Transportation activists mobilize to thwart South Fraser Perimeter Road and Broadway SkyTrain

Opponents of  a  potential  SkyTrain project  along the Broadway corridor and critics  of the South Fraser Perimeter Road are both calling upon the public to attend meetings on these topics later this month.

On Saturday (January 16), the South Fraser Action Network will  host a townhall meeting to educate the public about the proposed $1.1-billion South Fraser Perimeter Road.

The meeting will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Sundance Banquet Hall (6574 Ladner Trunk Road). It's served by the C76 and C87 buses.

Speakers include Richmond councillor and farmland advocate Harold Steves, former TransLink planner and blogger  Stephen Rees, transportation consultant Eric Doherty, and Alexandria Mitchell, a high-school student and delegate at the recent climate-change conference in Copenhagen.

The following Monday (January 18), TransLink is hosting a stakeholder meeting from 6 to 9 p.m. on a proposed rapid-transit line to UBC. It will take place  at the Plaza 500 Hotel at 500 West 12th Avenue.

The group Businesses and Residents for Sustainable Transit Alternatives claims that the Broadway Corridor has already been selected with no public input.

BARSTA says it's not against transit, but prefers an affordable,  low-impact, cost-effective, and community-accessible system rather than a SkyTrain-style project.

BARSTA favours a $360-million  European-style, at-grade train, which would provide more stops along Broadway  than a $2-billion  subway.

"It is important that our community comes out in force and expresses our concerns in relation to Translink and above all the SKYTRAIN Technology option that Translink is pushing," BARSTA stated in a widely distributed e-mail. "Our community organization is very concerned on the lack of honest and open discussions between Translink's key decision makers, local politicians and provincial politicians."

Related article: Patrick Condon highlights cost of Broadway transit



UBC commuter

Jan 10, 2010 at 10:17am

I take the 99 B-line and 44 to UBC every day, and after visiting Brussels Belgium, I can say that an at grade light-rail system is just what Vancouver needs. Why does the government insist on spending more money than they have?!! A skytrain style system would take generations to pay off, even on a busy line like broadway. Please save that money and spend it on improving bus service in other areas!

A light-rail system would be MUCH MUCH faster to install, and would have a FAR smaller impact on the local businesses along the line (Remember the lawsuits from the Canadaline?). All of this in addition to the lower cost and faster return on investment (shorter payback period). I really wish the government would start releasing their NPV calculations for these mega projects, so people can see how flawed their logic really is!



Jan 10, 2010 at 11:48am

The more SkyTrain-type of transit for this area, the better. In the long term, a Broadway line would be better, regardless of increased initial cost. In fact, it should have been done years ago.

We need skytrain

Jan 10, 2010 at 1:04pm

UBC is a regional draw. If you are on res or live in Point Gray a tram would be all that you need. If you live in East Van and beyond and need to get to UBC, skytrain is the better choice.


Jan 10, 2010 at 3:32pm

"On Saturday (January 16), the South Fraser Action Network will host a townhall meeting to educate the public about the proposed $1.1-billion South Fraser Perimeter Road. "

Actually, I am afraid this project is well beyond the "proposed" stage. Work is underway and huge loads of fill are visible in Delta when driving to the Tsawwassen Ferry terminal.

Eric Doherty visited Maple Ridge last year. I am sure he took the bus out here (#160 plus #701). Aren't you?

He told the audience at the ACT (local performing arts centre) that he was admantly opposed to any new bridge at Port Mann, whether tolled or not, but said nothing -- nothing whatsoever -- about either the new Golden Ears Bridge or the new Pitt River Bridges, both of which he opposes just as vehemently as the new Port Mann bridge.

I guess he didn't want to alienate a local audience by poking a stick in their eye, and instead was content to play the usual Lower Mainland gamesmanship bit of suggesting that more transportation capacity for one's own section of Metro is a perfectly necessary and normal development, but that a big project in some other part of Metro is a monumental waste, a ticket to urban sprawl and Los Angelization, a throwback to the auto culture of the 1950s, etc., etc.

Stephen Rees reported on his blog last year that he drives to work through the Deas Island tunnel. But you MUST understand. He has no choice but to do this, ... unlike the hundreds of thousands of other people who commute by car. According to Rees these people could in many cases take transit now, and if improvements were made to the transit system, many more could do so. But Rees's own case is so special and so unique that it would be unfair of anyone to see this as some kind of double standard, ... after all, ... this man is an important expert and blogger, and that's by his own admission.

Finally, I am sure the very, very sincere people organizing this gathering at the Ladner Hall will be happy to report how many attended, how many arrived by the two, 24-person mini-buses, C76 and C87, how many walked or cycled, and how many came by cars and what the the number of cars was, that is, how many came one person to a car and how many car-pooled, as well as telling the public how many came from Delta, Richmond, or Surrey, and how many came from Burnaby and Vancouver.

Once again, given that some extremely important people will be going to this meeting, it would be most unfair, silly even, to see their choice of transportation mode as indicating any lack of interest in the mode choices they recommend for millions of others.

Rod Smelser

Evil Eye

Jan 10, 2010 at 4:47pm

The 'Eye' just saw this item.

If it is to be believed, the 'evil deed' has been done and SkyTrain will be built to UBC.

That being said, those who want SkyTrain also want massive taxes because the metro costs so much to build and operate.

Funny thing, no one else seems to build with SkyTrain or even plans for it, yet we build more.

Gemma Stuart

Jan 10, 2010 at 5:04pm

I have been all over the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium as well as the US and think that they need to go with the above ground system. As has already been mentioned those who live in the West End don't need the subway style system and those who live in the East End or outside in Richmond, Surrey, Delta Langley will have to take the skytrain anyhow.
While I don't live in the West End I do think that it is prosperous that those in charge of deciding what transit systems get adopted and what services are cut or not adopted rarely, if ever, take transit themselves so they have no idea what works or what does not.


Jan 10, 2010 at 5:38pm

i think students and the transportation activists aren't necessarily at odds with each other. i am a student and i recognize that we absolutely need to increase transit service to UBC. however, i don't feel building a skytrain is the best way to spend the money. translink's own studies show that if the 99 b-line were replaced by an at-grade light rail, the capacity would immediately double.

katharina heitzmann

Jan 10, 2010 at 9:19pm

re rod smelser's comments. i find most of your comments ridiculous and ignorant. what part of all this do you not understand. we are all fighting for better, safer, more efficient public transportation instead of paving our farmland, etc. if better transportation were available, i know that 1 would love to go that route instead of using my car. we live in a fast-paced society, most of us do not have the time to make a 2-hour transit trip instead of 30mins by car. i recently took transit into vancouver. it was $2.00 for parking my car at scott road; $5.00 for the skytrain into vancouver. the bus i was supposed to take to my appointment did not show up and a stranger and i shared a cab - my share being $5.00. another $5.00 to take sky train home. my appointment was 1 hour yet it took me an entire afternoon. the cost of keeping my appointment, min $17.00.

i encourage everyone to attend the this important meeting on saturday, jan. 16 re the 1.1 billion sfpr. hopefully, we will succeed in stopping this nightmare freeway and spend the $ on much needed improved public transportation instead, then we will have a real choice to not use our vehicles.
see you on saturday

Evil Eye

Jan 10, 2010 at 9:25pm

Let's be blunt.

Cost of SkyTrain:
a) Elevated over $100 million/km.
b) Subway over $200 million/km.

Cost of Light Rail:
Streetcar - mixed traffic $15 million/km.+
LRT - HOV lane + signal priority at intersections $25 million/km+

Speed determined by quality of rights-of-way and station spacing, given equal stations SkyTrain subway or elevated and at-grade LRT would have equal commercial speeds.

Therefore one can build 4 times the LRT than elevated SkyTrain or 8 times the LRT than a SkyTrain subway.

Who is going to pay the extra for SkyTrain?

From the Rail for the Valley blog:

The Evil Eye sees stormy times for the friends of SkyTrain!


Jan 10, 2010 at 11:10pm

I hope RodSmelser will wake up and smell the coffee soon. It would be good if he would be better educated on the issues affecting our region and realize the Provincial government is screwing us out of: farmland and future food security, the ability to travel car free, free flowing fisheries rich rivers, etc., and is burdening us with generations of debt in order to service the biggest Liberal party funders. The public treasury has been hijacked Rod!