Trolleys will return to Granville Mall – but could leave as required

Granville Mall without trolleys: a pedestrian thoroughfare with great views of the north shore mountains. Richard Campbell photo.

Cycling and transportation advocate Richard Campbell is urging Vancouver City Council to keep Translink’s trolleys off Granville Mall as an easy and popular way to create a pedestrian thoroughfare through the downtown core.

Campbell is speaking for many in an e-mail to council when he hails the beauty of the newly-designed street, particularly its striking views to the north shore mountains, now unencumbered by a spider’s nest of trolley wires.

But city transportation engineer Jerry Dobrovolny has reminded councillors that Translink invested $10.4 million into the mall’s renewal to preserve transit access, particularly close to Skytrain and Canada Line stations.

Work to restore the trolley wires will begin next week, but the existing wires on Seymour and Howe will remain. That will give the city tremendous flexibility to close Granville, with minimal transit impact, for street festivals or other activities.

The Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association, which feared Olympic street closures would hurt business, is now on the record favouring more such events to enliven the area.