Geoff Meggs serves as a Vision Vancouver city councillor and sits on the transportation committee. First elected in 2008, Meggs has served two terms on city council.
With the civic election just hours away, the city’s transportation issues are certainly a pressing topic on the minds of voters.
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Meggs answers some questions about Vision Vancouver’s transportation goals, specifically regarding the Broadway Subway line and the Georgia viaducts.
There is a provincial transit referendum planned for June 2015 to decide on future plans for the Vancouver region’s transit system. If this referendum passes, how will the city come up with funding for the proposed Broadway subway?
This is a regional plan, so the funding comes collectively from the entire Greater Vancouver region. It is crucial that the city supports this initiative but also that the provincial and federal government lend a hand in financially supporting the push for a more efficient transit system.
Besides a Broadway subway, what other transit projects can we expect for Vancouver to ensure a better public transportation system?
Well, the subway line is the most high profile project but putting that subway in would free up hundreds of articulated buses. People who come to work in Vancouver would be able to get much more frequent service as an enormous bus fleet would be available. Furthermore, there would also be a big increase in sea bus service.
The Broadway subway won’t be built for the next several years. Until then, what short term solutions are available to ensure that transit service improves for Vancouverites?
We have been pushing our staff to come up with things to provide short term solutions such as bus priority measures that speed the busses through the intersections. The bottom line is that we are at the end of our rope and we cannot add many more busses to an already congested Broadway corridor. We have added more busses along other routes such as 41st and 49th.
In two years, the Evergreen Line will open meaning thousands of more commuters coming into Vancouver, so we are concerned about the influx of transit that will be needed.
There has been an ongoing review of the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts as a part of the strategic planning review for the Eastern core. What information has this review provided so far in relation to the removal of the viaducts?
We know we can replace the viaducts with new roadway that would provide a ramp to Georgia street. However, we still need to know the impacts of the project in terms of issues like soil contamination and traffic flow. But, there are definite benefits to tearing down the viaducts that the review shown so far.
If Mayor Robertson is re-elected and you are reelected as well, what outlook do you have for Vancouver in the next few years?
I want to see Vancouver be a place where people who make good living, but aren’t super wealthy, can find a decent place to live and work. We need to ensure a solid future for young people, people wanting to move to the city and those already living here. Ultimately, I see a city that is well managed and well run. I have been privileged to serve two terms as a Vision Vancouver councillor and we have the opportunity to move forward because our team is on the cusp of some really great things.
*End of interview*
Vancouver’s municipal election takes place on Saturday, November 15. Voting is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Find out more about the election and where to vote through the City of Vancouver’s website.