Vancouver Blunders Ahead With Its Vanity Project.

Well, Vision(less) Vancouver is blundering ahead with its much cherished $3 billion subway under Broadway and our feckless politicians South of the Fraser remaining willfully blind to this billions of dollars boondoggle. One would think they would be more in tuned with the costs of this massive project.

Surrey has been bought off with its own vanity project, the poor man’s SkyTrain masquerading as light rail; Delta with the promise of a massive new bridge to replace the Massey Tunnel and good Liberal city councilors tow the provincial line in the Langleys, Abbotsford and beyond.

What is so sad is no one is thinking three minutes into the future, where road congestion and gridlock will reign supreme, forcing politicians to build more highways because the cost of transit is so high to build, based on the cost of current rapid transit vanity projects, that will do little to attract ridership or alleviate congestion.

Rail for the Valley offered another and cheaper way to provide quality transit to the South Fraser region, but politicians just love cutting ribbons in front of expensive vanity projects at election time.

Subway stops prepared along Vancouver’s Broadway corridor

by Carlito Pablo on November 25th, 2015


The strip mall on the southeast corner of Broadway and Oak Street is deserted.

ai???Weai??i??ll be starting demolition here pretty quick,ai??? Wayne Vickers, development manager of Bosa Properties, told the Georgia Straight in a phone interview. ai???Iai??i??d say December, with excavation in January,

BlueSky Properties, a Bosa family company, is constructing a 10-storey office and retail building on this spot, which the City of Vancouver has chosen to be the location of one of the stations for a proposed subway line along Broadway.

According to Vickers, his company and the city have agreed to designate an area in the new building to serve as a connection to an underground transit station. ai???We got the plan. We have the design for it,ai??? Vickers said.

According to a city staff report, similar arrangements have been made for two other sites. One is near Arbutus Street at 2080 West Broadway, where the Pinnacle Living on Broadway condo building is located. The other is at 525 West Broadway, the site of Crossroads, a mixed-use residential, commercial, and office building kitty-corner to the Canada Lineai??i??s Broadwayai??i??City Hall Station.

A rapid-transit line along Broadway is one of the projects in a 10-year plan for Metro Vancouver released in June 2014 by the Mayorsai??i?? Council on Regional Transportation.

The $1.9-billion project involves extending the Millennium SkyTrain Line from VCC-Clark Station to Arbutus Street, connecting along the way with the Canada Line at Broadwayai??i??City Hall. Two-thirds of its cost would consist of funding from the provincial and federal governments.

In a referendum this year, Metro Vancouver voters rejected a proposed 0.5-percent increase in the sales tax to help fund major infrastructure projects in the $7.5-billion transportation plan prepared by regional mayors.

During the federal election campaign, Liberal Leader and now Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to work with the province and the city to extend rapid-transit service along Broadway to Arbutus.

Until the subway is built, Bosaai??i??s BlueSky Properties will use the future subway-connection space for retail.





One Response to “Vancouver Blunders Ahead With Its Vanity Project.”
  1. Haveacow says:

    Is it just me, or did you guys catch that little detail at the end of the article? They have been working with the city to make sure there is space in the design but before they begin construction of the Skytrain line they are going to use the space as retail ! That building, if it indeed does start construction at the time the article said it would, that means that, its first occupation date is around mid to late 2017? Leasing space for retail is not like renting a house or an apartment. You don’t sign up for just a year at a time, not many businesses could operate like that. You sign at a minimum, 2 or 3 year lease and the normal length is around 5 years. Its just not worth it for a retailer to have to move to a different spot in the same building or at worst have to move out of the building, for anything less than 2or 3 year lease. I’m assuming that this development company is an experienced builder and developer, they sure sound like it. So, if it is true that, they want the space for the station entrance to be used as retail, that means they would have to be secure in the knowledge that, construction of the Skytrain line isn’t going to start for at least 4 or 5 years from know, at the earliest. Then an absolute minimum of 3-4 years for Skytrain construction. You are looking at having a line to just Arbutus, not UBC, open between 2023-2026. I know it is 2015 but, it is almost 2016.

    Let me get this straight, even with the Feds and the Province paying their 2/3 shares and Translink somehow paying for it’s 1/3 share, without having to do massive cuts to the operations and maintenance budgets of the existing transit system, something you guys still can’t collectively agree on how to do. The good people of BC’s Lower Mainland, want a rapid transit line, which at the earliest is going to be in the 7-10 year time horizon, cost somewhere around $1,900,000,000 (hopefully not more), will mostly be in a tunnel with only a short total length of around 6-6.5 km, and yet still be 6.5-7 km away from its real final goal UBC (a future phase 2 possibility).

    All of this using a rail technology that as built will have less passenger capacity and by design, less adaptability than other newer cheaper Light Rail technologies, available from the same vehicle provider you are already using. A rail provider that at most will need to supply 12 Mark 3 (4 car train sets) to meet the current designed rail system capacity limit over and beyond the need to replace the existing vehicle fleet 150 Mark1 cars with 40 Mark 3 train sets and lets say all 54 more to replace 108 Mark 2 units (2 car train sets), a total 106 4 car train sets at most for the next 30 years, unless a lot more money is found to increase the system’s the capacity, which seems unlikely. I think Bombardier will have to drop the Skytrain design eventually due to lack of sufficient orders. Each design needs around 700-800 to be cost effective, I just don’t see it happening.

    Zwei replies: I noticed it too. It is now accepted that the Broadway subway is being built solely for the benefit of developers and not transit users. As property values increase in Vancouver, people are moving to the burbs and finding jobs in the burbs and Vancouver, despite the hype and hoopla, is fast becoming a place for the very wealthy or the very poor. I know of at least 5 contemporaries of mine who have moved away from Metro Vancouver to other locales in BC, their children have also moved on. Maybe in another generation, this massive investment in SkyTrain will be nothing more and a museum piece, used by the poor and the odd tourist.