03/11/2013 11:37 EDT | Updated 01/27/2014 10:59 EST

Vancouver Subway Proposal Draws Strong Responses

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson's proposal to build a $2.8 billion subway along the Broadway Corridor is drawing strong responses for and against the idea.

Robertson told a packed town hall at the St. James Community Square Sunday that building a subway is the best way to solve Broadway's congestion problems because it would have greater capacity than a streetcar and would disrupt businesses less, The Province reported.

Not everyone was convinced. One speaker said a subway would be "very expensive" and could be difficult in an area where there's resistance to rezonings and increases in density.

But the mayor has a booster in former premier Mike Harcourt, who spoke in favour of the project at the meeting, the Vancouver Sun reported.

Robertson's case for a subway relies on a KPMG study that shows the Broadway Corridor is B.C.'s second-biggest job centre next to downtown Vancouver.

Some of the opposition has its roots in memories of the Canada Line construction, which ripped up Cambie Street and allegedly led to the closures of independent businesses, News 1130 reported.

Vancouver Coun. Geoff Meggs told the radio station that all of the Broadway subway construction would take place underground.

That was comforting news for Mike Klassen, spokesman for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, who said he's glad that the city doesn't want a repeat of what happened on Cambie.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post stated the town hall was held on Saturday. In fact, it was held on Sunday. This version has been updated.

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