West Van protesters hope to put brakes on proposed lane closures
Published Saturday, December 8, 2018 5:20PM PST
A busy thoroughfare in West Vancouver could see traffic lanes disappear to make way for bus priority lanes and residents are fearful the plan will create chaos on the roads.
Marine-Main B-Line, from Dundarave to Phibbs Exchange, is scheduled to open in the fall of 2019 and to accommodate that, Translink is proposing to cut one traffic lane in both directions.
The proposal, which has not yet been approved by the District of West Vancouver, also plans to take out 15 parking spots on Marine Drive to make room for bus stops.
Nigel Malkin, who's been a merchant in Ambleside for nearly three decades, said many of his customers are seniors who rely on those parking spots to get to businesses.
"We are going to stop these lane closures and we are going to stop any parking from being removed," he said,
He organized a rally Saturday, which saw a turnout of about 60 concerned residents, to demonstrate how strongly people oppose Translink's plans.
"I've personally canvassed all of Ambleside and all of Dundarave, I went around shaking hands. I handed out over 400 information sheets [and] I've spoken to over a thousand people –- every single solitary person says these lane closures are wrong," he exclaimed.
In the proposal, vehicles can use the proposed bus-only lanes to turn right at intersections and access street parking. Translink will also add left-turn bays to help ease congestion.
The agency said its research shows the plans will actually help drivers.
"We've done some modelling and we found this will actually improve things for cars, as well as for buses," spokesperson Chris Bryan said. "This project will deliver some significant benefits. Congestion is at a crisis situation in the North Shore – anyone who lives there knows that – this is making a step in the right direction."
Bryan said new developments in the area will add about a hundred more free parking spots in the neighbourhood.
He said it is moving forward with its B-Line preparations but there is still room to address concerns.
With files from CTV Vancouver's Emad Agahi