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View Full Version : Robson Square Renovations | Proposed North Phase



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officedweller
Dec 2, 2009, 8:42 PM
The trees have been strung with Christmas lights - looks great.

entheosfog
Dec 3, 2009, 7:08 AM
Lights!
http://img260.imageshack.us/img260/6664/img2971n.jpg

And some more pictures I took of the rink and other stuff around the square:
http://img37.imageshack.us/img37/6641/img2962c.jpg

http://img682.imageshack.us/img682/5624/img2966mb.jpg

Hotel Vancouver, also lighted up as usual:
http://img443.imageshack.us/img443/1875/img2964.jpg

http://img37.imageshack.us/img37/2854/img2968s.jpg

http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/3231/img2965b.jpg

http://img408.imageshack.us/img408/1889/img2969.jpg

SFUVancouver
Dec 3, 2009, 7:22 AM
Beautiful!

Thanks for the great shots. I especially like the one of the dome with Chapters in the background. I hope the lights stay in the trees for the Olympics.

Also, Sears needs to break out the damn power washer.

BCPhil
Dec 3, 2009, 7:33 AM
Beautiful!

Thanks for the great shots. I especially like the one of the dome with Chapters in the background. I hope the lights stay in the trees for the Olympics.

Also, Sears needs to break out the damn power washer.

They can at least put a block of 2000 flushes at the top. It will clean the building when it rains (and it might look good in Blue).

Robson Square looks great with all the Christmas lights up. I hope they keep it, or up the ante, for the Olympics.

I drove past it last night on Howe (the first time I've been driving downtown since the Canada Line opened) and saw it and had to go around the block and drive past it again. I'll have to stroll through there on foot on Friday or Saturday.

mr.x
Dec 3, 2009, 7:34 AM
^ the city has asked everyone to leave all their Christmas lights up for the Olympics.

SFUVancouver
Dec 3, 2009, 7:40 AM
^ Really?

Yume-sama
Dec 3, 2009, 7:53 AM
Looks amazing. Can't wait to see it for myself tomorrow. Christmas tree going up at the art gallery tomorrow night!

BCPhil
Dec 3, 2009, 8:05 AM
^ the city has asked everyone to leave all their Christmas lights up for the Olympics.

The city should publish some guidelines of festive spirit for the Olympics. Most people in Vancouver have forgotten how. Like for starters, what's a good color for lights? Generic Christmas lights look too Christmasy. Like we should all color coordinate with some low energy LED lights.

Yume-sama
Dec 3, 2009, 8:19 AM
Yes! Let's be seen from space! :D

First step, some lighting on a signature building... like... Shangri-la.

vanman
Dec 3, 2009, 8:29 AM
^ the city has asked everyone to leave all their Christmas lights up for the Olympics.

Seems logical. I think most people just leave their lights up anyway until the end of winter.

vango
Dec 3, 2009, 8:40 AM
More Robson Square pics taken this evening. My photos.

http://img121.imageshack.us/img121/3500/img1860800.jpg (http://img121.imageshack.us/i/img1860800.jpg/)

http://img121.imageshack.us/img121/4888/img1849800.jpg (http://img121.imageshack.us/i/img1849800.jpg/)

http://img706.imageshack.us/img706/378/img1858800.jpg (http://img706.imageshack.us/i/img1858800.jpg/)

http://img5.imageshack.us/img5/1230/img1842800.jpg (http://img5.imageshack.us/i/img1842800.jpg/)

vanman
Dec 3, 2009, 8:47 AM
Thanks for the pics. It actually looks very lively, and I'm guessing there's music pumped in to add to the charm. I'll have to check it out in person some time.

Distill3d
Dec 3, 2009, 8:59 AM
All we need is to get the Robson Subway built as planned...

What are you talking about? I ate at the Robson Subway the other day. Its across from the Safeway on Denman and Robson. :haha:

Zassk
Dec 3, 2009, 9:05 AM
What are you talking about? I ate at the Robson Subway the other day. Its across from the Safeway on Denman and Robson. :haha:

Were the headways better or worse than 3 min? :jester:

EdinVan
Dec 3, 2009, 12:31 PM
The Christmas lights are lovely, but the Art Gallery still looks like a mausoleum at night. And it's too bad Cathedral Place and the HSBC building roofs are no longer lit up; back in the 90s, these buildings added a really festive touch to the area.

Nouvellecosse
Dec 3, 2009, 12:48 PM
Everything looks really beautiful in these pictures! It's an awesome center piece for the downtown.

WarrenC12
Dec 3, 2009, 2:48 PM
Looks great. I will be down there tonight, can't wait.

Spikester
Dec 3, 2009, 4:46 PM
Also, Sears needs to break out the damn power washer.

You misspelled "wrecking ball". Hope this helps.

vanman
Dec 3, 2009, 8:46 PM
The Christmas lights are lovely, but the Art Gallery still looks like a mausoleum at night. And it's too bad Cathedral Place and the HSBC building roofs are no longer lit up; back in the 90s, these buildings added a really festive touch to the area.

It's still early, who says they won't be lit up?

PopYourColla
Dec 5, 2009, 8:16 PM
I went skating yesterday, perfect weather for it.
Took a few pics.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a142/Slangdaddy/skatewilliamtell005.jpg?t=1260043965
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a142/Slangdaddy/skatewilliamtell009.jpg?t=1260044050
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a142/Slangdaddy/skatewilliamtell019.jpg?t=1260044112

Yume-sama
Dec 5, 2009, 8:19 PM
:P Sheesh, I'm not even out of bed yet, and you went skating already?!

It's really turned out to be an amazing space. I overheard people remarking how they'd never been down there before, or even knew *how* to get down there.

So far it seems to be quite a success.

deasine
Dec 5, 2009, 8:34 PM
I was there last night and even at 8:00, many people are lining up for skates, skating, sitting down enjoying the music, and even dancing too it.

trofirhen
Dec 5, 2009, 10:03 PM
The city should publish some guidelines of festive spirit for the Olympics. Most people in Vancouver have forgotten how. Like for starters, what's a good color for lights? Generic Christmas lights look too Christmasy. Like we should all color coordinate with some low energy LED lights.

Absolutely!! color co-ordination with Led lights, and an escape from the trite, usual colors of Christmas is a great idea.

trofirhen
Dec 5, 2009, 10:11 PM
The Christmas lights are lovely, but the Art Gallery still looks like a mausoleum at night. And it's too bad Cathedral Place and the HSBC building roofs are no longer lit up; back in the 90s, these buildings added a really festive touch to the area.

Welcome to Vancouver.

SpongeG
Dec 6, 2009, 12:03 AM
it was always fun and quite popular not surprised its as popular as it used to be

delboy
Dec 6, 2009, 12:53 AM
Best thing the city has done in a while. Would be nice to see some market stalls in the plaza selling art and crafts stuff, hot dogs and roasted chestnuts. Great place to take the family. Will be a bragging point for Vancouver me thinks.

Yume-sama
Dec 6, 2009, 6:52 AM
I went to Robson Square just as the sun was starting to set this afternoon. It was BUSY BUSY BUSY with a ton of people, it was GREAT to see. It's awesome that so many people of all ages are enjoying this new space :) It's also cool that there are long performances every day for people to enjoy. Also, I got to see the cute Orca Zamboni :P It doesn't do a very good job of cleaning the ice, but, whatever, it's an ORCA ZAMBONI.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2649/4162426986_958d5c3920_b.jpg
http://www.flickr.com/photos/syume/4162426986/

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4002/4162436252_19bc8c2e6c_b.jpg
http://www.flickr.com/photos/syume/4162436252/

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2607/4161679915_449c4d50d5_b.jpg
http://www.flickr.com/photos/syume/4161679915/

trofirhen
Dec 6, 2009, 7:34 AM
Robson Square isn't the disastrous black hole that people were saying it was only several months ago.

Even without lamenting the never-built clamshell, the new domes and lighting, the new hockey rink, and the activities are drawing people like never before.

And this is what could be only the beginning. Imagine a Translink rail entrance bringing people through, a couple of high-quality restaurants, and maybe even some high-end retail (or as you imagine it) and it will truly become the beating heart of Vancouver.

(A little lighting upgrade on the North Side wouldn't hurt either):cool:

red-paladin
Dec 6, 2009, 8:56 AM
Nothing that they did makes it impossible to build the 'clam shell' later on. Maybe they'll propose one that is seen as 'compatible' with the existing architectural vision.

clooless
Dec 6, 2009, 8:56 AM
Perhaps the Zamboni could careen out of control and inadvertently collide with the two pagoda structures, destroying them.

Accidentally, of course.

Anyway, what a difference with the lighting and new domes.

trofirhen
Dec 6, 2009, 10:34 PM
Everything looks really beautiful in these pictures! It's an awesome center piece for the downtown.

Looks great. I will be down there tonight, can't wait.

Great to hear some really positive feedback like this! It will draw even more people to Robson Square, and possibly supply the motivation to implement even more changes to it that will make it the true "heart" of downtown.:yes:

SpongeG
Dec 6, 2009, 10:42 PM
mybe in the winter but once the ice goes...

trofirhen
Dec 7, 2009, 7:55 AM
mybe in the winter but once the ice goes...
:previous: :previous: :previous: :previous: :previous: :previous: :previous:
Please, man, be positive! Once the ice goes, the skating rink can be used for a myriad of other activities; dances, exhibitions, markets, musical events.... the success of Robson Square does not hinge upon whether there is ice on the rink or not !!

Yume-sama
Dec 7, 2009, 7:56 AM
:previous: :previous: :previous: :previous: :previous: :previous: :previous:
Please, man, be positive! Once the ice goes, the skating rink can be used for a myriad of other activities; dances, exhibitions, markets, musical events.... the success of Robson Square does not hinge upon whether there is ice on the rink or not !!

FLOOR HOCKEY!!!! :cool:

We should start an SSP team and join the league :P

Yume-sama
Dec 7, 2009, 10:14 AM
Gotta say, I really love Robson Square. I stopped by there tonight after the rink closed on the way home from a late dinner.

Click any of the links to view larger high quality versions :)

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2551/4165239619_2912286abc.jpg
http://www.flickr.com/photos/syume/4165239619/

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4001/4165246043_a69cd4b62b.jpg
http://www.flickr.com/photos/syume/4165246043/

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2568/4166003090_aaec446f25.jpg
http://www.flickr.com/photos/syume/4166003090/

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2486/4166006090_eea1db8185.jpg
http://www.flickr.com/photos/syume/4166006090/

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2522/4165254129_24a1d8c923.jpg
http://www.flickr.com/photos/syume/4165254129/

SpongeG
Dec 7, 2009, 8:42 PM
i can see it now

Man: honey lets go on a date I know a great place
Woman: oh lovely
Man: i'll grab your stick we're gonna play street hockey at robson square!

a little less romantic skating in the winter

WarrenC12
Dec 7, 2009, 8:51 PM
I visited the rink last week. Fantastic! What's not to like though?

Of course it is a little busy, but the $3 rentals are more than fair. The ice gets a cleaning by a small zamboni every hour or so from what I could tell, but the ice is rough because of the usage. No big deal, you can't complain about free too much.

They have a few attendants there helping people, but I didn't see any big crashes, or anybody ruining it by doing stupid things. All in all a good experience and I'll be back.

What's the long term plan for this thing? How long will the GE sponsorship last, and will the city need to find another sponsor for future years? Whoever is running the rental hut is probably making decent money, that might offset a lot of the costs...

Yume-sama
Dec 7, 2009, 10:03 PM
They are putting up a whole bunch of scaffolding today and a big... tent-like thing. Wonder what's going there?

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2634/4166795969_957070a36f_b.jpg
^ My photo

Delirium
Dec 7, 2009, 11:24 PM
And it's too bad Cathedral Place and the HSBC building roofs are no longer lit up; back in the 90s, these buildings added a really festive touch to the area.

hmmm....someone must be reading these boards. see those buildings now :D
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2510/4165668586_c26944336c_b.jpg
photo by Canada Para Brasileiros on flickr.com http://www.flickr.com/photos/canada-para brasileiros/sets/72157622827336439/

thanks for your pics Yume-sama! I love the christmas tree at the end of the rink. looks real classy. can't wait to see the waterfalls come back on. maybe they will add some lighting to them?

EdinVan
Dec 8, 2009, 12:16 AM
hmmm....someone must be reading these boards. see those buildings now :D
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2510/4165668586_c26944336c_b.jpg
photo by Canada Para Brasileiros on flickr.com http://www.flickr.com/photos/canada-para brasileiros/sets/72157622827336439/

thanks for your pics Yume-sama! I love the christmas tree at the end of the rink. looks real classy. can't wait to see the waterfalls come back on. maybe they will add some lighting to them?

Don't I wish. They light up HSBC only between 10pm and 1am and not at all on Sunday; it used to be lit up all day and night, everyday. And Cathedral Place used to have bulbs all around the perimeter of the base; now they just have two bulbs on the north and side sides, and they're only lit up for a couple hours per night.

trofirhen
Dec 8, 2009, 1:48 AM
All this renewed positive energy about Robson Square makes me very, very happy. . . .
:fireworks

trofirhen
Dec 8, 2009, 1:52 PM
To each his own, but I much prefer the trees lit up in plain white than in the usual red, blue and green "cliché" colours of Christmas. It's much more elegant.

But as someone noted, it's too bad the surrounding highrises couldn't do a little more to light up their roofs, even just a little bit more, to chime with Robson Square.

Either they're "going green" or just looking for ways to save a few bucks, but it's a (slight) downer, nonetheless. Oh well, with the blazing white trees and the classy blue domes of the Square, we're making up for it.

Rum and egg-nog, anyone? :cheers:

Locked In
Dec 9, 2009, 5:05 AM
My photos, taken tonight:

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_9FW9P3-u1EI/Sx8qISs1MoI/AAAAAAAABvM/ZnEXy4xSxFk/s800/IMG_0668.JPG

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_9FW9P3-u1EI/Sx8qJW8SvUI/AAAAAAAABvU/6hEV1UEvL10/s800/IMG_0671.JPG

Prometheus
Dec 9, 2009, 5:39 AM
Looking at this last photo makes we wonder whether it would not be a good idea to install the same blue lights inside the glass ceiling of The Law Courts. The blue glow would tie-in quite nicely.

trofirhen
Dec 9, 2009, 6:29 AM
Looking at this last photo makes we wonder whether it would not be a good idea to install the same blue lights inside the glass ceiling of The Law Courts. The blue glow would tie-in quite nicely.

I think that's a great idea ! ! :tup:

Chikinlittle
Dec 9, 2009, 7:10 AM
I think it was one new years even several years back, they had a big party in the atrium inside the law courts (under the glass - entrance off hornby/nelson) and the lighting lit up the whole glass surface. It looked fantastic. Since then, i've always thought there should be a similar permanent lighting installation. Otherwise that building just creates its own black hole.

While perhaps a unique building when viewed on its own, independent of its surroundings, I do not believe it makes for a very nice neighbour, or ads much to the urban fabric of that part of the city. In fact, quite the opposite. So to make it bearable, let's add lights! :)

trofirhen
Dec 9, 2009, 2:45 PM
I think it was one new years even several years back, they had a big party in the atrium inside the law courts (under the glass - entrance off hornby/nelson) and the lighting lit up the whole glass surface. It looked fantastic. Since then, i've always thought there should be a similar permanent lighting installation. Otherwise that building just creates its own black hole.

While perhaps a unique building when viewed on its own, independent of its surroundings, I do not believe it makes for a very nice neighbour, or ads much to the urban fabric of that part of the city. In fact, quite the opposite. So to make it bearable, let's add lights! :)

YES! ! ! Lighting up up the whole Robson Square district, from the glass roof of the Law Courts (preferably done in blue to match the blue glass domes) to treating the front of the VAG building with lighting, focussing on the lions and the columns, would make the city centre a jewel of light; dazzling, elegant, and inviting. Let's go for it ! ! ! ! :tup:

twoNeurons
Dec 10, 2009, 2:11 AM
A few pictures I took while visiting a small town called Southend-On-Sea. It's probably the size of White Rock/South Surrey Combined... but I really like the way that the high street is a pedestrian mall. The street is flanked by parking lots so the place is quite accessible by car.

The bridge in the middle is the main rail line that enters the city. It really blends into the street.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2696/4172627651_d0efaf383c.jpghttp://farm3.static.flickr.com/2503/4173382720_53df398484.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2573/4172625629_8acc4c115c_o.jpg

Distill3d
Dec 10, 2009, 2:14 AM
FLOOR HOCKEY!!!! :cool:

We should start an SSP team and join the league :P

+1!!

I'm in!

djh
Dec 10, 2009, 4:17 AM
A few pictures I took while visiting a small town called Southend-On-Sea. It's probably the size of White Rock/South Surrey Combined... but I really like the way that the high street is a pedestrian mall. The street is flanked by parking lots so the place is quite accessible by car.

The bridge in the middle is the main rail line that enters the city. It really blends into the street.

They also pedestrianised the high street in Croydon (South London) a few years back. Croydon High Street is more like the length of the main shopping district of Robson Street, from Burrard to Jervis. The area has diverted the buses and trams to the streets behind the main strip, and 2 major train stations demarcate each end. The area is insanely busy with pedestrians.

So in theory Robson Street could go no-cars. But I don't know if culturally Vancouver is ready for such a major cultural shock. The Olympic test period would be enough to get people used to this very European way of thinking, and I bet the ground-level restaurants would appreciate it.

Zassk
Dec 10, 2009, 5:13 AM
Granville Mall would have been the right place to experiment with this, IMO.

MistyMountainHop
Dec 10, 2009, 7:22 AM
I hope they decide not to put the buses back on Granville after the Olympics. The current routes work well enough.

In an ideal world, I'd love to see both Robson and Granville closed completely. The Olympics might be a good test to see how well that'd work.

twoNeurons
Dec 10, 2009, 2:59 PM
Granville Mall would have been the right place to experiment with this, IMO.

You think so? I think Granville is a totally different flavor than Robson and in effect already is pedestrian centric.

Robson is the shopping street, Granville is the transit bookend to Robson. We may not be ready to pedestrianize it yet, but removing parking one side, adding a dedicated bike lane on each side with the other side's parking and widening the sidewalk along the densest stretch would be a huge step forward.

Zassk
Dec 10, 2009, 4:14 PM
You think so? I think Granville is a totally different flavor than Robson and in effect already is pedestrian centric.

Robson is the shopping street, Granville is the transit bookend to Robson. We may not be ready to pedestrianize it yet, but removing parking one side, adding a dedicated bike lane on each side with the other side's parking and widening the sidewalk along the densest stretch would be a huge step forward.

Losing east-west lanes downtown without replacing them with rapid transit would be a disaster. Granville on the other hand, everyone is already accustomed to avoiding it with cars.

The question is, can we turn a pedestrian-centric avenue (Granville) into a vibrant shopping street? If not, then should we risk the health of an existing shopping street (Robson) with this experiment?

djmk
Dec 10, 2009, 5:51 PM
FLOOR HOCKEY!!!! :cool:

We should start an SSP team and join the league :P

i'm in as well

LeftCoaster
Dec 10, 2009, 6:34 PM
Who in the world drives Robson between Granville and Bute anyway? Its a disaster at the best of times. It's almost never the fastest route, Alberni is the better route.

Losing Robson to vehicular traffic would be of little consequence to E/W traffic imo. .

WarrenC12
Dec 10, 2009, 7:04 PM
Who in the world drives Robson between Granville and Bute anyway? Its a disaster at the best of times. It's almost never the fastest route, Alberni is the better route.

Losing Robson to vehicular traffic would be of little consequence to E/W traffic imo. .

I don't know, people who don't want their road to end like Alberni does at Burrard. It hardly goes 50% of the way through downtown.

Robson goes from Denman to Beatty, which is effectively the end of downtown due to the stadium/arena, or the elevation dropoff. I'd argue we hardly have enough of these E-W streets.

itinerant
Dec 10, 2009, 7:57 PM
Who in the world drives Robson between Granville and Bute anyway? Its a disaster at the best of times. It's almost never the fastest route, Alberni is the better route.

Losing Robson to vehicular traffic would be of little consequence to E/W traffic imo. .

I drive it every day, because its the best (fastest, least congested) route across middle of downtown to get West of Denman (my ultimate destination) from Cambie bridge. Traffic lights, etc are somewhat well timed to connect a Northwest bound vehicle across Cambie bridge, continue on Smithe, right on Hornby, left on Robson and continue length of Robson across Denman. Easy peasy. This is around 6ish midweek. Also good at other times.

That said, I'd love to see parts of Robson and Granville pedestrianized as long as there is EASY and CONVENIENT parking. There are aother routes for me as a driver to take through the West End on Nelson or along Alberni, but both get clogged up on Burrard and Thurlow currently.

Leaving buses on Seymour and Howe would be great. Of course that would mean digging up the roadway and redoing Granville yet again, and encouraging Cadillac Fairview and Sears to open store frontage onto Granville between Robson and Georgia.

duener
Dec 10, 2009, 8:24 PM
That Southend-On-Sea high street looks like most towns in the UK. In the last decade, many like that have pedestrianised (if they had stinky car/bus traffic like Oxford) the main shopping street or renovated the pavement. Even a notoriously crappy town like Slough has much nicer new granite street pavement on the pedestrianised section than anywhere in Vancouver.

The UK is very car oriented and these towns haven't added massive amounts of residential density the way Vancouver has in the last 20 years. You'll see a small handful of new condo towers in similarly sized cities like Manchester, etc.

So I think the answer is YES, absolutely Vancouver could pedestrianise Robson and Granville.

I really wonder, if you interviewed people strolling along Robson, how many actually parked on it? I bet that a pedestrianised street would benefit more people in total; i.e. the comfort of walking down a street without cars benefits more people than the few parking spaces it currently provides.

Zassk
Dec 10, 2009, 8:37 PM
Actually... Alberni would be a great street to convert into a pedestrian + streetcar shopping street. Somehow connect it to Robson Square (and ideally the nearest Skytrain stations).

itinerant
Dec 10, 2009, 9:52 PM
Actually... Alberni would be a great street to convert into a pedestrian + streetcar shopping street. Somehow connect it to Robson Square (and ideally the nearest Skytrain stations).

You must mean the two blocks between Burrard and Bute. West of that, its all residential. Also, as mentioned earlier its an interrupted street that stops at Burrard, if you're thinking streetcar, would probably be better off putting that down Robson (the high street) that goes end-to-end across the downtown instead of trying to create another adjacent shopping street that may have the effect of diluting the energy away from Robson.

flight_from_kamakura
Dec 10, 2009, 9:52 PM
interesting article related to pedestrianization:
http://americancity.org/magazine/article/the-french-revolution/

man, i can't wait for the pedestrian robson during the games. funny thought - people visiting vancouver for the first time could well assume that the street is always pedestrianized.

Prometheus
Dec 10, 2009, 10:28 PM
Eliminating car traffic from Robson Street would be a tragedy. Meatheads cruising up and down in their hotrods are a big part of the street's energy, hipness and soul.

The pedestrian only streets depicted in the above photos look pleasant but boring.

trofirhen
Dec 10, 2009, 10:51 PM
Eliminating car traffic from Robson Street would be a tragedy. Meatheads cruising up and down in their hotrods are a big part of the street's energy, hipness and soul.

The pedestrian only streets depicted in the above photos look pleasant but boring.

Agreed.

Phil McAvity
Dec 10, 2009, 11:36 PM
Eliminating car traffic from Robson Street would be a tragedy. Meatheads cruising up and down in their hotrods are a big part of the street's energy, hipness and soul.

I like how you criticize the very people that make Robson St. the cool, trendy hotspot it is. Your calling them "meatheads" is both ironic and true. :tup:

Prometheus
Dec 11, 2009, 2:25 AM
I like how you criticize the very people that make Robson St. the cool, trendy hotspot it is. Your calling them "meatheads" is both ironic and true. :tup:

I was not criticizing them. "Meathead" should read more like "macho." Macho guys cruising the strip in their macho cars form a vital part of the North American ethos and animating spirit. Without them (and the energy they represent) we would be just another Europe: elegant but impotent. It is thus a question of cultural soul.

Rusty Gull
Dec 11, 2009, 2:33 AM
^Interesting point. Every North American city needs a proper cruising strip.

And three cheers for meatheads!

SpongeG
Dec 11, 2009, 3:10 AM
yah

I think we need to realize we are in north america and not europe or asia and we will always have more in common with main street iowa than high street paris or vibrant tokyo

deasine
Dec 11, 2009, 5:58 AM
yah

I think we need to realize we are in north america and not europe or asia and we will always have more in common with main street iowa than high street paris or vibrant tokyo

New York pedestrianized Broadway... Just saying.

SpongeG
Dec 11, 2009, 5:59 AM
well that was a bonus to reconfigure a traffic issue

WarrenC12
Dec 11, 2009, 6:25 AM
yah

I think we need to realize we are in north america and not europe or asia and we will always have more in common with main street iowa than high street paris or vibrant tokyo

I don't want to be any of those things. Iowa is full of rednecks, Paris is dirty,
and Japan is just plain weird. :notacrook:

Yume-sama
Dec 11, 2009, 6:26 AM
New York pedestrianized Broadway... Just saying.

For a couple of blocks, and not the cross streets. New York has a good road system, with tunnels, and bridges, and a "circle" around the city. Not to mention one of the best Subway systems in the World.

Anybody who has ever tried to get somewhere by driving down Broadway can tell you that's a bad idea.

Though, cabbies love it because it runs up the fare :P

Oh yes, and I forgot about the tens of millions of tourists, and actual things to see.

deasine
Dec 11, 2009, 6:47 AM
For a couple of blocks, and not the cross streets. New York has a good road system, with tunnels, and bridges, and a "circle" around the city. Not to mention one of the best Subway systems in the World.

Well I don't think people here are proposing to pedestrianize all of Robson either, just the major portions.

duener
Dec 11, 2009, 8:26 AM
But look at the Starbucks patio on Robson/Thurlow. People are always sitting out there and it's impossible to get a seat on a sunny day.

So rather than eliminating traffic, imagine if the sidewalks on Robson were widened in place of the current parking lanes. You could have large sidewalk patios where you could sip a beer/coffee watching all the pretty things stroll and the meatheads cruise.

It seems like a no-brainer to remove the parking on Robson between Burrard and Bute - it's only 2 blocks and it would improve the pedestrian environment. It would also lessen the chance of getting poked in the eye with an umbrella on rainy days (because people are currently squished).

SpongeG
Dec 11, 2009, 8:31 AM
i'm not against the ideas but its been tried and failed it might work but it might not and knowing how tight money is and how quick people are too complain about moey wasting its not a smart move for the city to waste money right now

paradigm4
Dec 11, 2009, 8:37 AM
Actually... Alberni would be a great street to convert into a pedestrian + streetcar shopping street. Somehow connect it to Robson Square (and ideally the nearest Skytrain stations).

That makes no sense. There's nothing on Alberni.

I never quite understood why Granville was the pedestrian street anyways. All it had on it was some rundown theatres and a bunch of clubs. You pedestrianize areas that need it - like the busiest stretch of Robson. It is hell to walk that strip between Burrard and Bute. But that's why people go there - to see, and to be seen. I could see Vancouver pedestrianizing that section, with an extension to Robson Square.

I like how you criticize the very people that make Robson St. the cool, trendy hotspot it is. Your calling them "meatheads" is both ironic and true. :tup:

I'll agree that Robson has been known as the cruising area, but I don't agree that that's why it's "cool". Robson is trendy because of the concentration of retail and restaurants. Because it attracts so many for shopping, we then begin a cycle of attracting even more who simply like to be around others (the urban atmosphere).

So rather than eliminating traffic, imagine if the sidewalks on Robson were widened in place of the current parking lanes. You could have large sidewalk patios where you could sip a beer/coffee watching all the pretty things stroll and the meatheads cruise.

It seems like a no-brainer to remove the parking on Robson between Burrard and Bute - it's only 2 blocks and it would improve the pedestrian environment. It would also lessen the chance of getting poked in the eye with an umbrella on rainy days (because people are currently squished).

That would be the most likely scenario I could see happening. Vancouver likes to take baby steps on these types of things - too many NIMBYs in town. Although drivers would definitely be up in arms complaining about how parking is already too hard and expensive downtown. What a bunch of twits.

delboy
Dec 11, 2009, 4:52 PM
That Southend-On-Sea high street looks like most towns in the UK. In the last decade, many like that have pedestrianised (if they had stinky car/bus traffic like Oxford) the main shopping street or renovated the pavement. Even a notoriously crappy town like Slough has much nicer new granite street pavement on the pedestrianised section than anywhere in Vancouver.

The UK is very car oriented and these towns haven't added massive amounts of residential density the way Vancouver has in the last 20 years. You'll see a small handful of new condo towers in similarly sized cities like Manchester, etc.

So I think the answer is YES, absolutely Vancouver could pedestrianise Robson and Granville.

I really wonder, if you interviewed people strolling along Robson, how many actually parked on it? I bet that a pedestrianised street would benefit more people in total; i.e. the comfort of walking down a street without cars benefits more people than the few parking spaces it currently provides.

I agree with your comments about the UK. Those pics could be any city in the UK, shopping precincts they are known as. Brits have only started heading to the city centers to live in the past 15 years or so. Manchester (where I'm from) only has about 11,000 in the centre. i find Vancouver is better laid out than similar sized cities in the UK.

The UK really had not choice to pedestrianize as the road systems simply cannot take the vehicles any more, not to mention nowhere to park - it may take this to push changes here.

I too would have liked Granville to be a true mall.

SpongeG
Dec 11, 2009, 9:18 PM
robson is pretty dull when the shops close down - west robson is a little more lively at that time since its got all the late night eating places

Yume-sama
Dec 11, 2009, 9:20 PM
Yeah, past Granville towards BC Place is dead after... maybe 6 :P? However, since CBC Towers were finished I've noticed more people at the eateries, once Capitol and Atelier are finished and occupied there should be even more. Then of course there is Dolce & Vita... it is bound to become more lively in the next year or two. I mean, we already got a Tim Hortons. That's big league.

trofirhen
Dec 12, 2009, 8:28 PM
Looks as if we're moving away from Robson Square upgrade discussions, to late night eateries, wherever they may be in the Robson - Granville area.
I love Fettucine Alfredo. Anybody know of an Italian restaurant that prepares it well? I'll eat there next time I visit home.

johnjimbc
Dec 12, 2009, 9:07 PM
I have been pretty impressed with Da Gino on West Georgia, 400 block. I haven't had their Fettucine Alfredo, but what I have had there has been quite delicious. The prices are good as well. It's a perfectly nice place with a full bar, but not as "snazzy" a look as a lot of downtown restaurants go for these days. The food is great though, very basic tasty fresh pasta and ingredients. Even without having it, I suspect their Fettucine Alfredo would be good as well.

twoNeurons
Dec 12, 2009, 10:37 PM
Eliminating parking on Sundays and putting up barricades for a Summer market would be a great way to test this out.

We can't really eliminate the road completely, until we put some alternate public transit down the center. i.e. a streetcar down Robson.

officedweller
Dec 14, 2009, 11:36 PM
Looks like steel arches to support a temporary roof spanning the sunken plaza is being erected - at least on the south side of the sunken plaza.

trofirhen
Dec 14, 2009, 11:53 PM
Looks like steel arches to support a temporary roof spanning the sunken plaza is being erected - at least on the south side of the sunken plaza.

Got any photos? Sounds interesting.

SpongeG
Dec 15, 2009, 12:07 AM
yeah i saw it on saturday - its blue - i hope its not some cheap plastic tarp they use but it looks temporary

officedweller
Dec 15, 2009, 12:10 AM
Maybe tomorrow - too dark right now.

deasine
Dec 15, 2009, 2:13 AM
You mean this? A little shaky.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2758/4186636582_00199e0672_o.jpg
Via Deasine of Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/23504192@N06/4186636582/sizes/o/in/set-72157622878384009/)

officedweller
Dec 15, 2009, 2:25 AM
Yup - that's it!
Thanks

trofirhen
Dec 15, 2009, 6:50 PM
What is it, anyway? And is it permanent or temporary? Glass or plastic? How big? It will be interesting to find out.

SpongeG
Dec 15, 2009, 7:31 PM
it covers from the dome to the stairs if you need to know how big

officedweller
Dec 15, 2009, 7:32 PM
Looks like it will be a nice tent for the media village that will occupy the square during the Games.

TwoFace
Dec 16, 2009, 10:29 PM
That Ice rink is cool, let’s hope it survives the post Olympic reality.

raggedy13
Dec 17, 2009, 7:35 AM
Last night I saw what looked like white plastic(?) panels being installed over the blue frame.

officedweller
Dec 17, 2009, 10:28 PM
Here you go - looks like the steel colours are "Best Place on Earth" colours.

Pic by me today.

http://img26.imageshack.us/img26/6558/pc170158.jpg

trofirhen
Dec 20, 2009, 8:21 PM
What's going on under the waterfall coverings is what I'd like to know. That's been covered over for a long time now, and has taken on a rather mysterious aspect to it. What surprises have they got in store I wonder?

officedweller
Dec 21, 2009, 9:22 PM
Repairing the membrane as far as I know - they ripped up all of the plaza areas (and removed and then replanted all the trees and shrubs) over the past 3 years - it seems that the pools are just the last phase. It was a huge maintenance project. That's what all the green roofs can look forward to in 30 years.

Prometheus
Dec 21, 2009, 11:37 PM
It looks like the temporary covering over the south side of Robson Square is complete: http://www.flickr.com/photos/susangittins/4201462950/sizes/l/

trofirhen
Jan 6, 2010, 2:00 AM
Have they got those darn tarps off the waterfall and stairs yet?

EdinVan
Jan 6, 2010, 2:09 AM
Have they got those darn tarps off the waterfall and stairs yet?

Of course not. Remember, we're talking about the BC Building Corporation here...

frank
Jan 6, 2010, 2:40 AM
Of course not. Remember, we're talking about the BC Building Corporation here...

Actually, they look to be almost finished.

I passed by tonight and they removed most of the scaffolding - although the waterfall is still covered with tarps. Peeking through, it seemed that they were finished - although not all that different from what they used to be.