Re: "Unhappy resident shouldn't be allowed to hold up traffic," Letters, Dec. 2, 2011.
With reference to the letter from Marion Smith, I have some comments to add to hers.
TransLink claims it prides itself on being "Handicap Accessible."
Yes, it is, provided you are actually at a bus stop or at the station. However, the Richmond TransLink system is NOT handicap friendly.
Consider this - there is one elevator at the station for the use of wheelchairs, luxury baby strollers, bicycles and persons with disabilities.
In reality, as soon as the train doors open, all the young people run to grab the elevator. leaving those that need it to wait.
On the trains themselves, there are very few seats for the disabled, and again those there are are frequently grabbed by those wanting to use their laptops on the train, leaving the elderly and those with canes to stand!
On the buses, the front seats are meant for wheelchairs, the elderly and the handicapped - however, two luxury strollers takes care of that.
In spite of the fact that I use a cane, I was once told by a driver to stand to allow a stroller on the bus! I ended up getting off the bus and waiting for the next one. Very sad!
While I am now retired, when I was working downtown I contacted TransLink on several occasions regarding the Brighouse 410 stop westbound.
To get to the stop, you have to get from the station across No. 3 Road and walk almost to Sears. Not easy for anyone who is mobility challenged.
When I questioned TransLink about this, I was told that the bus no longer stops across from Brighouse Station because it blocks traffic.
TransLink's answer to me was I should get the 401 from the station and then walk down Williams to 4th Avenue ... almost to where the 410 would have dropped me off.
Or I could get the 407 and transfer to a 410 at Gilbert and Granville.
Some solution. In the summer its not too bad, just slow, and occasionally very uncomfortable, but in the winter when there is snow and ice ... it is treacherous.
There is no westbound bus stop at Landsdowne Station so getting off there is not an option - the closest bus stop is at Ackroyd.
Elderly people shopping at Lansdowne and wanting the 410 are expected to get the Canada Line to Brighouse, and then follow the ridiculous options outlined above.
When the station was built we were told there was to be a bus loop, but apparently the Scotia Bank is "being unreasonable in not wanting to move their premises to make way for the bus loop" ... HULLO! the bank was there many years before the Canada Line was dreamed of and there is a lot of expense in moving a bank.
To the best of my knowledge, Brighouse is the only terminus station that does not have any sort of bus loop. I sympathize with those residents who have had to put up with the extra traffic and constant noise of buses outside their homes.
Using residential streets is not an acceptable alternative to a true bus loop.
It is time that TransLink looked at the "Big Picture" of transit in Richmond, and made it both accessible and friendly for those needing it.
This must include proper bus loops where needed and bus stops at all stations in both directions.
Catherine Church Richmond