West End Seniors’ Network opposes removal of Davie Street bus stop for new Vancouver parklet

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      The City of Vancouver wants to see broad public support for a proposed parklet in the West End.

      After all, it’s the city that’s going to build the landscaped public seating that is being suggested on Davie Street near the corner Jervis Street by the local business improvement association.

      Lisa Parker, branch manager of street activities with the City of Vancouver, noted that city planners are aware about a “conflict” regarding the location.

      The site is a bus stop, and in order to build the parklet, the transit stop has to be removed.

      “Definitely the transit location is something that has come up as a concern,” Parker told the Georgia Straight in a phone interview.

      For the West End Business Improvement Association, the Davie Street site is an ideal one for a parklet because it’s going to sit on a hill, and provide views of English Bay to the south.

      Parklets are platforms that extend on the street, and provide public seating and parking for bikes.

      “We really strive for a universal buy-in for those rather than putting in something that doesn't really fit the needs of the community,” Parker said.

      There are 18 parklets across the city, and two of these are on Davie Street between Thurlow and Bute streets.

      West End BIA executive director Stephen Regan previously told the Straight that the proposed parklet is part of his group’s bigger vision for Davie Village.

      According to Regan, the business improvement association wants to see the creation of a cluster of parklets and outdoor patios in the area.

      Regan’s group hosted a community meeting about the idea on February 11, and a second one is scheduled Thursday (February 20).

      The February 20 meeting will be held at the Gordon Neighbourhood House (1019 Broughton Street).

      The West End Seniors’ Network has been in discussion with West End BIA for some time, but the group is not supporting the business association’s parklet proposal.

      Anthony Kupferschmidt, executive director of the seniors’ network, said that his group wants to see the Davie Street bus stop retained.

      “We do not support the replacement of this bus stop or any bus stop with a parklet,” Kupferschmidt told the Straight in a phone interview.

      According to Kupferschmidt, the removal of the bus stop will make it harder for seniors and people with disabilities to get to their destinations.

      “While we support increasing seating along sidewalks, we encourage the City of Vancouver to find other ways to meet this need,” Kupferschmidt said. “We think that bus stops should be retained wherever possible.”