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City of Vancouver to decide fate of 800 block Robson Street

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The City of Vancouver is set to decide the fate of a stretch of Robson Street that has become a bit of a battleground between transit users and pedestrians.
Staffers are delivering a report today to the Standing Committee on Planning, Transportation, and Environment that recommends re-opening the 800 block of Robson between Howe and Hornby for the winter and close it again for the summer.
One expert points out two very good causes are in conflict here. “One, the idea of having a good open space in Robson Square, it’s always been part of the vision,” says Gordon Price, director of the City Program at Simon Fraser University.

“And secondly, having a really good transit system that connects a very transit-friendly neighbourhood, the West End, with a lot of destinations and the rest of the transit network downtown,” he adds.
“Block 51” as it’s known internally has been a big hit as a public square, but bus riders in the West End who ride the Number 5 Robson have complained about losing a direct route to the Granville Strip.
Price says the City is doing the right thing by trying out a variety of options before committing to anything permanent.

Recent online surveys suggest 64 per cent of Vancouverites want to see the stretch become a permanent public square. The block could re-open to traffic as early as this Saturday.