One of the concepts being discussed for Vancouver's False Creek flats area. This one envisions a park like area being built atop existing rail yards. Another one, below, sees keeping the viaducts but turning them into planted linear parks.

One of the concepts being discussed for Vancouver's False Creek flats area. This one envisions a park like area being built atop existing rail yards. Another one, below, sees keeping the viaducts but turning them into planted linear parks.

Vancouver weighs future of viaducts to downtown

Some visions for redesign see tearing down links for motorists

Drivers may not like it, but the City of Vancouver is mulling the potential removal of its Dunsmuir and Georgia Street viaducts that access downtown to open the way for redevelopment of False Creek flats.

Concepts being floated include turning the viaducts into elevated parks or creating Venice-like canals from False Creek to make new waterfront property. Others want a giant urban forest or an urban farming area.

Advocates of removal see a rare chance to transform that part of the city and argue more motorists heading downtown must make the shift to public transit anyway.

“We are trying to move people to other forms of transportation,” Coun. Geoff Meggs said, adding there will need to remain some kind of road connection to downtown through the eastern core.

A Vancouver city study found at least one viaduct could be removed within five years with little impact on traffic.

The public is invited to vote on 100 redesign concepts at vancouver.ca/reconnect.

Extensive consultation is promised next year ahead of any decisions.