More on cheaper alternatives to the personal automobile and subways. Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) are two great ideas that can fill the gap when money is tight and creativity is high on the part of planners. A lot of the people in the video are talking about how transportation planning have to go hand-in-hand with urban planning and city growth. It’s a concept that some BC authorities haven’t really realized.
There is no question that LRT and BRT impact the street level. However, the supporters of these two technologies feel that this street-level impact is an advantage. It forces cars off the road and creates a more livable and sustainable environment. The road becomes permeable to pedestrians. Subways and mini-metro systems like the SkyTrain do go faster at a separate grade, but simply create more space on the road for traffic. Cambie Street may face increased traffic congestion because the train runs underground instead of at the surface. Plus, the #15 will longer be a trolley bus and who knows if the frequency of the bus will be diminshed or not.
I’m still disappointed that Kevin Falcon and the Ministry of Transportation has decided that the Evergreen Line should use SkyTrain techonology. After years of public consultation that settled on LRT, the powers above waved their magic wand and made a change. The same thing happened to the Millennium Line. We would have had an LRT from Lougheed Town Centre all the way to UBC if it weren’t for Glen Clark’s interference at the time.
We should give LRT and BRT a chance. Definitely, we have a form of BRT in the B-Lines. However, as other cities have shown, LRT and BRT are great alternatives to more road lanes and expensive metro systems.