The Strathcona Residents Association (SRA) has issued the following statement regarding the new proposed False Creek Arterial Road, an issue that directly affects Grandview:
“As soon as Oct. 2, City Council will vote on where to put the False Creek Flats Arterial. Even though the Community Panel overwhelming chose the National-Charles (NatCha) option, Prior is back on the table and is likely to be the option recommended to Council by city staff. Here’s what you need to know:
The Flats Arterial is part of a federally funded National Trade Corridor project. Its primary purpose is to facilitate the movement of shipping containers in and out of the expanding Centerm Port Terminal. The project also includes twinning the current single track, building an overpass/underpass, and then closing off all the remaining at-grade crossings (at Parker, Union, Raymur) to car, bike and pedestrian traffic. This will give CN Rail unrestricted access to the tracks that run through Strathcona and Grandview-Woodland.
The Panel chose NatCha because it routes business, hospital and commuter traffic through an industrial area, it ends at Clark, it works for Produce Row, it doesn’t impact Strathcona Park or the community gardens, it improves access to greenspace and calms Prior. It’s worth noting that City Council has also voted, twice, to calm Prior (and spent over $200K on the Community Panel so the community could make this decision.)
If, despite all this, Prior is chosen anyway, this Federal project will be a one-two punch for Strathcona. ONE: We get all the diesel pollution, noise and safety risk from trains running 24/7 directly beside heritage homes, social housing and the new seniors tower. TWO: Prior Street, which isn’t safe now, will have to absorb all the extra traffic from the closed streets, including 4000 trucks a week going to and from Produce Row.
The big objection to NatCha is that it’s too expensive. The reality is that the Feds are paying for most, if not all, of this project. Which means that this Council vote will be the City’s only chance to get federal funding to ensure that this federal project will be designed and built in a way that mitigates its impacts on our health, safety and quality of life. Communities are the heart and soul of a city and shouldn’t be ignored to benefit big business.
If this issue matters to you, now is the time to act. Click to learn how to Send an e-mail to decision makers. Post on social media or Sign up to speak to Council. Communities Matter was initiated by the Strathcona Residents Association, but all groups and stakeholders are welcome to join. You can contact us via e-mail us or join our Facebook Group to get updates.”
While I fully support the SRA (and locals here) on the need to protect and calm Prior/Venables, I am equally opposed to bringing all that traffic and pollution to Clark & Charles. There is no doubt that much of that traffic will then try to cut through Grandview’s side streets (“rat running” as some of my colleagues call it). The only way to guarantee that not happening will be to block those streets with some form of physical barrier at each intersection along Clark. That, in turn, will block our residents from travelling west as they desire. We are being given the choice of significant traffic on our side streets or limited mobility for ourselves.
I have always argued that any arterial through the Flats should direct eastbound traffic to Terminal and thus onto First, which is already a major arterial by any definition. Others may disagree. Either way, have your say through the methods mentioned in the SRA release.