VANCOUVER – The government of British Columbia, Translink, and municipal funding partners are examining the feasibility of a rapid transit link crossing the Burrard Inlet from Vancouver to the North Shore.
The feasibility study will look at the compatibility of transit crossing with present and future land use, as well as using affordable housing as an evaluation metric.
The Integrated North Shore Transportation Planning Project (INSTPP) recommended in 2018 that Lonsdale City Centre connect with Vancouver’s downtown core and the regional transit network. The group included all levels of government on the North Shore, led by North Vancouver-Lonsdale mayor Bowinn Ma.
“Traffic congestion is intricately connected to issues like housing affordability. Over the years, the high cost of housing has forced people to move further from the places they work, resulting in longer commutes and serious traffic issues. This feasibility study is an extremely exciting addition to the many initiatives we have implemented so far and continue to work on to get the North Shore moving again,” Ma said.
“Our government recognizes commuters on the North Shore are frustrated with congestion. With this feasibility study, we’re exploring potential solutions that help people move around more easily, which will improve quality of life,” B.C. minister of transportation and infrastructure Claire Trevena said.
“The City of Vancouver is pleased to collaborate with the ministry and our North Shore partners on these regional big moves that provide people with more sustainable transportation choices. New rapid transit connections to be considered in Transport 2050 are the backbone of providing the region’s residents and businesses access to equitable, more convenient and reliable transportation.,” Vancouver mayor Kennedy Stewart added.
The B.C. ministry of transportation and infrastructure, District of North Vancouver, City of Vancouver, City of North Vancouver and City of West Vancouver are all contributing joint funding to the study which will start in summer 2019.
“This is wonderful news for us here in the City of North Vancouver and for the North Shore in general. Not only does approval of this funding demonstrate the benefits of intergovernmental co-operation, but it also brings us a critical step closer to addressing traffic issues in a meaningful way. This is the kind of bold action we need to take as we work to become the healthiest small city in the world,” City of North Vancouver mayor Linda Buchanan said.
The INSTPP’s report found the North Shore is challenged by a constrained road network, single-family residential neighbourhoods that rely on automobiles, a lack of affordable housing and capacity limitations due to two bridges providing access to the region. It also recommended new bus services, a technical review of bridgeheads of the Lions Gate and Second Narrows Bridge to prioritize transit and working with the province to determine if roadway design and infrastructure can be improved to increase safety.