NEWS

Vancouver's Robson Street lounge could become permanent

08/30/2012 12:19 EDT | Updated 10/30/2012 05:12 EDT
Vancouver councillors will decide whether to permanently turn a block of Robson Street to a outdoor public lounge sometime this fall.

The 800 block area between the Art Gallery and Robson Square has been set aside for pedestrians throughout the summer and will remain that way at least until a report on the issue is reviewed by the council in November.

Counc. Andrea Reimer says her preference would be to keep part of Robson Street closed to traffic to create a gathering place for people, but not at any cost.

The street lounge features large bean bag style seats called Pop Rocks and sunshades that have been spread across the road attracting shoppers, walkers, bikers and workers to sit and relax.

The seats were made from the iconic sails by recycling material from the old roof of Canada Place.

Resident Soha Yasine loves that in the heart of the downtown core there is an area where she can sit down and not have to deal with traffic.

"Public spaces for sitting are the mark of a great city," Yasine told CBC News.

Sitting on one of the huge Pop Rock seats, Danika Parr says she agrees.

"I like it because we can sit and people watch, and these are really comfortable and good idea to just have a place to sit back and relax," said Parr.

Nearby Nathan Sutherland likes the idea of closing the street, but is not a fan of the actual seating provided.

"The beanbags are not very soft though. They're not pillowy at all," said Sutherland.

But others like bicycle courier Byron Hansen find the road closure makes it more difficult to drive or ride around the downtown core.

"It's harder to get through here on a bike. I have to walk through or piss off people if I bike through," said Hansen.

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