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End of the line

In a perfect world, a streetcar service connecting North Vancouver's utilitarian but depressing Phibbs Exchange with West Vancouver's quaint and quirky community of Dundarave would be packed with tourists flinging cash out of the windows at local bus

In a perfect world, a streetcar service connecting North Vancouver's utilitarian but depressing Phibbs Exchange with West Vancouver's quaint and quirky community of Dundarave would be packed with tourists flinging cash out of the windows at local businesses.

Unfortunately for Coun. Bob Fearnley's idea, startup costs in today's environment of fiscal prudence make it a non-starter.

Municipal, regional and provincial coffers are filled by the same taxpayers who are already turning white from blood loss and have no appetite for underwriting TransLink's current plans to expand service. For this concept to be taken seriously, a private benefactor willing to pay the infrastructure costs is necessary. Monday night's City of North Vancouver council meeting made no mention of such backers.

Then there is the congestion issue. East-west traffic on the North Shore - especially at the Marine Drive level - gets more difficult by the month and will continue to get worse. Additional residential development is planned in Lynnmour/Second Narrows, Lower Capilano and Park Royal. We know it is likely in Lower Lonsdale, Mosquito Creek, Harbourside, Ambleside Park and Ambleside. Surely we are not going to add rails to the road on a corridor that is already choked to breaking point.

We would be far more supportive of an idea previously discussed by city council about running North Vancouver's restored Streetcar No. 153 along a short rail line, perhaps connecting Mosquito Creek and the shipyards.

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