Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Streetcars Returning to Vancouver

South Fraser OnTrax member and Langley realtor Herb Klein reminded me this morning about my constant statements to members that anything (The Interurban, streetcars along 200th St., etc.) are all possible with political will and leadership behind it. Well, the political will is there in Vancouver and the city will see a streetcar demonstration project for 2010, as reported in today's Vancouver Sun and elsewhere.

Now its a great thing that we will see streecars in the area and people will be able to ride this line to Stanley Park and False Creek/Granville Island during the Olympic and Paralympic games. But I guess that communties south of the Fraser are not worthy of such an Olympic legacy? We have a Golden Ears bridge almost completed here in Langley. We have a growing 200th Street with shopping and other amenities surrounding the urban Township, not to mention the gems along Fraser Hwy. and 56th Avenue in Langley City.

I find it very comical that this streetcar system will be a "demonstration" and the CEO of BC Rapid Transit Co., Ltd. considers this part of a "wonderful catalyst" for transportation innovation. Folks , streetcars have been used successfully the world over and there is nothing more to demonstrate than that they work and people will get out of thier cars and ride them! As for innovation, the only thing innovative about LRT and streetcars are that if TransLink stops to think about the cost of SkyTrain expassion, we might see more of these "demonstrations" around our region.

Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy to see the streetcars making a much-needed comeback, but the political BS to hype it is pathetic. Vancouver is not the centre of the universe and the south Fraser will soon be home to more people than that of the City of Vancouver. Let's get moving with the creation of our light rail and streetcar legacy out here!

1 comment:

Light Rail Guy said...

Fact is, Vancouver has had a heritage streetcar operating on this route for some years. What is happening is that 2 Bombardier Flexity trams will be use on this almost hidden route.

Just to be a knit-picking, since the 'TRAMS' heritage streetcar operates on exclusive or 'reserved rights-of-way, it should be called light rail. The vintage tram route, which was originally the GNR/CPR interchange, never saw trams, streetcars or interurbans. The route has no on-street operation at all!