17 Apr

The Flats Arterial Community Panel Releases Final Report

Four people sit around a table taking notes while one speaks into a microphone

The Community Panel releases final report in advance of presentations to Vancouver City Council and Vancouver Park Board.

Vancouver, BC–On April 6, the Flats Arterial Community Panel, composed of 37 people selected to represent the diversity of Flats-area residents and businesses, as well as City residents, recommended a route for a new east-west grade-separated arterial in the False Creek Flats.

After extensive deliberation, the Panel recommended National-Charles as the preferred arterial route, using a ranked choice voting process.

In an Executive Statement summarizing their work together, the Panel wrote:

Each option had strong pros and cons. There is information and answers we still wish we had. And many of us came in with our own positions, biases, and agendas that were shaped and changed by listening to one another. Even if we didn’t always agree with one another, we are now more able to understand one another and those whose experiences and perspectives differ from our own.

While there remains conflicting priorities and tensions, we feel we ultimately arrived at a place where everyone was committed to recommend the best option for everyone in the community, not just for our own personal interests.

The Community Panel’s full report is now available to the public. The report includes additional assessments of each of the 9 route options considered by the Panel, personal statements from Panel members, and additional detail about the Community Panel project.

The Panel will present its recommendation and report to Vancouver City Council on April 24 and to Vancouver Park Board on April 30. These meetings are open to the public, but are not public hearings.

Vancouver City Council and the Vancouver Park Board will use the Panel’s recommendation as a significant input in the selection of a grade-separated arterial alignment through the False Creek Flats, but may request further community discussions, learning and technical analysis before making a recommendation to City Council later in 2019. Vancouver City Council and Vancouver Park Board will have the final authority to accept, modify or reject specific recommendations at its discretion, or refer aspects to appropriate City and Park staff.

About the Flats Arterial Community Panel Team

The Jefferson Center is a nonpartisan, nonprofit civic engagement organization committed to advancing informed, innovative, and democratic solutions to public challenges. They partnered with local public engagement specialist Susanna Haas Lyons, Panel Chair, to conduct the Panel. Haas Lyons has worked for over 15 years on complex public and stakeholder engagement projects across North America, including local and province-wide community panels.

10 Apr

Session 7 of the Flats Arterial Community Panel Votes on Arterial Route

On the final day of the Flats Arterial Community Panel, Panelists began by reviewing their case statements, input from the public (from the workshops and online submissions), and feedback from City and Parks Board staff.  

They then discussed which of the six key factors were emerging for them as most important to think about while they consider how the four alignments (and nine variations) might meet the needs of the neighbourhood, city and region. These learning factors are:

  • transportation performance
  • cost and constructability
  • business
  • community livability
  • parks, recreational spaces and community gardens
  • public and other community facilities.

They also discussed how these factors aligned with the values they had prioritized in earlier sessions.

Panelists then began their voting process: the first vote ordered their list of key decision-making factors. The second vote reduced the number of route variations to consider from nine to five, which were Prior/Venables-Underpass, Malkin North, National-Grant, National-Charles, and National-Civic Facilities.

After their lunch break, Panelists reconvened in small groups to compare the remaining five options, using the ranked key factors as a guide. Then as a whole they shared what was most important to them as they moved towards making a recommendation.

Then came the final vote on which route variation to recommend. Using ranked choice voting, Panelists chose and ranked their top five arterial route options in order (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th). The Panel’s recommendation was declared when a route received 50 percent plus one or more of the total votes cast. National Charles emerged as the variation with the most support, with 67.6% of the vote. Prior/Venables – Underpass was runner-up, with 32.4% of the vote.

The Community Panel used this voting methodology because it identified an option that is preferable to most Panelists (and avoids a result strongly supported by some, but unliked by the rest) and allowed Panelists to vote for the route they truly feel is best (if their first choice finishes last, their vote is allocated to their second choice, not “wasted”).

After a brief group discussion to reflect on the recommendation, Panelists reconvened to write an introduction to their final report, personal statements, and some met in groups to advance additional ideas such as “no route” and “National-Straight” for consideration by the City.

A final report detailing the Community Panel’s journey and their recommendations is currently being reviewed and finalized by Panelists. This report will be made available on this website prior to the Panel’s presentation to City Council and Park Board in late April.

Next steps

Once the Panel’s final recommendation report has been publicly released, it will be up to City Council and Park Board to make final decisions on the route.

  1. Report will be submitted to public, Vancouver City Council and Vancouver Park Board for review (mid April)
  2. Presentation to City Council April 24th (public welcome)
  3. Presentation to Park Board April 30th (public welcome)
  4. City staff (and, if impacts a park, Park Board staff) will take Panel input, and lead planning, financial, technical and community engagement processes.
  5. Staff recommendation (fall 2019)
  6. City Council (and Park Board) decision (TBD)

Review the Flats Arterial Community Panel process

If you would like to review what Panelists learned over the last few months, leading to their recommendation, please see the following materials:

  • Presentations from sessions 1-4 are posted on the Learning Materials page.  Videos of each presentation are also available there.  Summaries of each session are also included there.
  • All learning materials provided to Panelists can be found in the Additional Resources section.
  • Public submissions are available here.
  • Summaries of public input are posted here.

Stay connected

The Flats Arterial Community Panel team will send the final report and more information on the upcoming City Council and Parks Board meetings via our newsletter, so please subscribe for key Panel updates.

For longer-term information about the arterial route, please subscribe to the City’s newsletter.  

06 Apr

Flats Arterial Community Panel Recommends National-Charles for the False Creek Flats Arterial Route

The Community Panel reviewed technical information, heard from experts, stakeholders, and the public, then provided a recommendation to the City of Vancouver and Vancouver Park Board.

Vancouver, BC–The Flats Arterial Community Panel, composed of 37 people selected to represent the diversity of Flats-area residents and businesses, as well as City residents, gathered today to recommend the route for a new east-west grade-separated arterial.

After extensive deliberation, using a Ranked Choice Voting/Instant Runoff process, the Panel ranked 5 route options: Prior/Venables – Underpass; Malkin North; National-Grant; National-Charles; National-Civic Facilities.

In the instant runoff process, National-Charles was selected as the Panel’s recommended arterial route, receiving 67.6% of the vote. Prior/Venables – Underpass was runner-up, with 32.4% of the vote.

In an Executive Statement summarizing their work together, the Panel emphasized the following:
“Each option had strong pros and cons. There is information and answers we still wish we had. And many of us came in with our own positions, biases, and agendas that were shaped and changed by listening to one another. Even if we didn’t always agree with one another, we are now more able to understand one another and those whose experiences and perspectives differ from our own.

While there remains conflicting priorities and tensions, we feel we ultimately arrived at a place where everyone was committed to recommend the best option for everyone in the community, not just for our own personal interests.”

No clear preference for an arterial route surfaced during the City of Vancouver’s False Creek Flats planning process, a result of the complex trade-offs presented by the options. In November 2017, the City of Vancouver recognized the need for further stakeholder engagement, and decided to form a Community Panel. Panelists would consider route trade-offs and work towards an arterial option that best met the needs of the neighbourhood, city, and region as a whole. The City put forward 9 route options for Panelists to consider: Malkin Avenue (North, Central, and South variations), National Avenue (National-Grant, National-Charles, and National-Civic variations), Prior/Venables (overpass and underpass variations), and William Street.

Approximately 200 people applied to sit on the Panel during the recruitment period in late 2018. From the group of volunteer applicants, Panel members were selected anonymously and randomly to represent the gender, ethnicity, and age makeup of local residents, businesses, and residents from across Vancouver.

Over the past 4 months, Panelists have listened to expert and stakeholder presentations, examined key information, and participated in deep discussions during eight full-day meetings. Throughout these sessions they weighed values, technical information, and advantages and drawbacks with the concerns, goals, and needs of all involved and affected by the potential alignment options. The broader community and stakeholders were also invited to contribute to the Panel’s learning through two public workshops and provided 75 online submissions.

“The community members who served as volunteers on the Flats Arterial Community Panel worked tirelessly, over multiple weekends on behalf of their neighbours and the City of Vancouver,” said Kyle Bozentko, Executive Director of the Jefferson Center and Project Principal. “The effort, diligence, and spirit of cooperation they brought to the task of developing this recommendation, with an emphasis on making a decision that best serves the interests of community and the residents of the entire city of Vancouver, should be commended and celebrated.”

Vancouver City Council and the Vancouver Park Board will use the Panel’s recommendation as a significant input in the selection of a grade-separated arterial alignment through the False Creek Flats, but may request further community discussions, learning and technical analysis before making a recommendation to City Council later in 2019. Vancouver City Council and Vancouver Park Board will have the final authority to accept, modify or reject specific recommendations at its discretion, or refer aspects to appropriate City and Park staff.[

A final report detailing the Community Panel’s journey and their recommendations is currently being reviewed and finalized by Panelists. This report will be made available prior to presentation to City Council and Park Board in late April at fcfcommunitypanel.com

About the Flats Arterial Community Panel Team

The Jefferson Center is a nonpartisan, nonprofit civic engagement organization committed to advancing informed, innovative, and democratic solutions to public challenges. They partnered with local public engagement specialist Susanna Haas Lyons, Panel Chair, to conduct the Panel. Haas Lyons has worked for over 15-years on complex public and stakeholder engagement projects across North America, including local and province-wide community panels.

To learn more about the Flats Arterial Community Panel, including the selection process, Panel schedule, learning program, and detailed results, visit fcfcommunitypanel.com

06 Apr

False Creek Flats Arterial Community Panel to make final panel recommendation for new route

City of Vancouver
Information Bulletin
April 6, 2019

Today, the Community Panel for the False Creek Flats Arterial Panel will recommend a new route for a new east-west grade-separated arterial through the False Creek Flats.

The Panel, a group of 37 demographically diverse Vancouver residents and business participants, worked together over 14 weeks to recommend the route that best meets the needs of the neighbourhood, city, and region as a whole. While the Community Panel will make its recommendation, this is not the final decision or word on the alignment.

The panel was asked to consider 9 route options: Malkin Avenue (North, Central, and South variations), National Avenue (National-Grant, National-Charles, and National-Civic variations), Prior/Venables (overpass and underpass variations), and William Street.

The panelists participated in significant learning sessions, including:

  • 8 days of learning and discussion
  • A site tour of the area
  • Multiple stakeholder presentations
  • 2 public workshops for non-panel public to participate in
  • 4 alignments for exploration

Next Steps:

  • The Community Panel will present their recommendation to Council and Park Board for information in late April.
  • Staff will incorporate this final phase of public input and move forward with technical analysis.
  • Staff will make a final recommendation to Council in fall 2019.

Vancouver City Council and Vancouver Park Board will have the final authority to accept, modify or reject specific recommendations at its discretion, or refer aspects to appropriate City and Park staff.

Videos of each presentation made to the Community Panel were live streamed on Facebook and can be found online for viewing by the public.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/cityofvancouver

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fzb-xk5DuPg&list=PLF8s0XPMBBO30rOigw0NuD8eGMdL4vLPU


Learn more about the Panel process:
fcfcommunitypanel.com

Media contact:
City of Vancouver
Civic Engagement and Communications
604.871.6336
media@vancouver.ca

Kyle Bozentko, Project Principal
Jefferson Center
kbozentko@jefferson-center.org