TO consider new ways to connect people to communities and businesses more efficiently, the Province, TransLink and municipal funding partners will study the technical feasibility of a potential rapid-transit crossing across the Burrard Inlet to the North Shore.
“Our government recognizes commuters on the North Shore are frustrated with congestion,” said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, on Tuesday. “With this feasibility study, we’re exploring potential solutions that help people move around more easily, which will improve quality of life.”
Connecting Lonsdale City Centre with Vancouver’s metropolitan core and the regional rapid transit network is one of the recommendations put forward by the Integrated North Shore Transportation Planning Project, led by Bowinn Ma, MLA for North Vancouver-Lonsdale, in 2018. This working group included all levels of government on the North Shore working in partnership to identify actions to improve mobility both in and around the region.
“Traffic congestion is intricately connected to issues like housing affordability,” said Ma. “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.”
The feasibility study will consider the compatibility of a transit crossing with existing and future land use, as well as the potential for affordable housing as part of its evaluation metrics. The study could also consider increased use of the Burrard Inlet through an extended passenger ferry network.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, the District of North Vancouver, the City of Vancouver, City of North Vancouver and City of West Vancouver are contributing joint funding towards the study that will get underway in summer 2019.
North Vancouver Mayor Linda Buchanan said: “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.”
Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart 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.”
District of North Vancouver Mayor Mike Little said: “A diverse transportation network that includes rapid transit is absolutely essential to truly resolving our traffic congestion issues on the North Shore, so we’re very pleased to see this essential first step being taken so people can reach their destination quicker.”
West Vancouver Mayor Mary-Ann Booth said: “West Vancouver residents and all residents of the North Shore will benefit from this feasibility study. Identifying opportunities to utilize rapid transit to more effectively connect our North Shore communities to downtown Vancouver and communities across Burrard Inlet is an exciting step forward in addressing current traffic issues on the North Shore.”
Integrated North Shore Transportation Planning Project: https://www.instpp.ca/