Public Realm Report Card

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Report Card on Delivery of Public Realm Improvements
in the Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre

In November 2010 Council approved the Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre Plan, and the associated Public Realm and Transportation Improvements Plan for the Norquay Shopping Area along Kingsway. This report card is an evaluation of the degree to which the City of Vancouver has done what it committed to do. It does not assign credit or blame to any individual or group, nor does it account for factors that have made delivery more or less difficult.

1.  Pedestrian controlled traffic signals on Kingsway  —      A+
Signals have been installed at Rhodes (not part of the original plan?) and at Wales, on either side of Norquay Park. A mid-block signal between Gladstone and Nanaimo is scheduled as part of the development at 2220 Kingsway.

2.  Landscaped median on Kingsway  —      C-
The median has been constructed and planted. Perennials growing in the median seem to be doing well. However, of the 25 trees planted, 17 are dead or dying and only 8 look alive and healthy.

3.  Corner bulges  —      C
The six planned corner bulges have been constructed. However the four bulges that were landscaped are now completely overgrown with weeds.

4.  Corner bulge and bike path at 34th and Wales  —      C
This very large corner bulge has been constructed. There is some landscaping, which appears to be receiving care. But the suggested benches, brick surface, and trees near the street are missing. The bike path that connects Norquay Park and Duchess Street and passes through this bulge amounts to an unmarked strip of asphalt on both sides of Kingsway.

5.  Sidewalks  —      A
Broken and heaving sidewalks have been replaced and corner ramps installed where needed, with appropriate sidewalk stamps. Sidewalks in new developments are 25 feet wide (except at 2300 Kingsway, approved just ahead of Norquay planning).

6.  Boulevards  —      B
Street trees have been planted where needed and appear to be growing well. The special “Norquay” tree surrounds have not been installed.

7.  Street furniture  —      C-
The number of bus shelters has not changed. Neither has the number of benches, except for several added by developers at 2300 Kingsway and at 2239 Kingsway. Six problematic CityLine litter bins have been replaced by a better design. There are also two new plastic litter receptacles attached to poles. Five other litter receptacles that were attached to poles have been removed and not yet replaced. Only 10 of the proposed 37 bike racks have been installed, and most of these predate the plan.

8.  Utility Poles and Light Fixtures  —      A
Installation of new light fixtures and new poles where needed is now almost completed.

9.  Plazas

(a)  2699 Kingsway  —      A-
This development, currently under construction, will contain the plaza that will function as the gateway to the Renfrew Ravine Linear Park. As a result of strong feedback by Norquay residents, the width of the plaza was increased and other improvements made. It seems that the redesigned plaza will work well as gateway to the park.
(b)  2220 Kingsway  —      D
This development has been approved, but construction has not yet begun. The site, which was to be open and permeable, will now be almost completely covered by a podium, topped by three towers surrounding a raised private courtyard. The “plaza” has been greatly reduced in size and relegated to the northwest corner of the site, where it will mainly function as entrance to the grocery store retail anchor.

10.  Pocket Parks and Small Parks

(a)  2300 Kingsway  —      A-
A small landscaped pocket park with seating has been built on the corner of Nanaimo and 30th Avenue as part of this development. It is well maintained. The proposed litter bin has not been installed.
(b)  2220 Kingsway  —      C-
A small park is to be built at the corner of Gladstone and 30th Avenue as compensation for reduction of the plaza size [see 9(b) above]. Some of the proposed park space appears to have been separated by plantings to become outdoor seating for a restaurant. Vents from the underground parking intrude into park space. The park will contain landscaping, seating, and some play equipment.

* Subject to reevaluation when the project is completed.

Prepared by Jeanette Jones


Written by eyeonnorquay

25 June 2014 at 2:34 pm

Posted in Assessments

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