Vancouver plans to reiterate concerns as CP explores options on Arbutus corridor

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      Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson says the city plans to be in “frequent contact” with CP Rail as the company considers its options for the Arbutus corridor.

      Workers with CP have been clearing brush along the railway line in preparation for a survey of the land, according to spokesperson Ed Greenberg.

      “Our railway’s in the process of sending a letter to residents living along the line so they are aware of what is taking place, and it’s part of a step-by-step process that our railway has started in exploring operational options, and in ensuring this corridor continues to meet Canadian transportation act requirements,” Greenberg told the Straight by phone.

      Robertson said the city has made it “very clear” that it would like to see the Arbutus corridor maintained as a greenway for the community, and ultimately continue to have a transportation use for light rail transit.

      “CP has a right to use that rail corridor,” he told reporters. “It’s in federal legislation and there’s nothing the city can do to prevent that, other than to say please respect our neighbourhoods, and the historic greenway that’s been there I think is in everyone’s best interest.”

      Robertson added the city plans to reiterate its concerns to CP.

      “There’s a lot of people that use the Arbutus corridor,” Robertson stated. “It’s quite popular as a place to walk and bike, and walk the dogs, and people have community gardens, so it’s really become an important greenway in the city, and hopefully we see CP respecting that.”

      Greenberg said CP has worked with the city in an attempt to reach a deal about the future of the line.

      “Unfortunately we weren’t able to find a solution, so we’re at a point now where we determined we should be reconsidering our operational options,” he stated.

      “Saying that though, we remain open to continued dialogue and discussions with the City of Vancouver.”

      The Arbutus corridor rail line runs between False Creek and the Fraser River.

      Robertson noted a 2006 Supreme Court ruling validated the city’s control over development along the track.

      “We do not support development on the Arbutus corridor, and we’ll be very clear about that,” he said.

      According to Greenberg, CP Rail is still in the early stages of the process, and no decisions have been made yet about future use of the line.

      With files from Travis Lupick.

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      mike

      May 10, 2014 at 9:35am

      This light weight has no voice. Kind of Like Harper, everyone really tired of his whining, just shut up and start looking for new job, Walmart greater.

      Eric

      May 10, 2014 at 2:29pm

      How can he keep a straight face describing it as a "historic greenway"?

      Meathead

      May 10, 2014 at 3:04pm

      All you LRT peeps can get your freak on now since THIS is where it makes sense AND leaves room for enough green space to keep the creme de la creme happy.

      Laughing

      May 10, 2014 at 10:31pm

      What a group of meatheads running Vancouver. They decided to play hardball with CP and deny them any rights to develop the land, which they have the legal right to do. But you can not dictate to a private company that we will take away all value of your land and you will keep it as green space. If CP can't develop it or sell it off, it might as well use it for what the company does, trains.

      ACMESalesRep

      May 10, 2014 at 10:46pm

      Meathead: Building an LRT that's nowhere near the city's busiest bus routes and does nothing to address current demand for transit makes sense?

      Gramma Carol

      May 11, 2014 at 1:05pm

      Just to remind the residents living near the Arbutus Corridor - PGE/BC Rail. The line in Wet Van lay dormant for nearly 40 years. Houses were built over the right of way, and gardens were constructed over the right of way. But when the PGE was resurrected, all the residents' whining was for nothing. It was after all the railway's right of way. My point? Well, the Arbutus Corridor is the CPR's right of way and they can resume train traffic any time they want and Mayor Robertson and/or the City of Vancouver have nothing to say about it. They can only prevent the CPR from either selling the land or developing it for building purposes, but they cannot tell the railway not to run trains. The creme de la creme are going to have to suck it up if they do decide to go that route. Everyone living there knew that the tracks are there when they moved in and no one would ever have been able to tell them truthfully that a train would never run there again. Buyer beware.

      Alan Layton

      May 11, 2014 at 2:22pm

      The last interurban tram stopped running along that line in 1958. CP continued a token rail service until 2001 when they only had Molson's as a client and then it was once again only a partial service. I lived in Kits by the railway for many years and is used daily by hikers, bikers, blackberry pickers and dog walkers. I've walked and biked the length of it many times over the years and it runs through some very peaceful neighbourhoods and plenty of community gardens. It's a gem and should be left undeveloped. It is not hindering anybody, except rail enthusiasts.

      The thought of using it for rail service (LRT or cargo) is ludicrous. There is no demand for it and an LRT would only make sense if the Broadway Skytrain was built and even then it just connects one small shopping district in Kerrisdale to another in Kits (4th Ave). Both are easily accessible by car, bus or bike.

      Also don't forget that an operating line will disrupt all major East-West traffic from 70th to 2nd. It was a pain in the ass going to UBC because of it and nobody wants to return to those days. CP will have to spend a fortune to bring the tracks and crossings up to working order and for no good reason. It's just a ploy to get top dollar for the land.

      JustMy2¢

      May 11, 2014 at 4:23pm

      It sounds like City of Van and Arbutus area residents are trying to claim squatters rights. Really?! I guess moderate density goals of Vision don't apply to the "well to do" in the Arbutus / Kerrisdale area.

      Jean

      May 11, 2014 at 4:31pm

      Just back from New York City with its brilliant High Line garden park being built in sections above an old rail line (http://www.thehighline.org/) -- why oh why cannot Vancouver follow suit?!

      frances

      May 11, 2014 at 9:32pm

      It's said "Build it and they will come". Why, I reckon if rail transit was revived along this line, all kinds of densification would happen. Looks to me like a great area for Gregor to pursue his densification agenda

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