SFU Gondola Update – Ah, the real story emerges

It seems thereAi??isAi??interesting politicalAi??connections with SFU and TransLink,Ai??with the gondola project. TransLinkAi??Board member, Howard Nemtin, President, Nemtin Consultants Ltd., is also a member of theAi??The SFU Community CorporationAi??board.Ai??Could it be that theAi??Trust’s real estate development arm, UniverCity will use the gondola as a sales tool for their development on the mountain; of course paid for by the regional taxpayer through TransLinik?

Other coincidental connections on the SFU Corporation BoardAi??include TransLink Board Chair, Nancy Olewiler, who also is the Director of the School of Public Policy in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Simon Fraser University andAi??a blast from the past,Ai??Jane Bird, who is famous for her obfuscation with the Canada Line debacle.

Let us not forget that TransLink subsidizes transit for over 900 Burnaby Mountain residents, with a “community transit passai??? that gives them unlimited access to the regionai??i??s buses and trains for just $30 a month, a perk that seems only to pertain to SFU and its environs.


It seems like again we have foxes in the hen-house, when it comes to the planning for the SFU gondola project and one wonders if the fix is in for a now $120 million (up $50 million from the original $70 million) gondola to SFU.



Is the fix in for the SFU gondola?


SFU gondola plan raises concerns in Burnaby


By Carlito Pablo,

The proposed $120-million Burnaby Mountain gondola project poses a dilemma for a group maintaining trails in the environmentally sensitive area.

According to Ron Burton, president of the Burnaby Mountain Biking Association, the construction and operation of a gondola system that would link the Production Wayai??i??University SkyTrain station to Simon Fraser University could have serious ecological impacts.

ai???They will have to cut and they could cut up Burnaby Mountain in order to put up the gondola and service the towers,ai??? Burton, whoai??i??s also a Burnaby school trustee, told the Straight in a phone interview.

Burton pointed out that the gondola infrastructure would slice through the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area, which includes wetlands, streams, and woods that serve as habitat to various wildlife.

However, Burton noted that the project appears to ai???make some economic and environmental senseai???.

According to material put out by TransLink, the gondola system could eliminate 35,000 to 55,000 hours of diesel bus operations going up and down Burnaby Mountain. The transportation authority also claims that the project would save up to two million hours of transit and car travel time by 2021.

ai???Our position is a wait-and-see,ai??? Burton said, adding that his organization wants to see more details.

For residents of the Forest Grove community on the lower slopes of Burnaby Mountain, the time has come for action.

Resident Christian Rarinca, a spokesperson for the Citizens Opposing the Gondola, will address members of the Metro Vancouver regional planning committee in a meeting on Friday (June 17).

According to Rarinca, the gondola system would cut across the neighbourhood. ai???They propose to have at rush hour a gondola leaving every 40 seconds, leaving from both sides of Production Way and SFU, which gives us an average of 20 seconds and a gondola will go over our heads,ai??? Rarinca told the Straight by phone. ai???Itai??i??s really something that not only destroys the character of the neighbourhood but also it has no benefit for us. The gondola doesnai??i??t stop at Forest Grove to take passengers.ai???

COGai??i??s prepared presentation to the Metro Vancouver planning committee also raises concerns about safety risks. A copy of the paper provided to the Straight by Rarinca states that the construction of towers for the gondola may affect pipelines operated by energy company Kinder Morgan, and this could lead to explosions.

The public has until June 30 to submit comments on the proposed gondola project. TransLink spokesperson Ken Hardie didnai??i??t return calls from the Straight before deadline.

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4 Responses to “SFU Gondola Update – Ah, the real story emerges”
  1. Thomas Cheney says:

    Why not use trolleybuses to get rid of the diesel bus use plus they accelerate better. The system would cost about 2 million per kilometer. Finally, the trolleybus wires on Hastings street were confiqured for express service with 2 pairs of wires. If the neighbourhood effects are too great for a gondola, that might be a good option

  2. zweisystem says:

    I agree and chain the damn tires if it snows!

  3. the Ragnore brothers says:

    So over the decades has it been, business as normal for the BC political party’s with kick-backs from vested interests being paid?

  4. zweisystem says:

    Sadly, true!