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Public invited to take part in visioning for future of streets in Gastown

October 6 2017

“We have an opportunity to build on the strengths of Gastown and design the streets in a way that better serves the area. We want to work with the community to achieve the best outcome,” says Lon LaClaire, Director of Transportation

With Gastown’s streets in need of major rehabilitation, the City of Vancouver is beginning consultation this month to receive input that will help guide the transportation planning process.

“We have an opportunity to build on the strengths of Gastown and design the streets in a way that better serves the area. We want to work with the community to achieve the best outcome,” says Lon LaClaire, Director of Transportation for the City of Vancouver. “As part of our community engagement, we will be exploring whether Water Street could become car-light, but it is important to us to work closely with businesses in the area to see how the streets can continue to support loading and movement needs.”

How do you experience Gastown's streets?

The focus of the early public consultation process is to learn as much as possible about:

  • How people travel and experience Gastown’s streets
  • How people move through the area to other destinations
  • What people would like to see in the future

This will help the City prepare draft options for a complete street network for Gastown, which will be considered with the community during a subsequent phase of consultation in early 2018.

The City will be working closely with community organizations and businesses in the area to ensure that a range of experiences and opinions are considered. 

"The Gastown BIA sees this as an opportunity to look at different options of how we can add some flexibility to how we use our streets while responding to the varying needs of our businesses,” says Leanore Sali, president of the Gastown BIA. 

The City hosted small pop-ups in September to gather input on how residents and visitors move through and experience the area. The City has also conducted the first of two independent surveys to better understand how people access businesses in Gastown.

How to get involved

The public will be able to provide early feedback throughout the fall.

Residents can take a survey through Talk Vancouver starting today, or join an engagement session on Saturday, October 21 which will include walking tours and a visioning workshop in the Woodward’s Atrium.

Potential car-light street

Water Street was identified in the Downtown Eastside Plan and Transportation 2040 as a potential car-light street and as a missing link within the east-west bike network.

Car-light refers to a street design that reduces the number of vehicles travelling through an area in order to create more inviting spaces for people to walk, cycle, and enjoy. 

Any car-light area will need to balance mobility and access needs for local businesses, residents and visitors with the desire to create an interesting and welcoming place for people to be.

Learn more about Gastown Complete Streets