicated on the intent to make cycling safe and comfortable for all ages. Of course if the viaducts are removed, there will be further changes.

In addition, they reminded us that the Transportation 2040 plan is now available for examination and feedback, so we should be looking at it now.

Again, the opportunity exists to attend the Council meeting on June 12, and possibly to speak.

June 26

This is the grandaddy - the Council vote on removal of the Viaducts. Again the actual plan for removal is overshadowed/distracted from by the issue of how City Hall consults with neighbourhoods in formulating its plans - this to do with the new civic engagement platform. (* TO BE CONFIRMED)

SRA members are advised to attend City Hall on June 26 in force.

Mini-minutes prepared by Karin Litzcke, filling in for an absent Gordon Roe. So don't blame him!