Galt Street Sidewalks
Absence of sidewalks in the general area of the Rental 100 development proposed for 2312-2328 Galt Street subjects all pedestrians to unsafe conditions and puts children at special risk. Streets are lined in red below where there are no sidewalks.
The site is one block west of Nanaimo Street and one block north of Kingsway. This location is subject to Norquay’s Apartment Transition Area Rezoning Policy. The proposed 28 units are all 2-bedroom and 3-bedroom, appropriate spaces to accommodate families. Units range in size from 630 sq. ft. to 1090 sq. ft.
Key walking distances for the location include one block to General Brock Park, about three blocks to the Terry Taylor Daycare Centre, 800 meters to Norquay Elementary School, and 700 meters to Gladstone Secondary School. The routes for buses 19, 25, and 33 are nearby, and the Nanaimo Skytrain Station lies 700 meters to the north.
Does this sound like a good location for family housing? It is. But lack of sidewalks presents a major problem. Residents of this building would not be able to reach any destination without walking in the street. The only sidewalk in the immediate area fronts nine contiguous recently developed properties just to the west, along the south side of Galt Street. But this small section of recent developer-provided sidewalk connects to nothing — appended Photo 1 of 5.
To permit this development in this location would clearly contravene longstanding City of Vancouver policy:
Families with children should have reasonable and effective access to essential community services and recreational amenities. … Effective access means a walking route which is both safe … and secure (having an environment suitable for elementary school children).
High Density Housing for Families With Children Guidelines (Section 2.1)
If this development proposal is approved, a condition of that approval must see the City of Vancouver commit to extending existing partial sidewalk eastward along the south side of Galt Street to make connection to Nanaimo Street. The steep grade and the semi-blind corner make this portion of the street an especially hazardous place to be walking. Even now, 100% use of available Galt Street curb parking is common — appended Photo 2 of 5. The reduced on-site underground parking requirement of Rental 100 can only exacerbate this already untenable situation. The great number of routinely parked curbside vehicles reduces available road space, increases traffic in the area, and impairs visibility for both drivers and pedestrians as they access roadway for sidewalk use.
Furthermore, a new connecting sidewalk must be provided along one side of Baldwin Street, for the entire block, to provide safe access to General Brock Park. The curve on Baldwin Street means a driver cannot see from one end of the block to the other — appended Photos 3 of 5 and 4 of 5.
The underground parking that serves the 94 residential units of 2239 Kingsway has already greatly increased traffic flow along Galt Street and Baldwin Street — appended Photo 5 of 5.
The City of Vancouver’s Transportation 2040 planning document states:
Pedestrians will continue to be the City’s top transportation priority. (p. 19)
The City of Vancouver must respect its own stated priority for pedestrians.
Photo 1 of 5 — Eastern End of Galt Street Sidewalk Section
Photo 2 of 5 — Curb Parking Unavailable along Galt Street (Morning of 11 April 2015)
Photo 3 of 5 — View to North along Baldwin Street (from Proposed Galt Street Site)
Photo 4 of 5 — View to South along Baldwin Street (from Brock Park)
Photo 5 of 5 — Lane Connecting 2239 Kingsway Underground Parking to Galt Street