If you haven’t already heard, the City Hall is planning to alter traffic and parking patterns on Union Street in Chinatown/Strathcona. It’s kind of a big deal. From what we’ve heard of the situation, pretty much all of the business owners on the block are feeling intentionally excluded from the process, which is especially lame considering that the changes will have a significant impact on their shops and restaurants. It seems City staff may have deliberately misled them by presenting the plan as upgrades to the Adanac Bikeway (between Gore and Carrall) with no mention of changing anything on Union Street. The proposed plan will be presented to Council on June 12th for a vote and it’s expected to move forward.
Apparently, part of the their plan now is to shift from two-way traffic with parking on both sides of the street to one-way westbound only traffic from Gore to Princess with no parking on the south side of the street. This change will significantly increase traffic on Prior and Keefer Streets (the former of which is in dire need of calming). What’s more, Union Street will be closed to westbound access at Main (ie. to Pacific Blvd, Costco in Yaletown, 2nd Ave, et cetera). While there are certainly arguments for and against the proposed changes, residents (including ourselves) and businesses (think The Parker, Benny’s Market, Harvest Community Foods, Charlie & Lee, Department of W.O.W, among a great many others) feel that the City has purposefully avoided consultation in order to ramrod the changes through. No matter what your opinions are on the matter, we think most would agree that this is a really shitty and particularly underhand way of governing.
Accordingly, we’re urging any and all of our readers who might be affected to attend a meeting regarding these proposed changes this Wednesday night. It takes place at 7:15pm in the Strathcona Community Centre (601 Keefer Street). The Director of Transportation, Jerry Doblovrony, will be in attendance to state his case and answer questions.
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