Should be an interesting evening in West Vancouver tonight, as the district holds its long-anticipated community meeting on the matter of the B-line rapid bus service proposed for Marine Drive.
Community Meeting – West Vancouver B-Line Service
West Vancouver Community Centre gymnasium
February 21, 6-9 p.m.
Can’t make the meeting? The deadline to send feedback is one week from today (Feb 28 at 11:59pm) — here’s the link to submit online.
Why might tonight’s meeting be interesting? For all the wrong reasons, of course.
West Vancouver residents blocked a lane of traffic Saturday morning to protest a proposed bus lane through their community, which will make way for a new B-Line rapid-service bus. https://t.co/gwpaV1RwUj
— CBC British Columbia (@cbcnewsbc) December 9, 2018
First, the truly interesting stuff came out a little over five months ago; a Steering Committee and Staff Working Group made up of representatives from TransLink, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, and all levels of government on the North Shore (City and District of North Vancouver, District of West Vancouver and First Nations) released the final Integrated North Shore Transportation Planning Project (INSTPP) report.
Led in part and strongly championed by provincial MLA for North Vancouver-Lonsdale Bowinn Ma — chair of INSTPP Steering Committee and Parliamentary Secretary for TransLink — INSTPP was produced in recognition of the need for coordinated action among the many governments and public agencies with responsibility for transportation to deal with growing road congestion on the North Shore.
The congestion issue is obvious now, as it’s been a problem for years, and was a major plank in most campaign platforms for mayoral and council candidates in all three North Shore municipalities. Congestion impacts residents, commuters, businesses, students, services, and quality of life.
Interesting, but also ‘duh, really?’ — it’s all information pulled directly from the September 13 news release on the District of West Vancouver’s website about INSTPP, a boilerplate statement about the facts on the ground, the report itself and its process.
Which is fine; but, since then, the district has stayed well clear of expressing any statements in support of INSTPP, its recommendations, or the value the B-Line would bring to the community, from Park Royal to Dundarave.
Meanwhile, segments of the community has been beyond restless on the issue, many protesting in public displays of NIMBYism (notably in December, per the Tweet above), as well as more recently in Council chambers, with follow-on ‘buses are dangerous’ concerns expressed by West Van School Board.
Once the consultation period closes, staff and council will review the feedback; council is expected to debate and issue a decision in April regarding TransLink’s intentions for B-Line bus service along Marine Drive.
Until then — and perhaps tonight especially — the debate will rage on.
Consideration for merchants opposing the new #bline via @NorthShoreNews: “If business is challenging today, it will be abysmal when Park Royal is the only major transit hub in West Vancouver and Ambleside becomes the place the B-Line missed.” https://t.co/FCyyHQyXKj
— Abundant Transit BC (@abundanttransit) December 9, 2018