Many of you have written to me about the proposal to extend the Broadway Skytrain to UBC’s West Point Grey Campus.I recognize some community members are concerned about the potential for this proposed project to negatively impact their neighbourhoods through densification. As the daughter of a pioneering woman architect with an early focus on heritage restoration, the character of buildings, streets and neighbourhoods is important to me too.
The federal government supports rapid transit in principle and financially, as a way to stimulate the economy and jobs, and help achieve our local social, economic and environmental objectives. While the federal government may provide 40% of the funding for priority public transit projects chosen by the province, it does not however select the routes or technologies. These decisions are made by local governments based on advice by the regional transportation authority. As your MP and someone who lives in the neighbourhood along the Broadway corridor, I personally am championing federal investment to expand public transit in Vancouver, but I am not taking a position on the routes or technologies selected.
With respect to the neighbourhoods adjacent to a possible extension of the Broadway subway line out to UBC, a project endorsed by Metro Vancouver’s mayors’ Council, the City of Vancouver controls the by-laws that will determine zoning for building height, size and density. Vancouver has committed to develop a new city-wide plan and I encourage residents to weigh in with their understandable desire to protect the quality and character of our west side neighbourhoods. I also recommend, if you haven’t already, reading Dan Fumano’s article in the Vancouver Sun on the City of Vancouver and rental-only zones to combat rapid density. You can find that here.
My primary focus regarding increasing transit ridership from Arbutus to UBC is to help ensure people have a chance to learn about it, to be heard and to voice their preferences and concerns. I have written about it, and hosted a public meeting to bring the key city and regional transit planners to Vancouver Quadra to provide information and answer questions. I aim to do that again in the coming months.
As Vancouver grows, it is important to plan a future with public transit that moves more people, and reduces congestion, commuting and pollution.
As to the specific details of the proposed Arbutus-UBC rapid transit route and technology, I encourage you to also provide your views by email to:
- City of Vancouver: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Government of British Columbia: email@example.com
The Hon. Joyce Murray, P.C., M.P.