TransLink is holding it’s second round of consultation on the alternatives for rapid transit along Broadway from Commercial Drive to UBC. The alternatives were previously discussed by us here.
Looking at the options it’s evident that the only rational option is rapid transit (ie. Skytrain). The question is whether it is constructed all the way to UBC in one shot or if it phased in and the first phase ends on either Granville or Alma. I’d be happy with either outcome, however, the best option is to build all the way to UBC right away.
Furthermore, the underground option is probably the only way this will get through with minimal opposition from the residents, businesses (i.e. NIMBY’s) in the immediate area. Any construction will cause years of disruption and businesses will have to prepare for that and unfortunately some may not be able to weather the storm.
Moreover, this should be built before any extensions South of the Fraser. Sorry Surreyites, I know you hate to hear this and feel somehow you’ve been neglected. However, if you look at the statistics and the population figures you would agree to this as well; unless of course you’re a politician in Surrey trying to garner votes. Skytrain should serve the existing demand first, not future demand! Plain and simple. That should dispel the demand debate.
The density around the Broadway Corridor (Commercial Drive to Blanca) is already there. Currently 100,000 people live along the corridor and it has employed 90,000 jobs. These figures are only going to grow as another 30,000 people are planned to reside in that area and additional 20,000 jobs. Many don’t realize that Broadway is the second largest employment area in British Columbia. It’s a strategic section and a vital street in the city that requires more efficient transit.
Extending the Millenium Line westward along the Broadway corridor (10th Ave.) will also aid in easing the traffic congestion along Broadway. Just take a look at the traffic along the Cambie Corridor. It flows a lot smoother. More importantly, Broadway is a strategic corridor requiring higher-capacity and faster transit connecting with the existing quasi-regional Skytrain network.
UBC being the destination, as opposed to somewhere south of the Fraser, is an important factor in extending or building a Skytrain line. Close to 45,000 students attend. Of course not all would take that route, however, many would like to leave campus and this would make travel a lot easier. Secondly, It would be short-sighted to not build to UBC as it is a fast growing urban area. For example, look at all the cranes that are out there at any given time. It’s also one of the largest employment hubs in the lower mainland.
Translink, it’s really quite simple. All political garbage aside, plan and build for the existing demand now and not the future demand.
Vancouver is already planning for the line with stations set aside for all future developments. It’s time to make it happen. In a perfect world this would have been built before the Evergreen Line as well. However, the Tri-Cities have been promised rapid transit for a long time and will be first in line.