Well, the Robson Square pedestrian-only zone suffered a setback as the City of Vancouver will be reopening the street to cars and buses on December 1st. This comes after a three month trial period to keep the square car free.
This is welcome news to West End residents, especially the elderly, as they were very vocal about the loss of a bus going directly along Robson to Granville.
As much as it would have been nice to a have true public square in the city, the way Robson Square is configured right now will never be that true square. The main reason is that most of it is below street level. Another crucial factor is that it lacks weather protection. Without adequate weather protection, especially here in Vancouver, the square will never be vibrant during the fall and winter months. This begs the question, why can’t a giant glass canopy be constructed to cover a sizeable chunk of the square, thus allowing it to be used year round? Throw in some tables, chairs and a few food trucks and you have the makings of a year round square.
The city will continue to close the zone during the summer months and animate the public square with numerous events and more art installations, like the giant pillows aka “pop rocks”, on the street during the summer of 2013.
Image by @rbrtwhite