If the City of Vancouver ends up of tearing down the viaducts heading in and out of Vancouver’s downtown core, what happens to traffic and transit?
Those were some of the questions posed at a packed house Thursday night where city planners met with anxious members of the Strathcona neighbourhood.
It would be a developer’s dream playground, but city staff isn’t making any promises on what could be done with the land freed up by the proposed removal of the viaducts.
Acting General Manager with the City of Vancouver, Jerry Dobrovolny, responded to questions about potential land use.
“Some of that could be park land, some of that could be housing, some of that could improves walking and cycling connections, and some of it would provide the replacement road network that would keep the same capacity that the existing viaducts have.”
Developers already in on the plans
Reporter: “Are discussions underway with developers”?
Dobrovolny: “Yes there have been and will be, they will continue.”
Skeptics question city’s promise of traffic reduction
Some residents are urging the city to encourage more affordable housing rather than market rental. Community activist Pete Fry, who is also the Green party candidate for Mount Pleasant in an upcoming by-election, says he supports a city staff proposal diverting traffic away from Prior Street, but doesn’t agreement with projections that traffic could be reduced by 10%.
“I respect that they are professional traffic engineers, I just find that incredulous though, because the reality is, we are talking about millions of square feet of residential and retail development in this post viaducts world. There are going to be cars, (and) … parking in the condos that they build there.”
Meanwhile, Gloria Fairleigh is worried transit options on Prior will suffer.
“I felt undervalued, I’m glad you got me to speak, I felt undervalued when I brought up the transit problem. Alot of people don’t have cars, I don’t have a car.”
City Council will review the proposal, which recommends the destruction of the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts and replacement road network, in September.