In stark contrast to SkyTrain’s and RAV/Canada Line’s (in Richmond) ugly elevated concrete viaducts, Europe is greening their tram-lines. European transit authorities are lawning their tram routes, creating a park like atmosphere, which is further enhanced by trees, shrubbery and statuary. Tram lines, either ballast and tie on the ground or elevated on a viaduct can be an eyesore, but by ‘greening‘ the tram formation and making it a linear park certainly makes new LRT lines an easier sell to local residents; making the tram-line non-user friendly. Even the German Federal Railways (DB) are experimenting with lawned rights-of-ways for ecologically sensitive areas along the railway’s mainline.
The photo shows a Grenoble tram, with a simple station, operating on a lawned rights-of-way, as it were operating in a small park. Certainly the Arbutus Corridor is a natural for lawned light-rail tracks, but also imagine if you will, lawned interurban line in Cloverdale, Langley, Abbotsford, and Chilliwack, with the Valley interurban becoming a vast linear park connecting town centres. Talk about green transit!