West Vancouver pushes back B-Line vote

North Shore News

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The B-Line bus brouhaha will make at least one more stop at council chambers.

West Vancouver council was set to vote on a motion intended to halt the B-Line at Park Royal rather than Dundarave. Put forward by Coun. Peter Lambur, the motion is intended to shave the last three kilometers from the route while protecting parking in Ambleside and nixing bus priority lanes through the corridor.

A 99 B-Line bus in Vancouver. (Joe A. Kunzler Photo, AvgeekJoe Productions via Flickr)

However, after more than three dozen speakers pushed the meeting past 10 p.m., council opted to save the debate for another day.

The Dundarave terminus constitutes an “untenable safety risk,” Lambur said, adding there is no business case for routing the B-Line through Ambleside.

Under questioning from Coun. Nora Gambioli, Lambur said he hadn’t seen the results of the district’s phone or online survey, which he dismissed as “flawed.”

Gambioli had been critical of Lambur’s motion, noting a failure to consult district staff or council, as well as the fact the motion was submitted before public consultation concluded.

According to TransLink figures, 78 per cent of West Vancouver employees commute from outside the municipality and approximately 1,000 riders transfer at Park Royal.

Lambur’s motion, however, took a dubious approach to TransLink’s ridership figures.

“Ridership estimates to support the addition of B-Line service from Park Royal to 24th Street have been called into question;” his motion states.

Stopping the B-Line at Park Royal is the decision to make, B-Line protest organizer Nigel Malkin said.

West Vancouver residents would enjoy limited benefits from a Phibbs Exchange to Dundarave route, Malkin said, suggesting Phibbs, “may as well be on the surface of the moon because there is nothing there.”

Nearly half of West Vancouver’s municipal employees commute from outside the district, according to TransLink.

“Employees working in the Ambleside-Dundarave area will be more likely to leave their cars at home, freeing up parking and road space,” said TransLink media advisor Chris Bryan. “North Shore has not had an east-west option like this ever.”

However, bus priority lanes form an integral part of the option, Bryan said.

“To be blunt, B-Line success depends upon priority measures.”

City of North Vancouver Mayor Linda Buchanan previously blasted “NIMBY eruptions” for potentially torpedoing the B-Line plan.

“I am concerned, though, that if this plan is rejected by West Vancouver, years of efforts to get people moving on the North Shore will be thrown out the window and that any basis for North Shore wide collaboration on effective transportation solutions will be thrown out with it,” she said in January.