November 29, 2013

TransLink: Metrotown Station Upgrade

Kenneth Chan at VanCity Buzz does a nice spread on the conceptual designs for the Metrotown station upgrade:

Metro 1

Crowding, accessibility and circulation is currently a major issue for the station, which is currently SkyTrain’s second busiest station serving 50,000 trips per day plus another 25,000 trips from its bus exchange.

Metrotown Station was built prior to the construction of Metropolis at Metrotown and its design did not account for the possibility that it would eventually serve a dense, growth area and the nation’s second largest shopping centre.

The comprehensive upgrades will also include a new on-street bus exchange below the station to replace the existing bus loop across the street under the Metropolis shopping centre. This will create a direct pedestrian connection between the SkyTrain station and the bus loop.

Vancouver-based VIA Architecture is the principle firm responsible for the station’s designs. It has revealed the conceptual designs of the modified station which will feature “a novel ‘loop truss’ as a contemporary interpretation to the existing station hoop trusses.”

Metro 2


If you’d like to get a sense of what it’s like to do anything at a transit agency, read the litany of bitching in the comments below the story.

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  1. RE: Comments — I for one would have pressed internally for an explanation as to why pedestrian overpasses were not incorporated, and if there were solid reasons for not having the, at least ensure that they were reflected in the release of information. It should be noted that, in spite of transit delivering about 30% of mall patrons to its front door, Metrotown distinguished itself as the leader of the successful bid to kill the parking site tax. As such, it would be useful to know if this very expensive redevelopment will be supported in any way by a financial contribution from the mall.

  2. Yes Ken, as a transit agency, if you announce a $40M station retrofit which will result in a lost of direct access to the main destination point (overpass to Metrotown Mall), you shouldn’t be surprised by all the bitching…and bitching, here there is matter for.

    -4 escalators at each platform end, is certainly an overkiller.
    -When their capacity is constrained, by less than a dozen of faregate, it becomes overly ridiculous.

    -Access to buses is made as long as possible (access door to entrance should be on the side, not in the guideway axis what also allow more faregate per entrance)

    -The huge pedestrian crossing at the East side of the station, go right into the undergound parking entrance: What the heck is going on there???

    -The buses will certainly not be able to alight as niceily as shown on the graphics…in real life, angle parking removing pedestrian space could be probably required..We don’t see where the buses could lay over either.

    And what is hard to understand, is the platform roofing structure.
    the 1986 orginal one is represented, but extended to the current platform length ???

    We wonder:
    -Does the archiectureal team is not aware that the current roof is not extended to the full platfrm length
    … Or does they really want to extend it in its orginal flavor…and then have a totally different architecture approach for the egress…making the overall architectural result far from convincing:
    Can’t we do better for $40M ?