The full Urban Design Report by Jim Lehto is available for download. Mr. Leyto presented his report to Council as the second speaker on February 28, 2012. Please click on the link to see this report:
About ud & d ltd.
Ud & d ltd. is an local urban design & development consulting firm operated by jim lehto, M.A.U.D. (Harv.). He has a Bach of Architecture and Bach of Arts from University of Toronto; and, a Masters of Architecture and Urban Design from Harvard.
Mr. Lehto served the City of Vancouver as Downtown Development and Downtown Policy Planner; as well as Heritage Planner for Gastown, Chinatown and Shaughnessy.
Since leaving the City, ud & d ltd. has over 20 years of service on behalf of private sector and community organizations, with tasks related to Development Permit Applications, Rezonings, Heritage Applications, Appeals to the Board of Variance, and Presentations to City Advisory Bodies and City Council.
Further comments sent in to Council by Mr. Leyto (March 27, 2012) are below:
Public Hearing Comments: CD-1 Rezoning Application (27/03/12)
Re: 228 — 246 E Broadway, ‘the Rize’ — unresolved land use & transportation issues
Mayor & Members of Council:
Please consider this submission as an “Addenda” to my submission to Council on February 28th, 2012, which included the “Amenity Matrix” submission, on behalf of “RAMP”, related to the Public Hearing concerning CD-1 rezoning application at 228 – 246 East Broadway.
Keeping current C-3A zoning for this site would compel review of “…the effect of development on traffic in the area…” Sec. 4.7.1 (d), C-3A District Schedule – which would focus attention on a fundamental conflict between heavy truck traffic & the character of surrounding streets.
In this proposal, the ‘big box’ land use component spawns tractor trailer vehicles which conflict with the Community Plan ambitions for small scale Watson Street; and, conflict with Broadway’s large scale ambitions as the premier Uptown mass transit east/west spine in the City (and Lower Mainland).
Watson Street & 10th Avenue are characterized as “pedestrian” & “bicycle” in nature; Broadway currently has heavy mass transit—and is slated for more. In contrast to these types of movement patterns are ‘big box’ servicing patterns requiring tractor trailers and large trucks.
The surrounding streets – with their character were here first. The project has come ‘after the fact’ – and must ‘work’ with what is there & proposed to be there – rather than ‘ignoring’ it, or worse, ‘fighting’ it.
Successful land uses for this site will find the type and scale of servicing for land uses that are compatible with ‘pedestrian’, ‘bicycle’ and mass transit streetscapes.
Unresolved Small Scale (Watson Street) Questions:
This ‘perfect storm’ of unintended consequences comes together through a combination of:
– two ‘super scale’ retail floors – with an average of over 24 ft. floor to floor heights – suitable for ‘big box’ retail;
– the retail floor area of approx. 7,733 sq.m. (i.e. approx. 83,000 sq.ft.) requiring Class ‘C’ loading bay standards;
– two large scale tractor trailers, i.e. with Class ‘C’ loading bays, which are 17.0 m (i.e. 55 ft.) in length – and may be relaxed to 45 ft. in length – per Parking Bylaw;
– a manoeuvring aisle width for each Class ‘C’ trailer of 14.0 m (i.e. 46 ft.) – with potential for a relaxation in the manoeuvring aisle of less than 46 ft. – per Parking Bylaw;
– four medium scale loading trucks, i.e. with Class ‘B’ loading bays, which are 8.5 m. (i.e. 27 ft.) in length – and may be relaxed to 26 ft. in length – per Parking Bylaw;
– additional retail floor area of approx. 7,733 sq.m. (i.e. approx. 83,000 sq.ft.);
– using Watson Street as the northbound truck route before trucks turn eastbound on Broadway;
– the “development” of Watson Street in the Mount Pleasant Community Plan is intended “…as a special site, perceived as unique in history, character and use (similar to the Mole Hill precedent in Vancouver’s West End neighbourhood) and explore improvements for pedestrians and cyclists, especially through development…. ”;
– conflict in east/west vehicle movement is apparent in the CD-1 (Rezoning Report) under Sec 5.) “Parking, Loading and Circulation” of the CD -1 Report, (page 8.): “…With respect to the site’s south frontage, it is proposed that the 10th Avenue bicycle route be enhanced and that the traffic be made one-way westbound from Kingsway to Watson….”; and, further: “…Trucks will be routed (eastbound) from Main Street to Watson northbound and depart turning eastbound onto Broadway…” i.e. enhanced bicycle and pedestrian traffic (westbound) meets truck traffic (eastbound) at Watson – and both travel northbound on Watson?
Unresolved Large Scale Mass Transit Questions:
The proposed ‘big box’ programme produces an unresolved mix of land use, and large and small transportation conflicts that ‘jump off the page’
The large scale transportation potential conflicts arise with large scale truck traffic hampering /disrupting existing and expanding mass transit routes along Broadway.
The issue of present and future “Truck Routes” & present and future “Mass Transit Corridors” is not addressed:
– the City “Truck Routes & Truck Areas/GVW > 10,000 kg.)” Map currently indicates Broadway as a “Designated Truck Route”;
– the City “Truck Routes & Truck Areas” Map indicates that “Granville Bridge and Lions Gate Bridge are NOT Truck Routes”;
– the City “Truck Routes & Truck Areas” Map indicates that Granville Street (i.e. an official “mass transit” mall/corridor) in the Downtown Peninsula is not a Truck Route.;
– the City web-site states the “B-Line bus route…is the busiest bus route in North America, moving 50,000 people per day!….”;
– an increase in mass transit service along Broadway is scheduled — although the timing is unknown; and,
– once Broadway has its mass transit capacity, it will remain the premier surface mass transit corridor (outside of the downtown core). Will Broadway remain a “Truck Route” – highly doubtful.
Land uses (and their servicing vehicles) must be located ‘where they belong’, i.e. where they can be accepted, – without creating significant harm (impacts) to existing (and proposed and future) neighbouring streets and districts.
The current CD – 1 application has major unresolved conflicts with the proposed ambitions/character of a Watson Street; and, seems destined to have major conflicts with what will be the premier surface mass transit corridor in Vancouver – outside the downtown core.
The ‘big box’ land use component of this proposal (and their tractor trailers) does not ‘fit’ the pedestrian and bicycle transportation mode of Watson Street; nor, the surface mass transit corridor characteristics of Broadway.
The distinctive transportation constraints on Broadway (between Main and Kingsway) demand land uses (and servicing) that is sympathetic to mass transit (high end volume); and, the distinctive transportation constraints on Watson (between 10th ave and Broadway) demand land uses (and servicing) that is sympathetic to pedestrians and bicycles (low end volume).
“Big box” land use, with large scale truck servicing, does not suit/fit the character of Watson Street nor Broadway – as they are; and, as they are intended to be.
How is it possible for this proposal to be tabled for a Public Hearing with these issues outstanding?
Thank you for your consideration.
ud & d ltd. — jim lehto (MAUD Harv.)