The city’s plan for a revamped Davie Street is finally up for a vote next week. On December 16, councillors will receive a detailed staff report that describes a new “Davie Village”.
The designs include a number of improvements to the area centered around the intersection of Davie and Bute.
Among the most visible additions will be an overhead art installation placed over the intersection. However, it could be some time before that specific element is actually implemented.
In a telephone interview, Kevin McNaney, the City of Vancouver's assistant director of planning, confirmed that piece of the plan as well as a number of neighbouring components have been delated until 2019.
“There is a lot of support for some sort of mid-block art piece or symbolic piece, but there wasn’t a lot of agreement in the community on what it should be,” he said. “So it needs a bit more conversation.”
He added that logistical issues have also caused delays. For example, ensuring the art installation does not interfere with TransLink’s overhead bus cables.
In addition to the art installation, McNaney said a public space planned for the section of Bute immediately north of Davie will also not happen right away. The same goes for a mid-block crosswalk that’s planned to run on Davie between Bute and Thurlow.
The staff report states budgetary constraints also played a role in delaying the implementation of those items.
“A mid-block pedestrian crossing on Davie Street between Thurlow and Bute Streets, improvements to Bute Street north of Davie Street, and a decorative overhead feature will be delivered in future phases,” it reads. “The next phase will be considered as part of the next Capital Plan process (2019-2022).”
What is coming in the near future, McNaney said, is a plaza adjacent to the intersection of Davie and Bute running south. According to the staff report, it will include expanded patios, weather-protected seating and tables, additional movable seating, overhead strand lighting, and new trees and plants.
That new public space will be called “Jim Deva Plaza”, named after the long-time leader in Vancouver's LGBT communities who died in September 2014.