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Urban Development and Proposals Discussion

Alex_YYC

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I used to live in Canyon Meadows on a lot backing onto the CP tracks and LRT. To be honest, I never noticed the trains after about the first two weeks.
 

artvandelay

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Residents of Chinatown are fighting street improvements on 3rd Ave now. Is this the most NIMBY neighbourhood in the city now?
To be fair to them, the cycle track option (Option 2 in Zone C in this PDF) would be damaging to streetfront retail in the block between Centre St and 1 Street SE. That is one of the few blocks in the downtown core of active, vibrant retail frontage so I think the City should tread carefully here.

I wonder if 4 Avenue would be a better option for an E/W cycle track?
 

Mountain Man

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I don't think the cycle track would make a difference. Most people walk to Chinatown or take the bus, adding another option wouldn't make that much of a difference. Loading for all the restaurants may be impacted as they do it on the sidewalk. That being said, not sure we need a cycle track 2 blocks from the river pathway, further west on 3rd for sure....
 

darwink

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I don't think the cycle track would make a difference. Most people walk to Chinatown or take the bus, adding another option wouldn't make that much of a difference. Loading for all the restaurants may be impacted as they do it on the sidewalk. That being said, not sure we need a cycle track 2 blocks from the river pathway, further west on 3rd for sure....
The cycle track at one point was meant to be temporary for the period when the riverfront pathway is updated to be wider and with flood protection which requires a multi-summer closure.
 

Colinfill

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I think in this case, Chinatown's concerns are legitimate, especially about loading on 3rd avenue given they don't have traditional back alleys. The loss of street parking has always been an issue with Chinatown and it doesn't sound like there will be any replacement spots unlike the bike track on 1st Street, which I think would have resulted in no parking spots being lost. I think it's easy to dismiss their concerns as being NIMBY, but I think they have a point here.
 

ByeByeBaby

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To be fair to them, the cycle track option (Option 2 in Zone C in this PDF) would be damaging to streetfront retail in the block between Centre St and 1 Street SE. That is one of the few blocks in the downtown core of active, vibrant retail frontage so I think the City should tread carefully here.

I wonder if 4 Avenue would be a better option for an E/W cycle track?
I don't see how the cycle track option on this block is damaging, could you please elaborate? The design I see keeps the wide sidewalks, keeps every single one of the many driveway, alley and sidewalk loading zone accesses (half a dozen in one block!) and keeps all of the parking; the main effect of the cycle tracks is to remove the westbound direction of traffic. Which to me isn't much of a loss; it's easy to go around the block either on 2nd or 4th ave. Most recent 6 hour intersection counts have around 900-1000 vehicles eastbound and only 300-400 westbound.

The block west of this one, between Centre St and 1 St W does have around 12 spaces less parking with the cycle track scenario, but fortunately there's a very large surface 200+ stall parking lot in that block that Chinatown has preserved.

(edited to fix mistake around directionality of traffic; most is eastbound, the direction that would be left if 3rd went to one-way in this block.)
 
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Nimbus

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Having an actual separated cycle infrastructure track from 1st street SE onto 3rd avenue would be fantastic for Chinatown. I love that block between 1st SE and Centre, even with a track and loading access zones anyone cruising through should be aware of how active it is for all modes. If all of a sudden you could have signage on Riverwalk directing cyclists onto a cycle track that would take them to the many amenities there I'd see little to no downside.
 

CBBarnett

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Having an actual separated cycle infrastructure track from 1st street SE onto 3rd avenue would be fantastic for Chinatown. I love that block between 1st SE and Centre, even with a track and loading access zones anyone cruising through should be aware of how active it is for all modes. If all of a sudden you could have signage on Riverwalk directing cyclists onto a cycle track that would take them to the many amenities there I'd see little to no downside.
It sounds like a lot of political hay being made on a small-ish issue. There is an election next year so time to start getting in the news with issues. Apart from milkshakes, few issues bring the "boys to the yard" as good as bicycle controversy so nothing suprising has happened at all so far.

The corridor in Section 3 (Chinatown) loses 14% of it's parking between the two scenarios ( no parking lost with shared lanes vs. cycletrack) which amounts to 37 stalls. This is only the corridor, not the overall Chinatown parking supply which is substantially larger. I don't know if a dataset exists but a complete guess suggests to me that there is probably 750 -1,000 on-street stalls within a few blocks of Chinatown and at least 1,000+ publicly accessible off-street parkade stalls nearby (James Short Parkade is 1 block away with 750 of them). Less accessible but still existent are another 2,000 - 5,000 stalls in the basements of all the office blocks nearby. As a thought exercise, if every restaurant was booked fully out all at the same time and every single person drove themselves, I would guess that parking spots near Chinatown > total seats at all restaurants combined.

The neighbourhood sits on the best bus service (Centre Street) and a few blocks from the best LRT service in the city for all lines. As a result I would expect to see the majority of local traffic as pedestrians over cars. What data does exist supports this conclusion looking at the publicly available intersection counts along 3rd Avenue suggesting the majority of east-west traffic is pedestrians (regular cautions/caveats apply when using time-specific data).

Like many bicycle projects that hit the news with "concerned businesses" in the title, I think it's fair to consider the concerns legitimate, but are largely overblown and can be mitigated. Likely businesses assume or know their nighttime traffic comes from the deep burbs, and perceptions of low parking would do them disservice in attracting clientele - even when "low parking" only means 37 less stalls in the thousands nearby. However, the businesses aren't an homogeneous block and some would likely see a benefit from improved connectivity to the river pathways system - and the thousands of the typically younger, more active people that travel along it.

With either option, the most critical part is the river connectivity and the less controversial lanes to the west, both sections that look solid in either scenario. Chinatown will benefit with far superior access than previously no matter which way it goes. Of course, lack of a dedicated facility for scooters and bicycles will inevitably lead to more collisions, injuries and potential for deaths, but either option is a vast improvement from today absence of anything.
 

Mountain Man

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Defending street parking downtown makes zero sense to me. 99.9% of customers can't get that spot at the best of times...
 

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