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SRA Presentation: Why We Support NatCha

Monday, February 11, 2019

Last Saturday, Dan Jackson and Richard Taplin gave the SRA's presentation to the Flats Arterial Community Panel on why we oppose a road through the park and support the National/Charles option (NatCha). Larry Chan also spoke on why this isn't about choosing a road, it's about choosing a future for Strathcona. 

Below are the highlights and links to two maps Richard prepared using the City's National-Grant map. For comparision, the City finally releasaed their own version - the day after our presentation.

NatCha West

NatCha Overpass

COV version of NatCha


  • Preserves Starthcona Park, Cottonwood and Strathcona Gardens, trees, amenities, and eagle habitat.
  • Calms Prior and creates opportunities for the neighbourhood to realize its potential by improving street life on Prior, making the park more resident-friendly and maybe even relocating the community centre.
  • Saves Produce Row. Produce trucks would have access at Chess, Thornton and possibly even Raymur. Use of Malkin and Glen to maneuvre trucks would be as it is now for all 14 PR businesses.
  • Saves other Flats businesses. The William option threatens at least 11 businesses. This option threatens none.
  • Pollution Barrier. Vehicle pollution and noise is kept away from homes, parks and wildlife.
  • Acceptable connection to Clark. “Poor” spacing of National/Grant relative to Terminal becomes “relatively balanced” if moved to Charles.
  • Comparable overpass. Overpass should be compared to Malkin, which has to extend across Glen and possibly Vernon. This overpass crosses more tracks, but no roads.
  • Sufficient Right-of-Way. The current right-of-way on National measures 22.5m, enough for four traffic lanes and one separated sidewalk with only minor boundary adjustments. The City Works Yard is not otherwise impacted.
  • Safer for bikes and pedestrians. Pedestrian and bike traffic would be routed onto an underpass at Venables, away from traffic and off Union.
  • 5-Minute transit access. Strathcona currently has 5-minute bus access on Hastings and Main. A National bus route would provide access to an estimated 4000 employees and visitors to the hospital, Produce Row and City Works Yard. A shuttle would keep 22 bus access on Prior.
  • Comparable curves. The curves on Thorton would be similar S curves on Knight St at 15th Ave. Alternately, if a straighter street is the goal, National could be widened thru to Main or Quebec to provide an alternate route.
  • Mitigations for VFD and HUSAR. The VFD has outgrown the Fire Training facility and wants to move. Why not solve two problems at once? VFD could join forces with adjoining cities to create a state-of-the-art Regional Training Centre. Land not used for arterial purposes can be sold for approx. $35M (or used to house artist spaces)
  • Costs comparable to William. The shorter bridge (compared to National/Grant), and adjusted property mitigation and road costs (for William) make this option comparable in cost to William and considerably less than National/Grant.
  • COV isn’t paying the for the overpass. The Port of Vancouver estimates the cost for two overpasses (vehicle and bike) will be $225M. They’ve applied to the NTCF for $100M and state the rest will come from the CN Rail (who will directly profit from increased rail access), Translink and COV. For comparison, COV contributed only $3.75M to the $50M cost of Powell Street.