Expert ULI panel confirms Broadway subway best option to handle congestion, future transit demand

A subway is the best solution to congestion and transit demand along the Broadway Corridor, says an expert panel of American planners.

That conclusion by a visiting group of experts, assembled by the Urban Land Institute, supports the City of Vancouver’s view that an extension of Skytrain from VCC Clark to UBC in  a bored tunnel is the best option for a route that includes BC’s second-largest business district.

The bored tunnel option is a key element of the recent Mayors’ Council investment plan for Translink investment in the next 10 years, extending to Arbutus as a first phase.

Existing transit along the Broadway corridor “is a failure under current conditions,” said the ULI panel, and “the city (of Vancouver) makes a plausible case for the subway alternative” to solve the problem.

The ULI team challenges Translink’s view that light-rail transit might work, citing “construction impacts, and long-term impacts on streetscapes, parking and traffic flow.”

The ULI group visited Vancouver in February for a round of briefings and issued an interim report at the end of the visit. Now the full report has been released.

The ULI team recommends that the planning processes along the corridor treat each section of the route differently, increasing density and height in the Central Broadway area, but limit height and density increases in more residential stretches.