Thursday, November 8, 2012

Wesbrook Place Traffic - update

Traffic woes in Wesbrook Place will likely continue to get worse with the massive ramped up development planned for the neighbourhood.  In the meantime UBC and BC Ministry of Transport staff continue to work out solutions.  They are sharing these solutions with the UNA as they are developed in response to rising community concerns.

The most recent iteration of a solution can be found on the UNA web page.

In the short term the long awaited new university hill secondary school (slated to open January 2013: see also, past comments on U Hill) will add a significant number of car trips to the neighbourhood.  While this shouldn't be the case, the sad reality is that parents seem unwilling or unable to have their teenagers walk, bike, or otherwise find their own way to school.  Go by the current site on Acadia Road any morning between 8:30 and 9:00, for example, and between the pre-school parents and the highschool parents those of us on bike or foot are confronted with a fairly large scale traffic jam.  Come by the high school at 3pm or the daycare at 5pm and see the same thing repeated all over again.

The new community centre, which is a highly anticipated and a welcome coming addition, will also contribute to increased local car traffic - again that shouldn't be the case, but humans being what we are, many people will drive.  The community centre will likely have to market programs into the UEL, Point Grey, and Dunbar areas the community centre in order to achieve it's fiscal net zero mandate.  Combined with the Liquor Store and Save-On Foods, the new community centre will act as a traffic destination.  If there are other destination services, private schools (like the current Mozart Music School), daycares, etc, added to Wesbrook even more traffic will follow.

Ultimately, however, this increase in traffic will be nothing like traffic in urban centres like Manhattan or Vancouver's West End (two areas that model some of the density aspiration of UBC developers).  Though traffic flow and congestion will likely increase we can rest assured that it won't yet be a full Manhattan experience.

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