Community panel recommends new east-west arterial route through False Creek Flats

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      After eight days of learning and discussion, a site tour, workshops, and stakeholder presentations, a community panel has made its recommendation regarding False Creek Flats.

      And it's for a new east-west, grade-separated arterial road along National Avenue, which would be on the north side of the yet-to-be-built St. Paul's Hospital.

      If endorsed by Vancouver city council later this year, this road would run on an S-curve along the northern side of Trillium Park and Thornton Street before becoming an overpass that would cross 11 rail tracks and reach Charles Street.

      The community panel will make a presentation to Vancouver city council on April 24 and to the park board on April 30.

      City staff will make the final recommendation to council this fall.

      The dark blue line surrounded in black shows where a new overpass might be built.

      The convenor of the panel was the Minnesota-based Jefferson Center.

      If council accepts the panel's recommendation, it could mean less traffic in the future along the Prior and Venables route in and out of the downtown.

      City staff had previously identified three alternatives to the Prior-Venables connection: along National or Malkin avenues, or along William Street.

      Last year, the Strathcona Residents' Association came forward with the National Avenue–Charles Street option as a way to reduce detrimental impacts on the neighbourhood. 

      The Vision Vancouver–controlled council, which ended its term last year, already approved the demolition of the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts.

      False Creek Flats covers 182 hectares and is bounded by Main, Prior and Venables streets to the west and north, and Clark Drive and Great Northern Way to the east and south.

      A 2017 City of Vancouver draft plan noted that there are about 600 businesses and 8,000 workers employed on the Flats.

      The city's draft plan called for more than 3,000 homes to be added.