An Election Is Coming. The NDP Follows The Old Script.

As with all Metro Vancouver transit projects, they are good for three or four election cycles.

The NDP are just using their tired playbook from the 90’s, nothing more and, shock and disbelief, Parliamentary Secretary for TransLink, Browinn Ma is the do nothing MLA for North Vancouver Lonsdale.

Need I say more.

“Our government is committed to creating greener and more liveable cities and boosting access to transit as much as possible,” Claire Trevena, minister of Transportation.

If the NDP government was really committed to creating a greener and more livable cities, they would dump the $500 million/km plus Broadway subway in favour of $25 million/km LRT and the $200 million/km Expo Line extension in Surrey for $6 million/km Vancouver to Chilliwack TramTrain.

Show us the funding for this $6 billion plus project, then maybe we will get excited.

So, where is the funding John?

Five Burrard Inlet rapid transit crossing options announced

by Marcella Bernardo and Mike Hall

Posted Sep 15, 2020

File – SkyTrain. (Lasia Kretzel, NEWS 1130)

The five study options include a tunnel or bridge

NORTH VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Rapid transit to the North Shore is one step closer to being delivered after the completion of a technical feasibility study, with five potential crossing options.

The list for a third Burrard Inlet crossing — finalized by the B.C. Ministry of Transportation — includes links to either downtown Vancouver or Burnaby, via a tunnel or bridge.

“We are now able to move forward on some more technical planning around that. That’s the really exciting part, for me. There’s at least five feasible options,” said Linda Buchanan, mayor of the City of North Vancouver.

She’s not saying which option she prefers, though.

“At the end of the day, I just want to make sure that we can do the next phase of the work, and we really are looking at getting a line that starts us to be able to move people and goods and greener and sustainable ways, keeps our cities vibrant and makes us more prosperous.”The Burrard Inlet Rapid Transit study is to help with Transport 2050 planning.

The study was led by Mott MacDonald Canada and listed as crossing options:

  • Downtown Vancouver to Lonsdale via First Narrows (tunnel crossing);
  • Downtown Vancouver to Lonsdale via Brockton Point (tunnel crossing);
  • Downtown Vancouver to West Vancouver via Lonsdale (tunnel crossing);
  • Downtown Vancouver to Lonsdale via Second Narrows (new bridge crossing);
  • Burnaby to Lonsdale via Second Narrows (new bridge crossing).

“Our government is committed to creating greener and more liveable cities and boosting access to transit as much as possible,” Claire Trevena, minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, says in a release.

“This study shows possibilities that can be considered in future planning. It’s exciting to look towards a future high-speed connection that will make moving around on the North Shore and Greater Vancouver easier and greener.”

Connecting Lonsdale City Centre with Vancouver’s metropolitan core and the regional rapid transit network, while considering compatibility with existing and future land use, is one of the recommendations put forward by the Integrated North Shore Transportation Planning Project.

“People living in North Vancouver are eager to embrace socially, environmentally responsible ways to travel that allow them to beat the traffic,” says Bowinn Ma, MLA for North Vancouver.

No timeline or start date has been set for the crossing project, nor have costs.


4 Responses to “An Election Is Coming. The NDP Follows The Old Script.”
  1. r says:

    yes add more seabuses
    save billions!?

    Zwei replies: Too easy I think.

  2. Although it is useful to have five options on hand, it is hard to think that the five options address ANY of the real issues facing fast and efficient transit in Greater Vancouver.

    For example, consider total trip capacity in an out of downtown (pphpd):

    – 15,000 Expo Line (Millennium does not go downtown)
    – 10,000 Canada Line (possibly generous by a few thousand)
    – 10,500 on the Freeway
    – 1,034 WCE (I’m not counting the SeaBus, buses or roads as adding regional capacity)

    Total: 36,534 pphpd. That is NOT enough for any modern metropolis.

    An 8-car modern tram/train would carry 63,000 pphpd. Or DOUBLE the total achievable today by all four systems combined.

    Costs of construction are also a slam dunk.

    $600 million/km for Skytrain tunnel (I assume same for tram/train tunnel to North Van); $200 million/km for Surrey Skytrain; $50 million for Modern tram/train (best guess).

    Arbutus, Kent Street and BCER right-of-ways are all available for use. From Fir and 1st Avenue, a tunnel could take the service to Lonsdale (per Ministry options) and then surface on Lonsdale for a 4 km trek north. Steep grades not a problem.

    Crossing the Fraser involves one of three options: the Skytrain Bridge (learning from Portland, OR); the replacement Pattullo, but with a rail deck that has not been designed; or the legal right to use the Fraser River Rail Bridge.

    Or a combination. Say, the rail bridge initially while either the Skytrain or Pattullo get retrofitted.

    Running a line to UBC with modern tram/train would be a no-brianer swell.

    But there is that problem that the Olympic Tram (a modern tram/train system) could not conquer: the Skytrain love affair.

    So, those are the REAL issues: capacity, cost and practicality.

    It is on the last issue that we have to hang most of the important stuff:

    – Tram/train on street will revitalize the neighborhoods it crosses. Skytrain blights them.

    – Tram/train can travel from the North Shore to Chilliwack for $9.9 billion (6 km tunnel—$3.6 B; 126 km surface route—$6.3 B; 16 km Saved on Pratt-Livingstone corridor—$0.8 B). Skytrain is too expensive to provide regional service.

    – 50 Tram towns built east of Cloverdale would house 250,000 affordably, for about $300,000 for a house on a lot. Skytrain builds towers to help pay for the exorbitant construction costs. In turn, towers jack up land valuations even further.

    Therefore, in the ‘practicality’ category of Modern tram/train we can hang ‘Ending the supply constraints that have pushed housing into the stratosphere.’ That is, that region in economics where the middle class cannot go. House price inflation has happened not just in Vancouver, but region wide.

    I think that is the bright shining bobble that no one is talking about. Transit is not just about GHGs. It is about providing fast and efficient connections to cheap land where we can build affordable houses… In great quantities.

    The freeway stopped doing that by 1980. The Skytrain costs too much per km of route to EVER be able to provide a true regional service (reaching the outer ring suburbs of Fleetwood and Coquitlam is really not enough).

    I’m waiting with bated breath for the announcement that “it will be Skytrain,” that the costs “will be exprbitant,” and that the levels of service will be “pedestrian.”

    Meanwhile, I expect to see the governments that go up to bat fall every time. The Liberals managed to hang in for an encore, just by the hair of a minority government, because the opposition forgot to show. Let’s see what the NDP will do year November.

    This announcement is really a first nail in the coffin. Not a real way forward. But yes… tunnel from False Creek to Lonsdale, I think that one has got it right.

  3. Haveacow says:

    It all goes comes to this, “Show me the money”. I read comments in the last Hive article that, there may not be enough money at Translink, due to Covid-19, to finish the planned $1.6 Billion extension of the Expo Line to just Fleetwood, let alone going all the way to Langley, full estimated cost $3.1 Billion.

    The first stage of the Broadway
    Millennium Line extension to Arbutus is going to go forward ( $2.83) Billion, assuming no cost overruns. However, stage 2 to U.B.C. is unfunded and estimated to cost $3.8 – $4.2 Billion. Both the original Expo Line Segment and the Canada Line need upgrades to expand capacity or in the Expo Line’s case, just continue operating at its current capacity and capabilities. That’s $1 – $3 Billion for the Expo Line, depending on what you want to accomplish. Another $0.5 – $2 Billion for the Canada Line upgrades, also depending on what you want to accomplish.

    Now you want plan for another 6 km extension or entirety new line from the North Shore to downtown that, will either be in a very, very deep tunnel. Be built on a new stand alone bridge, on a new lower deck of a highly modified existing bridge, then running over or under Hastings Street to downtown. The next option is an expensive deep underwater tunnel and then a shallow tunnel through one of your most beautiful and beloved public parks, finishing off by cutting through one of the country’s most expensive neighborhoods towards Waterfront Station. For how much?

    Let us not forget about a $200 Million, 3 km – 4 km gondola ride to S.F.U. that may never come close to paying for itself through fares unless, a truly Ski Resort level of fare is charged .

    You have got $4.45 Billion right now for 2 “stage 1″ Skytrain projects and a gondola project right now.. You need anywhere from $6.8 Billion – $10.7 Billion for your unfunded Skytrain projects. Now you add what another $3.6 Billion – $5.1 Billion (my class D estimate for the North Shore project) to go between downtown Vancouver and North Vancouver.

    That’s an unfunded Skytrain project total of $10.4 Billion – $15.8 Billion. That’s not including any major Commuter Rail improvements, a new Skytrain Automated Train Control System (The Citiflo 650 program needs to be replaced) or a DMU or Tram-Train Line to Chilliwack, like Zwei wants. This is assuming new Skytrain vehicles come in on their expected budget. There are now no guarantees anymore because Bombardier Transportation (their train making division) was officially purchased today by Alstom fit $8.4 Billion.

  4. Apologies for being a bit slow to reply. Very busy… Hopefully Zwei will give you the heads up about this reply.

    “The Tram-Train Line to Chilliwack, that Zwei wants”

    You more or less got the gist of what I was rambling on about, H-A-Cow. The straight-line distance between the foot of Burrard Street on False Creek, and the Lonsdale Quay transit hub on the North Shore, is about equal to the tunnel from Main Street to Arbutus being built along Broadway.

    I’m suggesting scrapping the Broadway Tunnel and building a Burrard Tunnel instead—under Burrard Street and Burrard inlet. That would give us the entire run of Burrard Street to tunnel down. Not sure what happens at the other side, but I’m sure it is not a deal breaker.

    Form there it is all a ‘free ride’ to Chilliwack, the way Zwei wants.

    We own the Arbutus RoW (now). There are movements afoot to claim the Kent Street Rail corridor for rail transit (if that doesn’t pan out, running modern tram on the Marine Drive RoW is a no-brainer). Zwei points out that we have 30% wheelage rights on the Fraser River rail bridge (the New Pattulo Bridge does not have a rail deck; the skytrain bridge would require either modified trains, or a retrofit on the bridge).

    Once on the other side of the river, its BCER RoW all the way to Chilliwack. The 16 km Pratt-Livingstone corridor would be upgraded free of cost by the lease holder.

    But the idea includes scrapping the Skytrain extensions.

    We can run modern tram from VCC to UBC on existing RoW. From Granville Island, the alignment would go along 4th Avenue, the historic tram route. Shops all along that street would get a huge boost.

    We’ll leave it to Zwei to give you the heads up about this response.

    I was using the numbers you provided for freeway and street lanes when I came up with the 36,500 pphpd estimate for trips in and out of Downtown Vancouver. That’s all we can handle right now adding up freeways and skytrain. (We have additional car lanes that could be included at 800 pphpd. However, I don’t see this volume as being ‘commuter traffic.’ Most of it either comes on the Freeway, or is generated locally.)

    This suggests that the reason we have a Housing Crisis is that there is not enough capacity to get enough people in and out of the downtown, and get them there and back quickly enough, to live in cheap land for affordable housing on the periphery.

    That suggests that what we need is a Regional Transit System.

    Keeping in mind that Skytrain is too expensive to provide regional service, Zwei’s argument for Rail in the Valley increases in magnitude. It becomes the strongest tool to ending the Housing Crisis.

    Here is the rub: Rail to and from the Valley will greatly increase the supply of affordable houses if we build 50 tram/towns, housing 250,000 souls, at 50 Fraser Valley tram/stops.

    My point is this: transportation is one of the primary elements of ‘good’ urbanism. Only when we think of transit in the context of the entire region or ‘regional city’ does it become possible to evaluate the overall social impact of different options in urbanism (and not just transportation).

    Would be interesting to analyze the regional footprint of Toronto through the same lens:

    What is the total trip capacity in and out of the city when we add up transit and highways? And what are the corresponding travel times?

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