The phantom Skytrain extension — a Vancouver perspective

Recent medium-density housing, 10th Avenue near Ontario St.

Recent medium-density housing, 10th Avenue near Ontario St.

Our previous post on the proposed Clark-to-Arbutus Skytrain extension was picked up by Price Tags, a definitive urban affairs site for the city of Vancouver.

This generated a number of messages to Fraseropolis.com, including the following from MB, who supports a Broadway Avenue project rather than the 10th Avenue dig that was contemplated in our report. I have transposed one sentence for clarity, and added a couple of editorial notes.

The 10th Ave alignment has many challenges related to the disruption of an old, established community. I suggest severely disrupting resident’s lives over 25 blocks for cut and cover would have a much greater political pushback than disrupting traffic on Broadway. Using C&C on non-arterials in historic neighbourhoods is engineering from the Dark Ages. Continue reading

The Arbutus Skytrain extension – a phantom tour

1-Arbutus transit extension.jpg

J Trudeau

During Canada’s recent federal election campaign, Prime-Minister-to-be Justin Trudeau promised funding support for transit in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland — “to extend rapid transit along Broadway to Arbutus, bring light rail transit to Surrey, and increase SeaBus service during peak periods.” It’s part of a commitment to invest C$20 billion in Canadian infrastructure projects over 10 years. This announcement may breathe new life into a transit project that, judging from online discussion, appears to have lost momentum over the past three or four years.

Track's end, near VCC

Track’s end, near VCC

The proposed extension of Skytrain into the west side of the City of Vancouver has been on the books since the Millennium transit line was built in the 1990s. The Millennium line runs west from the Coquitlam border through Burnaby into Vancouver, ending abruptly near Vancouver Community College, almost at the dividing point between the east and west sides of the city. The western extension of the line would relieve pressure on Vancouver’s Broadway Avenue bus corridor, home of the limited-stop B-99 services that had 55,000 boardings per day in 2013. Continue reading

TransLink and the Evergreen Line: Let’s make a deal

TransLink, aka the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority, moves about 600,000 transit passengers on the average day in Metro Vancouver.  Forgiving the occasional breakdown, the corporation seems to have most of its technical issues sorted out.

But on the softer side – politics and financing – the outlook is uncertain.  TransLink’s operates as a unified agency in a fractured region.  Its funding requests are subject to approval by a council of 21 municipal mayors – and yes, this includes Anmore, Belcarra, Bowen Island and Lions Bay – plus a first nations chief.  If the mayors happen to agree on something, their decision is subject to further approval by the provincial government.  Continue reading

LRT: The Future in Surrey

The City of Surrey has posted its vision for rapid transit on You Tube, a video that offers a rosy look at the possibilities for light rail transit around Surrey City Centre — or anywhere your imagination takes you.

Aside from the transportation content, the piece is interesting as an example of how Surrey is positoning itself as “B.C.’s next metropolitan centre,” a dynamic rival to the City of Vancouver. Continue reading