On Sunday, the City of Vancouver held its first town hall meeting in Kitsilano and the NIMBYs were out in full force. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a NIMBY is person that is for progress unless it happens in their neighbourhood, Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY). Every city has its fair share of opposition to mega projects. Sometimes they are right, sometimes they are wrong. When it comes to the $2.8 billion Broadway subway project, they are wrong.
We’ve discussed at great lengths as to why a subway to UBC is necessary now, before rapid transit expansion in Surrey. Just for one second, throw out the political regionalism, and take a look at this from the perspective of an outsider. Central Broadway is Metro Vancouver’s second downtown, not Whalley in central Surrey. In fact, Richmond, Metrotown and East Vancouver have more employment than Whalley. Central Broadway is a regional destination, is increasing its population and employment density and is home to the busiest bus route in North America. It needs rapid transit now and the residents of the west side will have to just deal with the change.
Having said that, Surrey and the rest of the Fraser Valley do need improved transit. It just doesn’t have to be rapid transit. Surrey has had rapid transit for decades now and, until recently, the suburb has done very little to densify around those stations. In Vancouver the density already exists. An improved bus and rapid bus system need to be implemented in the valley. If a subway down Broadway to UBC is built, the B-Line buses could be used to improved transit south of the Fraser.
Mayor Robertson should be applauded for his recent efforts to push the Broadway Line forward. He has to get the attention of the province and the federal government to make this a reality. This, at the very least, will drown out the noise made by Mayor Watts.
Here are some of the tweets following yesterday’s town hall meeting in Kits:
One of the things that struck me about #BroadwayLine is how hard it is to accept that your little area is attached to a much larger whole
— Patrick Johnston (@risingaction) March 11, 2013
— Stepan Vdovine (@StepanVdovine) March 11, 2013
— Chris Malmo (@chrismalmo) March 11, 2013
Another resident expresses fears abt what a #BroadwayLine will bring; “We don’t want Metrotown-scale dvlpmnt all the way down the corridor.”
— Frances Bula (@fabulavancouver) March 10, 2013
Feisty room at #BroadwayLine mtg. Hopefully all in attendance will allow for a good discussion. Think many here not supportive of subway.
— Mike Klassen (@MikeKlassen) March 10, 2013
— Richard Campbell (@wrychrd) March 11, 2013
Image via @VisionVancouver