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

14 May

Jefferson Center to convene Community Panel to inform selection of a new arterial through False Creek Flats

Starting this summer, the Jefferson Center — a non-profit organization committed to advancing democratic, citizen-driven solutions to community and public issues — will convene a Community Panel that will help to inform a new arterial alignment through the False Creek Flats.

“We’re eager to start working with the community to design a productive and well-informed Community Panel,” says Kyle Bozentko, Executive Director of the Jefferson Center and Project Principal for the Flats Arterial Community Panel. “Over the next few months, our team will connect with area stakeholders and community members to help shape the information shared with the Panel and the overall Panel process. Our aim is to begin public recruitment for the Community Panel in August, with the Panel set to convene first in October.”

The Community Panel will review technical information, learn from experts, listen to stakeholders about the impacts of the arterial road options, get feedback from the public, and then make a recommendation to the City on an alignment option.

The Jefferson Center is partnering with local public engagement specialist Susanna Haas Lyons, who will serve as Panel Chair. Haas Lyons recently served as Senior Advisor for the Citizens’ Assembly on the Grandview-Woodland Community Plan, and was also staff to the BC Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform.

After exploring many alignment options for the east-west arterial to replace Prior/Venables Street, the City recognized that all of the options present challenges for stakeholders and decided to form a community panel to deliberate the trade-offs and work towards an arterial option that best meets the needs of all partners involved.

“We have done a lot of technical assessment about three possible alternative arterials through the Flats – Malkin, National, and William,” says Jerry Dobrovolny, General Manager of Engineering for the City of Vancouver. “By the time the False Creek Flats Area Plan came to Council last year, we were seeing that these three options all came with challenges, with a near 1/3 – 1/3 – 1/3 split of support from stakeholders. We realized at that time that we needed to do a deeper and more extensive consultation to ensure that we really hear and understand all the trade-offs associated with a new alignment. We chose a community panel as it is the highest level of consultation that a City can do, and we believe that this choice requires a very high level of engagement.”

The necessity for a new arterial and overpass is driven by the long-term need to build an over or underpass to separate the rail corridor from the arterial. Additionally, Council has approved the transition of Prior/Venables to a local serving street once a new arterial is complete. Consultation and engagement of the arterial overpass was initially included as part of the False Creek Flats Area Plan, but was separated from the planning process when the area plan went to Council on May 17, 2017 to allow for more community input into the process. In November 2017, the City announced it intended to launch a community panel to advise on the decision.

The Jefferson Center was selected as part of a rigorous procurement process as per the City’s procurement policies.

To learn more about the Flats Arterial or about community panels, and to sign up to an email listserve to receive more information as the Jefferson Center begins its process, visit vancouver.ca/flatsarterial.