Category Archives: District of North Vancouver

North Van Chamber of Commerce pleads for action on traffic concerns

 

“One of the courier dispatchers for a service located in Delta called coming to North Vancouver ‘the seventh circle of hell’.”
On January 16th the North Shore Chamber of Commerce released highlights of a survey they had conducted in the business community about the impacts of traffic gridlock on the North Shore. The quote that introduces this article was one of the responses.
The survey was released at an invitation only summit  for local mayors, MLAs and MPs, which called on leaders to develop a bold, long-term vision for transportation in the region, and to include business at the table as solutions are being developed. Kevin Desmond, CEO of Translink, was also in attendance.
The results of the Chamber’s survey may be found here:
The survey found businesses on the North Shore had problems moving their products and with the fact that many of their employees commuted to the North Shore in impossible traffic. One respondent asked, “How can we ask people to work for our company when it takes them 2 hours to commute here?” Half of respondents reported that traffic issues raised problems attracting and retaining customers. Many of the businesses surveyed report they are considering moving off the North Shore.
Two other quotes reported in the survey were:
“All meetings and dealings with potential clients must be scheduled within a very narrow
4 – hour window or else nobody can get to where they need to be.”
and
“Timing is everything! Go nowhere before 9:30am and be off the road by 3:00pm
 The Chamber press release is here:

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DNV responds to Delbrook traffic concerns. Changes “considered” and dependent on “capital funding”

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The District of North Vancouver has responded to a November 15, 2017 letter from the Delbrook Comuity Association (DCA) raising concerns about traffic safety on Delbrook Avenue and adjacent streets.

The DCA letter raised five concerns touching on speeding on Delbrook, lack of signage, lack of speeding enforcement and the dangerous pedestrian crosswalk at Windsor and Delbrook. The DCA had also raised these concerns in 2016.

In its December 21, 2017 response the District’s traffic section said “the District is looking into installing speed limit signage to remind drivers of the posted speed limit.” The District is also “requesting that periodic speed enforcement on Delbrook Avenue be considered by the RCMP.”

With respect to the Windsor pedestrian crossing, The District is planning on upgrading some of the pedestrian crosswalks with Rapid Rectangular Flashing Beacons (RRFBs), subject to annual capital funding in 2018. The crosswalk at Delbrook Avenue and Windsor Road has been identified as one of the locations to be upgraded.”

While the contents of the letter are encouraging, they are still far from a solid commitment to improvements. “Looking into” things, a “request” that might be considered and changes “subject to annual capital funding”  leave a lot of wiggle room.

Delbrook residents have also been raising more traffic concerns. On November 16th, the day after the DCA letter was sent, a pedestrian was struck and seriously injured at the marked Delbrook and Evergreen crosswalk. Police report the driver said, “he did not see the pedestrian because of heavy rainfall and poor visibility.” The Evergreen crossing is a particular concern because of the number of children who use it to get to school.

Residents have also raised concerns about traffic on Windsor Road. One resident has already been struck by a car on the Road which is often used as a shortcut at speed by people avoiding Queens Road. As well, the jam of regular parking by movie shoots has made crossing Windsor at Stanley and St. James or turns at the intersection dangerous as parked cars from the movie industry using the old Delbrook Rec Centre site make seeing oncoming traffic difficult.

Have you got other concerns about traffic in the Delbrook community? Please share these concerns here or on the DCA’s Facebook or Twitter sites.

You can find the earlier DCA post on Delbrook traffic here:

https://delbrookca.wordpress.com/2017/11/24/the-delbrook-speedway-and-windsor-roads-dangerous-crosswalk/

You can find the police report on the accident on Evergreen here:

http://bc.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/ViewPage.action?siteNodeId=205&contentId=53312&languageId=1

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The living ecosystem in Delbrook creeks needs protection

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Keegan Casidy, who has written on this site before on environmental issues and our creeks today offers us a fascinating video of salmon fry in Mission (Thain Creek). Mission Creek is an important tributary to Mosquito Creek.

Keegan writes, “Did you know that Coho fry spend a year in their Creek/Stream before leaving to the Ocean?

“This extended rearing phase is often the limiting factor for the species success. In the Summer months the fry have to deal with hot temperatures and low flows, and during the Winter they rely on deep slow moving pools for refuge.

“Mosquito Creek like many urban streams have their challenges.
One of which is they generally have large storm drain networks that are fed by our roads. Mosquito has seen mass fish kill offs in the past from negligent residents. Low flows during Summer and Winter months make this a very challenging time for the life under the water.

“Also, many urban streams have lost complexity created by large fallen trees and the deeper pools that come with it. These deeper pools are few and far between. It is likely almost every fish within several hundred meters has come to seek refuge in this one pool, making it critical to the species success on this watershed. The challenge here is there is literally so few of these refuges that you can count them on 1 hand.

“Another challenge is that Mosquito Creek has a large off leash dog area and with it these refuge pools have become dog swimming pools. There are 4 areas on Mosquito that were created specifically to help the Salmon. 1) The channel south of the skateboard bowl (Griffin Channel) 2) The channel below HWY 1 which runs parallel to Fell Ave (Fell Channel) 3) The two Alcoves that hold deep still water, there’s one just south east of the trailhead coming down off Fell Ave hill (West Alcove) 4) The other just a few steps up from the closed trail sign from the access on 19th to the East trail (East Alcove). Although Fell Channel is highlighted at every entrance as a “No Dog” zone, many trail users ignore these signs. There is very little water that enters this channel regardless of the time of year, and very little summer and wintering refuge, so dog pressure is magnified.

“East Alcove has significant dog pressure, especially during Summer months when dog activity kicks up silt and sediment to suffocate the fry.”

Editors Note: One of the uses the Delbrook Community Association has suggested for the Delbrook Lands site would include environmental education on issues such as this.

An earlier post by Keegan can be found here:

https://delbrookca.wordpress.com/2017/07/26/delbrook-project-needs-to-consider-environmental-issues/

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Non-resident ownership stats also affect North Shore communities

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News reports yesterday and today focused heavily on a new Statistics Canada report on levels of non-resident housing ownership in Vancouver and Toronto. But the Stats Can study also had details on all of the other communities in Metro Vancouver including the Districts of North and West Vancouver and the City of North Vancouver.

At 7.6%, the City of Vancouver had the highest level of non-resident ownership. Richmond was close behind at 7.5%.

On the North Shore, West Vancouver at 6.2% had the highest level of non-resident ownership while North Van City (3.8%) and District (2.4%), were far down the list.

Details of the report can be found here:

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/171219/dq171219b-eng.htm?HPA=1

In the District of North Vancouver this would mean roughly one in 40 homes are owned by a non-resident. The study does not look at the level of property speculation among Canadian residents.

The non-resident ownership is apparently heavily focused on condominiums, particularly high end condominiums.

The impact of non-resident ownership is one of the most heavily talked about issues in the discussion of why housing prices are rising so rapidly. The information for all of the Metro Vancouver local governments is shown below.

non resident ownership

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Thanks to the DNV for quick work on a hazardous foot bridge

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A few days ago we posted a blog about a letter we had written to the DNV about the hazardous condition of a foot bridge crossing Mission Creek between Delbrook Avenue and the Delbrook Lands. You can see the earlier post here.

https://delbrookca.wordpress.com/2017/12/07/is-the-footbridge-from-delbrook-to-the-delbrook-lands-a-hazard-that-should-be-removed/

This is what the footbridge looked like at the time:

IMG_0678

This is what the site looks like today:

bridgefix

The structure has been largely demolished with only the two main support beams left to go. Within ten days of our letter the DNV had taken action and we appreciate it.

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North Vancouver so far resisting trend to inequality

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The Globe and Mail has an interesting article today discussing how in Vancouver, wealthy communities are moving east, while “Burnaby, Richmond and Surrey – places that used to symbolize a comfortable, middle class existence – now show the highest concentrations of low-income households.”

North Vancouver, the article reports, “has maintained a solid half/half mix of middle-income and high-income neighbourhoods over 35 years, with a negligible 3 per cent increase in low-income areas.”

One commentator in the article argues, “The danger in such a trend is that a region with dramatic inequality leads to segregation, ghettoization and growing feelings of frustration and resentment. ”

University of B.C. geography professor David Ley, argues that rapid development is not the solution:

“The wide-open supply argument has been thoroughly tested and it’s been found wanting,” he says. “The problem has simply been aggravated. I think now, finally, people are recognizing that supply is not a problem solver, but in fact a problem generator because it is pricing up land all the time.”

As for the city’s (Vancouver) new housing strategy, which acknowledges that unabated development is not a solution, Dr. Ley says it’s a start.

An interesting article with some eye opening graphics. You can find it here:

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/real-estate/vancouver/how-income-inequality-is-reshaping-metrovancouver/article37196565/

 

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Is the footbridge from Delbrook to the Delbrook lands a hazard that should be removed?

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Most people will not be aware that there is footbridge across Mission Creek connecting Delbrook Avenue to the site of the old Delbrook Recreation Centre across the street from the soccer fields at Queens and Delbrook. The Bridge has not been maintained and is deteriorating.

In May of 2016 the Delbrook Community Association wrote to the District of North Vancouver saying we believed the bridge as it stood was a hazard and an attraction to children that should be replaced. The picture below is the bridge as it stood in the summer of 2016.

Delbrook Bridge

In June 2016 the DCA received a letter from the Parks Department saying:

“The Parks Department has inspected the bridge and completed a condition assessment. From a public safety perspective, the bridge cannot be repaired and has reached the end of its life. The Parks Department intends to dismantle the bridge this summer, and work within the context of the Delbrook Lands Planing process to determine a future for the bridge and associated costs. The Parks Department currently does not have 2016 funding to replace the bridge, and given the current planning exercise underway for the Delbrook site, it is prudent to wait until the planning process is complete, and there is direction on the desired trails and community linkages.”

That was 18 months ago. Below is a picture of the bridge now:

IMG_0678

In the last 18 months the danger sign has been removed and the south railing of the bridge has fallen off or been removed.

The DCA has once again written to the DNV expressing concerns abut the hazard the bridge presents, particularly for children and young people, and asking for action.

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