Memorandum: Millennium Line Broadway Extension Planning

As part of its mandate to advise Mayor and Council on issues relevant to the future of the city, the Vancouver City Planning Commission (VCPC) recently submitted a memorandum to Mayor and Council regarding Millennium Line Broadway Extension Planning. Here is the text of the memo.

Memorandum: Memorandum: Millennium Line Broadway Extension Planning

As part of its mandate to advise Mayor and Council on issues relevant to the future of the city, the Vancouver City Planning Commission (VCPC) wishes, further to our memorandum of March 14, 2017, to take this opportunity to provide additional input and comment regarding the impending Millennium Line Broadway Extension (MLBE) rapid transit expansion project. This project will significantly impact the future development of the city, but also provides an exceptional opportunity to enhance the quality of life of Vancouverites and to act as catalysts for the further development of a more sustainable and prosperous city within a sustainable region.

The VCPC understands that TransLink is the lead agency on the MLBE, but is encouraged that the City of Vancouver is actively and directly working and collaborating with TransLink on the design and construction of this important project. We were pleased to recently receive an update briefing from City staff on the MLBE on November 8, 2017, including an overview of the proposed City of Vancouver Station Design and Integration Principles. The VCPC is supportive of these draft principles as presented by staff. We find them to be broadly comprehensive, and address a wide range of station design-related issues.

However, the VCPC would like to recommend a number of broader key planning issues and principles for the City of Vancouver to address as work on the MLBE moves forward. These include:

  • Ensure that existing local planning initiatives are incorporated into a broader comprehensive land-use and urban design planning process for the entire Broadway Corridor and adjacent neighbourhoods that is integrated with the planning and design of the MLBE.
  • Identify and establish development goals and objectives, including timelines, for the Broadway Corridor (e.g. new residential units, rental units, affordable housing, commercial space, provision of public space, adherence to the principles of reconciliation, etc.) to provide the community with a clear ‘big picture’ of the future of the corridor.
  • Implement proactive, collaborative and creative approaches to construction mitigation; particularly with local residents, businesses, and major public institution such as Vancouver General Hospital. The use of public-private partnerships for aspects of design and construction should not preclude community involvement in issues related to the project.
  • Actively implement specific opportunities to mitigate localized construction impacts with creative interventions and support where possible (e.g. animating streets and public spaces in conjunction with required construction closures, collaborating with local businesses and residents on targeted local events and programs, etc.).
  • Ensure that MLBE construction and design, as well as long-term planning, actively anticipate and proactively support future extension of the Millennium Line beyond Arbutus to UBC. Special attention should be paid to the design and impact of the Arbutus station on the surrounding neighbourhood.

We are pleased to offer the Commission’s general support and encouragement regarding the MLBE, and to provide our input and comment for your ongoing consideration. We look forward to future updates and further opportunities to provide input as this project proceeds. Should you have any questions, or require anything further, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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