Friday, November 25, 2011

When the Evergreen Line was light rail

With the Evergreen Line looking like it will finally be built as a SkyTrain extension, I was poking around the internet to find information about when it was going to be built as a light rail line. I came across a document from 2006 on the BC Environmental Assessment Office's website about the original plan.

The original Evergreen Line. Click image to enlarge.

The Evergreen Project will provide a LRT connection that runs along North Road and Clarke Road from Lougheed Station through to Port Moody, along St. Johns Street and Barnet Highway to Coquitlam Central Station, north on Pinetree Way, and terminating on Pinetree Way in the vicinity of the Coquitlam campus of Douglas College. Alignment Properties can be summarized as follows:

-A travel target time of 20 minutes between Coquitlam City Centre and Lougheed Town Centre Station.
-Ten stations with nine stations identified and two candidates for the potential additional station (Cameron station – at-grade on North Road at Cameron Street and Douglas College – at-grade on Pinetree Way at the entrance of Douglas College north of Town Centre Boulevard).
-A maximum capacity delivered of no less then 2,500 passenger spaces per hour per direction at the maximum load point in the year 2010 and 3,500 passenger spaces per hour per direction at the maximum point in the year 2021.
-Off-street bus facilities at four stations.
-A maximum allowable headway time of six minutes between trips during peak hours (and 15 minutes between trips during the early morning (before 6:30 am) or late night (after 11:00 pm) service times).
-Stations designed to reflect the application of the Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) standards.
-Potential Future Extension to the City of Port Coquitlam.
-A start of construction date scheduled for September 2007.
-A start of operations date scheduled for September 2011.

Of course we all know that the Province changed the system to SkyTrain on a dime and I'm a bit concerned about the current planning going on for rapid transit in Surrey. You see, TransLink selected light rail for the Evergreen Line after doing an "analysis of rapid transit alternatives for servicing the northeast sector. A multiple account evaluation of the alternatives was carried out and considered factors such as capital and operating costs, ridership, travel time, the fit with urban development plans, community effects such as noise and aesthetics, potential environmental effects and ease of implementation." This is the same thing that TransLink is doing right now for the South of Fraser.

If TransLink completes the rapid transit study and selects a technology other than SkyTrain, I have this fear that we'll end up with SkyTrain and a project that instead of being built in the next 10 years, will be built in the next 20. Maybe things have changed, but it seems that whenever the region chooses a cost-effective rapid transit system, we end up with SkyTrain.

1 comment:

kelmarie said...

I wish it was still a light rail plan, instead of a sky train that will be going right by my window. And Lougheed will still be the closest station....