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Kits Beach Street Car

June 9, 2016

Whiterock has proposed a seaside extension, as editorialized in Price Tags.  I was struck by Sandy James’s great suggestion: ride a train [streetcar] to the beach! Nice idea and good to remember it once existed as the #12 to Kitsilano. interurbanmap_web

Part of a big network!


The internet provides nice photos that give a good sense of what taking the beach tram would have felt like.  At present this former streetcar line raises the potential for a re-stitching of that link, also perhaps to serve the Vanier Park museum precinct?

While today’s planning would have this short spur extend further afield – perhaps terminating at UBC. It’s a nice reminder that public transit to parks and recreation spaces was once a goal of the system. TODs are good, but going by Skytrain from my high-density indoor living place to my high-density indoor work place to my high-density indoor shopping place does a hamsters’ life make.

[EDIT] Arnie makes a good point in his comment – we are certainly not building quality ground-oriented units in any great quantity, nor at affordable price points.  That said the point of “a hamsters’ life” comment is to identify the blind spot in transit stations planning.  There are few stations that access urban outdoor public resources, not just commercially-based recreational resources (shopping centres). This is not a judgement, it’s great to go to Metrotown and to get it all done, home again by Skytrain. It’s just our  high-speed, high-capacity transit stop, purpose-built for access to beach has not been re-built since the decomissioning of #19 streetcar line.

Two existing stations spring to mind for today’s park access- Patterson Station for access to Central Park, and Templeton station for reaching Iona Beach by bike (arguably Yaletown Station for beach access). The trolley-based terminus for park access would have to be #19 Metrotown/Stanley Park.

Wouldn’t it be nice to walk out of your West End tower, get on the train for Kits Beach, walk to Spanish Banks up the hill and back downtown on a UBC rapid transit link?


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One Comment
  1. At least as a hamster, you’re spinning your furry butt above ground. Pity all the prairie dogs living in tiny two suite basements in all the crap spec houses being thrown up.

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