West Kitsilano Residents' Association

Our Community, Our City

Point Grey Road Closure

On January 18, 2014, in spite of much opposition from Kitsilano residents and others, Point Grey Road from Macdonald to Alma will close to through traffic. Some members of the WKRA, including those living on or near Macdonald, will be monitoring the impacts of this closure closely. Congestion on Macdonald and on 4th Avenue, short-cutting through adjoining side-streets, and traffic safety will be among the issues that many of us will be watching. If you have concerns about the impact of this arterial road closure and how it is affecting you, let us know by posting comments here and by communicating your feedback to City councillors and engineering staff – they need to know how this road closure is affecting residents in this neighbourhood.

**UPDATE: Comments are now closed on this post. Thank you to everyone who participated in the discussion. The volume of comments on this issue was more than we had anticipated and we thank you for your patience as we learn more about moderating community discussion online. We will continue to monitor the impacts of the closure and welcome your input on any future developments.

Advertisements

About Surya

I teach and learn in Vancouver, BC.

35 comments on “Point Grey Road Closure

  1. susan smith
    March 3, 2014

    Thank goodness for the closure of the road — this is win-win for all users of the road from finally being able to use this 100% residential road freely and safely. It has been a long time coming.

    • westkits
      March 6, 2014

      Susan,
      Thanks for your comment. We welcome everyone’s various viewpoints on this issue.
      We appreciate that there are significant benefits for some people resulting from the closure of Point Grey Road, particularly residents of that street. However, there are also several continuing issues for other residents such as those that live on Fourth Avenue and MacDonald Street. City Engineering has also recently sent a letter to residents of the area saying that, as well, there has been an increase in traffic on local streets near MacDonald, ie, Second and Third Avenue. They are attempting to mitigate this negative impact on local streets through traffic light changes on Fourth Avenue. In addition, it seems that some of the street right of ways along the waterfront parks are being converted from grass to parking. And businesses at the Fourth and MacDonald intersection are being negatively affected because parking has been removed to accommodate increased traffic.
      Our Association will continue to monitor the situation and will seek to minimize negative impacts for all residents. We also will seek to ensure that future public consultation processes are open, impartial, and respectful.

      • Gary Bello
        March 10, 2014

        Regarding the impact of more traffic on these side streets due to the change of making PGR open to everyone in the city including those of us living on PGR who no longer are kept up at night to 11am with load radios blasting from idling cars backed up at the PGR & Alma traffic light. Nor do I have to wait to get into and out of my car when parking or leaving my home because of reckless speeding commuter traffic who had no regards for the fact that we live on the street. Also I can walk my dog on the sidewalk since bikers, who feared for their life riding on PGR (especially between Blenheim and Alma) were riding on the sidewalks!
        My question to those now regrettably having to live with extra ‘local’ traffic on their streets: Are you dealing with 9-10 thousand commuter extra speeding cars? This was the nightmare we were living with for years.
        PGR is now being used by many more people- bikes, seniors parking and visiting the Parks, kids on bikes enjoying riding with their parents. And we now hear birds singing- that’s right with speeding traffic starting at 5:00am every weekday (7:00am on weekends) we actually hear the chirping of birds.
        I understand that change causes inconvenience but if you weigh the facts I think you will find that a commuter highway with 10,000 speeding cars daily prevented us from having a neighborhood. Oh one last thing- people can now talk to each other on the sidewalks and now we can hear each other talk in our front yard. It has been really really awful with all the traffic speeding through our neighborhood.
        Please walk or bike or drive slowly enjoying the views, or even park your car on the many many parking spaces available on PGR and enjoy the public parks.
        I am so relieved to have our neighborhood available to us.

  2. susan smith
    March 9, 2014

    “Westkits,” with any change to an area that involves transportation routes, there will naturally be an adjustment period as people become used to the change. However, change is inevitable, and we must learn to embrace it, rather than reject it, particularly when lives and property are involved. The congestion, high car volumes and speeds of commuting motorists on a residential road with a 30K speed limit was responsible for numerous accidents that involved property damage, injuries and fatalities. Point Grey Road is 9-blocks of residential and park space. Macdonald Street, now bearing some of the diverted commuter traffic, is only 2 blocks, and only half of it is residential. Macdonald Street, like 4th Avenue, are designated commuter routes with numerous speed and traffic control measures, such as lights, pedestrian crossings, advance lefts, turning lanes and wide streets. Point Grey Road has none of these things because it was not intended to be a commuter route; it became one simply by people opting to avoid 4th Avenue with its traffic control and speed measures. Consequently, residents and visitors to Point Grey Road could not even cross the road to access the parks and beaches; they would have instantly been struck by speeding cars. 4th Avenue businesses overwhelmingly signed a petition in favour of closing Point Grey Road to commuter traffic; the businesses benefit from the increased vehicular traffic on 4th Avenue after the closure of Point Grey Road. Studies confirm this. The City has implemented numerous traffic flow techniques to keep traffic moving smoothly and safely on Macdonald Street and 4th Avenue. As a result, we have not had bottlenecks or backups on these streets since the road closure. As well, the City participated in an intense 2-year public consultation program, involving public forums, private meetings, phone calls, e-mail, City surveys on and offline, neighbourhood meetings, stakeholder meetings, etc., and culminated in a 5-day set of presentations by the public at City Hall prior to the vote to close the road. I participated in this process over the 2-year period, and it was open, informative, cooperative and successful. Unfortunately, some people chose not to participate in the process but waited until after the closure of Point Grey Road to offer their uninformed point of view. Such response does not give due credit to those of us who worked long and hard to bring about this urgently needed change to Point Grey Road for safety of all users, not just some as you suggest. Point Grey Road is now accessible and safe for all Vancouverites to use; this simply was not the case before its closure.

    • Peter Ladner
      March 10, 2014

      I would be interested in a more complete picture of the impact on businesses along 4th. How could we find this out? Would the Kits Chamber be willing to do a survey, including requests for their ideas on how to take advantage of increased traffic, or mitigate whatever setbacks they may be facing?

      • westkits
        March 13, 2014

        Hi Peter,
        Thanks for the helpful comment. We will follow up on your idea.

  3. Renee Rodin
    March 11, 2014

    I’ve lived in Kits in the 4th Avenue and Macdonald area for decades. I’m a bike and bus rider and a pedestrian. Since closing Pt. Grey Rd. crossing streets because of the increased vehicle traffic has become a nightmare.

    • Peter Ladner
      March 13, 2014

      Even with traffic lights?

      • Stefen
        March 13, 2014

        Peter,
        If you expect comments about noice and traffic on PGR to be taken on face value, then you should have the courtesy to accepts others comments, that you may not what to believe, at face value too.
        That said I feel the same as Renee, the lights help if the traffic is constant but it was easier to cross Macdonald when there was less traffic, even without the lights.

      • Peter Ladner
        March 13, 2014

        Stefen:
        It is certainly true that PGR and north of 4th residents have gained at the expense of others. I didn’t mean to belittle complaints about crossing McDonald, only to keep them in perspective and be wary of exaggerated claims. There are, after all, three lights and one crosswalk between PGR and 4th on McDonald. The crossing at 6th is not affected by changes to the north. When a light is red, children and others can cross safely, regardless of the volume of traffic.

        The bus delays at the south end of Burrard (how long are they?) are due to construction and will go away when the construction is over.

        Of the other bike routes you cite (not counting 10th, which isn’t a bike route west of Trafalgar, and 6th, which isn’t a bike route), 8th is indeed adequate and improved by the recent removal of stop signs. Third Ave. is not a bike route except in name– it’s a narrow street with stop signs every two blocks, it leads to a hill that most cyclists choose to avoid, and, like 8th, it has no protected crossing at Alma.

        Continuing to have traffic on PGR, even one lane, radically changes the experience of a completed seawall greenway along Vancouver’s amazing foreshore, and fails to address safety issues on PGR (not faced by residents on much wider 4th Ave. where no one has to back out of a driveway into oncoming traffic), which has a 30 km speed limit that was never adhered to. If you think McDonald or 4th Ave. have pedestrian safety issues, PGR has no lights at all (which was why it was so popular with motorists and dangerous for pedestrians). Anyone walking, running or cycling west of McDonald already has a vastly more pleasant experience than before.

        In the long term, traffic has been declining (yes, check the city stats) on McDonald, Cornwall, 4th and Burrard for the past 10 years, and will continue to decline, especially as transit improves, as it inevitably will, and alternatives become more attractive (one being the direct, relatively flat, protected, connected bike route from Alma to the Burrard Bridge which is still under construction).

        Even at the new levels of traffic on 4th, I can’t envision people avoiding shopping there because of the traffic west of McDonald. The much-feared congestion hasn’t materialized. Helly Hansen and the other destination stores east of McDonald are not affected by the closure of PGR.

        With the exception of 2nd and 3rd east of Balaclava (which the city is apparently addressing), I’m not aware of any increase of traffic on the side streets. All the ones I use are much less busy.

        Again, I fully acknowledge that the gains around PGR come at the expense of other residents. Even those of us living on 1st Ave. gain some quiet, but have to go up to 4th to get into town. But I think it’s important to be realistic about the losses and keep them in perspective– and wait until the project is finished and the new parks are in on PGR, and Tatlow Creek opened up, to be clear about the gains. Once we all get used to working around the new configuration, discover the full benefits and get to share them with everyone in the city, I suspect some of the problems you envision won’t seem so bad.

        That has been the experience in every other through street closure in the city’s history: Chilco, 8th Ave. west of Blanca, Burrard south from 16th to 25th, all over the west end. No one would dream of re-opening them to through traffic.

      • Stefen
        March 14, 2014

        Peter,

        Just a quick reply. Thank you for your comments. This drastic measure (drastic from our perspective) was not needed to make cycling easier East/West. It does make the PRD area much more attractive but asking one group to pay the price is putting some people’s needs above others and making neighbourhood concerns second to a ‘big idea’. The city is for the people that live there not visitors from accross the city or the world to enjoy.
        the bus takes longer due to the higher traffic/additional light but also because the exit off the bridge has been reduced to one lane–which was presumable done to limit the traffic increase on Macdonald and other streets–an intended consequence but one that would have been self-evident from the start and working against the greening of the city.

      • Nikki Renshaw
        March 24, 2014

        Peter, I live on West 5th Ave and was nearly run down yesterday by a speeding car — on a Sunday afternoon — using our street as a cut through (between Trutch and Blenheim) Cars use this stretch of West 5th as a cut through now all the time, with up to fifteen cars in 10 minutes, all at high speed. All the residents on this block are dismayed — especially as many have small children and pets. This is unacceptable to us.
        There is also congestion on 4th trying to turn left onto Alma, backed way back. Businesses there are not happy because of the excess traffic.
        N Renshaw

      • Peter Ladner
        March 25, 2014

        That doesn’t sound good. Have you notified the city? They can fix these problems. At least they should be aware and monitoring traffic changes in your neighbourhood

  4. Stefen
    March 11, 2014

    I understand why the residents of Point Grey Road did not want the traffic on that street, anyone would understand. However, this solution has not resolved the issue of traffic for the larger neighbourhood but transferred it from one street to other streets.
    It is true that PGR was never intended to have the level of traffic that it did recently, however, the same could be said for almost every street in the City of Vancouver and certainly for Macdonald Street. Macdonald Street, entirely residential except for 2 half blocks at the 4th Avenue intersection, has probably 1,000 school children crossing it every school day. Macdonald Street is in the middle of the Kits HS catchment and Gordon catchment, as well as other schools in the area that are less impacted (Carnarvon, Lord Tennyson and Bayview—I crossed Macdonald to go to Bayview as a child and my daughter has class mates that cross Macdonald to go to Lord Tennyson).
    The increased traffic, for Macdonald is very noticeable in many ways including making the buses slower between PGR up to at least Broadway—without considering the delay caused to the buses by reducing the Cornwall exit off of the Burrard Bridge from 2 lanes to 1 lane. There is more noise, more cars on side streets (where the speed limit is still 50 km/hr) and it is more difficult to turn off side streets to Macdonald. It also makes it more dangerous to cycle along Macdonald Street.
    It was not necessary to close PGR to create a bike lane along the street. Street parking could have been eliminated as it was on York Avenue—where there was considerably less off-street parking. Although it is great to have PGD the way it is now for cyclists or walkers, such as me, some residents are paying a high price for this and it is not used in the poor weather days and months the way it is/will be during the fair weather days and months. This bike route was wanted but not needed as there were already 3 bike routes between Broadway and PGR already (3rd, 6th and 8th) as well at 10th Avenue—all much better used than PGR. A less impactful bike route was all that was needed.
    A note I would like to make about merchants on 4th Avenue as someone that has worked in the retail and restaurant industries for over 20 years as both in store staff and head office analyst. Increased commuter traffic may be good for convenience retailers, like Shoppers, but it will likely not be good for destination retailers, such as Helly Hansen and other boutiques, as the increased traffic will make it more inconvenient to drive to from other parts of the city.
    In summary it appears to me to be unneighbourly for the PGR residents to have advocated that there traffic problem be moved to another neighbourhood(s). This solution merely moves the traffic and noise from one residential street to another.

  5. susan smith
    March 13, 2014

    Stefen, the difference is that the comments about Point Grey Road are not just hearsay that we expect to be “taken at face value” as you say. Our comments were substantiated with hands on analysis of the area, acquired data, statistics, formal studies and reports, petitions, surveys, questionnaires, anecdotal first-hand testimony, comparative research, and formal presentations made to council last year. Documentary evidence that spanned previous decades was provided to council regarding the extremely high volumes of commuter traffic and speeds of cars along 9-block residential Point Grey Road. Its narrowness compounds the problems, but widening the road would do nothing to control speed or car volumes. Indeed, they would likely only increase. Users of the road would still not be able to cross the road to access parks and beaches due to the car traffic. The bike route would not be safe for cyclists of all ages and abilities. Parking would have to be removed from both sides of the road, and residents have driveways and garages that front the road, so they need two-way access. Other residents of the road have no garage or driveway and so must be able to park on the road.

    The extra volume of traffic on Macdonald Street after the closure of Point Grey Road has not been as heavy as predicted, and the area of that increased traffic is primarily in the 2 blocks of Macdonald Street that are not residential, as you confirm. At 4th Avenue, the traffic largely turns off Macdonald Street and onto 4th. You admit the need to remove the commuter traffic from Point Grey Road. The City’s engineers also determined from their investigations that the traffic needed to be removed and that 4th Avenue and Macdonald Street were well-equipped, unlike Point Grey Road, to carry and manage the traffic. Yes, there is now more traffic on Macdonald Street, and the reason it is there is because engineers studied Macdonald Street compared to Point Grey Road and concluded that Macdonald could bear the traffic whereas Point Grey Road could not. Are you aware that Point Grey Road has no traffic lights, pedestrian crossings, left turn lanes, or any other speed control or volume control measures, unlike Macdonald Street? You have not stated that you are a traffic engineer, Stefen, so I take it that you are not. If you are an engineer, please provide your data and other evidence on which you base your conclusions that Point Grey Road should not have been closed.

    Indeed, there are other streets in the City with congestion and safety problems; it is, therefore, likely that other streets will be closed in the future just as other streets have been closed in the past (most notably in the West End). If you have concerns about other streets, compile your information and present it to Council for their review, as was done in the case of Point Grey Road.

    Regarding the 3rd Avenue bike route; it is a designated bike route that is a residential street with no separation between cyclists and cars. It is not for cyclists of all ages and abilities because of the steep hill East of Macdonald. It is also a very narrow residential street, with parked cars on both sides of the street such that there is only space for cars to travel on 3rd Avenue going single-file. Most of the houses do not have garages and so must park on the street. Hence, cyclists have to negotiate with cars (parked and travelling) in very close proximity; children and unskilled cyclists can not use 3rd Avenue as a bike route. As well, 3rd Avenue is not a through route for cyclists; there are stop signs at almost every block, and if bikes do not stop, they may be hit by cars at intersections. Many able-bodied and mature cyclists refuse to use 3rd Avenue, and others would prefer not to use it for the reasons I have mentioned. In addition, 3rd Avenue does not connect with other existing bike routes, so cyclists are not continuously protected from car traffic. Closed Point Grey Road provides for all of these shortcomings of 3rd Avenue as a bike route. This is why the City has now made closed Point Grey Road a bike route (flat, more space as a shared road with parking on only one side, and few local motorists = safe for all ages and abilities).

    Regarding 4th Avenue businesses: the vast majority in the affected area signed the petition to close Point Grey Road because they know that more motorists on 4th will bring them more business; this petition was provided to City Hall. Studies in other areas have confirmed this result. If you have evidence to the contrary for 4th Avenue, please provide it here and to City Hall.

    There was nothing “unneighbourly” about thousands of Vancouver residents (not just Point Grey Road residents, as you suggest) signing petitions, filling out questionnaires and surveys, writing letters and e-mails to the City and meeting with the City to express their belief that Point Grey Road was simply too dangerous for all would-be users to continue trying to use the road the way it was. Those Vancouverites, including some neighbours, did not target Macdonald Street, 4th Avenue, or any other particular road to take the diverted traffic; that was the decision of City engineers who best know how to manage traffic diversions and street redesignations. Point Grey Road is now safe for all Vancouverites to use of all ages and abilities; its access has been increased for residents and visitors to safely use the road and its parks and beach walks, not decreased by the removal of high volumes of speeding commuter motorists that prevented such access. Surely, the creation of this now Shared Road epitomizes being “neighbourly.”

    • Stefen
      March 14, 2014

      Susan,

      My remark about taking comments at face value on both sides was not meant to suggest that all there was were anecdotal but that everyones anectodal comments are as valid as the others and that Peter was suggesting otherwise, I thought, by suggesting the incovenience of more traffic was not valid if there were traffic lights.
      I am not going to tackle everyting that you said but really what do you mean by “two blocks of Macdonal that are not residental”? I never said that. I referred to the 2 HALF blocks. Over 80% (5/6ths; 2.5 of the 3 blocks) of the stectch from 1st to 4th is residental and how anyone could say otherwise I don’t know.
      The bike lane wasn’t needed it was wanted, there is a difference, cyclists using the sidewalk can be dealt with in other ways less drastic.
      The survey that you refer to was not up to standard as it was not randomly sampled and subject to selection bias, both of which are critical to the survey being valid. I am a Certified Market Research Professional (not that you need to be to understand survey validity) and I can assure you that anyone that does this for a living would say that such a survey is more likely to be misrepresentative than representative–meaning it is misleading and should not have been used.
      Finally in the end you position is to say that we should have to have disruption and inconvenience so that you don’t have to, which is divisive and unneighbourly.

  6. susan smith
    March 14, 2014

    Stefen, it is simply not true that “everyone’s anecdotal comments are as valid as others.” Those individuals who live on a road and experience its conditions daily are experts on the subject of that road’s conditions because they experience them first-hand over a long period of time = quantity and consistency of results (you will understand this if you are in market research). Those individuals who do not live on the road experience the road’s conditions much less often, if at all, and, therefore, are not experts on the subject of that road’s condition; they have too little data that is too inconsistent to be able to conclude statistically significant results (again, you will understand this if you are in market research). It is not appropriate for you to suggest that you know more or better about Point Grey Road’s conditions and 3rd Avenue’s conditions when you do not live on the road and do not experience it daily. You simply do not have enough information to substantiate your claims. For example, on what statistical basis do you conclude that a bike route on Point Grey Road was not needed, just wanted, and that 3rd Avenue was sufficient or workable as a bike route? The City’s engineers disagree with you, as do I, a resident of the area. You said you lived in the area in the past; it sounds like you don’t live in the area anymore. So, what is your evidence for your claims?

    In answer to your question regarding Macdonald Street between Point Grey Road and 4th Avenue (where traffic has been diverted onto Macdonald Street from Point Grey Road): on the East side of Macdonald Street, a church and a gas station comprise 2 blocks; on the West side, fenced in tennis courts and an empty lot that was once a gas station comprise 2 blocks. The residences occupy a half block on the East and 1 block on the West. This is simply not comparable to the 9-blocks of entirely residential properties and parks on both sides of Point Grey Road. Further, Macdonald Street intersects with 4th Avenue, a largely commericial and commuter arterial; Point Grey Road does not. These are facts, Stefen, not supposition.

    The City’s questionnaire and survey, Stefen, were printed online, advertised in the neighbourhood and provided to all Vancouverites who chose to attend any of the public open houses about the Point Grey Road-York Street Seaside Greenway project, which were widely advertised. All of the results were tabulated and fully reported on the City’s website and to City Hall in the Transportation Committee’s formal reports. You can access these results from the City’s website. These questionnaire’s and surveys were random samples of citizens’ opinions about the proposed closure of Point Grey Road as well as the other proposed plans for the seaside greenway bike routes. You are simply wrong to suggest that random sampling was not conducted.

    You have not addressed in response to my earlier questions to you whether or not you believe yourself better qualified than the City’s engineers to assess and implement road changes to manage traffic. You have now confirmed in your most recent posting that you are not an engineer, so on what basis do you claim to know better than the City’s engineers about traffic management and necessary road changes?

    Finally, at no time and at no place have I said that “[you] should have to have disruption and inconvenience so that [I] don’t have to.” Show me exactly when, where I said these things that you claim. Please do not put words in my mouth. What I said in my earlier posting above was, “Those Vancouverites [who advocated the closing of Point Grey Road], including some neighbours, did not target Macdonald Street, 4th Avenue, or any other particular road to take the diverted traffic; that was the decision of City engineers who best know how to manage traffic diversions and street redesignations. Point Grey Road is now safe for all Vancouverites to use of all ages and abilities; its access has been increased for residents and visitors to safely use the road and its parks and beach walks, not decreased by the removal of high volumes of speeding commuter motorists that prevented such access. Surely, the creation of this now Shared Road epitomizes being ‘neighbourly’.”

    • Stefen
      March 14, 2014

      susan,

      Renee said that it has not been as easy to cross Macdonald as it used to be, It is the same for me.

      It is not for you to say that these are not valid comments, what ever other information is used.

      I am not saying i know more than anyone else about PGR conditions just that those conditions should not be solved by dumping them on your neighbours.

      The method that the city used to survey residents falls well short of the standards of the industry–self selection (which you discribe) means it was not randomly sampled.

      If the traffic wasn’t going to Macdonald where else would it go?

  7. susan smith
    March 14, 2014

    Stefem. sp upi amd Renee believe that you are not finding it “as easy to cross Macdonald Street” since the traffic diversion. Firstly, it was impossible to cross Point Grey Road prior to the closure; Point Grey Road has no traffic lights, pedestrian crossings, or any other speed control measures. Can you see the difference between “not as easy” and “impossible.” Your minor inconvenience on Macdonald Street does not compare with the total unworkability of Point Grey Road prior to its closure. You ask, “where else would the traffic go” if not Macdonald Street after Point Grey Road’s closure? Stefen, that determination, as I have already stated, was for the City’s engineers (those qualified and experienced to make that determination), not you or I. We all live in a growing metropolis, and we are going to have to compromise as we solve traffic problems. Point Grey Road residents now have to travel blocks out of their way to access Macdonald Street, 4th Avenue, downtown, etc. due to the diversions. They also may have to pay higher property taxes if the quality of the area is viewed as having any more value after the closure. Most Point Grey Road residents were willing to accept these inconveniences and extra costs for the trade off of a safer road for all users of all ages and abilities. Why aren’t you?

    • susan smith
      March 14, 2014

      Make that “Stefen, you and Renee” . . .Sorry, I’m typing fast.

    • Stefen
      March 14, 2014

      Impossible really….
      Then put pedestrian operated lights on PGR.

      Increased safety for the few that want to cross PGR vs safetly for 1,000+ school children that have to cross Macdonald every day and yes it is busier 4th to Broadway. We have different priorites.

  8. susan smith
    March 14, 2014

    Lights would not have addressed the grave concerns about high car volumes and the narrowness of the road attempting to accommodate parking, 2 lanes of speeding commuter motorists, cyclists who were already using the road and sidewalks, pedestrians, local resident traffic, maintenance vehicles trying to service residents, etc. There was simply too much going on for Point Grey Road to handle safely. Adding pedestrian crossings might have addressed the ability of pedestrians to cross the road, but that is the only problems of many that it might have addressed in part. You are selecting, focussing, on just one of the numerous problems with the road; the City’s solution to close the road to commuter motorists addresses many of the problems and helps to mitigate others. Many thousands of people want to use, and do use Point Grey Road for cycling, running, walking, skate-boarding, crossing over to the parks and foreshore walkways, exercising dogs, unloading groceries after parking their cars, transporting people with disabilities, talking to neighbours on the street, etc. Point Grey Road is a residential street with recreational attractions that draw people daily. Have you spent any time on Point Grey Road? If so, you would know this to be true. Macdonald Street (North of 4th Avenue) is a very short commuter arterial with commercial businesses and very few residences. I have yet to see the 1,000 school children you claim are crossing Macdonald Street daily North of 4th Avenue. Please provide your source for this specific number. The few school children who may have to cross Macdonald Street seem to be doing so without any problems whatsoever. If you have statistics to the contrary, please provide them.

  9. susan smith
    March 25, 2014

    Nikki Renshaw, yes, speeding cars are a menace to be sure; prior to the 9-block stretch of Point Grey Road being closed, 10,000+ cars per day sped along the road commuting to downtown, South Vancouver and UBC. Since the closure of Point Grey Road, that number of cars has decreased to 2500 per day, one per minute on average. Residents and visitors could not even cross the road or unload groceries from their cars without being struck down prior to the closure. The one block of 5th Avenue that you mention, between Trutch and Blenheim, is not a commuter route, and I must say that I have not seen anything like the amount of traffic on that block that you claim. However, the City has had counters out to measure traffic flow in the area of 4th Avenue West of Macdonald, including the side streets, so if there is a concerning increase in the amount of traffic in that block, the City will be aware of it. If you have any corroborating data, present it to the City for their information and discuss with them speed control measures for your one block, such as speed bumps. The 4th Avenue businesses that I, and others, have spoken with are happy about the increased traffic on 4th Avenue bringing them more customers; which businesses on 4th Avenue or in the area have complained to you?

    • homefor100years
      March 26, 2014

      I have counted the cars and photographed them, and even stopped drivers and told them 5th Ave wasn’t a cut through. I was almost run over on Sunday, with my husband was with me, so he can verify this. Unfortunately I hae a full time job so can only do this on weekends and before and after work.
      Unlike the owners on Point Grey Road who purchased houses after 1992, we did not buy a house on a street that was a commuter street. Those who purchased on Point Grey Road knew that there was heavy traffic (after 1992) and took that into the equation and purchase price. The residents on our street bought knowing it was a residential street. We have children and animals on this block — one which was run over last week — check the posters if you don’t believe me. Last summer the teenage boys across the street were able to play street hockey every day (without closing the street down for a block party) because the street was so quiet. This will not happen this year.
      The stores that are affected and not happy with the additional traffic trying to turn left at Alma are My Favourite Nails, the antique bookstore, the clothing store and the pie shop. The irate drivers who are queuing to turn left onto Alma are a concern for them, which are causing extra noise and traffic fumes which they say prevents them from keeping their doors open when the weather is nice. The traffic pollution with cars lining up at Alma and idling is also a concern for the pie store who depend on clients sitting outside in the summer.
      These cars who used Point Grey Road so they didn’t have to line up waiting for a break in the traffic to turn left.
      Just a question Susan — What is your connection to the Point Grey Closure. Do you work for the city, are a member of the resident’s association, or are you a resident of Point Grey Road? You seem to answer every negative comment regarding the closure of Point Grey Road, so you obviously have a vested interest.
      Nikki Renshaw

  10. susan smith
    March 27, 2014

    Nikki, firstly, 5th Avenue is not a closed street to any traffic, commuter or otherwise, so I don’t think you should be stopping motorists ad hoc to oppose them driving on your street, or using it as a cut through, as you say; they have every right to be on a street that is not closed to them. Secondly, I believe you when you say that you were almost run over on your street once recently; this could happen to anyone on any street in the city at some point. There are speeding drivers everywhere in the city, so pedestrians always need to watch out. What is a very significant problem is if ALL the time on a road, if you step into it, you will be struck or almost struck, as was the case on Point Grey Road before it was closed. Thirdly, Point Grey Road is a 100% residential street and always has been (there are no businesses on Point Grey Road, and it is three streets away from any businesses (4th Avenue). Commuter cars were not supposed to be on it, which is why residents, neighbourhood associations, City officials and others attempted to close it beginning in 1992, and it has now been closed to them. Yes, I knew this when I moved into the area years ago, and I continued to lobby for its closure until it was closed this year. Fourthly, In contrast, your street of 5th Avenue is only 1 block, 1 street, from all the businesses on 4th, and you knew this when you moved there. Your block also has stop signs East and West at Trutch, and a concrete roundabout at Blenheim to slow down cars. I fail to see how cars could possibly speed in your block. The park at Blenheim with a speed limit would also help to limit speed. Indeed, I sat in my car in your block yesterday during rush hour at 6:30 PM for 15 minutes, and not one car came along your block. I saw one neighbour leave in her vehicle. There was no car volume or speeding at all. Kids could easily have played hockey in your block. Further, I drove around your block multiple times and found that the new lights on 4th Avenue at Blenheim and Trutch that automatically turn red every 45 seconds made it extremely convenient for me to travel smoothly without any congestion on the side streets. Finally, please be advised that the names, addresses and signatures of the owners of businesses on 4th Avenue that support the closure of Point Grey Road have all been given to the City. Those supporters comprise the vast majority of businesses on 4th Avenue, not just 2 or 3 that you suggest but do not name or provide evidence of. If you have data to the contrary, by all means submit it to the City for their review. Nikki, by your comments, it is clear that you wish Kitsilano could stay exactly as it was years ago, which is probably why you bought your old character home in 1998 with its hundred-year old kitchen. But, Nikki, much as we may be resistant to change, things have to change in a city that is growing by leaps and bounds, bursting at its seams with all forms of traffic. Transportation systems require adjustments, and the City is working hard to make the right adjustments at the right time. For example, it took over 24 years for the City to finally close Point Grey Road to commuter motorists. As I have already stated to you, I have not witnessed any problem on your block, but if you think that there is a problem, collect your evidence and submit it to the City. If the traffic engineers agree with you, they will make changes.

  11. susan smith
    March 28, 2014

    Nikki Reshaw, firstly, 5th Avenue is not a closed street, so you should not be stopping motorists; they have every right to be on your open street. Secondly, you may have been almost run over on your street, as you say, because this could happen once anywhere in the city. Speeding drivers are throughout the city, so pedestrians need to watch out. What is a significant problem is when ALL the time on a road, if you step into it you will be struck, as was the case for Point Grey Road before it was closed to commuter cars. Thirdly, Point Grey Road is 100% residential and always has been; there are no businesses on Point Grey Road, and it is 3 streets away from any businesses (4th Ave.). This is why commuter cars were not supposed to be on the road, why people tried to close it since 1992 and why the City closed it. I knew this when I moved in and continued to lobby for the closure until it occurred this past January. Fourthly, in contrast, your street of 5th Ave. is only one block, one street, from the businesses on 4th, which you knew when you moved there. Your block also has stop signs East and West at Trutch, and a concrete traffic circle at Blenheim as well as a park at Blenheim to slow down cars. I fail to see how cars could possible speed in your block. Indeed, I sat in my car on your block yesterday during rush hour (6:30 PM) for 15 minutes, and not one car came along your block. There was no car volume or speeding at all. Kids could easily have played hockey in your block or Blenheim Park. I also drove around your block multiple times and found the new lights on 4th Ave. at Blenhei and Trutch that automatically turn red every 45 seconds keeping traffic moving nice and smoothly with no backups or congestion. Finally, be advised that the names, addresses and signatures of the majority of business owners on 4th Avenue, who supported the closure of Point Grey Road, have been provided to the City, not just 2 or 3 that you claim did not. However, if you have data to the contrary, by all means submit it to the City.

  12. susan smith
    March 28, 2014

    Nikki, by your comments it is clear that you wish Kitsilano could stay exactly as it was years ago, which is probably why you bought your old character home in 1998 with its hundred year-old kitchen. But, Nikki, much as we may be resistant to change, things have to change in a city that is growing by leaps and bounds, bursting at its seams with all forms of traffic. Transportation systems require adjustments, and the City, with its engineers, is working hard to make the right adjustments at the right time. For example, it took over 24 years for the City to finally close Point Grey Road to commuter motorists which had destroyed a residential neighbourhood. As I have already stated to you, I have not witnessed any problem on your block, but if you think that there is a problem, collect your evidence and submit it to the City. If the traffic engineers agree with you, they will make the necessary changes.

    • Stefen
      April 4, 2014

      Susan,

      When you don’t want traffic on your street, you think the city should stop it. When others complain your attitude is “suck it up buttercup”. Your position is that others should suffer with traffic so that you don’t have to.

      • susan smith
        April 8, 2014

        Stefen, my comment clearly stated the following: “if you think that there is a problem, collect your evidence and submit it to the City. If the traffic engineers agree with you, they will make the necessary changes.” I hardly think such a comment should be misinterpreted by you or anyone else as “suck it up buttercup.” The fact that you choose to deliberately misinterpret my comments shows that you have no interest in learning or accepting the the truth about Point Grey Road or other areas of the neighbourhood that may need traffic calming.

      • homefor100years
        April 8, 2014

        Susan, I don’t appreciate your patronizing and ill informed response to my comments. Without doing proper research you have assumed I am some relic from the past. If you’d dug a little deeper you’d have discovered that I am a journalist and broadcaster who has been involved in the news media for over twenty years – not some granola historian wanting time to stand still. BTW I was in London nursing a dying father when the PGR consultations were underway and assumed from my neighbours participation in the town hall meetings that there would have been far more attention paid to the needs of the residents North of 4th. Sadly I was mistaken.
        I’m glad that you have the time to monitor the traffic on my street. Where were you today at 5pm when a car sped down our alley way trying to avoid the traffic lights?
        I will continue to stop cars that race down my street because they are breaking the law and are a danger to the residents of this block.

    • homefor100years
      April 4, 2014

      Dear Susan,
      Please don’t insult me with your condescending, uninformed assumptions of who I am or my lifestyle choices. If you’d done your homework properly — and not just looked at my hobby website — you’d see that I am no more a relic of the past than you are a parochial, recalcitrant snob.
      I am a broadcaster and journalist with over 20 years experience and am in fact working on commissioned pieces for both a broadcaster and a national news publication on a follow up to the Point Grey Road closure. I have been in touch with the city both in a professional capacity as research for my news pieces and as a concerned Kitsilano resident.
      I’m glad you have the time to drive around my neighbourhood and assess the traffic situation. I have noticed the traffic has calmed down on my road in the last week, and I hope it was a glitch before the traffic light timing was changed.
      I also have every right to stop cars that are speeding down my road as they are breaking the law by exceeding the speed limit and endangering lives — mine included.
      I will keep you posted on the progress on the news stories and anyone who wants to contribute with a first hand account of their experiences with the road closure, please get in touch.
      Susan, you still haven’t told me what your interest in this is, Do you work for the city or are you a resident of Point Grey Road south side?

    • homefor100years
      April 7, 2014

      Susan,
      Don’t patronize me with your ill informed, condescending assumptions about who I am or what kind of life choices I make. Imagine if I inferred that you were a hectoring obsessive. How injudicious of me! If you had done your homework properly, rather than just scanning my hobby website you would have surmised that instead of being a relic of the past I am an award winning journalist and broadcaster with over 20 years experience, In fact I have been commissioned by two news outlets to do follow up pieces on the Point Grey Road closure and how it has affected the local community — on both sides of 4th Avenue. I have subsequently spoken to city hall as both a resident and a researcher.
      I welcome comments from anyone who would like to present a first hand account of how the PGR closure has impacted you, and I promise not to browbeat you into submission!
      I’m glad you had the time to park yourself on my block and monitor the traffic on my behalf. Thank you, and yes, the traffic has calmed down again so hopefully it was a glitch while the city sorted out the traffic light timers of 4th. But I will continue to stop speeding cars who try to run me down outside my home. They are breaking the law and are a danger to the residents of my street.

  13. susan smith
    April 8, 2014

    I know exactly who you are Nikki, and I am happy to hear from you that the traffic problems that you described as existing on your street have now evaporated. I do, however, take offense to your personal backlashes directed at me for no reason. I have at no point insulted you, so your personal attacks are unprovoked; indeed, I took time out of my day to follow up on your concerns regarding your street as you described on this website, and I reported what I genuinely observed, which was no problem on your street of any kind. I half-expected a “thank you” from you, certainly not insults from you. You have now corroborated in your most recent comment above that there is no problem on your street, so we appear to be in agreement, not disagreement, about that. Perhaps you should have waited for the “glitch” to subside rather that declare the changes to someone else’s road a mistake.

  14. susan smith
    April 9, 2014

    Further, Nikki, in an interview that you gave to The Courier newspaper this past summer in July 2013, you decried living in the Dunbar area as too “stale” and said that you moved to your 100 year-old 5th Avenue home because you preferred busy Kitsilano: “I needed to be somewhere where I could hear traffic and I felt like I was in a city,” Renshaw said. – See more at: http://www.vancourier.com/vancouver-special/kitsilano/kitsilano-open-house-1.586364#sthash.swq8CUtM.dpuf

    It is strange that not even a year after giving this interview, you now oppose the traffic that you especially sought out and wanted to be a part of.

  15. Alicia Hagman
    April 9, 2014

    I walk my dog twice a day in the two parks by Point Grey Road and MacDonald at various times and I rarely see more than a couple of cyclists using the deserted PGR, it seems most cyclists still prefer to use the old 3rd. Ave. bike route. I feel it is terribly unfair of Vision to favour the minority of their PGR road closure supporters at the expense of the majority of the other Kits residence. All these road closures as the one that has just been installed on the road our mayor moved to recently is causing complete chaos throughout our n’hood , making drivers drive twice the distance to get to their destinations…..how is this environmental. Next thing there will be a sign on the south end of the Burrard street bridge stating “KITSILANO CLOSED LOCAL TRAFFIC ONLY”.

Comments are closed.

Information

This entry was posted on January 17, 2014 by in Current Issues, Point Grey Road Closure.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.