Burnaby – August 19, 2014 – There will be a press conference on the sidewalk in front of the demolished Brentwood bus loop regarding the closure of the loop and the closure Monday Aug of the access ramp from the loop site to Skytrain. Leaflets will be distributed to transit users.
All transit users will now have to take up to 72 stairs or wait for 2 separate elevators to access Skytrain. Transit connections are now up to two long blocks apart, many involving crossing up to 14 lanes of traffic on Lougheed and Willingdon. ICBC calls this a “high crash” intersection with 12 pedestrians hit between 2008 and 2012. Promised bus shelters, an additional elevator and escalators have not yet appeared. Consultation with transit users and mobility challenged people could have prevented the situation.
TIME: Tuesday August 19, 2014 – 11:00 a.m.
LOCATION: Willingdon Avenue one block north of Lougheed Highway on the east sidewalk.
Brentwood Mall owner Shape Properties Corp. has a “Master Plan” calling for 13 towers 40-70 stories high, plus a new mall, plus town houses. Part of the plan is “street boarding” for transit users to create an “urbane” feeling and “hustle and bustle”.
In June 2013 Burnaby Mayor and Council voted to approve Shape’s vision as outlined in a Transportation Committee report.
This meant closing the loop in Dec 2013, and now closing the ramp that has provided safe and convenient access from the loop to Skytrain for many years. Later, in September 2013, Council approved Shape’s Master Plan. No transit users or disable persons were consulted in the decision.
Previously, in Dec. 2010, the all NDP-BCA Mayor Corrigan and Council approved a “text amendment” to the zoning by-law that increased maximum density from 2.2 floor area ratio (FAR) to 11 FAR in the four Town Centres – Brentwood, Metrotown, Edmonds, & Lougheed.
The “text amendment” approach did an end run around the public consultations legally required when amending official plans. Extensive public consultation is required to increase density as well as to address related issues of public transit, amenities, roads, parks, etc.
Notices for the public hearing on the 2010 text amendment were not sent out to all property owners within 30 metres of the site (required when rezoning a property) because the TownCentres are not “sites” according to City Hall. So not one of the tens of thousands of residents within 30 metres received written notice. No one spoke at the public hearing that ushered in
Burnaby’s “blistering development” (Globe & Mail 2012).
However, Council approved the 2010 text amendment in combination with a public consultation and review process for the four Town Centre plans, set to begin “immediately.” City Hall says this has not yet taken place because staff are too busy.
FROM BAD TO WORSE
BURNABY CITY COUNCIL SCRAPPED OUR LOOP
NOW OUR ACCESS RAMP
In June 2013 Burnaby’s NDP-BCA Mayor Corrigan & Council voted to adopt a report calling for “street boarding”. This meant closing the loop last Dec, now the ramp.
WHY DID BURNABY MAYOR & COUNCIL CLOSE OUR LOOP & RAMP?
Brentwood Mall developer Shape has a “Master Plan” calling for an “urbane” feeling, “hustle and bustle” and “street boarding”. Mayor & Council voted to close then in Sept 2013 they approved the Master Plan.
WHAT ABOUT PUBLIC CONSULTATION?
The decision was made with zero input from transit users or disabled persons. There’s a bicycle sub-committee but none for transit users. In Dec 2010 Council approved massive density increase in Town Centres without required public consultation. The mess at the mall is the direct result of Council avoiding the public.
WHAT ABOUT OUR SAFETY?
12 pedestrians were hit by Willingdon & Lougheed from 2008-2012 (Metro News). ICBC lists it as “high crash” intersection. But Council & Shape say Lougheed Highway will be “pedestrian friendly”.
WHAT ABOUT MAKING PUBLIC TRANSIT SAFE & USER-FRIENDLY?
They say there “will” be an escalator, bus shelters and a second elevator. But when? It’s been 8 months since the loop was closed Council won’t say when.
We now face longer times needed to go up to two long blocks, cross up to 14 lanes of traffic, take 2 elevators or climb up to 72 stairs to make connections. There’s not one bus shelter or bench in the Brentwood Station area. They even closed another bus stop.