Kits Point Transportation Upgrades – Response

February 9, 2023

COV Re: Kits Point Transportation Changes

We look forward to your online information session on February 16. Hopefully it will be more detailed than the very limited material you provided on your website on February 9th.

In May of 2021, I led a traffic survey within the Point, in which residents recorded 45-15 minute counts, including traffic modal split between vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians. The results, An Astonishing Traffic Problem Quantified, are available on the website, and within an open-source database,

CoV transportation guidelines specify that local street bikeways with up to 100 vehicles per hour may be considered AAA (All Ages and Abilities) after carefully considering speed, parking turnover and passing opportunities. Every bikeway in Kits Point currently exceeds this threshold – by 400% along Cypress, and 600% along Arbutus. During the summer, up to 600 vehicles per hour are circling the Point looking for a parking spot.

Within the Senakw Service Agreement, the Nation has delivered to the CoV a Traffic Assessment and Management Study (referenced in Appendix F.2). At the time the Service
Agreement was executed, the CoV assumed (Schedule F.7) that the preliminary traffic impact studies provided by the Nation were accurate analyses of traffic impacts in all material respects. Since the release of the Service Agreement, you have had time to professionally review the Traffic Assessment and are bringing forward recommendations for transportation changes in the surrounding communities.

With respect to your review:

  1. Under current loads, will your proposed changes mitigate queueing, specifically at the Cypress/Cornwall intersection?
  2. Under current loads, will your proposed changes mitigate the circling of traffic searching for a parking spot?
  3. What is the anticipated volume of trucks, including delivery vehicles, cars, bicycles and pedestrians that will enter and leave the Senakw lands from the Chestnut access point?
  4. How many vehicles associated with Senakw are forecast to use Kits Point for parking?
  5. Can you share with us your assessment of intersection and roadway operations, including volume-to capacity ratio (V/C) and levels of service (LOS) – currently, during
    construction and post Senakw completion?
  6. Are your proposed changes consistent with Vision Zero and the CoV Active Transportation Guidelines?
  7. Does your Transportation design incorporate other study area developments, such as the proposed additions in Vanier Park?
  • As Chris Lewis presented in the August 12, 2021 Urban Lunch, the Senakw vision for Vanier Park includes a new Indigenous STEAM School, a new Elementary School and a new Indigenous Performing Arts Centre
  • Does it incorporate the Molson redevelopment?
  • Are there other major trip generators/attractors within the Study Area that need to be considered?

Thank you,
Kerry Sully

7 thoughts on “Kits Point Transportation Upgrades – Response”

  1. In the, they estimate “Sen̓áḵw is designed to be a transit-oriented, car-light community. With this car-light emphasis, combined with the already highly restricted parking regulations for the surrounding Kits Point neighbourhood, the impact on the surrounding streets will be insignificant. It is anticipated that the development will add 7 to 8 cars per minute on average, spread across the two site access points during peak hours.”

    In the KPRA 2021 traffic counts, the peak usage at Cypress north of Cornwall was 300 cyclists, 160 pedestrians and 450 vehicles. So the Senakw estimate for their Chestnut access point will increase vehicle volumes at Cypress north of Cornwall by 50%. What is their estimate for pedestrians and cyclists?

  2. I cannot leave a reasonable comment because I just see red whenever I look at the proposed changes and when I listened to the webinar last night. I did not find a single suggestion that made sense for the whole neighbourhood, All changes seem to only consider what is best for residents of the Senakw tower development. Don’t we all live here and don’t many Vancouver residents use the facilities in Kits Point?

  3. A disaster that could be simply solved by having 1-way entrance to Senakw at Chestnut and egress at Fir and 1st Ave.
    Further advantages of the above solution:
    1. No changes required to any Kits Point streets (with associated cost savings).
    2. Vanier Park not needed to be sacrificed for the sake of an unnecessary access road.
    3. Easy and safe access by Senakw residents to Vanier Park (in that they would not have to cross a road to access the Park).

  4. Kits Point Traffic Update – comments from Richard (Kits Point resident)

    I attended the City’s online traffic update Thursday 16 February 2023.
    There were up to 170 attending, dwindling to about 135 at the close at 8:00 pm.
    My overall impression of Paul Storer, Vancouver Director of Transportation was akin to a deer in the headlights. No doubt he was ordered to present this charade by his masters at City Hall.
    His presentation on how the City would cope with the 6,500 units, and about 9,500 new residents abutting Burrard Bridge focused on one way streets, bike lanes, pedestrian refuge, and tree planting. A solution reminiscent of a bandaid for open heart surgery.
    He remarked re parking for 650 or 850 cars, although he was not sure of the actual number. That uncertainty, plus lack of detail, and awaiting “finalized design” leads me to believe that the developers are not communicating with the City.
    It would appear that the present city Council is accepting all that went before with the previous Council’s in-camera “negotiations” or more correctly “capitulation.”

  5. Kits Point Resident

    As a resident of Kits Point for many years, I appreciate and support the efforts of the City of Vancouver to regulate traffic entering Kits Point. I also appreciate its efforts to encourage the use of bicycles rather than motorized vehicles to access the neighbourhood. Yes, a number of issues about traffic patterns need to be resolved, ( Arbutus from Cornwall to Creelman as just one example), but in general, it is commendable that the City continues to recognize that traffic congestion is a growing and serious problem for both Kits Point residents and non- residents, and a problem that needs to be addressed.

    The initiatives undertaken by the City are, conceptually at least, a good thing for residents of Kits Point. Motor vehicles illegally parked in areas that are permit parking only, or parked longer than the stipulated time, or illegally parked in lanes, create access and egress problems for residents. Vehicles coming in to the neighbourhood for work and deliveries can’t find legal parking, and, (often with residents’ support, because there is no other choice), park illegally in permit parking only spaces or lanes. The Senakw development may have an additional negative impact on traffic congestion, but it must be acknowledged that traffic congestion has been a growing problem for considerable time, long before Senakw.

    As part of the City’s initiative to deal with traffic congestion in Kits Point, KPRA, supported by residents, should be advocating with the City for at least a 50% increase in permit parking for residents only – one permit for each resident, and 2 (number subject to discussion) guest passes for each resident, for use by guests and work vehicles.

    In addition, again related to the issue of traffic congestion, City enforcement in relation to illegal parking, including timely towing, needs to be significantly increased, not just in the summer, but all year long. Lack of timely and efficient traffic enforcement contributes directly to traffic congestion. If the problem of enforcement is due to lack of human and other resources on the part of the City, this shortage alone highlights the need for the deterrent effect of an increase in permit parking in Kits Point.

    A significant increase in the number of permit parking spaces in Kits Point, and effective enforcement will also encourage non- resident drivers to utilize the public parking available on Arbutus ( 2 lots), at the Maritime museum, the Planetarium, and the Vancouver Academy of Music, rather than face the risk of fines and towing.

    I encourage other residents of Kits Point to contact KPRA and the City to provide their views about traffic congestion, parking permits, and regulation of traffic patterns. It is always a timely subject, and even more so now, given the City’s proposed plans concerning bike lanes and parking restrictions.

  6. My family is a resident of Kits Point. We live on Creelman Avenue.

    For context, in general I support the concept of the Squamish Nation building rental homes on the Senakw property. That said, I’m very concerned about the impact of 6000 new homes, +/- 8500 new residents, with only 850 parking stalls on the livability of our neighbourhood. I’m also very disappointed in how the City of Vancouver has neglected their fiduciary responsibility to City of Vancouver constituents when failing to engage the community and appropriately negotiate with Squamish / Westbank when establishing the servicing agreement.

    I listened to the Feb 16 presentation and question period for the proposed Kits Point traffic changes and parking discussion related to Senakw. Here’s my view on the issues.

    1. Director of Transportation Storer appeared to be focussing solutions on the 600 to 850 cars / parking stalls associated with Senakw (lack of clarity on the actual number) and providing solutions for this volume of vehicle traffic. This 1 to 100 ratio of parking to residents is an extreme situation and cannot be viewed through a traditional lens.

    Have the traffic studies factored vehicle traffic loads associated with taxi, ride share, car share and deliveries (food / parcel / etc) associated with +/- 8500 residents, 90% of whom don’t have parking in their development? I believe the volume of traffic will be much higher than currently contemplated and driven by the number of residents that is 10x greater than the number of parking stalls. Despite the low parking count, the people still have to move.

    2. Just focussing on the car share element illuminates a huge potential issue for Kits Point. Director Storer minimized car share as an issue for Senakw, referencing a stat that even he wasn’t clear on.

    Currently, during peak Kits Beach Park usage periods, car share parking overwhelms permit street parking in Kits Point. My family lives on the west end of Creelman and it’s common to return home in the evening during park peak usage periods and be unable to find nearby parking as 6 to 8 carshares are parked in front of our home for the night.

    With the addition of 6000 homes, +/- 8500 residents and only 850 parking stalls, I would think car share will be a major source of transportation for Senakw residents.

    Has volume of expected Senakw car share use been studied and where those cars will be parked during overnight periods after evening trips end at Senakw?

    Based on what we see with Kits Beach users car share implications, one could imagine that Senakw car share could overwhelm Kits Point permit parking if managed as is currently.

    Will the City of Vancouver consider amending care share parking regulations in Kits Point to prevent Senakw resident car share users from taking over Kits Point permit parking?

    3. Again, it appears as though the City of Vancouver may be grossly underestimating the added vehicle traffic associated with Senakw. The proposed road changes seem myopic given the likely much higher new volume of traffic coming. It seems unrealistic to think that the majority of traffic will follow the new planned route and much of Senakw traffic flow will find other ways through Kits Point as traffic increases and backups occur at Cornwall / Cypress / Greer / Chestnut. Traffic jams in/out of the strip mall on the northeast corner of Cypress/Cornwall already forces vehicles down other Kits Point entry points.

    I would expect a greater review of all the Kits Point in / out routes and all the streets within Kits Point.

    4. As as cyclist, I’m well aware that cyclists often take the shortest convenient path. We already observe many cyclist “shortcutting” Kits Point when heading west and travelling down Creelman. When the planned Greer / Cypress / Cornwall / Chestnut route jams up, vehicle traffic will overflow onto Creelman. The majority of bike trips originating in Senakw, heading west will take the shortest route down Creelman. With a downhill grade and no traffic calming between Cypress and Arbutus, there is already a high volume of high speed cycling traffic on Creelman. Has traffic (car and cycling) on Creelman been studied and with the significant increase in cycling traffic associated with Senakw are there improvements planned for Creelman? Creelman is a wide street that appears to have the ability to be calmed and have a cycling lane added.

    5. Senakw will obviously also add significant traffic to Cornwall. I understand that many in the neighbourhood would like to see the speed limit on Cornwall reduced. Has the reduction of speed and making Cornwall one lane is each direction with improved cycling / pedestrian pathways been considered?

    1. Kits Point Resident

      Geoff – thank you for raising the issue of car share – a problem I had not considered. For a development planned to be transit friendly, this seems to be an impending unintended consequence. Certainly, it could become a source of internal conflicts as residents who have paid for parking find others taking up available space for free. How to manage this is definitely something the city needs to consider now. and be proactive in their traffic/parking plan.

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