Changes impose lower standard of living
Increasing gridlock and overcrowding
Widespread rezoning and densification are placing an ever increasing demand on our public transit and are congesting our roads and highways. This also means increased pollution, increased commutes, and increased wait times for trains and buses. Ian Bailey of The Globe and Mail comments on a TomTom survey that reveals that already in 2014, the average Vancouver driver experienced 87 hours of delay time a year based on a 30-minute daily commute [Click on the image to see article].
Loss of access to amenities and services
Rezoning and densification are reducing accessibility to parks and community services and amenities (seniors homes, health clinics, swimming pools, daycare centres, community centres, and other). Towers are not required to be built with enough swimming pool, sauna, and gym facilities so as to offset the increased demand on existing community facilities. Little effort is made to increase and improve these to accommodate the increased population.
Hazardous streets and loss of parking spaces
With the increased density as a result of the building of towers and multi-story housing, the numbers of cars that travel our side streets increases, and parking becomes scarce. City Hall does not take the initiative to place signs to properly regulate parking or place speed bumps to protect children and pets from hurried drivers. Neither is the City quick to enforce the right of residents to the parking spaces in front of their own dwellings. When quiet streets become busy roads, residents are on their own.
Fewer gardens and more crowded parks
Already in 2004 the Evergreen group in its extensive “Results of a Nation-wide Survey” [Click on underlined part to see document] pointed out that in urban centres like Vancouver “population growth is outpacing the creation of new parks.”
Furthermore, they noted that cities like Vancouver “face limited acess to additional parkland because of high land values and built-up surrounding areas, or because of geographical limits to the city’s growth.”
After more than 10 years of population growth, we are now in much direr straights. Our city is being densified at a pace faster than ever without municipal or provincial measures to improve our green space-to-population ratio, our parkland standards, or our parkland dedication requirements. We are getting less -not more- green space at the neighbourhood level.
Bicycle lanes many of which are unsafe & unwise
Turning the city into a bicycle friendly city is a great idea. However, City Council is in too much of a rush and is not doing enough either to protect cyclists or to regulate bicycle traffic. Vancouver arterials were designed to prioritize vehicle traffic, and simply eliminating car lanes to allow for bicycle lanes will create gridlock and make streets unsafe. The existing bicycle routes need to be reassessed and those that are found to be well situated need to be optimized [protected] so as to make cycling safe.