‘It’s time to scrap the current RAV concept’

Monday, November 29th, 2004


Once upon a time the TransLink board went shopping.They chose a company called SNC-Lavalin to build us a shiny new RAV Line.The Olympics were coming. All was right in the world.
Suddenly the plotline of our story takes a turn.We hear that the “best and final offer” from SNC-Lavalin (our private “partner”) is going to cost $106 million more than was originally proposed and that, despite the huge increase in the purchase price, we will have one less station in Richmond and there will be no direct connection between the Waterfront Station and the cruise ship terminal.
The drama continues as the RAV proposal goes to a “do-or-die” vote of the TransLink board Wednesday. If you believe that the fourth Translink vote on RAV will be the last, please raise your hand.
This has become a horror story for the people of the Lower Mainland. It’s time to scrap the current RAV line concept once and for all.
   Derek Wong, Maple Ridge
End gridlock. Say “yes” to RAV
Not moving ahead with the rapid transit line would be the most expensive decision the City of
Richmond and the TransLink Board could make.The price tag will only increase as time goes on.
The level of funding from the federal government is unprecedented. I wouldn’t count on the feds leaving that money on the table for future projects,particularly when we can’t even come to an agreement on how we are going to spend it.
The cost of having more vehicles on the road will be measured in loss of productivity, traffic congestion and, most importantly, deteriorating air quality and health impacts. But we all know that the main reason for the hold-up is that it’s not aesthetically pleasing.
It’s time for the city of
Richmond and TransLink board to end the political gridlock and let this project move forward.
   Dean Beauvais, Richmond
Elevated RAV is the way to go
The Richmond councillors who are against an elevated RAV line along No. 3 Road need to come to terms with reality. The councillors believe an at-grade system would be more suitable for the area.I work No. 3 is bad at the best of times, an at-grade line would result in a dangerous traffic nightmare that would see trains crashing into cars and people. Proof of this can be found in Calgary where several people die each year as a result of collisions with their LRT. How many cars crash into the SkyTrain each year? None. How many business people complain about SkyTrain hurting their business? None.
   The people of
Richmond have been surveyed and most of them are in favour of an elevated line, that’s what they should get.
   Paul Jones, Delta
Fast ferry fiasco, part two
The bid for the Olympics 2010 has been won. What’s the hurry? I believe in rapid transit as a solution to the increased traffic and congestion in the Lower Mainland but the RAV project is a fast ferry fiasco all over again — with the price tag being triple that of the fast ferries. The RAV plan has had serious problems from the beginning. To proceed at this time,with all this uncertainty, would be folly.
   Gerry Weeks, Burnaby
Arthur Laing fiasco, part two
I hope that Richmond City Council will not block this RAV project like they blocked the original proposal for the
Arthur Laing Bridge years ago.
The connection to
Richmond was eventually made,but it was an indirect connection because the bridge could not be redesigned.
Gridlock now occurs each rushhour because of that original bad decision! An elevated RAV on No. 3 Road is much better than no rapid transit to
Richmond for years!
   Donald Allen,Vancouver
Transport needs are great
As a commuter from Maple Ridge to
Langley, I am nowhere near the RAV line. However, I will benefit greatly from the new Golden Ears Bridge at 200th Street crossing the Fraser River. Isn’t the essence of a regional transportation plan ensuring that all areas of Greater Vancouver have their needs met?
No one can disagree that rapid transit to
Richmond and YVR is long overdue.I may not benefit from the RAV Line but they need it, just as I need the bridge to Langley.
   Iain Nicol, Maple Ridge
Richmond deserves a line
Now that the bid price for the RAV line has been announced I find it interesting that so many people say the project is already over budget. At this stage I would say that it is better for the selected bidder to publish the true cost in advance of construction. If steel and concrete prices have inflated,this fact should be included and reflected in the initial bid price.
Among others, Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan states that this may become another fast ferry fiasco. However, he fails to mention that the fast ferries were constructed for more than $450 million and sold by the government for a little over 10 cents on the dollar back to the initial builders Seaspan. Furthermore, they remain tied up at the North Shore docks.
Basically, the B.C. taxpayer paid 450 million for an experiment that failed. For Corrigan to compare it with the RAV line, which is based upon proven technology and which will help to alleviate traffic gridlock in the Lower Mainland for generations to come, is unfair.
He is using the projected cost for the RAV line as an excuse to oppose
   . I find it strange that he never opposed the building of the Millennium line through
Vancouver needs a modern transportation infrastructure and we have to be prepared to pay for it.
   B. Barden, North Vancouver
My autistic son should be home
   My autistic son has had partial treatment funding since April,2003 and he has made measurable gains in that time.
   He currently lives in a group home but we love him and want him back home. It would be a huge taxpayer saving. I would much prefer treatment over custodial care.
I match the $500 per month partial funding for Lovaas-style ABA therapy every month and our son is getting more out of life now.I know
   can be done much more cost effectively to include medical Lovaas treatment at home.
   Susan Burns, Maple Ridge
George W. can go to
   So George W. Bush is afraid to address Parliament when he visits
Canada this week because he might be “booed.” How pathetic, even the Cowardly Lion displayed more courage. And this from a selfdeclared “War President.”
   Alex Boivin Vancouver

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