Phibbs users relieved upgrades coming
A 3D rendering of the upgraded Phibbs Exchange includes far more greenery than what's present today. (NELSON/NYGAARD RENDERING)
"The proposed changes address a lot of the rider concerns having to do with the lack of facilitiies, the lack of security, the lack of park and ride area and the lack of any kind of community cohesion with the Phibbs Exchange." — Sacha Fabry
TransLink is inching ahead with a design for an improved Phibbs bus exchange on the North Shore.
According to a request for proposal filed this month, TransLink is seeking a consultant to confirm its existing concept design to upgrade the exchange.
Expect changes to the road network around the exchange, a complete re-do of the bus waiting areas into several “islands,” new pedestrian and bicycle paving, a larger park and ride and more.
According to a March 2014 final report from consultants Nelson/Nygaard on the exchange design, the upgrades are expected to cost $4.1 million.
Daily transit user Jennifer Giesbrecht was most excited about the possibility of a coffee and refreshment building.
The final report describes it as a place with the aforementioned beverages, public washrooms, bike racks and outdoor seating overseen by a kiosk manager.
There’s also the possibility for public art, which Giesbrecht felt would be a major upgrade to the sad-looking pavement the exchange offers today.
“When you’re standing on the Phibbs Exchange it feels like you’re not even on the North Shore, it feels like you’re in Regina. There’s just nothing to see at all,” she said.
Sacha Fabry, a vice-president at the Capilano Students’ Union, said he’s impressed with the changes as long as it doesn’t disrupt students trying to get to school.
“A big concern is with most people who use the area, it’s hard to access if you’re by foot,” he said, pointing to the pedestrian and lighting improvements.
“A lot of times you have to go through a really uninviting tunnel and most people choose to go out of their way because of security reasons.