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Archive for ◊ Transportation ◊

Residents along Vancouver’s Arbutus Corridor are receiving letters from Mayor Gregor Robertson this week regarding CPR’s stated intention to reactivate cargo trains through their neighbourhoods. The Mayor re-states his firm opposition to cargo trains on the route, provides background on the history of conversations between the CPR and the City of Vancouver, and indicates that the City is prepared to pay fair market value for land.

“As Mayor, I strongly believe that the Arbutus Corridor should remain as it is today – an enjoyable route for people to walk, run and bike along, as well as a home to the many community gardens that contribute to our neighbourhood,” writes Mayor Robertson. “We do not believe there is any business case for CPR to reactivate trains along the Corridor.”

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Today the City of Vancouver stood alongside municipalities from around the region in releasing the Mayors’ Council’s “Regional Transportation Investments – A Vision for Metro Vancouver.” The plan identifies new transportation services to meet the needs of the growing region, enhance our economy, support our quality of life and protect our health and environment.

“Moving forward with this plan after years of input is great news for Vancouver and our whole region. This 10-year plan clearly outlines the priorities for new transit investment that will cut congestion, grow our economy and expand transportation choices,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson.

“We need to prepare for more than one million more people moving into Metro Vancouver in the next 30 years. This plan addresses today’s challenges and lays the groundwork for the strong transportation network that we need to meet that new demand. We simply cannot afford to go backward with reduced transit service and crippling gridlock.”

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“Recently, the Canadian Pacific Railway began preparations to reactivate the Arbutus Corridor to run trains. However, the City has very little detail from CP about their plans, other than that they intend to run trains along the route.

“The City doesn’t support the reactivation of cargo trains along the Corridor and we have expressed this clearly to CP. The corridor is a unique, green route running from False Creek to the Fraser River, crossing several residential neighbourhoods, and our vision for it is to maintain it as greenway for residents of Vancouver until there’s a viable case for rail transit use.

“The City has spent many years trying to work with CP to have them recognize the need for the corridor to remain a community greenway until there is a viable case for passenger rail use, and that it is not suitable for large-scale development or cargo trains.

“I support the Arbutus Corridor as a community greenway and future transit corridor, and ask CP to respect the neighbourhood’s wishes and the Arbutus Corridor Official Development Plan.”

- Mayor Gregor Robertson

At a speech to the Urban Land Institute of BC today, Mayor Robertson outlined his vision for Vancouver’s future transportation and development needs, including new information outlining the benefits that a Broadway Subway would have for Vancouver and the region.

The Mayor also expressed his opposition to scaling back community amenity contributions from developers, as some in the industry have called for.

“Vancouver is a city that has benefited from smart choices made in the past, but we have some big challenges ahead and we need to address them head-on,” said Mayor Robertson. “If we want to maintain our livability and keep building our economy, we need a rapid transit system that reduces congestion, and community amenities that keep pace with Vancouver’s growth.

“A critical piece of Vancouver’s future success is building a Broadway Subway. It’s the single best thing that we can do for our environment, our livability and our economy.”

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After two years of community consultation with input from over 7,800 participants at 115 public events and meetings, City Council voted last night to approve a balanced and inclusive new 30-year community plan for Vancouver’s Marpole neighbourhood, which includes more affordable housing and the development of a 10 acre waterfront park.

“Marpole is an important gateway to Vancouver and one of our city’s oldest neighbourhoods, and it’s home to an especially high number of seniors, young families, and renters,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “We took the time to listen to the community and get it right, and the new Marpole Plan reflects that input by focusing new density on major arterials and protecting neighbourhood character. It’s a balanced and inclusive plan that focuses on building new affordable housing, creating jobs, improving transportation, and creating significant new green space throughout Marpole and along the Fraser River, and I am very proud to support it.”

The plan will support the construction of 1,085 units of new social housing, 835 new units of rental housing, and over 6,800 new home ownership units over the next 30 years. It also supports significant community amenity upgrades, crucial new park space – including a 10-acre park along the Fraser – and the creation of over 9,500 new jobs and 478 new childcare spaces.

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Mayor Gregor Robertson joined PCI Developments Corp today to announce that Marine Gateway, the city’s largest transit-oriented office tower outside of downtown, will become a hub for green jobs with the news that Westport Innovations will be its anchor commercial tenant.

“Marine Gateway is an innovative mixed-use development that is hitting high green standards and delivering a major economic benefit to the community and our city as a whole,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. “This entire development speaks to both our Economic Action Strategy and our Greenest City 2020 Action Plan, which together provide a roadmap for growing our economy and strengthening our local environment. I can’t think of a more appropriate company than Westport for Marine Gateway’s office tower.”

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