The City wants your feedback on the Comox-Helmcken Greenway construction



The Comox-Helmcken Greenway construction has well been underway now for a few months now. It has been interesting to see the project unfold. I have been trying to with hold my judgment on the project till it is done. At this point it  is hard to really understand how the Greenway will work.  There have been some interesting elements like the bio-swales that capture rain water and divert it from the sewer system and LED light post that are exciting. The left hand turn bay on Burrard St. to Helmcken St. is a huge improvement from what was there before.

The City wants to know what you think of the project thus far. I think it is important to give feedback on the project. Users feedback will be a valuable tool for the engineers on this project. Elements that look good on paper in the design phase don’t always work in when they are actual built. Inevitable they will be adjustments and refinements to the design of the project. This has already been happening in some places. For example, a friend of mine lives in an apartment on Comox St. mid-block from Denman St.and there are a lot of older residents in his building. There was a concrete curb for a bike lane in front of his building. Folks where finding it hard to cross the street with the curb there to get to Denman Mall. The user experience was given to Engineering and they made a mid-block cut in the curb to make it easier  to cross the street mid-block.

Here is the link to the online survey to give your feedback on the project :City survey


City Conversations: Where will the traffic go? The viaducts, traffic and neighbourhoods

SFU Public Square Presents:

CITY CONVERSATIONS: Where will the traffic go? The viaducts, traffic, and neighbourhoods

Next month it’s expected that council will consider whether to remove the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts, replacing them with new, ground-level roads and creating the opportunity for new housing for thousands of families, large parks, a restored False Creek shoreline, bike and walking paths, art and cultural facilities. But some residents of Strathcona worry that traffic through their neighbourhood will increase, and others fear an impact on a community garden.

City-wide vision vs. neighbourhood values. To explore the issues are Brian Jackson, Vancouver’s General Manager of Planning and Development, and Pete Fry, president of the Strathcona Residents Association. We hope to have someone from Cottonwood Gardens. Then it’s your turn to weigh in. Feel free to bring your lunch.

When: Thursday May 16th

Time: 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Location: Room 2270, SFU Vancouver at Harbour Centre

Cost: Free

*Note* Guests are welcome to bring their lunch to City Conversations events

Sponsored by Bing Thom Architects and SFU Vancouver.

Thanks to Wild Rice Restaurants.


The SFU Public Square team

Wind art on the Vancouver Seawall, Doug Taylor’s Khenko

Yesterday was a good day for art that uses the wind. When I was riding with my daughter Mallika I was worried that we were going to be blown off our bikes the wind was blowing so hard. The tailwind was wonderful to have, but riding head long into it was terrible. The waves in English Bay were pretty impressive. We even saw a sail boat that had broken away from its mooring and was beach at Sunset of beached boat

When I was riding to my studio I noticed that the sails of the art piece on the seawall at the foot of George Wainborn Park was taking full advantage of the strong winds. I did some digging on the city of VancouverPublic Art Registry and discover that the work was by Doug Taylor and is called “Khenko”.This what the registry has to say about Doug:

Doug Taylor was born in Chilliwack, BC in 1947. Kinetic in nature, his public nstallation sculpture has focused largely on wind, water and solar powered features. Whimsical, folk art inspired elements are often signature to his work. (e.g. Khenko and Wind Swimmer). Addressing the global challenge of sustainability his current sculptures are “generating capital ” by selling excess electrical power back to BC Hydro. These energy systems also feature listening stations which help remind us of sounds that are ever present in the natural world, but often unnoticed (e.g. Seattle Center’s Bird Song Listening Station). Whimsical, folk art inspired elements are often signature to his work (e.g. Khenko and Wind Swimmer). The challenge is to integrate ecological, historical, social and aesthetic considerations, contextualizing them into the site specific values of place.

Artist’s Website

Other Public Artworks:

Since 1986 Doug has been installing permanent sculpture for prominent public sites in: Seattle Center Campus, Vancouver ‘s False Creek and Kitsilano Pool, Victoria’s Selkirk Waterfront, Whistler’s Plaza of Champions, Creekside, and NASA’s Space Center in Houston,Texas.

More open houses on Active Transportation Corridor on Point Grey Road-Cornwall Ave

image from CoV website of Cornwall St. looking east.

image from CoV website of Cornwall St. looking east.

From Active Transportation at the City of Vancouver

Point Grey Road-Cornwall Avenue Active Transportation Corridor Project Update

Following up on our last update, this email is to provide you with information about the upcoming public open houses for the second phase of consultation for the Point Grey Road-Cornwall Avenue Corridor Project. The open houses will be held on the following dates at three local community venues:

Thursday, May 23, 2013
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM*
Henry Hudson Elementary School (Gym)
1551 Cypress Street
Staff presentation at 7:45 pm
Saturday, May 25, 2013
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM*
Bayview Elementary School (Gym)
2251 Collingwood Street
Staff presentation at 10:45 am and 12:45 pm
Monday, May 27, 2013
4:00 – 6:00 PM*
Kitsilano Public Library (Basement)
2425 Macdonald Street
Staff presentation at 4:45 pm

Drop-in to one of the following open houses to view the design proposals for the corridor. City staff will be available during the times listed to discuss the project, answer questions and gather input.

If you are unable to attend any of the open houses, project information and a questionnaire will be available online starting on May 23. The questionnaire be open until the second week of June.

Over the next month, staff will continue to reach out to a broad range of local residents, businesses, stakeholders, children/youth, seniors and other individuals to discuss the progress of the project including the proposed design options.

Feedback that we receive during this phase of public consultation will be used to refine the recommended design that will be presented to Vancouver City Council this summer.  We will report back to Council with the public consultation results from both phases of consultation, data analysis, technical transportation review and a cost estimate for corridor.

Thank you again for your interest in this project, we look forward to speaking to you soon. Please pass this information along to anyone who is interested, and we will add them to our distribution list.

Active Transportation
City of Vancouver
link to project info

Update from the City on Active Transportation Corridor on Cornwall Avenue

image from CoV website of Cornwall St. looking east.

image from CoV website of Cornwall St. looking east.

From Engineering at the City of Vancouver

Point Grey Road-Cornwall Avenue Active Transportation Corridor Project Update

Since the last project update on February 21, 2013, staff have been working to analyze the results from the phase one online questionnaire, and develop feasible design options for the Point Grey-Cornwall Corridor.

Please find a report summarizing the first phase of consultation between January 2 and February 28, 2013 that includes the project context and goals, consultation methods, consultation summary and next steps.

Using all of the feedback received to date, along with existing City policy context, project goals, data analysis and technical transportation considerations, staff are developing feasible design options to present to the public for further feedback as part of a second phase of consultation. Public open houses are now being scheduled for the end of May 2013, with stakeholder meetings and workshops beginning the week of May 13th, 2013, to allow staff more time to fully develop the design options and analyze potential impacts and tradeoffs. Meeting details will be circulated shortly by email, posted on the project CoV website at and through the mail.

For questions or additional comments and feedback on this project, you can continue to email us at, and the project team will respond as quickly as possible.

Thank you again for your interest and input into this active transportation project, and we look forward to speaking with you soon.

Project Manager
David Rawsthorne, PEng.

Want to help grow the urban forest? Get a tree from TreeKeepers.

treesWEWRThe TreeKeepers Program is now offering discounted trees is six pilot neighbourhoods and the West End is one of the selected communities. One can obtain a discounted tree by  register at TreeKeepers. TreeKeepers is a Greenest City 2020 program to plant more trees on private property. Partners include Tree City, the EYA, The City of Vancouver, The Vancouver Foundation and you, if you choose to plant a tree.

Residents of the West End must pre-register and pre-pay online at TreeKeepers. Choose from a selection of 10 tree species, including varieties suitable for small spaces such as balconies. Prices are $10 for trees in small pots and $20 for fruit tees in larger 5-gal containers. Trees will be included in the TreeKeepers database and monitored in the future by Citzen Forester volunteers. All trees paid for must be picked up on the distribution day:

West End Community Centre
870 Denman St.
Saturday May 4
2pm – 4 pm

West End Planning, 3 Open Houses to offer feedback. Be part of the process

Cardero Street Mural

Cardero Street Mural

From the West End Planning Team: Plan directions open houses

Since the planning process launched in April 2012, we’ve received a wide range of feedback from residents, businesses, and other stakeholders, which has helped shape a set of directions. Drop in to an open house to learn more about the directions and have your say. Your input will help refine the directions and create a draft plan.

Event date and time: Thursday, April 4, 4-7pm
Event location: Best Western Sands Hotel, 1755 Davie Street

Event date and time: Saturday, April 6, 11am-2pm
Event location: West End Community Centre, 870 Denman Street

Event date and time: Tuesday, April 9, 4-7pm
Event location: Blue Horizon Hotel, 1225 Robson Street

A Copenhagen winter moment

Re-thinking Lanways in the West End

From the West End Planning Team:
Laneway use “Walkshops’

Attend a “walkshop” and think about how West End laneways could be used in the future, including surface and landscaping treatments, pedestrian facilities, benches, lighting, traffic calming, parking, and infill housing possibilities. Learn about the history and character of the laneways, and observe and discuss how we design these places. The walk will be followed by a two-hour facilitated workshop where you can share your ideas for laneway improvements.

Friday Laneway Walkshop
Friday, March 22, 2013, 1 to 4 pm
For more information and to register:
Saturday Laneway Walkshop
Saturday, March 23, 1 to 4 pm
For more information and to register:

Quick Council update on the Mayor’s motion on the expansion of coal terminals.

The Mayor’s motion to study the health consequents of the expansion of a coal terminal passed with the support of Vision and Green Councillors. The NPA voted against the motion. Apparently NPA are okay with coal dust and climate change and it does not need to be studied.

Interesting development from yesterdays debate from Council is the Port of Metro (PMV) did not send anyone to speak to the motion, which seems curious. A new group called the “Coal Alliance” spoke against the Mayor’s motion. The groups representative is an former journalist from CTV named Alan Fryer. Apparently the group just formed and just started a website. The website does not come up on a Google search ( ok I just found the site, but there is no content. Here is the link). It would be interesting to know where the group gets it’s funding and who are their members groups.

Its understandable that PMV does not want it’s CEO or the vice president of corporate social responsibility, Duncan Wilson, standing at Council defending coal exports and its connection to public health and climate change. It demonstrates a hunkering down into a bunker mentality when a CEO or a VP steps aside and lets the professional PR folks deliver the message to deflect the heat.