July 29, 2013
Mayor Robertson and Councillors
City of Vancouver
453 West 12 Avenue
Vancouver, B.C. V5Y 1V4
Dear Mayor Robertson and Councillors,
Re: Point Grey Cornwall Active Transportation Corridor
While Neighbourhoods for a Sustainable Vancouver (NSV) is strongly supportive of the City’s efforts to promote active transportation and to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians, there is clearly a profound lack of public consensus on the City’s recommendations for the Point Grey Road – Cornwall Avenue Corridor Active Transportation Project.
As with all other city-wide initiatives, NSV believes that local implementation of active transportation improvements should be guided by open and inclusive neighbourhood-based planning with support established through verifiable neighbourhood-wide surveys based on city voter roles. As it stands, significant concerns have been expressed about the extent to which the subject consultation process was genuinely receptive and/or responsive to the balance of feedback from the local neighbourhood.
The lack of public consensus has become especially divisive around recommendations for Point Grey Road west of MacDonald Street (segments 1 and 2 of the proposed design). In particular, many members of the local community have called on the City to give further consideration to viable alternatives that would retain Point Grey Road as an arterial street and avoid diversion of additional traffic to corridors where traffic impacts and accident rates are already higher, and where further congestion could have an adverse influence on the efficiency of public transit. Our assessment is that viable options do exist and, consequently, we urge council to avoid further division by referring the report back to staff for additional public consultation.
Notably, NSV also understands that it is the City’s intention to launch a major community planning process in Kitsilano within the next 12 months. Notwithstanding ongoing controversy surrounding current Community Plan processes in Grandview-Woodlands, Marpole, West End and Downtown East Side neighbourhoods, and despite serious concerns raised previously by NSV in relation to the Terms of Reference for those processes, it is our view that if such a process it to be initiated in Kitsilano, the very significant changes proposed for the Point Grey Road – Cornwall Avenue Corridor should be an integral part of it. Therefore, we strongly encourage the City to reengage with local residents and businesses through that process, and to build consensus for a shared solution that advances project objectives in a way that the neighbourhood as a whole can support and embrace.
The NSV Steering Committee
Neighbourhoods for a Sustainable Vancouver