Great weekend (Signs of the Queensborough revisited).

Wow. What a weekend. Great weather, fun evenings with friends, a whole lot of gardening, Ryder leading the Giro. I’ve been too busy enjoying life to post my gripes.

So I saved them all up for Sunday Night.

Interesting event #1:
I went to a local retailer, who shall remain nameless for obvious reasons. There was a big multinational chain nearby I could have gone to, but I like to support the local guy. I bought a dozen items, he gave me a deal on a few, gave me some advice on some others, general good customer service experience.

But while I was shopping on my own, I overhear the proprietor talking about gas prices with another customer. The general consensus was that they were being screwed, and the best solution was to use their big Tidy Tank to gas up across the border. The proprietor didn’t see the irony in the conversation.

Interesting Event #2:
Went to a movie on Friday Night: the Avengers at the Landmark Cinema at Plaza 88. I came out of the movie wondering why everyone was fighting everyone else, and why, the minute the portal to the netherworld appears in the sky about New York, someone didn’t just call the Ghostbusters. Maybe I am getting too old for this stuff. The Theatre itself is what you expect in 10-screen modern movieplex: smallish rooms; comfy, new-fangled chairs; good sound (thankfully NOT turned up to 11); and a super clear, bright screen. The staff were mostly new young folks (a few trainers came in from the Landmark location in Abbotsford) but managed to handle all the appropriate transactions… uh… appropriately?

Most of the top floor of the Plaza 88 is not yet open, but things continue to evolve at this site. Not the least being the sale of the entire Plaza 88 retail complex for a cool $100 Million. More proof that we have good reason to be bully about the future of Downtown New Westminster.

Interesting Event #3:
55km in midday Sunday, crossing the Queensborough Bridge on the way home, we stopped at the north end of the pedestrian overpass. There were two clearly confused ladies standing there next to their bikes. I asked where they were headed and confirmed my suspicions when I first spied them. They wanted to get down to the Quay and the River Market, but had no idea how to get there from where they were.

It is almost exactly a year since I wrote this post detailing the issues with wayfinding around the (otherwise excellent) Queensborough bridge pedestrian and bike infrastructure. I know that original post generated discussion in the Transportation staff in New Westminster and Richmond, and with MoT and TransLink staff, and with people at VACC (now HUB) and B.E.S.T. None of these discussions have generated any actual changes in the signs at the Queensborough. It was interesting to see the lack of signage almost prevent two potential customers from reaching the Quayside (they had arrived from Burnaby).

As I suggested last year, that location would be perfect for a large-format wayfinding map, as it is where three different bike routes intersect with the SkyTrain. It would be great if these potential customers know how to get from that spot to Queensborough, Downtown, and Uptown New Westminster, instead of just turning around and going home. This type of signage would require some sort of partnership between TransLink and the City.

The signs on the bridge are ultimately MoT responsibility. I think about them every time I cross that bridge, and every time I ride my bike along Westminster Highway by Gifford (the “Casino Road”) and see this:

A big electronic wayfinding sign that must have cost hundreds of the thousands of dollars (I suspect, read: hope that the $2.7 Million price tag on the attached propaganda sign is for a larger integrated system and not just this sign). This sign has been installed less than a kilometre from the Queensborough Bridge, and installed after my whinging post of a year ago.

You would think if the Province can invest $2.7 Million on a fancy new illuminated signs, they can afford to open a bucket of green paint and fix the signs on the Pattullo?

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