July 7, 2018

Major Bike Network Funding for Metro Vancouver

TransLink has approved the routes for major new regional bike infrastructure — the Major Bike Network (MBN).

Funding is already approved, and is included in the $9.3B 10-Year Vision as $131M for “Regional Cycling”.  That’s 1.5% of total spending, showing that bike infrastructure is really cheap, and that you can do ambitious stuff, even spending less as a percentage than cycling’s regional mode share (~ 2%).

The plan calls for around 300 km of separated bike lanes, and 2,400 km of bike routes (usually in neighbourhoods with lower traffic).  The MBN will be cost-shared with the municipality.

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The Board of Metro Vancouver (Greater Vancouver Regional District) has committed to pursue a regional target of 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, from 2007 levels, by 2050.
In alignment with this target, Metro Vancouver is developing a Climate 2050 Strategic Plan – learn more in person at next week’s public dialogue:
Wednesday, May 30
Noon – 2:00 pm
(lunch at 11:30)

BCIT Downtown Vancouver Campus
555 Seymour Street

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Locally, Metro Vancouver and our member jurisdictions have been leaders in climate actions for almost 20 years.
The Metro Vancouver Board has committed to pursue a regional target of 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2007 levels by 2050. In alignment with this target, Metro Vancouver is developing a Climate 2050 Strategic Plan with a vision to ensure our infrastructure, ecosystems, and communities are resilient to the impacts of climate change.
Join one of our public dialogues to learn about and share your views on Climate 2050. To get a jump-start on learning more about Climate 2050, visit our website.


All Dates: Noon – 2:00 pm (lunch served 11:30a.m. – noon)

  • REGISTER Wed May 30 BCIT downtown campus, 555 Seymour Street, Vancouver
  • REGISTER Thur June 7 Polygon Gallery, 101 Carrie Cates Ct, North Vancouver
  • REGISTER Fri June 8 Port Moody Inlet Theatre, 100 Newport Drive, Port Moody
  • REGISTER Wed June 13 John M.S. Lecky UBC Boathouse, 7277 River Road, Richmond
  • REGISTER Thur June 14 Surrey City Hall, 13450 104 Ave, Surrey
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Public lecture and webcast

Looking back, Looking forward: Reflections on Housing Metro Vancouver

While Metro Vancouver has changed dramatically over the past four decades, many concerns of yesteryear are surprisingly similar to those of today—foreign buyers, rental crisis, dwindling land supply, locals-first policies, and disdain for developers.
Using his collection of newspaper clippings, in this presentation Michael Geller will offer a different perspective on Metro Vancouver’s housing affordability challenges and some timeless solutions.
Thursday, May 10
7-9 pm PDT
Room 1900, SFU Vancouver
Harbour Centre Campus
515 West Hastings Street
Free lecture by reservation; reserve seats on Eventbrite.
Free webcast by reservation; register on Eventbrite.

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What happens when Port facilities in Metro Vancouver and their associated auto processing centres are filled to capacity with automobiles? You ship European cars to Nanaimo and then barge them across to the Lower Mainland.
European cars are normally shipped to Halifax and then trucked or railed across the country. With the growing cost and scarcity of industrial land, Nanaimo is transforming into the European car depot for vehicles shipped by sea through the newly widened Panama Canal.
The president and chief executive of the Nanaimo Port Authority stated “The project has the potential to transform Canada’s import automobile supply chain.” There’s no thought of a shift to ride share autonomous vehicles in this supply model.
As Business in Vancouver reports from Carla Wilson instead of sending European cars across the Canadian continent ships will navigate directly through the  Panama canal to Nanaimo. This expanded facility in Nanaimo will cost eighteen million dollars to implement and will “tackle existing transportation bottlenecks and congestion”.
This includes the repurposing of a 60,000 square foot building on 16 acres of land to be run by Western Stevedoring. There is an “assembly wharf” a paved facility of 36 acres where the cars will be prepped for shipping.
At the Nanaimo Port, cars designed to European standards get bilingual stickers and are upgraded for the Canadian market. Starting in January 2019 large carrier ships will offload 400 to 500 vehicles per vessel at the Nanaimo port.
It should also be noted that Port Metro Vancouver is one of the few in North American to not run 24 hours a day, a potential solution for real and perceived congestion and bottlenecks.
By using the Panama Canal, ships will also be able to “short ship” by delivering European vehicles to Mexico, pick up mechanical parts, and then continue to Los Angeles and Nanaimo.
Twelve thousand vehicles are expected to land in Nanaimo in 2019,  with a target of 50,000 expected annually. At that point most of the vehicles will then be barged onto the mainland.
The logistics for that transshipment have not yet been announced.

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In March the Province of British Columbia enacted new rules for drivers of eighty years of age or more. Those drivers must have a doctor’s note submitted every two years stating they are “medically competent” and must  undertake an on-road test or road assessment if required.  This is similar to the Province of Ontario which instituted a licence renewal every two years for drivers over eighty requiring a vision test, a driving rules class, a driving history review, potentially retaking a driver’s test and detailing medical history.
Price Tags Vancouver has previously written about the fact that seniors are being targeted as prime users of autonomous vehicles, with AVs touted as a way to keep seniors mobile. Data collected from Statistics Canada in 2009 suggest that close to 28 per cent of drivers over 65 years and older are driving vehicles with some form of dementia. Statistics Canada data from 2012 shows that over the age of 70 years seniors have a higher accident rate per kilometre than any other group except for young male motorists. Seniors are also more likely to die in a vehicular crash.
A poll conducted by State Farm in March 2017 found that “55 per cent of respondents would keep driving past 80 years of age. About 29 per cent would give up their license between ages 80-84, 16 per cent would stop driving before 90 years of age, while 10 per cent would keep driving after 90.” 
The challenge is finding a balance between seniors’ mobility and road safety  in British Columbia, and ensuring that seniors can continue to be independent.  As an aging population there needs to be an increasing emphasis on the use of public transit, taxis and accessible services such as HandyDART and ride shares.
The magazine puts it bluntly: “If you’re 80 and over and facing this retesting every two years, how can you prepare? … do a walkaround on your car and honestly address any dings, scrapes and dents you don’t recall getting. Consider this quote from the American Automobile Association in the U.S.: ”Seniors are outliving their ability to drive safely by an average of 7 to 10 years.”


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Join UBC’s School of Community and Regional Planning students for a full day of discussion on planning issues related to this year’s theme, Encompass. Encompass is about embracing unexpected connections and taking planning in new directions. At the 10th annual UBC SCARP Symposium we gather inspiration from diverse sources, finding fresh ideas by looking within – and beyond – the traditional boundaries of planning. Come prepared to challenge assumptions, connect innovative ideas, and broaden your scope of planning.   When: Friday, March 16, 2018  from 8:00am – 7:00pm Where: The Great Hall, AMS Nest, 6133 University Boulevard, UBC Cost: General $105 | Students $45 Registration: Contact:
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There are an estimated 8,000 electric vehicles in BC. These numbers may seem small compared with the millions of vehicles registered, but growth is tracking in the double-digits on a year-over-year basis. With significantly fewer emissions and lower operating costs, electric vehicles have the potential to benefit climate change and affordability – two important goals in our region.
·        Eve Hou, Air Quality Planner, Air Quality and Climate Change, Parks, Planning and Environment, Metro Vancouver
·        Chris Frye, Acting Director, Communities and Transportation Branch, Electricity and Alternative Energy, Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, Province of BC
·        Anthonia Ogundele, Manager, Environmental Sustainability and Business Continuity, Facility & Environmental Management, Vancity
Register Now

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[Jenelle Schneider / PNG]
Golf and country-residential go together like bears and garbage cans. The Morgan Creek development of recent decades has pushed big house cul-de-sacs into rural land along 32nd Avenue east of Highway 99 – its accessibility to malls and commuting was made easier by the 32nd Avenue interchange that went in about 15 years ago.
Now there’s this, where the Hazelmere Golf Course on 8th Avenue east of 176th (the Pacific Highway which leads down to the truck crossing) has been the only non-rural incursion for many years. This article by Larry Pynn in the Vancouver Sun describes the latest attempt to push an “urban” use past the Metro containment boundary. (Thanks to David Riley for the tip.)

A planned residential development in rural Hazelmere in south Surrey was described Friday as both a dangerous land-use precedent and a boost to young farmers and the local environment.
The Metro Vancouver regional board ultimately decided that residents should have a say at a public hearing before a final decision is made on the project.
Regional staff had recommended against the City of Surrey’s request to amend the Metro 2040: Shaping our Future land-use designation map in order to accommodate the development proposal.
The amendment would create a “23.7-hectare non-contiguous extension” of the Metro 2040 Urban Containment Boundary, and redesignate lands from Metro 2040 Rural to General Urban.
The plan for a 145-lot single-family residential subdivision, housing about 450 residents, would require extending regional sewer lines to the site, which is part of the Hazelmere golf course development.
“The proposed amendment challenges the most fundamental elements of Metro 2040 – containing urban sprawl, focusing urban growth to support complete communities, and efficient transportation and infrastructure investments,” the staff report read.
“In addition, approval would set a clear precedent regarding the permeability of the urban containment boundary, and likely trigger additional land development speculation in the rural areas of southeastern Surrey and other similar areas of the region.”


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This morning’s TransLink announcement is most welcome to the vast numbers of people who use SkyTrain and Canada Line to get from here to there.

80 new cars, all to be in service by 2020.

  • 28 Expo and Millennium line cars by early 2019;
  • 28 additional Expo and Millennium line cars by the end of 2019 – three years ahead of schedule; and
  • 24 Canada Line cars by the end of 2020.

The total investment for the 80 new cars is $298 million: $210 million for the 56 Expo and Millennium Line cars and $88 million for Canada Line. The purchase of the new cars is funded through the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund (PTIF). PTIF is funded by the Government of Canada at 50 per cent, Province of British Columbia at 33 per cent and TransLink at 17 per cent.
We expect the additional 80 SkyTrain cars will increase capacity by about:

  • 10 per cent for Expo Line;
  • 23 per cent for Millennium Line; and
  • 30 per cent for Canada Line.

This results in a total of 8,200 additional spaces per peak hour on both directions on all three SkyTrain Lines.

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