Robson Square to reopen to traffic December 1st, 2012

Pop Rocks Vancouver

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

About the author

Author Avatar
Vancity Buzz Staff Your inside source for Vancouver happenings. Established 2008.

Around the Web

Facebook Conversations


  • Ryne

    Nice to see that the city is for once thinking. It has been incredibly inconvenient for everyone. Closing that part of Robson is as stupid as having bike lanes in a city where it rains 10 months of the year. Face it, it won’t work. Why do they not use the front of the Art gallery, much better use of space.

  • Victor

    Ryne, if having bike lanes is stupid, how come they are seeing more trips as time goes by?

  • Spinnicer

    No Ryne, you’re wrong.  The fact that it rains doesn’t make it impossible for Vancouver to be a bike city.  There are places with far shittier climates and far more bikes, in fact, Vancouver is the perfect place for a bike haven.  Moderate climate, high density, and filled with forward thinking people.

    Closing Robson is bad because it screws up the #5 bus from connecting with the Canada Line.  They need to find another place for a public square probably.  

  • Ryneissilly

     Ryne- The debate on the bike lanes DT are over. It works for the people who “live” DT it’s practical, safe, efficient, faster than driving, and environmentally friendly + it is frequently used.

    I am guessing you live in Surrey.

    In terms of a public square, I agree a cover for the rain and it will work. Be fantastic for big sporting events, NYE etc.

  • OHM

    Ryne: Most people don’t let a little rain stop them from cycling — they stop cycling when they don’t feel safe. Those bike lanes are there to make our city greener by making more people feel safe enough to cycle instead of drive — and they’re working.

    I personally like the compromise of closing the area during the summer and opening it during the other months. Trying to get down Robson from the Canada Line was very inconvenient!