June 2021 Newsletter

Summer Story Time The SCPC is hosting storytelling for kids every Wednesday at 1 p.m. starting June 30 near the new “Book House” free library at Hawks and Keefer. Stories are geared for ages 3-7 and read by volunteers from VPD and VFD.

MacLean Park Music Cancelled
We are sad to announce that the free concerts in MacLean Park, which were one of the highlights of last summer, have been cancelled. When the lifting of BC’s ‘circuit breaker’ regulations again allowed small outdoor events, musicians who played last year and others contacted organizers hoping to return to MacLean Park and a schedule was set for weekend afternoons running through the end of September.

Employees at the Park Board, however, felt that this was monopolizing the use of MacLean Park and would only issue a permit for two events per month. Rather than be forced to pick between the  33 music groups who had been scheduled to play, organizers opted to cancel the events entirely. We’d like to thank Alan Zisman for the many (many) volunteer hours he put into trying to make this happen again.

If you would like to express your thoughts about this decision, you can e-mail Marie Lopes, Coordinator for Arts, Culture, & Engagement or reach out to the Park Board on social media: Twitter:@parkboard, Instagram: @vanparkboard or Facebook: @parkboard.

Dogs, Kids and ParksJust a reminder that Maclean is not an off-leash dog park. There are many kids and people using the field for recreation during the day, particularly during peak hours, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Also, dogs are not allowed in the water park or playground area for safety and sanitary reasons. There have been several incidents already between small kids and unleashed dogs. The west side of Strathcona Park is now open for walking your dog (except when there are baseball games).  FYI, here is a list of other off-leash dog parks in Vancouver.

 Air Quality Monitoring Project
We released the results of our Air Quality Survey (here’s the link). The Port is planning to purchase 10-15 AQ Monitors to distribute around the neighbourhood and will use our report and feedback to help determine where they are placed. You can check out the sites we’re considering and give feedback at this link on our website.

CN’s Plans to Mitigate Noise Along the Rail Line
Noise from freight trains on the Burrard Inlet Line (the north-south rail line through Strathcona) can be, at times, disturbingly loud. Northbound trains frequently stop and start. When an engine brakes, the slack between each rail car results in a harsh slam-bang as each car is hits the one in front of it. At Cordova St., the safety warning system (bells, lights, gates) activates frequently, often when there is no train on the track. Needless to say, these jarring noises have residents living near the track on edge, especially when they’re trying to work or sleep.

On June 18, the SRA and several residents met with representatives from CN, CoV Transportation and Planning staff to discuss causes and possible solutions. Ken Scott, the assistant superintendent for CN at the Port, explained that trains running from Surrey to the south shore container terminals are typically long because of the limited access to the single-lane New Westminster rail bridge. These trains have to be cut into shorter sections to fit into the yards. To do this, a long train typically does 3-4 runs up and down the BI Line to back the cut sections into the Main Yard until it is needed at the port. All this back and forth creates lots of slam-banging and triggers of the Cordova alarm.

To mitigate the noise, CN recently acquired a piece of equipment, called a Python, which they expect to arrive from the U.S. sometime this summer. It will allow incoming trains to be disassembled in the Main Yard without needing to use the BI Line. This is expected to eliminate 9-12 train movements per day, which should significantly reduce – not only the noise – but also traffic obstruction and air pollution in our neighbourhood. In addition, CN has arranged to provide engineers with additional training on how to operate along the line to minimize noise caused by braking. The SRA would like to thank Ken Scott and his team at CN for taking the initiative to address these problems.

For its part, the City of Vancouver is exploring a pilot plan to close off the Cordova and Raymur at-grade crossings, which will (hopefully) eliminate the need for the warning bells altogether. Transportation staff are currently getting feedback from local businesses and residents. Stay tuned.

Next SRA Meeting
As so many folks are busy – and there aren’t any urgent issues to discuss – we’re not going to schedule a membership meeting for July. Hopefully, we can all meet in person in August. Here is a link to the minutes from our June 2, 2021 meeting. Many thanks to Caroline! If you have issues or questions, e-mail us using the e-mail icon below.

Social Media
Check out the SRA on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. If anyone is interested in volunteering some time on the social media front, let us know (all ages welcome! TikTok anyone?). We’re always keen to highlight more photos/events from around the neighbourhood. 

Contact Katie for more details. Copyright © June 2021, Strathcona Residents Association, All rights reserved.

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