The VANCOUVER City Council has approved a $ 3.8 billion plan to extend the underground line to UBC along the Broadway corridor, but has promised not to repeat past mistakes regarding uncontrolled land speculation and business impact.
Financing is secured and plans are being made to build the Skytrain extension along the corridor from Commercial Drive to Arbutus St., which should be by 2025. But the University of British Columbia, some business groups and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart want to extend all this way to the UBC. Stewart said the line that UBC could open until 2030 with the support of the board.
"It is very important to have with me when dealing with higher government levels," Stewart told the council when he was about to vote.
During the construction of the Canadian line, small businesses were struggling, and the regional district of the Vancouver metropolitan area highlighted a growing disconnect between the development of high density condom near transit stations that tend to be far from the price range of lower income people who actually use transit.
But some councilors believed that this project would be different.
"I am pleased that … we will ensure that we develop correctly the transit development and that we will fairly develop the transit orientation," he said. Pete Fry said before voting on the proposal.
COPE Coun. Jean Swanson and NPA Coun. Colleen Hardwick opposed the expansion to UBC. Swanson was afraid he could disprove the thousands of tenants living in apartment buildings between Arbutus and UBC. "They're all vulnerable when Skytrain passes," Swanson said.
Hardwick wants to see a transit plan for the whole city, not just one corridor. "We should not put all of our eggs in a basket in Broadway."
A study commissioned by Vancouver, UBC and TransLink estimates that the price will be between $ 3.3 billion and $ 3.8 billion to extend the UBC line, compared to estimated $ 1.7 to $ 3.2 billion for light-rail options.
Vancouver carriers and engineers have told the board that studies conducted in 2012 and 2018 show that Skytrain is the best choice for a crowded Broadway corridor where B-line express buses are full of daily and evening work to and from the university. The university, which is rapidly building new residential buildings on the campus, promises to contribute to the project, even though it has not said how much.
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Mayor Kennedy Stewart said the decision would allow the project to get federal funding. Former city planner, Brent Toderian, also urged counsel to speed up and use provincial and federal governments that preferred transit funding.
One former COPE member and some Westside residents, however, warned the city council not to try to approve the Skytrain, which would lead to fears that the underground link would be too expensive, would hurt local businesses, lead to expensive residential towers in lower density districts and radiate too much greenhouse gas during construction. They also said that the board should not support Skytrain before launching a nationwide plan that would last for two years.
"It is shocking that you are asked to decide so quickly," said Anne Roberts, a former counselor at COPE, who spoke as a private citizen, not a party. "Of course we want to improve the UBC transit … But it's up to you, like the city council, to give you the time you need to conduct due diligence."
Roberts and some speakers preferred a system of fast transit of light rail.
Toderian is a fan of a light rail track such as the Calrain system from CTrain. But studies have shown that the railroad system on the street would quickly reach capacity, even if the city considered the second LRT line along 41st Street. to UBC to relieve pressure on the Broadway corridor.
"The best tool for work is my favorite transport option," Toderian said. "The numbers are irrefutable – the Skytrain is the right solution."
While Roberts asked for advice to make time, Jerry Dobrovolny, the city's chief engineer, said the Metro Vancouver area was too moving on new fast transit projects. The approval of one fast transit project in 10 years does not keep regional growth, Volrovolny said.
Only Denis is a Vancouver newsletter who deals with affordability and city council. Follow her on Twitter: @ jenstden