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Weather report from the engineering department

March 10th, 2009 · 7 Comments

As a public service, I am providing information about the impending move of the engineering department to the Crossroads building. I understand from various parties that there’s a certain amount of uncertainty about whether the move is going to happen, perhaps due to cost-cutting. I asked Jerry Dobrovolny (while I had him on the phone about road volumes) what’s happening. He assured me that the department is, indeed, moving to the building during the summer.

That’s apparently just part of the edginess currently prevailing in engineering. Apparently people in the department have had more than one go-round with new city manager Penny Ballem.  The plan for snow ploughing was one battle. The plans for city land around the Second Avenue SkyTrain station was another. In both cases, engineering staff set out what they thought should happen and Dr. Ballem told them that wasn’t the way it was going to be done. Not sitting well, I understand.

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  • gmgw

    Frances, there are a good many people who live near enough to the Second Avenue Canada Line station to be quite concerned about what the city may or may not do around there. Reports and rumours are flying thick and fast and are currently the topic of much discussion in the neighbourhood (representations are being made to City Hall conveying residents’ concerns), but I had not heard that Engineering and Penny B. had been at loggerheads over the issue. Most interesting. If you can expand on or clarify this bit of news (i.e., who’s been arguing for what), or point to a source of further information, it might be of some use to we neighbours in our ongoing dealings with the City.

  • Not running for mayor

    I hope you aren’t a nimby who moved into a light industrial area and now want it all gone.

    Anyways I do not know all the details but it what I do know is. The engineering dept would like to keep a fair amount of it’s operations yard in that area as it makes sense for them. It’s much easier to service downtown and surrounding areas from there then it would be from the banks of the Fraser River. The city manager sees the property as being very valuable and better for the city to be sold off with a chunk going for social housing. Rumour has it that the arguement has esclated to a more personnal level. I don’t think many people would be surprised if another “resignation” is in the works.

  • gmgw

    Sorry, NRFM, but you’re a bit behind the times. The Engineering folks moved out of their 1st Avenue site quite some time ago. The area where it used to be located (near the Cambie Bridge) is designated for parkland, and for the new power plant; however, given that A) the soil in that area is the most heavily contaminated in the whole of Southeast False Creek, hence considered unsuitable for housing (hence parkland), and B) the ongoing SEFC financial crunch will likely mean an indefinite delay in the redevelopment of that site, it will probably be staying as is for a while yet. The issues around the Second Ave. Canada Line station relate primarily to access issues and to how the land in the station’s immediate vicinity will be developed– ideally, without encroaching or otherwise negatively impacting on nearby (longstanding) residential areas. The area along the east side of Spyglass Road, to name only one example, under the Cambie Bridge, was being earmarked for basketball courts by the City as part of the Canada Line nieghbourhood “improvements” until nearby residents pointed out that the noise levels, especially at night and amplified by the bridge itself, would seriously impact on the people living literally across the street.

    And unless you consider False Creek South to be a “light industrial area”, I don’t think I really qualify as a NIMBY as you’ve defined the term here– moreover, I’ve been living in the FCS area for more than 25 years and have had plenty of time to get used to the neighbourhood… um… ambience, for lack of a better word.

  • Not running for mayor

    I was asking what your intentions are, as you are aware many of your neighbours are infact nimbies. And the engineering is still planning on keeping a yard in the area they have not completely vacated nor do they expect to. The city on the other hand has another opinion.

  • spartikus

    as you are aware many of your neighbours are infact nimbies.

    I’m a long-time resident of Fairview, and am completely unaware of this alleged phenomena. Please expand.

  • spartikus

    Just to add, here is the False Creek South Neighbourhood Association’s list of issues.

    Please explain how any of these are classic NIMBYism rather than residents providing feedback?

  • fbula

    FRANCES SAYS: I don’t know what the city is planning or not planning in that area. I’m just as in the dark as all of you and the discussion here has already provided me with more info than I had. I will endeavour to find out more but have been swamped in Olympics transportation plans and other projects recently.