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.
From the City's Viaduct Open House presentation boards, May-June 2012
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. Read More»
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.
On July 6th, 2012 between three and four hundred residents of all ages and backgrounds took to Prior and Hawks during the morning rush hour to demand traffic calming on Prior Street. As a result of our grass roots protest and resulting media converage, on July 24, 2012 Mayor Gregor Robertson went on record promising the City’s viaducts removal plan would include traffic calming Prior Street and diverting traffic, including heavy industrial, off residential streets of Strathcona and Grandview Woodland. (link)
However, contrary to the mayor's directive, the latest ‘revised’ plan as presented by City staff at the February 6th 2013 SRA meeting shows NO traffic traffic calming for Prior Street or planning east of Main.
We wrote Mayor Roberston an urgent letter on February 26th, 2013 signed by FIVE other community groups to which he has still not responded.
There is a great deal of political and developer will to see this project happen. Now is the time for Strathcona to speak up.
Staff are currently preparing their report to Council. Council will be voting on the Viaducts Removal in the coming months so a strong clear and united community response is critical.
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