Kingsway Public Realm No. 2

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Report Card No. 2 on Delivery of Public Realm Improvements
along Kingsway in the Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre

June 2015
 
 
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 the second 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 individuals or group, nor does it account for factors that have made delivery more or less difficult. Report Card No. 1 can be found at

https://eyeonnorquay.wordpress.com/2014/06/25/public-realm-report-card/

 
1.  Pedestrian controlled traffic signals on Kingsway  —   A+   (unchanged)
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+   (up from C-)
The 17 dead and dying trees have been replaced. The “Treegator slow release watering bags” that surround the newly planted trees may help to ensure that this second planting survives.

 
IMG_8239
 

 
3.  Corner bulges  —   C-   (down from C)
The six planned corner bulges have been constructed. However the four bulges that were landscaped continue to deteriorate. Few plantings are still visible.

 
4.  Corner bulge and bike path at 34th and Wales  —   C+   (up from C)
The suggested benches, brick surface, and trees near the street have not materialized. The bike path that connects Norquay Park and Duchess Street and passes through this bulge has now been marked on the asphalt.

 
IMG_8237
 

 
5.  Sidewalks  —   A   (unchanged)
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  —   C   (down from B)
Street trees have been planted where needed and appear to be growing well. Unfortunately many of them have been planted directly under the new heavy wires on the north side of Kingsway. The City planted red maple trees in front of the 2400 Motel instead of the ginkgo trees specified in the Norquay Plan, as there were no ginkgo trees in the City nursery ready for planting. Thirty-seven ginkgo trees have been planted so far, mainly in front of new development. The dead and dying ginkgo trees in front of 2300 Kingsway have been replaced. The boulevard trees in front of the construction site at 2220 Kingsway are suffering from advertising scaffolding. Westbank needs to replace any trees that are damaged with equivalents.

 
IMG_8195
 

 
7.  Street furniture  —   C-   (unchanged)
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. Seating has also been added in front of the new development at 2671 (etc) Kingsway.

 
IMG_8238
 

Six problematic CityLine litter bins have been replaced by a better design. There are still 5 bus stops without litter bins, and 4 of these do not have a bus shelter. Only 10 of the proposed 37 bike racks have been installed, and most of these predate the plan. Garbage on the boulevard continues to be a problem along Kingsway. More litter bins would help.

 
IMG_8231
 

 
8.  Utility Poles and Light Fixtures  —   A   (unchanged)
Installation of new light fixtures and new poles where needed has now been completed.

 
9.  Plazas

(a)  2699 Kingsway  —   A-   (unchanged)
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   (unchanged)
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-   (unchanged)
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-   (unchanged)
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
 

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Written by eyeonnorquay

25 June 2015 at 7:09 pm

Posted in Assessments

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