Future streetcar gets dedicated space in design concept for Vancouver’s Arbutus Greenway

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      A streetcar is part of the proposed plan for the former Arbutus rail corridor in Vancouver.

      The City of Vancouver is sharing the design concept for the strip in a series of open houses, which started last weekend.

      The nine-kilometre belt stretching from West 1st Avenue on the north to Milton Street on the south was purchased by the city from CP Rail in 2016, and was renamed as the Arbutus Greenway.

      According to the city’s information display, the greenway is envisioned to be a public place for walking, cycling, and a streetcar.

      The project’s objectives include ensuring that the master plan “anticipates and dedicates space for a future streetcar”.

      The streetcar will connect False Creek with the Fraser River.

      “Modern-day streetcar is part of the plan for the future Arbutus Greenway, and will be a comfortable and convenient transit addition to our city and region’s multi-modal transportation system,” according to the information display.

      The light rail transit will be powered by electricity, and controlled by an onboard operator.

      The information display notes that the purchase agreement “specifies that a portion of the corridor must be dedicated for light rail use”.

      “Streetcars are a form of light rail particularly suited to operate in constrained urban spaces like the Arbutus Greenway, and can travel safely alongside greenway users,” the material explains.

      Running on street level, the system will have either a dedicated right-of-way or mixed in traffic.

      “Timing is dependent on regional funding priorities for our transportation system,” according to the city’s information display. “Streetcar will likely be a long-term component of the Arbutus Greenway.”

      The first open house for the Arbutus Greenway design concept was held last Saturday (April 21). 

      The next open house is on Wednesday (April 25) from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at 511 West Broadway. The third event is on Saturday (April 28) from 12 noon to 3 p.m. at the same venue.