I am so disappointed that Vancouver city council voted by a margin of 9 to 2 to approve the SkyTrain extension from Arbutus all the way to UBC. Even the three Green councillors all voted in favour of this very un-environmental proposal!
As I pointed out in my recent blog on this topic, UBC professor Patrick Condon, who has spent 25 years studying green infrastructure, and many other experts have deftly explained how SkyTrain technology is the least green of all public transit options. For one, it uses massive amounts of concrete, the production of which emits high levels of greenhouse gases. Compare this with at-grade LRT, which requires no concrete at all.
GHG-emitting concrete production aside, let’s look at the environmental impact of concentrating the estimated $2.83 billion on this one SkyTrain extension. Instead, with a $288-million, at-grade LRT line from Arbutus to UBC, you could spread around the money saved and build other transit lines throughout the city, getting far more environmental bang for your buck.
All in all, a very green disappointment at Vancouver city hall — one that will haunt us for generations to come.