Broadway merchants want light rail not SkyTrain down business corridor

Last night’s adventure!
Broadway merchants want light rail not SkyTrain down business corridor
By Tamara Baluja, The Province June 22, 2010

A coalition of merchants and residents opposed to the building of a SkyTrain line along Vancouver’s Broadway corridor rolled ahead with a meeting Tuesday to discuss alternatives.

About 120 people packed the meeting held by the Business and Residents Association for Sustainable Transportation Alternatives (BARSTA) at the St. James Community Square in Kitsilano.

Donna Dobo, a business owner who attended, is concerned that she will be “squeezed out of business” during construction.

Dobo has been operating a costume store called Just Imagine at the Broadway Avenue location for 22 years. “Business is good, but I don’t know if I could survive three to four years of construction with no foot traffic,” Dobo said. “A tunnel construction with huge craters would completely destroy us.”

Broadway merchants, such as Dobo, are concerned that SkyTrain construction like the Canada Line on Cambie Street would be detrimental to business. She, along with a contingent of like-minded merchants, would rather opt for a street-level electric system with stops to encourage passengers to use Broadway’s shops.

Several Cambie Street owners are involved in a class-action lawsuit for damages, claiming the decision to use a cut-and-cover construction method instead of a bored tunnel resulted in problems that hurt businesses. Mel Lehan, a Kitsilano resident and co-founder of BARSTA, said he remains very concerned that a “transit system will be imposed” upon them without consultation. “I think [TransLink has] already decided to build a SkyTrain,” Lehan said.

But TransLink’s Ken Hardie dismissed the notion. “I honestly don’t know where they got that idea that a SkyTrain is the front-runner,” Hardie said. “We are looking at a variety of options.”

Hardie said a complete list of options for the 12-kilometre extension between Commercial Drive and the University of B.C. will be given to city council within the next two weeks. “We’ve been doing consultations with the community in a very robust manner,” Hardie said.

Although a cost analysis will not be completed until the proposals are submitted to city council, Hardie said he hopes that the UBC and Surrey lines will be extended within the next 10 years.

Meanwhile, Jerry Dobrovolny, assistant city engineer of transportation, confirmed that council passed a motion in 2008 stating a preference for the bored-tunnel approach under Broadway or 10th avenues.

Despite the rising concern over the future of the Broadway corridor being raised, transportation economist and regional planner Stephen Rees assured the meeting’s attendees that worrying is all for naught. “TransLink can’t afford to build anything right now . . . They can’t even afford to run more lines on the already overcrowded ­Canada Line,” said Rees, a former planner with the Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority.

Citing the non-existent Evergreen Line and other proposed projects, Rees advocated TransLink look at creating a regional transportation system that includes outlying, rapidly growing cities like Surrey and Langley. “It’s very scientific. It’s very interesting but it’s not real,” he said of TransLink’s proposals. “They can’t afford to build anything here any time soon.”


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28 Responses to “Broadway merchants want light rail not SkyTrain down business corridor”

  1. Justin Bernard Says:

    Clearly BARSTA did their homework. They know just how disruptive tunnel construction will be, AND they know passengers cannot see their stores 10 meters underground. The only stores that will benefit are stores near the station entrances.

    Businesses should not suffer just so a small number of large-distance travellers get to school a few minutes quicker.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Maybe they should do some homework and see how on-street LRT construction is disrupting Toronto.

  3. Donna Dobo, Says:

    Thank you for the report on that very exciting meeting last night. The turnout and intelligent questions from the audience proves there is a strong coalition of residents and businesses.

    The West Broadway Business Association’s members would like to see improvements to the UBC transit line, but planned in a way that enables viable businesses to survive the construction phase.

    We want accessible surface electric transit that could be rapid bus or modern euro style light rail. Make it attractive to local traffic, sightseers and faster than the B-line for the long distance commuters.

    We need the stops to be more frequent that the planned locations for skytrain stations, which a kilometre apart.

    Kitsilano is one of the best examples of a sustainable neighbourhood with range of services that people can access on foot. All that would change.

  4. KC Says:

    Obviously, it seems that Broadway merchants haven’t done enough research. If they had, they’d know that LRT construction can be equally as disruptive.

    The 6.8-km St. Clair LRT project in Toronto is quite similar to what a Broadway LRT construction project would be like. Five years after construction began, it remains incomplete and businesses have shut down and suffered just like what happened on the Cambie corridor. Close to 100-businesses have together filed a $100-million lawsuit against the City of Toronto.

    But hey, Broadway merchants will never know both sides of the story if LRT activists continue to preach to them half-truths and lies. In fact, this post in this blog might even get deleted! It’s almost as if the LRT activists took a page out of America’s Republican party disingenuous game plan of lying to the public about the health care reform plan…”OMG OBAMA IS GOING TO KILL YOUR GRANDMA! PEOPLE IN CANADA ARE DYING FROM SOCIALIST HEALTH CARE!”

    All this nonsense of frequent stations and slow travel needs to stop. There’s a reason why a vast majority of bus ridership on the Broadway corridor is from the 99 B-Line express instead of the slow and stop frequent trolleys (40-minutes vs. 1hr30mins from terminus to terminus).

    Zweisystem replies: Funny then that no one builds with SkyTrain and many metro proposals remain stalled due to funding issues, yet LRT is still built.

  5. KP Says:

    I’m sure the Broadway merchants will love it when the street parking is taken out because of the LRT… because its either that or a lane of traffic.

    And nobody want to ride LRT that has to obey the speed limit on Broadway… the 99B is just as fast as LRT will be. Sure the LRT will have higher capacity then the 99B but what people using transit along broadway really want is speed and frequency.

    Skytrain allong broadway will be integrated with the current Millenium line cutting the number of transfers. Skytrain will be much faster along broadway (80km/h vs 50km/h) as LRT has to obey ALL speed limits and will have higher frequency because it is an automated system. Plus LRT would have to make the turn from Broadway onto Alma and then onto 10th Ave at a very slow speed possibly 10-15km/hour.

    Skytrain is the right option for the Broadway corridor and I believe that the general public will realize that.

    Zweisystem replies: Funny how you say SkyTrain is the right decision, when everyone else in North America and Europe have rejected it for over 30 years. To achieve a commercial sped of 80 kph, means no stations along the line, funny how you think that is somehow good. Modern LRT operating on a RESERVED RIGHTS-OF-WAY has no traffic impediment and will accelerate to about 70 kph before racing the next stop (about 500m to 600m) This is how LRT works.

    What you want is a $4 billion non stop metro versus a $500 million customer friendly LRT line, ain’t ever going to happen and the public knows that they will not fund your pipe dream.

  6. David Says:

    LRT should take weeks per segment, not years. In Nottingham merchants were given compensation if construction disrupted their business for a period greater than 1 month.

    Factor in that Broadway is an old tramway with a solid foundation underneath, no utilities to relocate and overhead wiring in place and construction time should be even less than it was across the pond.

    Parking would not be removed from Broadway or West 10th. LRT would eliminate traffic lanes predominantly used by through traffic, the type of traffic that does nothing for a neighbourhood except increase noise and pollution and reduce safety. Getting rid of drivers who are just passing through and don’t want to be there in the first place is the best thing that can happen to a street.

    Station spacing greater than 600m discourages potential passengers, impacts negatively on small business and leads to developments out of character with the area. All over the world, merchants report INCREASED sales after LRT is added to their streets even though it costs traffic lanes. Grade separated transit has the opposite impact for everyone except the deep pocketed who are able to locate near stations.

    I don’t know anyone in Vancouver who wants to see massive towers and big box retailers invade their neighbourhood, but that’s exactly what West Broadway is going to get if a grade separated solution is built.

    I’m really getting tired of the talk about terminus to terminus travel time. If that’s all that mattered the #99 B-Line would only have 2 stops, but most riders get on or off somewhere between Commercial and UBC.

  7. Moo Latte Says:

    David, if I’m not mistaken… Broadway does indeed have utilities underneath it. Though taking lanes away from cars on a major arterial might sound nice, realistically, we all know that this won’t happen.

    What COULD happen, however, is the same thing that is happening with the Canada Line. People are choosing transit. Why? Because it’s faster and more convenient.

    I’m a fan of LRT, but in this case, I just don’t see what advantage it has over buses.

    FOr it to travel faster, it would have to be in its own dedicated ROW, which would mean tunneled or above ground… and in that case, why not just go with the system that we have.

    Remember, SkyTrain is considered ALRT.

    The only advantage I see with LRT is that can go at grade as it would approach UBC ( tunneled under Broadway/10th ).

    I’m not sure that’s the best reason to choose another technology… remember, we’ll also need land to store the cars, another Operations centre, another maintenance yard etc…

    Zweisystem replies: Actually there is no evidence that people are flocking to the RAV/Canada Line. Factor out all bus riders cascaded onto the metro and the route shows about a 10% increase in ridership – WHICH IS NORMAL FOR ANY NEW TRANSIT LINE.

    ALRT doesn’t exist, it now called ART and has proven to be a poor seller, it is just more expensive than a regular subway to build, the Canada line proved that!

    Again I repeat, LRT does operate on a dedicated R-O-W and its on the surface that’s why it has made ALRT and light metro obsolete – don’t you get it?

  8. Mike C Says:

    Unfortunately, while an LRT can travel at 70km/h in a reserved right-of-way, a reserved right of way on Broadway would spell the doom of Broadway. Imagine the barrier you’d have to put between the two sets of tracks and stations and the rest of the corridor. Essentially it’ll be creating a huge wall separating both sides of the street so that people don’t get killed by the quiet, speeding trains. This might work on King George Highway or Fraser Highway… but not on Broadway.

    Zweisystem replies: You are so uninformed. In Germany today, trams are allowed to travel 10 kph faster than the posted speed limit. That is trams, running in mixed traffic. On a reserved rights-of-way, they can travel somewhat faster, with speed determined by tram stop spacing. I really think you should read up on the subject.

  9. Justin Bernard Says:

    KC: St. Clair was a ROAD project. The ROW was a part of the ROAD project. It was NOT an LRT project since the streetcar tracks existed on St. Clair since the early 20th century.

    Please stop posting misinformation, thank you.

    Zweisystem replies: Thank you.

  10. Notes on – Broadway merchants want light rail not SkyTrain down business corridor – meeting « Rail For The Valley Says:

    […] Rail For The Valley We’re a growing group of people across the Lower Mainland who agree that the Fraser Valley needs passenger rail service NOW! « Broadway merchants want light rail not SkyTrain down business corridor […]

  11. CC Says:

    Lol, how is the St. Clair LRT any different than a proposed Broadway LRT???Man, these people create some much confusion. LRT stands for Light Rail Transportation: TTC’s streetcars are LRT. The St. Clair project involved created a grade-separated ROW for the street car, how would this be any less of a beneficial project than what is proposed on Broadway? And yet, with the problems at hand on St. Clair road, you think Broadway with even more car traffic and greater density is going manage the effects better?

  12. Michael Says:

    It keeps amazing me how little city / traffic planer seem to like ROW, be it via bus lane or for an LRT type system.

    I am somewhat hopeful with the current city council, after all they are already putting in cycling infrastructure, now if only we could get rid of Translink and have the city take on LRT, we’ be having it running sooner than later, at least with the current council.

  13. David Says:

    When utilities were put under Broadway there were streetcar tracks in the middle of the street so the pipes were laid under the outside lanes. Relaying track in the middle wouldn’t require anything to be relocated.

    There would be NO grade separation except perhaps a 6 inch curb to reduce accidental incursions. Like I said, based on projects done elsewhere in an efficient manner, any given block shouldn’t be disrupted for more than a few weeks while the new centre median and tracks are laid.

    The idea that there would have to be fences to stop pedestrians from trying to cross is ludicrous. The current 6 lane street is far more dangerous and unpredictable. It’s dominated by slow drivers looking for parking and 65-80km/h through traffic doing everything it can including unsafe lane changes and running red lights to avoid the slow traffic.

    Having a safe pedestrian zone in the middle of the street would enhance safety and encourage people to check out shops and services on the other side.

  14. KC Says:

    Wow…the St. Clair LRT project in Toronto was merely a road project? Wow. Unbelievable. Logic fail. You guys could work for Fox News….actually, no need to leave the country – Canada’s own version called “Sun News” is hiring.

    It involved digging up the road and reconfiguring it so that the TTC streetcars could travel on a ROW. That’s no different than what would be done to Broadway, but hey feel free to call it a “road project” too.

    It’s amazing how the people who run this blog and 120 business owners seem to think that a $2-billion+ project should service their operations right up to their storestep. They need to understand that the 100,000+ commuters on Broadway care more about getting from A – B and not leisurely window shopping from the bus/train. We all have places to get to. Again, there’s a reason why the vast majority of the Broadway bus ridership is on the 99 B-Line express and NOT the much, much slower and frequent stopping trolleys.

    Zweisystem replies: I’m sorry KC but you haven’t a clue what you are talking about. Issues of St. Clair LRT were corrected by a chap in Toronto who knows a whole lot more about that issue, than me. Local knowledge trumps opinion from Vancouver. As for your other comments, you are so, so dated; in the 21st century transit is consumer driven. To be successful transit must be built with the consumer in mind. Not so with SkyTrain and RAV where the official line has always been: “You will get SkyTrain (RAV) whether you like it or not.”

  15. tybuilding Says:

    To be certain with any transit project there will be compromises made by the businesses along Broadway for an underground project or an at grade LRT system. Underground will have to deal with holes for stations for a few years, either a cut an cover method (such as Cambie) or TBM (such as in downtown) or disruption from surface construction for likely a 2 year period along the portions of the route.

    Surface transit will also need to give space to the LRT system. I measured Toronto’s St. Clair Street and its dimensions are similar to Broadway so it is possible with a few exceptions. Toronto St. Clair street has an LRT in the middle of the road with an 8-9m right of way depending if it a station or not. The station platforms at intersections are opposite sides of the intersections. Overall dimensions of St. Clair is 26m from curb to curb with room for a platform in one direction, 4 travel lanes and one turn lane. There are 4 travel lanes for cars (or 2 and 2 with parking).

    Broadway would be similar. Broadway at Oak measures 28m so it will fit well there. Broadway at Granville measures 24 m there so the left turn lane will have to be taken away there.

    Overall Broadway will turn into a 4 lane road with no parking or a 2 lane road with parking (or restrictions based on time) in the busy stretch.

    Further west at (west of McDonald) the roadway narrows. Currently at McDonald there are 4 travel lanes at the intersection or reduced to 2 lanes with parking away from major intersections. At McDonald the street measures 16.6m. With an LRT and station there would be 7m remaining for 2 lanes of travel with no turn lanes remaining. Left turns will need to be restricted along this entire stretch and the lights may need to be required to only be green in one direction.
    In between blocks the roadway measures 17m in parking areas, with 8m right of way this will leave 9m or 2 travel lanes and one parking lane so one side of parking will be reduced from the current 2 sides.

    Zweisystem replies: If done properly, Broadway will be reduced to two lanes, with 2 lanes for trams, two lanes for vehicles and two lanes for parking. by doing so, the capacity of the lane used by LRT will increase by over 18,000 pphpd. If the road narrows at certain locations, then a few blocks of on-street operation can be accommodated, without much loss of time keeping as Broadway will have been traffic calmed. This is 21st transit philosophy.

  16. KP Says:

    I’m sorry Zwei but I’m pretty sure almost every single major city in Europe has a metro system as the backbone of their transit network. You say that the LRT will have its own right of way allong the entire route without traffic impediment? thats funny, cause in order for that to be true no cars/pedestians/cyclists would be able to cross Broadway at any time!! It’s funny how YOU think that is somehow good.

    And if the LRT is on the surface of Broadway not only will it have to travel at MAX 50km hr. And with spacing every 500 to 600 meters like you want, that would mean 26 stations along a 13 km route. With 26 stations and a 20 second dwell time, that would mean over 8.5 mins of being completely stopped! NOT moving.

    Skytrain Travels at 80km/h max and has an average speed of 45km/h. For comparison Portlands MAX LRT reaches 80km/h but its average speed is only 31km/h. Thats because it has to obey the speed limit when it does not have its own right-of-way. On Broadway unless all traffic is not allowed to cross the street… then LRT will have to obey the speed limit.

    And the price of the UBC Line skytrain is 2.6 Billion NOT 4 Billion. I don’t know where you got that from… oh yeah you just made it up.

    Zweisystem replies: last item first. I have consulted with a subway expert and the cost of a bored tunnel from Fraser St. (near the end of the Millennium Line) to UBC would cost from $3 billion to $4 billion dollars. If one reduced the scope of construction, you would get a metro not unlike the RAV/Canada line which would cost about $2.5 billion but it would have less capacity than a surface operating light rail line!

    Some European cities do have subways (not as many as you think) mostly built pre 1980’s. Subways are both expensive to build and expensive to maintain and it is surface (on-street) LRT which is now seeing a massive share of transit investment. Subways are only considered if traffic flows on a transit line exceed 15,000 pphpd. Broadway is not anywhere close to this.


    Dwell times for LRT are about 15 seconds, but somehow you think having no stations is good transit. Your arguments for station dwell times have no real foundation as automatic metros have much longer dwell times than LRT. Example; say that there are 13 stations on your 13 km route for SkyTrain, dwell times would be at least 6 minutes & 30 seconds or more, put another way LRT would have less than 2 minute longer total dwell time. So, you want to spend $3 billion more to save 2 minutes in dwell time?

  17. HA Says:

    Donna Dobo wrote: “…..We want accessible surface electric transit that could be rapid bus or modern euro style light rail. Make it attractive to local traffic, sightseers and faster than the B-line for the long distance commuters.

    We need the stops to be more frequent that the planned locations for skytrain stations, which a kilometre apart.”

    Donna, there’s already a transit option that caters to local traffic, with stops at every 2-3 blocks that encourages passengers to check out stores on Broadway, and that’s called THE #9 TROLLEY BUS. LRT on Broadway makes ABSOLUTELY no improvements over the current 99B, as Broadway cannot possibly allow LRT to have exclusive LRT that doesn’t impede traffic in order to achieve speeds of over 70km/h. If you think the Broadway LRT on the surface on achieve speeds that’s faster than Skytrain, you need to get your head out of the sand.

    Zweisystem replies: Modern LRT would be a big improvement over any bus service on Broadway, it is you, whose head is in the sand. Remember, transit is built to move people and it must stop to satisfy customer needs. The real reason the 99B is full is the completely inept way TransLink operates the trolleybus service.

  18. Alex MacKinnon Says:

    I just got back from Europe last month. Most of the large cities I went to were still investing in both LRT and Metro of various types. I’ll list them in order of where I was.

    -LRT (new and expanding)
    -Trams (historical)
    -Subway (started in 1959, still expanding quite quickly)

    – Underground commuter rail

    – Streetcar (Metrocentro tram, new and currently expanding, but single tracked and slow)
    – Light Subway (opened 2009, currently expanding quickly, uses same trains as streetcar)

    – LRT (didn’t see it though)
    – Subway (huge, expanding and renovating very quickly)

    – LRT (large new system, expanding)
    – Subway (huge, expanding and renovating)

    – Rubber tire tram/guided bus (no opened yet)

    – LRT (new)

    – Subway (started 1971, still expanding)
    – LRT (started 1972, still expanding)

    The oddest one was by far the Seville Subway. The platforms were about as large as the Canada Line, while the trains were far smaller inside. The tram system was also similarly odd, with only single tracking on large sections and a very low operating speed due to the density of pedestrians.

    Zweisystem replies: The cities you mention have metro lines on routes that have the ridership that justifies the investment. The ongoing ‘Euro crisis’ has put many grand metro schemes, quietly in a holding pattern.

    Munich’s LRT/metro system is an interesting study because when the right-wing control the city metro is built and when the let-wing control the city, LRT/trams are built.

    In Spain, many new LRT systems have been built due to the high cost of subway construction. As I said before, if average ridership exceeds about 15,000 pphpd, then a subway must be considered. Broadway will never have this type of ridership.

  19. David Says:

    What’s worse than getting on a crowded bus? Not getting on a crowded bus because it’s too full to let you on. That’s the reality with the current 99B.

    LRT solves that problem by immediately doubling or tripling capacity. It also offers a smoother ride making the overall experience both more reliable and more comfortable. Even if it’s only the same speed as the 99B, LRT on Broadway would be an improvement over the current buses for everyone.

    While TransLink continues to claim poverty and say no new service will be introduced in the foreseeable future, they really should be pushing to have LRT on Broadway because it would reduce operating costs and ease the budget crisis a little bit.

  20. mezzanine Says:


    Too bad Donna Dobo and broadway merchants disagree with your version of b-line-spaced LRT:

    “West Broadway businesses have voted in favour of surface, electric transit transit with stops every 500 to 600 metres, for the proposed UBC line…. We are concerned that Translink is studying a heavier version of light rail that is more than we need, is the wrong scale for the neighbourhood, and more expensive than necessary. ”

  21. David Says:


    Do you actually travel on Broadway? I’d be happy if I could drive all the way from UBC to Commercial and only spend 8.5 minutes stopped. On more than one occasion I’ve had pedestrians beat me from Future Shop to the B-Line stop east of Granville.


    I have never advocated b-line spaced stops for Broadway LRT. I don’t know where you got that from.

  22. mezzanine Says:

    @David “I have never advocated b-line spaced stops for Broadway LRT. I don’t know where you got that from.”

    I don’t mean to misrepresent, it’s just that you compared potential Broadway LRT to the B-line.

    “What’s worse than getting on a crowded bus? Not getting on a crowded bus because it’s too full to let you on. That’s the reality with the current 99B.
    Even if it’s only the same speed as the 99B, LRT on Broadway would be an improvement over the current buses for everyone.”


    Are you advocating what Ms. Dobo recommends wrt tram service?

  23. KP Says:

    Zwei, if you actually read my post for once. I acknowledged that the Portland MAX does reach 80km/h. But its AVERAGE SPEED IS ONLY 31 km/h!!! While skytrain’s is 45km/h!!! FACE the facts! This isn’t rocket science! Admit that Skytrain is faster! Nobody is arguing that it is going to be cheaper for skytrain, so quit reiterating that point! The fact is that the 99B line is the busiest bus in Canada with more than 60000 passengers/day. This ridership is achieved because the 99B is the fastest way to commute by bus on the Broadway corridor. Many of the commuters that use this bus route are long distance commuters. LRT requires an additional transfer for those passengers coming from the Millenium line as well as a new storage track facility to be build somewhere along the line, on land that will be very expensive to aquire. Because we already have skytrain storage facilities for the other lines, the trains for the Broadway Line can be stored there.

    And saving 2 mins of dwell time? No its about saving 15 mins+ each direction total with Skytrain vs. LRT! Thats what average speed means! If you havent figured out it takes into account dwell time. That saves commuters to ubc (One of the largest employment centers in the region) 30 mins+ and more because automated system offer HIGHER frequencies, so you will not have to wait around long at the station for a train. Having a shorter commute increases time spent at home with your family. Do you not want to spend time with your family Zwei? Oh yeah it doesnt make a difference to you because you live in the Fraser Valley.

    And For people that want FREQUENT STOPS and almost door to door service allong broadway there is something already for that. It’s called the #9 trolley Bus or the #17 for that matter. If I’m going a few blocks I hop on the 9 or 17! It stops at every second block, very convenient for short trips. But on longer commutes it is speed that counts!

    Zweisystem replies: Portland’s MAX does have a slower commercial speed because of the close spaced stations and mixed traffic operation in the downtown and that is what the transit customer wants! Very few people take MAX through Portland, but they take it to Portland, thus the slower speeds in the downtown do not greatly affect travel times.

    Who says Broadway needs rapid transit or metro, for that is what rapid transit is? All it seems the SkyTrain lobby wants is an extremely limited stop $4 billion metro service, paid for by people who will not use it so they can save a few pennies living outside Vancouver for a 5 to 10 minute faster trip to UBC. The SkyTrain lobby cares little for transit customer convenience or the taxpayers pocketbook.

    But why invest $4 billion on a metro and still keep an expensive trolleybus operation providing a shadow service on Broadway, which is fiscally irresponsible. In fact the SkyTrain lobby are completely fiscally irresponsible.

  24. John Says:

    Zwei? Can you please name one expert that isn’t a LRT activist? I’m just curious.

    Zweisystem replies: LRT made SkyTrain and light-metro obsolete, there are no light-metro or SkyTrain activists outside Vancouver because they understand SkyTrain and light-metro are obsolete. Transit experts understand the role of metro and LRT and would never think of placing a subway line on a transit route that doesn’t have sufficient ridership to justify the huge investment that comes with a metro. Transit experts (which we have none in Vancouver) do not support LRT, they understand the role of various modes of ‘rail’ transit and how they help transit operators to provide a user-friendly customer based transit service. It so happens that modern LRT does very well in this role!

  25. David Says:

    I did make a speed comparison with the b-line. Here are the details.

    As this blog has said repeatedly a reserved right of way, priority signalling, higher speed limit, higher acceleration, multiple door loading, etc. makes LRT faster than a bus servicing the same stops. Thus LRT can afford to have more stops than the bus and still achieve the same service speed.

    The B-Line currently serves 13 stops: two end points and 11 intermediate locations. It also has to cope with approximately 50 signalized intersections along the way. I understand there is some priority signalling in place now, but the bus still gets stopped by red lights.

    If the bus is stopped by 1/4 of the signals it brings the total number of “stops” to 25, the same number that LRT would have based on the 500-600m stop spacing guidelines.

    I’m realistic enough to know that LRT isn’t going to run with no delays of any kind, but it won’t have to deal with traffic the way the buses do. The bus lanes on Broadway are helpful, but because they’re also used by the trolley services the B-Line spends much of its time in mixed traffic. Where no bus lane exists there are additional delays caused by left turns and parallel parking.

    So in conclusion I think that LRT with approximately two dozen stops would at least equal the speed of the B-Line bus with only 13 scheduled stops.

  26. mezzanine Says:

    @ David, to further clarify, do you envision a separate, lawned ROW on Broadway?

  27. bulleid35028 Says:

    KP, if you are going to post a statement:
    “I’m sorry Zwei but I’m pretty sure almost every single major city in Europe has a metro system as the backbone of their transit network.”
    Please ensure that you get your facts correct first.
    …almost every single European city DOES NOT have a Metro system as the backbone of their transit system.
    You easily could do your own proper research and read up on:
    Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Frankfurt, Helsinki, London, Moscow, Paris, Prague and Vienna are the largest systems.
    A schedule of European Light Rail/Tramway systems can be found at:
    The world wide summary total is as of 2006:
    Metro – 146
    Light Rail & Tramways – 420
    Alex MacKinnion is on the right track, but the other contributors to this Blog show from their statements, that they have very little knowledge of transportation outside their own back lots

  28. Joe Bugliati Says:

    If LRT was implemented along broadway, which bus lines would stay and which lines would go?

    I presume with ~500m station spacing the 9 and 99 would go. But what about the 16 & 17 and other similar NS lines that operate only on portions of broadway but serve the major NS arteries such as Oak, Granville and Arbutus?

    I think the only way LRT would work on broadway is if the street was transformed almost exclusively into a transit coridoor with the removal of all regional and commuter car traffic, which might be a nice thing, but after the dowtown Granville redevelopment, I can’t ever imagine the CoV having the vision to pull this off properly. And where would all that car traffic go to? 16th, 10th and 4th?

    Zweisystem replies: The failure of our present transit system is that IT HAS NOT ATTRACTED THE MOTORIST FROM THE CAR. Part of just about every new ‘rail’ transit system implemented also includes a degree of traffic calming, not so in Vancouver and yet we have invested over $8 billion on 3 metro lines.

    The present transit plans for Broadway are designed for SkyTrain only, not LRT. If LRT was to be built, it should go from BCIT to UBC and a line through downtown Vancouver to Stanley Park. Here we have a LRT system, serving major destinations and providing a quality transit service that would offer an attractive alternative to the car for about 30% of present car users. This would be accomplished by both active traffic calming (reducing auto capacity on Broadway and 2) and the natural ability of LRT to attract ridership. Already there is enough bus traffic on Broadway to justify modern LRT.

    There will be a major changes in bus routing. As an example, the Arbutus bus may be extended to 4th Ave. or trolley service abandoned altogether if trams use the Arbutus Corridor. The Oak St. buses may use Broadway for a portion of its route and the Fraser St. bus may use Kingsway to Main St.

    By building LRT on Broadway, we will bring all city planners and engineers (many kicking and screaming) in line with 21st century transit philosophy, because presently, everyone is stuck like glue in the 1950’s!

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