Marpole stretches from 57th to the Fraser River and from Angus to Ontario. It faces obvious challenges when it comes to transportation whether it's by foot, bike, transit or car. Major roads cut through the neighbourhood - Granville, Cambie and Oak streets, West 70th and Southwest Marine Drive. The latter is also a major hurdle to getting to the river.
The city is hosting a workshop focused on Marpole's transportation and related land use issues March 6 as part of ongoing consultation for the Marpole Community Plan.
The overall plan will address subjects including transportation, land use and development, parks and open space, heritage and culture, sustainability and public amenities and facilities, and guide change in the neighbourhood over the next 30 years.
Marpole's last community plan was completed in the 1980s and it's one of four ancient community plans the city is updating this year.
Staff started working on the plan last April. Recent consultation included a housing workshop in late February and open houses last Friday and Monday. Matt Shillito, assistant director of community planning, said Wednesday's transportation and land use workshop provides participants the opportunity for more in-depth discussions than possible at an open house.
"And to have more interaction with staff - more of our engineering colleagues will be there with us to explain existing transportation conditions and what improvements could be made and [we'll] get some ideas from people who live locally about what they think would make the most difference," Shillito told the Courier.
"We're interested in people's thoughts around transit service and walking and cycling infrastructure, in particular areas of the community where we could do a better job of traffic calming."
A main concern in Marpole, according to Shillito, is the three major arterials leading into the city from the south - Granville, Oak and Cambie - and dangers created by people using shortcuts through residential neighbourhoods between those streets to avoid intersections.
"So traffic calming, keeping people on the major streets is one of the issues, as well as helping people get across these streets, especially Oak Street, which has quite limited crossing opportunities and fast speeds and so on," he said.
City staff has specific proposals for intersections that could be improved for better pedestrian and cycling access and proposals on cycling and walking routes that could be improved through wider sidewalks or separated bike lanes. "Or at least improved bike facilities, but potentially separated lanes," Shillito said. "And [improving] connections down to the waterfront, which is a bit of an underused asset at the moment."
Staff also has ideas about additional bus service such as working with TransLink to get a bus link on West 70th Avenue between Granville Street and the Canada Line.
Land use is included in the discussion because patterns of land use and density have a big impact on how people move around the community, Shillito added.
(A parks and public space workshop is set for March 13, but more on that subject in an upcoming Developing Story.)
After this round of public consultation is completed, staff will produce a draft Marpole Community Plan, which will be released early this summer. Further consultation will follow and staff expects to bring the plan before council in the fall. Registration for the workshop is preferred for planning purposes, but participants won't be turned away if they don't. Details are on the Marpole Community Plan page on the city website.