Posted by: VPSN | April 22, 2011

Considerations for UBC Rapid Transit Line as Phase 2 Consultations Close

The Vancouver Public Space Network encourages all Vancouver residents to get informed and participate in TransLink’s UBC Line study, for which the second phase has recently closed. TransLink’s Evaluation Summary assesses the different qualities of each proposed alternative.

In the course of providing feedback for this process (such as proposed road space arrangement, mode alignments, station placements, and the comprehensiveness of the evaluation process), there are three key factors that apply across the board as TransLink and stakeholders move forward on a decision:

  • The status quo is not working. With the desired growth in employment density along the central Broadway corridor as desired by the City of Vancouver, the over-crowding on transit on Broadway can only get worse. While the precise trajectory of other factors affecting travel, such as the nature of growing demand for trips to UBC, is uncertain, it is more than clear that we have passed the need for incremental increases capacity and require more than buses.
  • We want the most people able to access transit. Our ideal is that the chosen solution moves the most people possible while maintaining high safety, convenience, accessibility and affordability for today’s and tomorrow’s population. We urge respondents to keep in mind that Broadway has the potential to be a “great street” and currently serves as Vancouver’s second downtown. This is an important factor while weighing the options for the transit alignment. The transit option selected will have an impact on public realm development and how roadspace will be allocated on Broadway for the future.
  • How we fund what we decide to build matters. Many aspects of public-private partnerships deserve closer scrutiny, not least because they alter the balance of whether transit operators are able to take profits from some parts of the system to help fund transit operations in other places, such as buses serving seniors, low-income individuals and others who depend on transit. While funding is a primary consideration in later stages of the study, we should ensure we get the system that meets our needs on a wider spectrum of factors, not simply in moving us around.

TransLink will be reporting back on feedback it has received near the end of 2011, when decision-makers at TransLink and the Province will settle on a preferred alternative.

Want to keep in touch with the Vancouver Public Space Network’s work on this issue? Send an e-mail to Karen Fung (quinn AT vancouverpublicspace DOT ca) and we will be sure to keep you in the loop.

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