As we approach election day October 20th, we have heard a lot from candidates and the media regarding the necessity for a Broadway subway to UBC. Few of the candidates, however, have touched on the issue of location and terminus for the proposed project. While in a number of politicians have touted the project as necessary for traffic and transportation to UBC, the project is only proposed to extend to Arbutus! Essentially, $2.83 Billion tab will only extend so far as Arbutus having little impact on relieving congestion on the Broadway Corridor since people will still be required to take the 99 or the 14 busses in order to get to UBC. I am greatly concerned that the goal of this project is actually to rezone the entire Broadway Corridor, as the city will be keen to court developers for P3 funding in exchange for mass rezoning. The result will be increased density in the form of high-rises all along Broadway corridor, as was done with Metrotown. Instead of a subway that the Mayor continues to push for despite public opposition, why is there not a study into the much more affordable option of at-grade light rail, combined with higher capacity electric buses on major arterial routes? There are many more efficient and economical options that would better serve a greater number of people than a subway line.
Urban Planner, Professor Patrick Condon, has stated that building a light rail system to UBC would cost approximately 10 times less than that of the Broadway Subway proposal!
I believe that the funds proposed for the project would be better spent on improving transit corridors throughout the rest of the city, adding a tram system that goes to UBC and investing in building real affordable housing in close proximity to schools for students. For $2.83 billion dollars we should be looking at transit and housing solutions that benefit all neighbourhoods and communities in Vancouver.
As your MAYOR, I will work to sustain the environment with affordable, green transportation and to
– build a surface, electrically-powered transit network rather than underground.
– create electric vehicle grants for civic employees who live remotely
– Create safe parking lots outside the central core near frequent transit
– Work to make public transit free
– Build bike paths separated from vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
As Mayor, I will support the prudent financial and environmental choice to develop our city-owned rail right-of-way from Main and Terminal to Arbutus for $100 Million, less than 4% of the proposed underground subway cost.
I understand that environmental sustainability and affordability are inseparable from prudent project choices and transparency. As mayor I will work to create sustainable jobs in housing, parks, recreation, arts and leisure and to build a TRANSIT system with a mix of ground-level light, electric vehicles rather than a GHG and debt producing Broadway underground. I support human-scale neighbourhood development strategies that create walkable communities and support local businesses where we can live, work, shop and participate in community life.
AS MAYOR I will work for you as a vocal opponent of development and resource exploitation that endangers the health of our community and our food security as well as the quality of life for future generations and ecosystems health. I will take a strong stand against the Kinder Morgan Pipeline and Site C dam by lobbying the Provincial and Federal Government to uphold indigenous rights. I will use city powers to prevent these projects from going forward.
John Yano is a social and environmental justice advocate, and is currently a member of the federal and provincial riding NDP executives and former member of the BCNDP executive,. He is also a former HEU shop steward, member of local executive and member of two provincial union committees including the LGBT Standing Committee.