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Vancouver mayor gets on board a campaign to push for Broadway subway line, with public meeting (rally?) scheduled for Sunday

March 9th, 2013 · 52 Comments

Suddenly, the Broadway line is front and centre. After several years of not saying too much, Vancouver has really built up a head of steam the last couple of months (sorry for that bad pun and more to come) championing a Broadway subway line.

Here’s my story from last week with the mayor and the president of UBC saying a line is critically needed to support the medical/tech hub along central Broadway.

Now there’s a public meeting scheduled with the mayor and Councillor Geoff Meggs to talk to the public about the line. (Tomorrow, 2-4 p., St. James Community Hall in Kits)

I’ll be waiting to see who comes out to this. I know that rapid transit is very popular with riders (especially those who, like me, are tired of the lurching cattle car that is the 99B line) and, these days, developers, who have suddenly discovered that first-time condo buyers, in particular, are more willing to buy in places where they won’t also have to spend a fortune on a car.

But a subway line, which the mayor and the engineering department are backing to the hilt, is not going to be popular with everyone.

As I think we’re all coming to realize, a subway line is now a powerful argument for cities and developers to push for much greater density along the line. While that makes sense from a city planning point of view, residents of established neighbourhoods are not going to be as enthusiastic about the prospect of having to go to war to curb planners’ and developers’ unbridled enthusiasm for packing bodies in above the line.

The insistence in Vancouver on a subway line is also going to bring out the quite substantial group of people who are not succumbing to what is a certain degree of hype about subways. I’m hearing already from some, who have a lot of questions about the numbers (200,000 more people — the equivalent of a whole nother downtown — to be added along Broadway, really?) and the prices and a few other things.

So … see you Sunday.

(By the way, sorry for long absence. I didn’t go anywhere. Just got busy and, whoosh, before you know it a week has gone by.)


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