On the occasion of Vancouver’s big car-free weekend — Car Free Day events occurred yesterday in the West End and Kitsilano, and the main event takes place today along 20+ blocks of Main Street — perhaps it’s time to roil the waters with a question. Does traffic congestion slow down economies, productivity, or job growth?
At the southeast corner of Oak Street and King Edward Avenue in Vancouver, a Shell gas station looks like any other, with the huge roof over the gas pumps, and bright vibrant colours.
But there’s something different here, evident as you get closer and see the gas station site is subtly fenced in. There appears to be no activity, but there’s a sign. Literally — a large, outdoor advertisement of a young woman sipping a beverage, with the headline: “Open for Snacks. Closed for Gas.”
The question: who in their right mind would use this gas station to get food when there’s a supermarket (and a really good Japanese restaurant) right behind the station?
And this is not a redevelopment at this site — indeed, the whole King Edward Mall site has been identified as “unique” in the City of Vancouver’s third phase of the Cambie Corridor Plan (approved in May), and can be redeveloped as “three higher elements of approximately 12 to 14 storeys … above a low- to lower mid-rise podium”.
So while the car snack department is “business as usual”, the gas station part of the operation is likely just having a tank renovation in advance of the mixed-use development project that will eventually be located on this whole site.
Back to Delta, and the “you just can’t make this stuff up” department.
Mayor Lois Jackson and staff are in Ottawa and Quebec City on a $40,000, seven-day junket approved by council. In Ottawa, they’re drumming up support for the “stalled” $3.5 billion, ten-lane Massey Bridge, which is currently undergoing independent evaluation by the province.
It’s surprising that Delta taxpayers are not more upset about paying for this $40,000 trip. The City of Delta is the only one of the 21 member municipalities in Metro Vancouver that wanted this bridge behemoth in this location. It’s a version of the one-trick pony — insisting on that one thing you need, even when the rest of the region says “not here and not now”.
Challenges to this campaign for a multi-billion dollar, ten-lane bridge continue to mount. Read on >>
In one of the most genius ideas we’ve seen in a while, the Delta Police Department is using social media to help manage safety and vehicular speed — with the ultimate goal of mitigating crashes — in their municipality.
And the result has been brilliant, with cops at stop signs at busy intersections, at traffic signals in commercial areas enforcing the “no right turn” restriction, and even monitoring marked crosswalks to ensure that drivers are actually yielding to pedestrians. Read on >>
Vancouver’s home-grown carsharing cooperative, Modo, issued a press release this past week with the results of a multi-city member survey that spoke to the overriding reasons for the move away from car ownership — cost.
Of the 3,500+ respondents, 42% said the cost savings is why they prefer to use the 2-way service, just edging out convenience (39%).
But what about carsharing’s other role, beyond getting us from A-to-B cheaply? As in actually removing cars off the road — that’s where it’s at, and we found that while it’s not high on the list of influencing factors for Modo members, it’s a reportable outcome.
Despite the minor issue of a tropical cyclone bearing down on western Guangdong province (“its threat to Hong Kong still exists”, asserts the Hong Kong Observatory, in that classically anodyne yet ominous lingua franca of meteorologists everywhere), Gordon Price’s tour of Hong Kong continues.
Day 3 musings cover backstreet hidden gems, demographics on display, trees, and a Hong Kong “of course” — transit. Over 90% of the population makes use of the public transportation system.
How did this happen? For starters, they built it. And they had to — Hong Kong has virtually the same geographic area as Metro Vancouver, but almost three times the population.
Also with approximately 317, Hong Kong has the most skyscrapers in the world. That’s 25% more than New York City.
In April, Price Tags published a post on the UBC announcement regarding their desire to fund the remaining dollars — possibly up to $1 billion, depending on how you parse the extant project information floating in the ether (or who you know) — to bring the Millennium Line extension all the way to campus.
It remains our most-viewed post of 2018. It’s also our most-commented upon piece of all time. That’s 10,000+ posts over a dozen years.
So we decided to provide an update. Just one problem. Read on >>