A community panel has made its recommendation for a new arterial road to punch through the northern False Creek Flats.

The route, if selected by the city, will connect East Vancouver with downtown once the viaducts are removed, while creating a grade-separated crossing at the Burrard Inlet Rail Line.


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The 42-member panel has recommended the so-called “National-Charles” route.

The road would border the north side of the new St. Paul’s Hospital, snake south on Thornton Street before heading east on National Avenue and connecting to Charles Street at Clark Drive.

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Panellists chose the route from among four main route options with a variety of smaller variations: Malkin Avenue (North, Central and South variations), National Avenue (Grant, Charles and Civic variations), Prior/Venables (Overpass and Underpass), and William Street.

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The panel found that the National-Charles route had a variety of advantages, including a having lower impact on “Produce Row” and other businesses, keeping traffic away from residential areas, preserving the Cottonwood and Strathcona community gardens and the causing the least amount of park loss.

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Panellists made the selection from variations on four main route options through the flats.

City of Vancouver

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However, the panel also acknowledged the route was likely the most expensive because it will cross the rail line at its widest point, with a large portion of costs potentially not eligible for partner funding.

It also involves higher complexity and construction time, a greater impact on the existing city works yard and firefighters’ training facility and involves an “S” curve which could increase a risk of accidents.

Benefits and impacts of the proposed “National-Charles” route through the False Creek Flats.

City of Vancouver

The second most popular route option involved retaining the existing arterial along Prior and Venables streets while adding an underpass at the rail crossing.

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However, the panel said choosing this route could erode trust with the community, after previous promises by the city to downgrade that route to a local street once the viaducts come down.

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The remaining routes all came with a list trade-offs, including varying degrees of impact to local businesses and Strathcona Park, cost, safety factors, and transit accessibility.

You can see the full slate of options and varying pro-and-con arguments here.

The panel will present its recommendation to council next Wednesday. City and Park Board staff make a recommendation on a final route in Fall 2019 before making a final decision.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Panel recommends route for future major road connecting East Vancouver, downtown



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