TransLink under fire for planned $165K art installation
Published Monday, August 26, 2013 10:54PM PDT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 27, 2013 2:22PM PDT
Metro Vancouver’s transportation authority is being scrutinized for another pricey art project planned just down the road from the infamous white poodle statue that made headlines earlier this year.
TransLink hasn’t unveiled the design of the art installation, but estimates it will cost about $165,000.
The project, which is being put together by local artists Rhonda Weppler and Trevor Mahovsky, will be the finishing touch on TransLink’s $33 million Main Street SkyTrain Station replacement set to open next year.
“It’s just part of the finishing. It’s to create a vibrant community,” spokeswoman Jiana Ling said. “It’s something for people to see, for our customers to see when they get on the platform.”
The cost is being split between the federal government and TransLink, agencies still smarting from public criticism of the Main Street poodle.
The seven-foot-tall porcelain dog statue, situated upon a 25-foot poll, was part of a larger public art project at Main Street and 17th Avenue worth almost $100,000.
Delta Mayor Lois Jackson said TransLink should try to avoid a repeat of the ridicule and outrage directed toward the poodle project.
““Transportation income should be going for transportation corridors, for roads, for buses, not for art,” Jackson told CTV News.
“If you want an art project take it out of your municipal coffers or something. But don’t take it out of the TransLink pool, we haven’t got enough there already.”
Word of the new art project comes as TransLink scrambles for new ways to bring in cash, including a fare increase earlier this year and the pending cancellation of the employee pass program.
The transportation authority also announced Sunday that it’s going to start charging $2 per day at the Carvolth Park-and-Ride in Langley.
TransLink could not provide a breakdown of how much of the new $165,000 project was for fees and materials. The artists did not return calls for comment.
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Jon Woodward