Strathcona residents seeking traffic solutions on Prior if Viaducts come down

Strathcona residents who have borne the brunt of Georgia and Dunsmuir Viaducts traffic since the mini-freeway opened in 1971 are mobilizing to ensure that any plan to tear down the Viaducts delivers long-term relief to their community.

Councillors’ inboxes have been receiving a steady flow of anxious and angry e-mails since the current proposal went public with its new intersection at Main and Prior. The city study ends at Gore, but suggests traffic could increase on Prior. There is no suggestion of traffic calming or new traffic alternatives east of Gore.

The letters I’m getting say there has to be action to help Strathcona.

Personally, I agree. I’ve been urging community members to put those concerns to city staff during the current consultation.

These comments from Elana Zysblat are typical:

Prior Street, as it is today, is a dangerous, noisy highway that goes nowhere and this problem is probably one of the only bad aspects of living in Strathcona. The viaduct plans as proposed on your boards will make this existing situation worse.
Union Street bike route has become so heavily used that it has become a liability for the residents who live on it. The viaduct plans show more bike traffic being encouraged onto this route which goes through a narrow, very dense residential street. Daily accidents happen between pedestrians and cyclists because of this poor planning.
Prior Street must be calmed, not expanded, and the Union Street bike route should be moved onto it.
Maybe the Pacific Boulevard and downtown traffic can be diverted onto Malkin?
In any case I am very disappointed with the proposal as it effects my neighbourhood. I cannot support the expansion of Prior Street.
These are all valid points and they should be incorporated in feedback to city staff, in further meetings if necessary.
As a former Strathcona resident, I know the problems on Prior very well. I have not urged consideration of removing the Viaducts to make matters worse for that community and believe there are both short-term and long-term measures the city can take to resolve the concern.