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Canada Line’s station layouts, design suck?

September 10th, 2009 · 44 Comments

An interesting critique at Think City on the flaws of the Canada Line stations.

This complements an email I got yesterday from a reader, also questioning the design of the stations and line. One of his points:

“All of the underground and above ground stations accomodate a maximum 2-car train. There is no room for even a third car to be added to a train. The platforms can only be expanded to fit a 3-car train with extensive and costly renovation. They cannot be expanded further without tunneling and major construction likely costing in the hundreds of millions.”

(I knew our uncritical love affair with the new Canada Line couldn’t last more than a couple of weeks. Welcome back to the real Vancouver.)

I did note even in opening week that there seemed to be restricted access to the stations — only one access point per station and narrow, low-capacity escalators. I was told that some stations that obviously could use more access points, like Broadway and Cambie or Oakridge, did not have them built because redevelopment is anticipated on those corners and no one wanted to build an entryway before knowing what kind of kind of development would be there (or forcing that development to have to build around the station entry).

And, while we’re on the subject of the Canada Line, what do people think of the way the stations look at street level? When some of them were going up (particularly 25th and 49th), I was fairly alarmed by their boxy, public-urinal looks. But as they progressed, getting swooping rooves and/or landscaping, they improved somewhat. I’m still ambivalent about many of them, especially the ones in Vancouver.


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