viaducts

A very well-argued piece by Kenneth Chan on Daily Hive.

The article is divided into several sections, with subtitles:

1. A new barrier: a ground-level eight-lane road replacement

2. A plan that is detrimental to the city’s cycling and pedestrian goals

3. A new steep wedge between B.C. Place and Rogers Arena

4. “The viaducts are an eyesore”

5. What’s wrong with the idea of excess road capacity?

6. The removal plan’s cost: a $200 million beautification project

Among the points that caught my eye was #4, and the statement that the city had done little thinking about how to make use of the space beneath the viaducts:

The land under the viaducts is not wasted land; the area is under-utilized due to a severe lack of imagination from the municipal government. The viaducts provide sheltered areas for our wet climate and the skatepark currently located underneath the viaducts at Quebec Street are examples of what can be built underneath.

It could accommodate civic plazas, park space, night markets, and even restaurants and shopping malls. The spaces between the viaduct structures could also be an opportunity for infill tower development, with commercial and offices on the lower levels and residential on the upper levels.

He notes Granville Island, in the shadow of the enormous Granville Bridge, as a prime example, and includes a number of photos from other cities of repurposed space framed by outdated infrastructure.

Check it out! It’s a classic ‘cat among the pigeons’ piece.