Supporters of Building Better Neighbourhoods will rally at Vancouver City Hall at 5:30 pm, on Mon, Nov 05, 2007 to oppose Canadian Tire’s plans for a massive retail development on SW Marine Drive. The rally will feature a bike rally, street theatre, speakers and songs by the Solidarity Notes choir.
Building Better Neighbourhoods was instrumental in Vancouver City Council’s June 2005 rejection of Wal-Mart’s first bid to put a big box on Marine Drive. Now Canadian Tire wants to build a 250,000-square ft highway oriented retail complex on 7.5-acres of industrial land on Marine Drive. City Council is expected to vote on Canadian Tire’s application after hearing from the public at a special Council meeting on November 13.
Local residents and community groups have long opposed plans by Canadian Tire and Wal-Mart to build massive big box stores in South Vancouver. They note that Canadian Tire alone would generate up to11,000 new vehicle trips per day in an area already impacted by heavy traffic and air pollution. Meanwhile Wal-Mart is also expected to resurrect their proposal for a second big-box just across the street from Canadian Tire. That would add another 7,000 car trips a day.
“This type of development flies in the face of what residents told the city they wanted for this community during the whole CityPlan consultation process,” said Louise Seto, spokesperson for Building Better Neighbourhoods, and Chair of the Sunset CityPlan Committee. “Sunset residents stated unequivocally that car-oriented big box developments are not a part of this neighbourhood’s vision for the future. Big box mall development, centred on car-oriented shopping that draws people away from local, neighbourhood centres, is not the kind of development that builds healthier or safer communities.”
Cyclists are also worried that safety will be compromised on the busy Ontario St Bikeway.
“The main access point to the Canadian Tire parking lot would have traffic cutting directly across the Ontario Bikeway,” said cycling activist, Richard Campbell. “This would also negatively impact the Kent Street Bikeway as well as the Canada Line’s new bicycle crossing over the Fraser River.
“This completely undermines the City’s stated policy of encouraging cycling by providing safe routes.”
At the November 05 rally, cyclists will ride from City Hall to the Canadian Tire store at Cambie and Seventh Avenue where increased traffic makes it dangerous for cyclists using the popular Off-Broadway Bikeway.
More information: Louise Seto, Building Better Neighbourhoods 604-328-2352
Richard Campbell 604-733-1764