Action: Help Make Cornwall Ave. in Vancouver Safe for Kids, Seniors and Families.
April 19, 2023
At the April 25th Vancouver Council Meeting, Council will consider a motion (PDF) to implement a 30 km/hr speed limit on Cornwall Ave between Burrard and Trafalgar and other improvements to address vulnerable road user safety on this street. This section includes Henry Hudson Elementary, Henry Hudson Child Care, Kits Beach Park, and Kits Pool, which was the location of a tragic crash in July 2022.
Please message the mayor and council to support this motion by 5 pm on April 24th, or sign up to speak to the council on the 25th.
A copy of the motion is available here (PDF).
Details below on what you can do to support this motion come from VisionZeroYVR.
Urgent Request: Urge Vancouver City Council to vote “yes” on the Protecting People on Cornwall Avenue motion.
Why Is It Important?
27 people per year are killed or injured in car crashes on Cornwall Avenue1, including one in last summer’s horrific crash that critically injured a five-year-old girl2. Our government says, “Speed is a leading cause of death on B.C. roads.” We know that if a person walking is hit by a driver going 50 km/h, a person will almost certainly be killed, but they have a 90% survival rate at 30 km/h.3
1. Sign up to speak to Council on April 26.
Sign up at the link available here. You must sign up by 5 pm on April 24.
Select “B3. Protecting People on Cornwall Avenue”. If you want to speak, more information is on the next page.
Note the Council meeting is on April 25, but speaking and the vote will be at the Standing Committee meeting the following day (April 26).
2. Email the Mayor and Council before April 24 at 5 pm.
You can email the Mayor and all the councillors by clicking on this link or by emailing city councilors at these addresses:
For example language on what to include in your letter, please see HUB Cycling's letter here.
What Should You Tell Them?
Regardless of whether you are speaking to Council or sending an email:
1. Tell Your Story - Stand out by being you. If you live nearby or your child attends Henry Hudson, tell them. Tell them if you are scared to walk down Cornwall or cross the street.
2. Say What You Want - Start by telling them to pass the Protecting People on Cornwall Avenue motion and drop the speed on Cornwall to 30 km/h. Tell them if there are other safety measures you support. If you are emailing, state it clearly in the subject line and first sentence.
3. Done is Better than Perfect - Don’t agonize over the perfect message. The power is in speaking or in sending an email.
4. Be Polite - Be firm but be kind. Many politicians care as much as you do; your enthusiasm will motivate and help them motivate others. Jerks are easy to ignore.
Good to Know: Details About Speaking Before Council
Here is a more detailed guide on how to speak before Council.
1. Prepare Your Message - Tell your story about why this is important. If you are comfortable speaking with notes, write out your notes. If a script is better, write a script and read it to them. It is best to start with a strong opener that says what you want, such as, “My son goes to Henry Hudson, and we do not feel safe walking to school when cars are speeding by. We need Council to make Cornwall safer.” Restate your request at the end of your speech.
2. Practice - If you have time, practice in the mirror or before a friend or family member. Reciting your message will build your confidence and make it easier to speak.
3. Questions - Council members can ask you questions. Resist the natural urge to respond immediately. Pause and think. Say what you really want to say or decline to answer. At the end of your speech, you may also state that you do not wish to answer questions.
4. Technical Details - While you can attend in person, most speakers call in. Below is information on how to call in.
- Register to speak. Go here to register now. Check the agenda and make sure you are registering to speak on B3. Protecting People on Cornwall Avenue in Support!
- You should receive an email confirmation with more information. This might include your speaker number, instructions for calling in, how many minutes you will have to speak, or etiquette to follow.
- Follow along during the meeting to watch for the relevant agenda item. Watch the meeting and keep track of when the motion comes up. If the motion is further down on the list, you may want to check in every so often to track progress and wait to call in. Sometimes councils can take a few hours up to a meeting to discuss an agenda item.
- When the motion is up, call in to speak. When the motion comes up, be prepared to call in. You’ll probably want to call in at least 3-5 speakers ahead of you. Once you’re connected, you’ll usually be able to hear the live meeting discussion on your phone, so remember to mute your computer audio if you have been watching along. Your phone line will remain muted until your turn, so listen carefully. Usually, someone will say your name or say your speaker number, and then they’ll unmute you, and it’s your turn!
- Speak on the motion, and then answer any questions if you wish - It’s good practice to state your name. Councillors may have questions for you - and if they do - you’re not required to answer them. Once you’ve completed your turn, hang up.
- Follow the City of Vancouver - Follow the city clerk on Twitter, then turn on notifications when they post. It's a great way to keep up with what speaker number/issue they're on. After the meeting is over, you can turn off the notifications again.
About Vision Zero Vancouver
The Vision Zero Vancouver team lives, works and advocates for street safety on the shared territories of many Indigenous peoples, including 10 local First Nations: Katzie, Kwantlen, Kwikwetlem, Matsqui, Musqueam, Qayqayt, Semiahmoo, Squamish, Tsawwassen, and Tsleil-Waututh. Learn more at visionzerovancouver.ca.
Photo by Richard Campbell/Twitter via Vancouver Sun.
1. These are based on ICBC statistics available here. “27 people” includes people in cars and on motorcycles, pedestrians, and cyclists. On Cornwall Ave., a driver hits a pedestrian in a crash bad enough to report to ICBC nearly three times a year, and, likely, less severe crashes are not reported. ICBC receives nearly 100 reports of car crashes on Cornwall Ave. each year.
2. Vancouver Sun: Five-year-old child critically injured in Kitsilano collision
3. BC Govt: Excessive speed and careless driving