On July 24, 2012 City staff presented their vision for viaducts removal and redevelopment of North East False Creek. While the public delegations were not allowed to speak, Mayor and Council were. The first comments on the plan came from the mayor - which we've transcribed below:
Mayor Gregor Robertson, July 24, 2012:
"This is a big big decision for Vancouver and the future of the Eastern Core and the Viaducts is obviously huge for our city's future. It will have big influence how we connect and we respond to the needs of of neighborhoods like Chinatown, Strathcona, Grandview-Woodlands for many decades to come and as such it's a key decision that still has outstanding issues that need to be addressed before I'm prepared to move forward.
The litmus test for me is whether the changes here will benefit the citizens who live and work in the area and better connect the City as a whole. We have historic neighborhoods here directly impacted by the viaducts and the lack of connectivity through the Eastern Core, and that contrasted with an opportunity for more park space, more affordable housing, more vibrant connected streets - but I think the way that we do this is really critical.
I've just outlined five clear pieces that I'd like to see come back to council in the fall for our consideration.
The first of those is the residents along Prior Street have made a very compelling case in addressing their longstanding concerns about traffic and I believe that some immediate improvements are warranted, reinstating the parking being one of them, looking at traffic calming options like speedbumps is another, but I think that addressing that is overdue and certainly that needs to be addressed with the decisions going forward but those immediate changes I think can start to happen.
The second piece is that we need to pursue the Malkin Street connection. It's been in the background for years and it's time to act on it and I think there's an opportunity with the viaducts and the Eastern Core plan to fasttrack the Malkin Street connection, to look at the federal infrastructure funding that's coming down the road so to speak and make sure that that becomes a top priority as part of this initiative."
— The mayor went on to describe three additional unrelated directives, which we have not transcribed. You can read the official statement from mayor's office here.
Of course, this is a tremendous victory for Strathcona and our efforts to see Prior Street calmed. But, our work is not complete, and we'll be working with City staff to ensure that long awaited traffic relief for Strathcona and Grandview Woodlands involves community consultation nor does it come at the expense of neighbourhs or the Cottonwood Gardens or the produce terminals on Malkin.
If you'd like to be kept informed of developments, please sign up for the SRA mailing list