Closing Point Grey Rd

City of Vancouver is proposing to close off the Point Grey Road to commuter traffic or to reduce it to one-way, Westbound, street.

Point Grey Road is an important part of regional transportation infrastructure used for over two and a half million commuting trips each year.  It connects the second-largest employment hub in the metro Vancouver area with Downtown, the North Shore and further communities.

Workers, students and residents of neighbourhoods West of Kitsilano are about to face increased commuting time and more congestion while the residents of Kitsilano away from the Golden Mile can expect  more traffic on their streets.  Transit passengers will have fewer bus stops and more time spent on a bus as it attempts to crawl through traffic bottlenecks.


Density calculations based on building sites not an entire section of the UEL.  Viability of hotels in UEL.  Locating schools next to hotels.  If the hotel is not financially viable - will the casino be next (as "additional revenue source")?

Demystifying water rates in UEL - within 5% of Vancouver rates

Recently, there has been a lot of chatter west of Blanca on the subject of water rates, markups and general confusion surrounding water rates.

Below you will find a comparison of water rates between the City of Vancouver (CoV) and the UEL.

UEL has two water rates:  one is a peak rate for Jun-Sep period -  $1.3185 per cubic meter, the other is an off-peak rate for the rest of year -  $1.0544   per cubic meter (CM). (source: UEL Admin, 2010 rates)
This translates to a "blended" rate of $1.14 per 1 CM of water in UEL.

A four person household living in a bungalow in UEL uses 555.5 cubic meters of water per year according to UEL water bills. 
Therefore, such household pays $374.21 per year for the water, or $1.03 per day.

Compare that against the CoV.

CoV charges $2.01 per 100 cubic feet of water (2010 figures).  1 cu.ft. = 0.028317 CM so the CoV charges $0.71 per 1 CM of water.
At a first glance it looks like UEL residents pay 61% more for their water - $1.14 vs. $0.71 per cubic meter.

BUT, do not despair ...

.... CoV is also charging a "meter charge" per quarter.  Meter charges depend on the diameter of the water pipe and were set as follows in 2010 (they are higher now):
17mm = $26
20mm = $26 
25mm = $31

Typical household is connected to a 25mm pipe.

Thus a compareable household in CoV would pay $232.51 for water and $124 for "meter charge".
A grand total of $356.51 in CoV vs. $374.21 in UEL, a 5% difference.

PEDESTRIAN CROSSING ON BLANCA AND 8th - $250,000 to install traffic lights

Following their traffic study, the City of Vancouver declined our request for installations of a marked pedestrian crossing at the intersection of Blanca St. and 8th Ave.


In two months UEL residents will be electing their representatives for the Community Advisory Council (CAC) to advise the UEL Manager on issues related to the quality of life and tax impacts on UEL residents.

The last three years highlighted a number of areas that could be improved going forward.  The following three stand out: 
- communication with UEL residents,
- UEL governance and administration, and
- our taxes and UEL finances.

Laneway housing and increased density - observations from our neighbours at Dunbar

In early March, our neighbours to the East at the Dunbar Residents Association held a presentation on laneway housing.  A subject relevant to UEL residents as the UEL Administration is attempting to introduce unrestricted, rental suites in UEL.

part 1


UBC line - translink update - public consultation

From March 30 to April 6, Translink will be holding public consultation on the preliminary designs and
evaluation of the rapid transit alternatives for the future UBC Line

Join Translink at one of the following consultation sessions or online to learn more about the potential
alignment, station locations, the costs, benefits and impacts of each alternative, and have your say.

Confusion - "survey" in our mailboxes

The anonymous letter placed in our mailboxes illustrates the confusion created among UEL residents due to the lack of communication between the UEL Administration, the Community Advisory Council and UEL Residents.

I believe that residents DO need to bring themselves up to speed with proposed changes in order to make an informed decision.  With that in mind, I provide more background and where needed, set the record straight as per the issues raised in the anonymous letter.

Best Bus

It appears that Translink heard our local concerns that expensive, new train infrastructure may not be the best at serving our transportation needs and it is worth to examine how our existing bus lines can be utilized more efficiently.

Among the obvious solutions to help transit buses negotiate city traffic is to ban bicycles from bus routes.
At the same time the City should expand the network of bicycle routes on residential streets.

Currently a single cyclist moving slower than 15 km/h is slowing down more than 50 commuters on a bus capable of traveling three times faster.

West Point Grey - community vision

Last Fall, the City of Vancouver published a document called "West Point Grey Community Vision".  It may be of interest to the residents of Little Australia as it has a number of points that are likely to impact our neighbourhood.

Some interesting points include:
• reduce lanes on 10th Avenue to one each way between Alma and Blanca (with left turning lanes)

CAUTION - Burrard and Pacific intersection is more dangerous

As Vancouverites woke up to the cheerful rumble of planters being placed on Hornby street to fulfill the dream of a segregated bike lane in the name of safety, ICBC data shows a chilling reality - that the number of accidents on the north end of the Burrard Street Bridge actually skyrocketed after the separated bike lane was installed on the bridge.

Last summer, right after the lanes were installed, was horrific. There was one accident per day, compared to one a week in the summer of 2008. The rest of the year continued to be bleak. Ahead of the holiday season, there were 33 per cent more accidents as families went shopping, attended holiday events and had to navigate their way through crowded bus and car lanes as the separated bike lanes stood largely empty. The second half of last year saw 130 accidents -- nearly twice the rate as in previous years. 

In the first half of this year we still had a 38-per-cent increase in accidents, with the winter months being the worst. Bus, car commuters and commercial-vehicle drivers, who are 95 per cent of the Burrard Bridge users, face more accidents on its north end while the number of cyclists crossing the bridge remains at five per cent. The dream of safety for a few has turned into a nightmare for many.

Proposed Building Bylaw Threatens Single Family Character of Little Australia

It is worth noting that the new building bylaw proposed by the UEL Administration threatens the single family character of our neighbourhood.

BUILDING BYLAW REVIEW - draft is avalable, opportunity to review and provide your comments

Dear Neighbours, UEL Administration posted the draft of proposed new building bylaw (aka. "Land Use and Development Bylaw) on their website.

It is worth reviewing the letter from the UEL Manager that highlights the most notable proposed changes to the bylaw. 

It is fair to say that the most notable change to the bylaw with respect to Little Australia (Area-C) is the REMOVAL OF THE REQUIREMENT FOR DEVELOPMENT PERMIT if a project does not ask for variance from the bylaw.


UEL Administration website ( ) reports that in late January there was a workshop for CAC and ADP members covering the proposed changes to the UEL Building Bylaw. 
The residents of Little Australia are able to participate in this stage of the bylaw review process by participating in focus groups.
At this time, the CAC and ADP websites are silent about the process for selecting focus group participants.
Perhaps it is appropriate that interested residents contact the CAC and ADP directly at and respectively.

Maciek Kon in Little Australia

UBC Rapid Transit Workshop

On Nov 5, 2009 Translink held a workshop for the UBC residents describing the UBC Rapid Transit study currently under way. Presenters at the meeting came from Translink and a consulting firm – Steer Davies Gleave.
The study appears to be driven by the concerns that the existing bus service connecting UBC with the city is being challenged by the volumes of passengers that are using it.

It was a very informative meeting, it provided many details regarding available technologies (aka. bus, streetcar, train etc.), covered examples of possible implementations and it provided an opportunity to point out shortcomings or areas for consideration.

Point Grey Rd. closed to cars

Many of UEL residents commute by car to downtown Vancouver.  They often use the Point Grey Rd. to get to their destination.  If the City Vancouver has their way it will not be possible to do that going forward as the City is considering closing the Point Grey Rd. to car traffic - only bikes would be allowed.  To be precise, the Point Grey Rd. would be closed to the westbound car traffic.  So on your way from downtown you would have to leave Cornwall/Pt. Grey Rd at MacDonald and then turn right on 4th Ave.
Imagine the traffic congestion as cars turning left to MacDonald yield to the cars heading east and then the stream of cars trying to turn right to 4th Ave.
All of this in the name of cyclists' safety.  What is striking is how ill-though out this idea is.  To improve cyclists' safety just place a "No Bicycles" sign on Point Grey Rd. in its narrowest stretch from Alma to Balaclava and send the bikes along 1st Ave.  Problem is solved cheaply, with less interruptions and improved traffic flow.  To add insult to injury, 3rd Ave is already designated as a bike route in the area.
You can reach the City planners through

UBC rapid transit

Translink is conducting a study of rapid transit options to UBC.  On November 5th a UBC/UEL workshop is held at the Michael Smith Building, 2185 East Mall - Room 101 starting at 6pm.

For your reference please find included a map (click to enlarge) that shows straight paths from most likely transit routes out of Vancouver toward the two transit terminals at the UBC Campus.

History question - "Little Australia"

Dear Neighbours
Our neighbourhood is often called "Little Australia".  Do you know of any resources that would help me in preparing a short background on this name?  In my research to-date I came accross two conflicting "stories";
One story talks about Australian troops being stationed between Blanca and what is now a Pacific Spirit Park during the WWII and this leading to the name "Little Australia".  

Another common opinion was of a builder in the 1960's that developed this area and named three streets, "Adelaide", "Queensland" and "Tasmania" leading to the name "Little Australia".
If you had any references that I could follow-up on and create a "definitive story of the name - Little Australia" I would be very grateful.
Thank You

Neighbourhood Photos - call for your submissions

Dear Neighbours
UEL Community webpage does not have any pictures of our neighbourhood.  Please be so kind and forward ( your favourite shots to the UEL Council for consideration.
Let's show off our neighbourhood.