Last night was the October meeting of the Grandview-Woodland Area Council. It was reasonably well attended — including five City staff to discuss various parts of the agenda — and the debate was lively and interesting.
We had a Planner and two folks from Transportation to give us an update on the Viaducts, Prior/Venables Street and all things traffic. They noted that parking has now been re-established on the north side of Prior and crossing times at lights have been extended (both are traffic calming measures); and they have kickstarted new planning for the Malkin Connector proposal by meeting with industries on Malkin and with the Cottonwood Gardens folks.
They did a pretty good job of explaining how no access (pedestrian, bicycle) will be lost if the viaducts are removed, and they also assured us that the material from the viaducts could be reused in a variety of ways rather than just dumping it in the landfill. They disclaimed much knowledge of the roughly $75 million of potential development land that would be made available.
The new work on Malkin plus continuing work on the Eastern Core will probably take until April or May next week. Ideally they would like to present this to Council together with the viaducts report. However, political considerations may bring the viaducts forward.
After another presentation by a rep from Parks Board regarding the redesign of the Salsbury Park playground, Andrew Pask from Planning gave an update on the Grandview Community Plan and the current Open Houses. Further to the viaducts/traffic discussion earlier, he mentioned that he is thinking about incorporating a Transportation Workshop into the Plan process. He also didn’t think that the Mayor’s Task Force would have much impact on the Plan, though most everyone else there disagreed with him.
Finally, in regards to the Mayor’s Task Force that was coming up to Council the following day (today), the GWAC Directors unanimously approved an emergency motion requesting that Council not approve any of the Task Force recommendations until the public and organizations such as GWAC had a reasonable amount of time to study and comment on them.
It was a good meeting and showed the value of GWAC as a forum for debate about topics of direct concern to the community.