Homeless in Vancouver: Two more signs of narrow mindedness

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      The last time I posted about the too-narrow block of back alley off of Spruce Street back in January, I described how special signage had been put up to warn westbound vehicles in the alley.

      The City of Vancouver has recently added two street signs flanking the western end of the block of alley. Each sign shows a silhouette of a truck crossed out inside of a red circle—an ideogram meaning “no trucks”.

      This may satisfy some legal issue but it does nothing to solve the difficulties faced every week by the drivers of waste-collection trucks—these professionals have no choice, one way or the other but to inch their wide vehicles through the bottleneck that the western end of this short length of alley presents.

      There are four or five Dumpsters to be emptied on schedule, as well as three or four recycling blue bin sets to empty once a week. The drivers have to go to the garbage—it won’t come to them.

      One more obstacle for professional drivers to figure out

      Don’t worry for the green garbage truck as it turns right and dings the condo.
      Stanley Q. Woodvine

      Signage or no signage, large commercial trucks have to traverse this alley. But the real problem doesn’t seem to be trucks going straight through the alley—I watch garbage truck drivers make the straight passage (slowly but surely) all the time now.

      Unlike most drivers of SUVs, these professional drivers really are aware of their footprint in relationship to the road and the potential obstacles in their path.

      The problem: what’s causing the damage to the brick wall of the condo on the north side of the western end of the alley appears to be trucks turning turning in and out of the western end of this one block of alley.

      I don’t think that that the “no trucks” signage will do any good and I also doubt whether it would make any difference to put up appropriate “no turning” signs.

      Unfortunately the problem was built into the alley by the combination of the new condo and the improvements to the adjacent parking lot.

      Someone’s apparent poor judgement in approving these changes just makes the alley a bit more work for professional drivers, who are trained, after all, to deal with this sort of nonsense.

      And ultimately it will also make more work for bricklayers who will periodically be required to to repair the southwestern edge of the condo.

      The condo with an inset showing recent damage to a spot previously re-bricked.
      Stanley Q. Woodvine
      Stanley Q. Woodvine is a homeless resident of Vancouver who has worked in the past as an illustrator, graphic designer, and writer. Follow Stanley on Twitter at @sqwabb.