Richmond keeps moving on transportation improvements
28 February 2019
A new Canada Line station, the new River Parkway and other City Centre road improvements, and a strong commitment to reducing vehicle trips will help keep Richmond’s transportation-focused economy on the move, Mayor Malcolm Brodie said Thursday in his Annual Address.
“Richmond’s strong job performance is closely linked to transportation and distribution,” Brodie said in delivering his Address to a special Richmond Chamber of Commerce luncheon. “Transportation of people and goods is involved in almost 70 per cent of Richmond’s employment base.”
“To keep our local economy moving, Council has placed a real focus on the mobility of people and goods within Richmond,” he added.
Improved transportation within Richmond’s rapidly-growing City Centre has been a major focus of Council. Construction recently started on the River Parkway to extend River Road directly between Gilbert and Cambie Roads along the old CP Rail corridor. Expected to open in 2020, River Parkway will dramatically improve the movement of traffic through the north-end of the City Centre. Other recent City Centre projects include the extension of Lansdowne Road to provide a continuous east-west link from the Garden City Lands to Hollybridge Way; the extension of Ackroyd Road from No. 3 Road to Minoru Boulevard; and the widening of Gilbert Road along the southern approaches to the Dinsmore Bridge.
Major improvements are also being completed along Westminster Highway near Richmond’s major ports facilities and No. 2 Road in southwest Richmond. The City is also actively encouraging the Province to move forward quickly with improvements to the Massey Tunnel and the Steveston Highway interchange, now that the proposed 10-lane bridge for that crossing has been cancelled.
However, the Mayor noted Richmond’s transportation challenges will not all be solved by simply adding more asphalt, and the Official Community Plan identifies transition policies towards a more sustainable system.
“In 2008, 82 per cent of all trips in the city were made by car with the remaining 18 per cent by transit, cycling and/or walking,” the Mayor stated. “When you combine our reliance on the car with increasing population, the result will ultimately be gridlock and a deterioration of air quality. As a result, the City set a goal of reducing the percentage of car trips to below 50 per cent by 2041. In the past decade, significant progress has been made in this regard with transit ridership in the City increasing by seven per cent and car trips reducing by eight per cent.”
To help reduce vehicle trips, the City is actively working with TransLink to increase transit service in Richmond. An innovative development levy in Richmond’s Capstan Village has now raised the funds needed to construct a new Canada Line station in that rapidly-growing neighbourhood. Expected to be completed within the next few years, the station will further augment other Canada Line service improvements being undertaken by TransLink, including the purchase of 20 new train cars. Other transit service improvements, a new bus mall in the City Centre, a bike sharing program and continued expansion of Richmond’s cycling and walking routes will also encourage sustainable transportation options.
Mayor Brodie also outlined a number of other significant City initiatives and highlights, including:
- a major new investment in community safety, including funding for 107 new policing and fire staff over the next three years
- a booming construction sector with $879 million in building activity in 2018, the second highest total ever
- a strong commitment to sustainability and combatting climate change, which has resulted in an overall reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the City by 12% between 2007 and 2015, despite a similar percentage of growth in population during the same period
- the new $79 million Minoru Centre for Active Living recreation, sport and community services complex, which will begin a phased opening on March 11
- a new Emergency Shelter and a 40-unit temporary modular housing project for the homeless, which will both open this spring
- an expanded City Centre Community Police Office, which will open later this year, improving enforcement and reducing response times within Richmond’s central core
A full copy of the Mayor’s Annual Address is available at www.richmond.ca/cityhall/council/about/messages