Broadway Subway: Next stage of station construction begins at Broadway-City Hall but pedestrians and bus passengers are paying the price. 22 suggestions by Nathan Davidowicz

Above: Aerial view of Broadway City Hall traffic deck at Yukon St (Sept 2022). Credit Broadway Subway project website.

Nathan Davidowicz is an avid and long-time transit affairs watcher and policy commentator. Today he shared some observations and suggestions for transit planners regarding current construction work on the Broadway Subway (https://www.broadwaysubway.ca/). (Link for photos and videos – https://www.broadwaysubway.ca/construction/photos-and-videos/)

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First off, from the Broadway Subway project updates page, this announcement from 11-Jan-2023. https://www.broadwaysubway.ca/app/uploads/sites/626/2023/01/FOR-REVIEW_BSP-BSCGP-COM-NOT-00138_Moderate_BCH-Station-Construction-Begins_AKedit-lf.pdf

You can check the project updates page online, or sign up for e-mail updates: https://www.broadwaysubway.ca/construction/current-work/

Next, from Nathan, here is a fresh news piece on impacts of the Broadway Subway construction. “Vancouver business closing due to Broadway subway construction” (Darrian Matassa-Fung, Global News, 16-Jan-2023). Text with video at this link. Excerpt: “A Vancouver business on Broadway will be shutting its doors for good at the end of the month due to impacts felt by the construction of the new subway line. Surinder Sangha, owner of a Subway restaurant, says she’ll be closing down because business has been down by more than 75 per cent since the project’s construction began. She has run her business for more than 13 years. “City do nothing right now, I talked to my accountant to ask about provincial help but they said no help.” Sangha said she believes the loss of parking and other businesses closing their doors has severely hampered how many customers come in. To make matters worse for Sangha, she said her landlord wants to increase the rent by more than 50 per cent in March, something she says is not feasible for her business.”
Part of the City’s response is: “While the province is taking the lead on this project, we continue to work hard to mitigate construction impacts to Broadway businesses.
CHW comment: Both the City of Vancouver and the Province seem to be falling down and evading responsibility when it comes to taking care of suffering businesses along along the construction route. But the driver is the original decision to build the subway, when vastly quicker-to-complete, less expensive and less disruptive options were available.

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And now for the comments and suggestions Nathan Davidowicz sent to officials today, regarding not only the Broadway-City Hall station construction, but the whole construction project and impacts on pedestrians, bus passengers, and vehicle traffic. We’ll check back with Nathan in a few days to see if he’s had any response or actions from officials.

Next stage of station construction begins in Broadway-City Hall (Broadway Subway)

The traffic deck will be fully complete once additional panels are installed to allow the eastbound bus stop to be relocated in front of the Broadway-City Hall Station entrance.

We need proper bus stops during this long construction period.

Staff at the City and CMBC (Coast Mountain Bus Company) have prioritized car traffic instead of prioritizing pedestrians as well as bus passengers.

They prioritize the No. 99 bus over the No.9 bus on Broadway between Main St. and Arbutus St.

It is very frustrating and inconvenient for thousands of bus passengers when they have to walk long distances to bus stops, miss their bus connections and longer travel time.

Here is just one example east and west of Broadway and Cambie.

  • Eastbound: No. 9 last stop before Cambie St. is at farside Columbia St. next bus stop after Cambie St. is farside Ash St. a distance of 600m
  • Westbound: No. 9 last stop before Cambie St. is nearside Ash St. next bus stop after Cambie St. is farside Columbia St. a distance of 650m

Cutting the bus service on both No. 9 and No. 99 buses over the last 3 years shows that some passengers are deserting Broadway and using other bus routes.

Some ways to help all passengers, vehicles and businesses are:

  1. To immediately combine the No. 9 & No. 99 bus stops (like it is done at Fraser St. and Clark Dr.)
  2. Keep moving bus stops as construction finishes in each block to minimize the inconvenience for riders.
  3. Provide Benches and proper lighting at all bus stops.
  4. Additional big/large size signage.
  5. Proper Red Hood covers on all closed meters on all side streets as well as Broadway.
  6. Get Google to update their maps more often.
  7. Provide proper advance construction signs on Broadway as well as the North South arterials of Main, Cambie, Oak, Granville, Arbutus. This will give advance notice to motorists and will allow them to use other streets like 16th Ave,12th Ave, 7th Ave, 2nd/6th Ave. instead of Broadway.
  8. Left turn green arrow  for northbound Main St (& Granville St.) to Westbound 12th Ave.
  9. More NO right turns onto Broadway like southbound Main St. at Broadway.
  10. Return the No. 17 bus to Broadway instead of 12th Ave.. Use Electric or Hybrid  Buses, medical riders do not want to wait till 2026 for some passengers it is up to an extra 20mins travel time., return cancelled bus stops due to the bad and expensive Bus Stop Balancing program.
  11. Return trolley bus service on Cambie St. by installing the overhead wires ( the heavy duty trolley poles have been installed since 2009 )
  12. Consistent parking and traffic regulations on all North South arterials as well side streets.
  13. Implement City Council motion from June 2021 asking prov. govt to compensate businesses similar to a program in Montreal Quebec. Ref. https://bc.ctvnews.ca/vancouver-city-council-studying-financial-relief-for-broadway-businesses-hurt-by-subway-construction-1.5954111
  14. Implementing recommendations from the 4 BIAs (Business Improvement Associations – Mount Pleasant, Cambie Village, South Granville, West Broadway) as well as non-BIA businesses.
  15. Proper signage now and after the 2026 subway opening,  of 10th Ave and Kingsway. short turn bus loop; need additional overhead trolley wires.
  16. Similar to above need proper bus loop at 10th and Granville i.e., upgrade to existing short turn loop.
  17. Similar to above need a proper new short turn bus loop at Broadway and Cambie and maybe Broadway and Oak.
  18. Providing Bus service on: Arbutus North of Broadway Burrard North of 16th, 16th Ave ( Cambie to Fraser )
  19. Continuing the current No.99 bus service after 2026, improving by providing proper service between Commercial-Broadway Stn and Brentwood Stn
  20. Need to review every station design, size of elevators etc. bike access and bike parkades, bike tunnel, public washrooms, Platform Screen Doors,
  21. Whenever possible return some limited loading and parking on Broadway between Main St. and Arbutus St.
  22. Need to call on the BC govt to provide additional funding.

Sincerely
Nathan Davidowicz

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