Design & Development
December 18, 2018

Moving away from Motordom is not a fad

The New York Times noticed that in some big cities, something radical is happening:

Oslo plans to ban all cars from its city center beginning next year. Madrid is banning cars owned by nonresidents, and is also redesigning 24 major downtown avenues to take them back for pedestrians. Paris has banned vehicles from a road along the Seine, and plans to rebuild it for bicycle and pedestrian use.

This opinion piece lays out the reasons for this move away from Motordom – or at least the reasons why it should.  This is not news to Vancouver, but we’re just at the point where the new council has yet to indicate whether we’re going to renew our commitment, whether we’re going to speed up our progress, or settle for the current pace of change.

Indeed, some are speculating that many on council would, if they could, spend the money it will take to demolish the viaducts more on affordable housing rather than on more amenity for the already blessed.

 

 

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Simon Fraser professor Anthony Perl was perfectly right when he called the proposed ten lane multi-billion dollar Massey Bridge a “loser” on CBC radio, noting that the existing Massey Tunnel could be upgraded for trucking traffic, rail cars, and of course public transport. But the report just released by the Provincial government written by Stanley Cowdell and associates is well worth having a read. It coherently lays out the issues, the misses, and the facts on creating more capacity crossing the Fraser River near the existing Massey Tunnel.

The report which can be read here fearlessly lays out the rationale for why the new crossing was being considered by the previous Liberal government, assessed the solutions, and provides independent findings and recommendation for going forward on the crossing.

It is a document that provides the history of the crossing and how an overbuilt ten lane bridge was planned for (the span was not to have any pilings in the water) and outlines that the various governments and councils may not have agreed upon the bridge concept, but that their interests align in providing safe, efficient movement.

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Today  the Provincial government is releasing their independently appointed technical review on the  previous Liberal Provincial government’s decision to build a ten lane bridge replacing the Massey Tunnel. This project was estimated to cost 3.5  billion dollars and would  further industrialize the sensitive Fraser River delta at this location, and lay waste to fertile farmland.

There has been a prudent approach to the release of this report, with the Province hosting meetings with impacted municipalities and with the  Metro Vancouver Mayors’ Council in advance of the release of the report. The previous Liberal government has been unabashed at their support for this overbuilt bridge that would have just created congestion between the bridge and Vancouver, and stressed the sensitive Fraser River estuary.

Expect to hear that the Province will fund  safety improvements to the current tunnel, and that local First Nations as well as the Mayors’ Council will have to reach a mutually agreed decision on what any  new crossing will look like.

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From the New York Times Canada Letter:

When a senior American cabinet secretary shows up for an interview, it usually involves a motorcade of sleek, black cars complete with a “security package,” as they euphemistically call the guys with guns.

When Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s foreign minister, showed up this week for our public discussion at the University of Toronto, she came by bicycle.

Through the snow.

She didn’t seem to think much of it. This is Canada, after all.

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Peter delivered this talk at the Get Inspired Talks, on October 20, 2018. .
For decades Peter Ladner has been trying out better ways to get around Vancouver than driving alone at a huge cost. In this video, Peter describes how we can move around Vancouver using ways that are easier, healthier, cheaper and more convenient.   Peter is chair of the David Suzuki Foundation board and the Better Transit and Transportation Coalition. He is a former Vancouver City Councillor, TransLink board member, business owner and journalist.
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As public transit for a major city we have been wondering why TransLink does not have continuous public internet along the system, and why there are no washrooms, because it is a human need and everyone needs access to washrooms. We have been exploring those issues for some time in Price Tags.

TransLink has now announced that free access to internet service is coming, and will be offered on SkyTrain, the SeaBus and on transit.

As the Vancouver Sun noted, there had been cut and paste internet service offered at SeaBus terminals and on the SeaBus, but service was not extended beyond these locations. Working with Shaw the idea is to provide uniform service across the transit network, with the proviso that such coverage will take six years to be completely implemented. And yes, you will be able to access the internet even if you are not a Shaw customer. Trials will start next year, and the complete internet coverage of the public transportation system is said to the first in Canada.

And to make matters even more comfortable and convenient, the TransLink Board has approved the development of a strategy to provide washrooms on the system “over the longer term”.

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Bob Ransford posted this:

When the Canada Line was being planned more than 15 years ago, the public was shown ridership models that said 70 percent of the ridership would be in the portion of the corridor between Waterfront Station and Oakridge Station.

Reality today is crush loads during rush hour from Richmond Brighouse all the way to Waterfront with lines at many Vancouver stations where crush-filled trains can’t accept more riders and near full loads at all hours just within Richmond alone. They got it wrong.

Transit drives housing development. So much for empty condos. Empty condos don’t drive this kind of heavy ridership.

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