Arbutus Greenway Update

The following is a brief synopsis of info on the Arbutus Greenway

History- In March of this year the City of Vancouver and Canadian Pacific Railway signed a deal for the City to acquire the Arbutus Transportation Corridor for a sum of 55 million dollars.

The land in question is approximately 42 Acres and stretches about 9 kilometers from Milton Street in Marpole to West First Avenue in Kitsilano.

According to City representatives the corridor is zoned as a transportation corridor and the emphasis going forward will be primarily to keep it that way. The present vision is to have a

dedicated walking and biking path along with a dedicated allowance for future streetcar type rail service. Although the dedicated streetcar allowance is now the direction , they have not ruled out the possibility of one day using light rail as an option.

The terms of the contract between the City and CP on the surface seem straight forward but do have certain aspects which make the deal worth examining. Mayor Robertson has stated under the terms of the deal, any “excess land” in the corridor that is not needed for the greenway can

be repurposed or sold. If any land is sold, CP gets a share of the take. The Railway Company would get 75% 0f the first $50 million in profit, 50% of the second $50 million and 25% of the third $50 million. Any profit beyond$150 million goes to the City.

The deal also leaves CP with the chance to exercise the option on lands between West 1st and 5th avenues. Under that scheme, the city would get 50% of any proceeds CP raised beyond $75 million, and CP would cease to share in the profits from any corridor land sold outside of those few blocks.

CP is responsible for removing all the tracks and railway ties that do not cross city streets. As of July 15th it appears that this work is all but completed.

The City is responsible for removing all tracks crossing city streets and as yet not completed the work.

There are presently Community Gardens from roughly Fir Street to near Arbutus on the south side of West 6th Avenue and still many from roughly W50th to 64th Avenues on the East side of the corridor. The city policy is to leave the ones that are already there and not allow expansion of existing, and require any new gardens to require a permit.

According to one of the project managers I spoke with the pathway between Fir and 41st is to be paved and be approximately 4 meters wide and the pathway between 41st and Milton is to be gravel in short term. Their expectation is to start the work right away to allow immediate limited use and give people a feel for the corridor with Community Consultations on the more permanent plans to take place in the fall, possibly in September.The Project Manager has started the process of assembling a team for the permanent development aspect and launching a dedicated Arbutus Greenway Project Office.

Most of the future pathway has now had some prep work done but is still primarily dirt and gravel base. The only exceptions are W2nd to W4th, and W16th to King Edward, which have new gravel prep work done.