Transforming Commercial Drive into a Pedestrian-First High Street

Transforming Commercial Drive into a Pedestrian-First High Street

  • Community
  • Economy
  • Vancouver
May 19, 2021

A motion was bought forward to the council recently to reduce the number of vehicle travels lanes on Commercial Drive south of East 1st avenue and improve on pedestrian sidewalk. Commercial Drive from Venables to Broadway is known for its authentic and unique character. Today, the Drive serves as a high street for the Grandview-Woodland neighbourhood and a commercial destination for the region.

The key design principal for Grandview-Woodland Neighbourhood Plan is to preserve the core values and eclectic nature of The Drive. To improve and expand on public spaces creating an environment for social and cultural amenities. The result is the key design principal listed below.

  • Providing direct and convenient access to shops and services for all modes of transportation;
  • Safety and comfort for all modes, with a focus on people walking and cycling;
  • Carefully considering impacts to transit, general traffic, nearby streets, parking, services and deliveries, pick-ups and drop-offs, and viability of local businesses;
  • Considering flexible design approaches that facilitate special events; and
  • Exploring opportunities to integrate sustainable rainwater management techniques.

Vancouver’s focus in urbanism and post-pandemic recover sees the importance in strengthening neighbourhood engagement and “making streets for people”. By making the neighbourhood accessible by foot will reduce the amount of vehicle in the road and helps local business grow.

The result is the Pedestrian First Commercial High Street supported by the Commercial Drive BIA. The purpose is to create a “Slow Street” and not promote The Drive as a traffic connector. Enhancement on the sidewalk will accommodate more pedestrian and helps seniors and those who are mobility challenged more accessible. A stop and shop model for all travel methods to enhance local traffic. Additional lighting, street furniture and other public friendly items will be added. The south portion has one additional lane compared to the north; additional space will be allocated for more parking space.

The changes are not without hurdles. The Drive narrows north of East 1st avenue reducing the amount of space available for improvement. Transportation department may demand 5 lanes for turning. The drive is one of three most popular bus route by removing the additional lane might cause congestion and defeats the purposes of helping senior accessibility.

It is an interesting concept that requires careful planning and execution.

Yoyoe Lu

Founder and managing principal

Yoyoe is the founder and managing principal of Claridge. She was ranked one of Vancouver’s top real estate agents. Currently, Yoyoe is our strategic mind leading the team to success. Her affiliation with industry professionals put her ahead of our competitors. Yoyoe is also part of the Rotary Club of West Vancouver, Canadian Homebuilders Association, Urban Land Institute and Urban Development Institute.

Ashley Osborn

Development Site and Investment Specialist

Ashely is our lead land and investment advisor. He has been consistently featured in the annual top 100 real estate deals of British Columbia ranking. With over $15 billion worth of domestic and international real estate investments under his belt, Ashley is one of the top agents in the province. His 20 years of real estate and financial experience make him a master in negotiation and acquisition.

Patricia Wong Chong

Investment and Leasing Specialist

Patricia is our investment and retail leasing advisor. Her experience in brokerage and market research analysis has helped her comprise over $550 million in commercial real estate transactions. Patricia is responsible, detail-oriented, and professional. Her strong work ethic and positive attitude have led her to surpass all her competitors.

Schumann Li

Land Assembly & Residential Specialist

Schumann is a top-producing realtor in the Lower Mainland with more than 30 years’ experience. Over the years, Schumann hasn’t just garnered awards, but the trust of countless customers. Her clients continually refer to her outstanding professionalism, work ethic and poise.

Wendy Kaip

Sales Associate

Whether it’s decoding city policies, strategizing relocation plans, home sellers looking for a trustworthy advisor to unlock their property’s maximum potential- Wendy is here to help every step along the way.

Prior to real estate, Wendy spent over a decade in the mining industry with her attention to detail, keen negotiation skills, extensive network and strong reputation for getting the deal done, bringing endless value to her current real estate clients.

Whether you are thinking about selling to a developer, or have more questions about commercial real estate, Wendy invites you to connect, to see how she can utilize her expertise and team to help create value and maximize your real estate goals.

Simon Chan

Managing Broker

Simon is the managing broker of Claridge Real Estate Advisors Inc. His expertise has helped our agents resolve many difficulties. Not only is Simon knowledgeable with real estate legislation, but he is also very detail orientated. With Simon on our team, our agents are confident to conduct businesses and will always get the support they need to ensure they’re not walking on dirty water.

Frank Zhou


As the analyst of the company, my key job is to help brokers to find marketable clients and locate feasible development sites by collecting and analyzing up-to-date market transaction data and conducting target market and property-level research. Meanwhile, I am also in charge of maintaining the company’s property database to ensure accuracy and comprehensiveness and continuously upgrading the level of knowledge by staying up to date with hot topics, and market trends, and incorporating findings into everyday work. Before joining the company, I worked for CR Group as a real estate investment manager, focusing on capital raising, equity and debt financing, acquisition and renovation. I hold 2 master’s degrees, one in Housing Management and the other in Economics.