Vancouver council approves guiding principles for Broadway rapid transit planning

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      Vancouver city council has unanimously approved a revised set of principles that it hopes will guide the development of rapid transit along the Broadway corridor.

      Council wants a Broadway rapid transit project to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, be “cost-effective”, and minimize the impact of construction.

      “I do think it’s a strengthened set of principles,” Vision Vancouver councillor Andrea Reimer, chair of the city’s planning and environment committee, said in council chambers.

      Reimer, along with Vision council colleagues Raymond Louie, Geoff Meggs, Kerry Jang, Heather Deal, and Mayor Gregor Robertson, were in favour, along with COPE councillors David Cadman and Ellen Woodsworth, and NPA councillor Suzanne Anton. (Vision councillors Tim Stevenson and George Chow were absent for the vote.)

      City planners Jerry Dobrovolny and Ronda Howard penned the staff report, which asked that its recommendations be used “to guide staff involvement in the planning and future implementation of a rapid transit solution for the Broadway Corridor”.

      Reimer said she hoped this will aid discussions between TransLink, the community, and the provincial government regarding the TransLink-led UBC Line Rapid Transit Study.

      TransLink has unveiled six rapid transit options for the Broadway corridor.

      Rapid rail transit (SkyTrain) would extend along Broadway (and 10th Avenue) between Main Street and UBC. According to TransLink’s Web site, two options have been identified for the section between Broadway and Main Street and Commercial-Broadway station.

      Two light rail transit options are on the table. The first would go along Broadway and 10th Avenue between Main Street and UBC. The second LRT option would incorporate elements of the first, but in addition would travel from Arbutus Street to Main Street-Science World Station along the south side of False Creek.

      A rapid bus option from Commercial-Broadway Station to UBC mirrors the existing 99 B-Line service.

      A “combination” option would see a mixture of SkyTrain and LRT.

      Finally, a best bus alternative would improve and optimize “east-west bus service in the Broadway corridor to UBC on multiple routes between 49th Avenue and False Creek through changes such as frequent service or transit signal priority”, according to TransLink’s site.

      Ned Jacobs of Neighbourhoods for a Sustainable Vancouver—a coalition of 30 groups that includes residents’ associations—was the lone speaker at the council meeting.

      He called Broadway a “complex, layered, nuanced corridor” that was different from the Cambie Corridor, which is also being studied. In general, Jacobs told council he was in favour of the principles set out to guide debate over Broadway rapid transit.

      Cadman and Meggs both peppered Jacobs with questions, asking him why, if he favours the principles that formed the major recommendation of the staff report, he still had so many concerns.

      “I think that there are principles that, as we have gone through them, that are missing, that are not full enough in their explanation,” Jacobs responded.

      Jacobs also called for more community consultation in the area, including UBC.

      “UBC may not technically be part of the city of Vancouver, but they sure do affect it,” Jacobs said.

      Earlier this year, activist Mel Lehan, a member of Business and Residents for Sustainable Transit Alternatives, spoke out against building a SkyTrain along Broadway. Lehan didn’t attend the meeting.

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      Apr 22, 2010 at 11:02pm

      Light rail: - easier one step from street access, no escalators, no expensive stations.
      - express/non-stop, varied stops, change stops and frequency as required, not limited by prebuilt stations as there are non.
      - your taxes won't go up, more likely to go down as this system as cheap as 1/10th the cost of SkyTrain.
      - LRT runs on the same tracks as heavy rail, infrastructure can be dual use, another savings for the taxpayer.
      - LRT Vehicles outlast rubber tired buses 4-1 (if you still thought rubber was still a real option).
      - 7 LRT lines to UBC for the price of one SkyTrain(out of date). 1) along 4th, 2) along Broadway, 3) along 16th, 4) along 33rd, 5)along 41st, 6)along 57th, 7)along Marine. Whatever, its not rocket science, but it cost less than SkyTrain and LRT's have easy access! Did I say that already? LRT's have easy access!

      nice pic

      Apr 23, 2010 at 12:40am

      I can just that piece of crap on W 10th Avenue without any sound barriers. It will look great rolling within 15 m of residences. About as great as the B-Lines. When is the CoV going to fire Jerry the jerk?


      Apr 23, 2010 at 10:59am


      Another one of multi-millionair Cadman's "UNANIMOUS" votes. And one (1) member of the public attending. To express "concerns" about a policy he agrees with. Only to be "peppered" with questions demanding an explanation.

      No one want's to be even one millimetre offside, do they? Can't afford that kind of risk, wouldn't be prudent.

      Rod Smelser

      let's not limit free speech or thought, GS

      Apr 23, 2010 at 12:12pm

      Matthew, the email blasting TransLink for not thinking out of the box shouldn't have been censored. GS is better than that and this isn't the Vancouver Sun.



      Apr 23, 2010 at 7:00pm

      Whatever should be along 16th: wider, has a boulevard - so, less disruption while building it - and easy to link along the main N/S routes to 4th & Bwy. Common sense...

      Bill McCreery

      Apr 23, 2010 at 9:46pm

      How can anyone have confidence in a Council to plan a rapid transit line that can't plan a chicken coop or add to a deficit in the Olympic Village rather than bring it to zero.