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

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.

Comments (19) Add New Comment
mike
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.
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Eric
How can he keep a straight face describing it as a "historic greenway"?
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Meathead
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.
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Laughing
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.
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ACMESalesRep
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?
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Gramma Carol
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.



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Alan Layton
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.
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JustMy2¢
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.
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Jean
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?!
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frances
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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arbutus corridor
Kerrisdale resident Pamela Sauder “We are the people who live in your neighbourhood. We are dentists, doctors, lawyers, professionals, CEOs of companies. We are the crème de la crème in Vancouver. We live in a very expensive neighbourhood and we’re well educated and well informed. And that’s what we intend to be.”

Hey Pam, time to show your entitlement again!
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Donald
@Jean - "New York City with its brilliant High Line garden park being built in sections above an old rail line... why oh why cannot Vancouver follow suit?! "

You may not realize that Chicago's El and New York's Subway, both have similar amounts of subway and elevated track. New York's High Line garden park is built on and abandoned section of elevated track. For Vancouver to follow suit, it would have to first abandon a section of skytrain.
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Donald
"We are the crème de la crème in Vancouver."
Crème maybe, but not crème de la crème. More expensive real estate can be found in Shaunassy, SW Marine, waterfront Kits and even water-view East Van (Wall St.).
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Martin Dunphy
Donald and Jean:

The viaducts?
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Donald
Viaducts? Close I guess, but those are currently roads for private autos (plus a bicycle path), not public mass rail transit like the New York Subway or Vancouver skytrain.

Besides, the plans is to tear them down for (what else) more condos. I can hardly imagine anything preventing condos from being built in Vancouver.
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John
If the city of Vancouver told "la creme de la creme" in Vancouver that they could not develop their own interests I'm sure they'd cry out and act indignant. The very fact that they view themselves under this title is insulting and goes to the point that they feel they deserve special treatment. They are after all protecting their property value by trying to prevent development of the land. Rediculous that they build next to a railway in the first place and now claim it should be used as green space. The fact that they've been trespassing on the land for 15 years seems to escape them. Sense of entitlement is bloated and rediculous.
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Zweisystem
Modern LRT would work very well on Arbutus, then do what they do in Europe, lawn the tracks and make it a linear park.

Now here is the kicker. The Canada Line was build with little extra capacity and it has a maximum capacity of about 7,500 person per hour per direction. Because the scope of the Canada line was so reduced and the nature of the ground in Richmond, it would be cheaper to build a stand alone Vancouver to Steveston/Ironwood mall LRT, than it would to extend the Canada Line.

Also, one could extend the the LRT along the Fraser North shore to New Westminster, and to Annicis Isand giving a rather large network for a relatively small sum of money.
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Arbutus resident
An LRT would be a great idea and follow the railway right away goes to granville island and around false creek to main street. Going the other way, it could cross the river and end at Bridgeport station.
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Jl
i find it astounding that the creme de la creme have been TRESPASSING UNDER THE BC TRESPASS ACT on PRIVATE PROPERTY,and now these self entitled idiots are upset that the PRIVATE PROPERTY OWNERS are legally fighting back..............

hahaha idiots. I hope CP sends you all a Notice of Debt Owing

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