News Local

Burnaby bus loop closure presents challenges 0

By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver

The transit bus loop at Brentwood mall is officially closed for good. Commuters will have to wait at new street-side stops for their transit coaches from now on. (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS)

The transit bus loop at Brentwood mall is officially closed for good. Commuters will have to wait at new street-side stops for their transit coaches from now on. (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS)

“Temporary” changes to bus stop locations at Brentwood exchange will mean the permanent loss of the transit loop adjacent to the Burnaby mall at the Halifax and Willingdon intersection, TransLink said.

Jeff Busby, TransLink senior manager of infrastructure and planning, said Monday — the first day of the loop’s closure — existing routes formerly served by the exchange would be spread to three areas around the neighbourhood in future.

Bus stops for routes such as the No. 25 UBC and the No. 123 New West Station have been moved south of Lougheed.

The No. 136 has been moved next to the SkyTrain station on the north side of Lougheed.

They are temporary locations for the next three years until the mall’s expansion finishes.

After that, new bus stops — looping around the nearby Alpha, Dawson, Rosser and Halifax streets and avenues — would be used instead.

The change is worrisome to some transit users such as Carrie McLaren who said seniors and the disabled would now have to use street-level crossings at the heavily-used Lougheed and Willingdon intersection to get to their stops.

Previously, those disembarking SkyTrain or leaving the mall wouldn’t have had to cross streets to board the routes.

“They didn’t tell us that they were going to do that, no notices or anything, until the week before they were doing it,” she said.

Busby said TransLink is aware of the crossing challenges and would be installing a new elevator on the south side of the Brentwood SkyTrain station. The only current elevator at the station is on the north side.

“If you’re transferring between buses there are some instances in which you would need to cross the street,” Busby said. “The city has made sure there’s crosswalks with adequate crossing time to make that happen.”

Twelve pedestrians were struck near the Willingdon and Lougheed intersection from 2008 and 2012, according to ICBC crash statistics, including four people hit near the existing bus loop.

 

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