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Development Fail: Tsawwassen Mills Update

August 29, 2014

The last time we posted a picture on the Tsawwassen Mills and Commons development, going up on First Nations land (map here) off Highway 17, the soil was being loaded:

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Here’s a shot from yesterday as construction begins:

Tsawwassen

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Two questions still stand out: How is this consistent with the beliefs (not to mention the rhetoric) of First Nations?

And where is the market for this?  It can hardly be just the municipality of Delta, much less nearby Tsawwassen, which can expect its local shopping district to be undermined.  Does the developer, Ivanhoe-Cambridge, expect a good part of Metro will drive here, thanks to the billion-dollar expenditures on new roads and bridges provided by the Province?

Stephen Rees has been documenting the project as well - here – going back to 2011.  (Comments also worth reading on “the Walmart School of Planning.”)

The New Point Grey Road – 29: The Coupland Report

August 29, 2014

From Penny Coupland:

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Today I counted 31 kids under 14 on bikes during my trip from Chinatown to Jericho and back (33 if you count the cute baby in a bike seat, 36 if you count the ones in bike trailers, 37 if you count the one on a trail-a-bike).

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PGR K4

PGR K2

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Training wheeled bikes on the road are becoming much more common now – like the small boy at the rear.

PGR K 1

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And apropos your latest post re people parking in bike lanes – I encountered only 2 today. One on PGR, one on Union at Gore, which means I only got sworn at twice for taking photos of them. Today was a good day!

PGR K3

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Had a car pull out of a parking space on Union/Gore into the bike lane, narrowly missing me, earlier this month. He drove ahead of me further down and pulled in left, to a parking spot that suited him better. The bike store owner who saw the whole thing came out and asked the cop standing outside why he didn’t do something about it. Cop replied (quite correctly) ‘Happens all the time here’.

Saw two drivers turn into Union bike track from Gore as I was returning home!   Is there a city-wide shortage of post bollards currently? I’d happily sponsor a few!

City Conversations: The Arbutus Corridor- Sep 4

August 29, 2014

The Arbutus Corridor: A Way Forward?

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When: Thursday, September 4

Time: 12:30-1:30 pm 

Location: Room 1600 at SFU Harbour Centre

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You might think that there’s no solution to the conflict over the Arbutus rail corridor. Canadian Pacific Rail wants $100 million for its right-of-way. The City of Vancouver has offered $20 million.

But maybe there is a solution. Seven years ago, one of Vancouver’s most extensive and inclusive public consultation and design processes produced a report that recognized the railroad’s financial interest, the neighbourhoods’ recreational interests, the city’s transportation interests, and a potentially reasonable way to pay the costs without turning the Arbutus Lands into another downtown. That report has been forgotten by almost everyone. OnSeptember 4, City Conversations is bringing it back for public discussion.

To explain the plan, we’ll have Ken Cameron, a member of the distinguished Advisory Panel for the process and report, and Claudia Laroye, Executive Director, Marpole BIA. We’ve invited other representatives of neighbourhood groups, the City of Vancouver, and CP Rail.

 

 

Cost: Free

 

The Biggest Public Art Project in Vancouver – or Canada?

August 29, 2014

Is this it?

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Indie

 

The mural that’s being painted on the six gigantic industrial Ocean Concrete silos on Vancouver’s Granville Island by OSGEMEOS, the two twin-brother Brazilian artists, is their biggest project to date and their first in Canada. 

This Vancouver Biennale project “is destined to become one of the most recognizable and iconic works of public art anywhere in the world.”

You can check on the progress here – and contribute to the crowd-sourced campaign.

Perth vs Vancouver: “A tale of two cities”

August 29, 2014

SkyTrain

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Here is the complete series by Kent Acott, a writer with the West Australian, who compared the transportation systems and strategies of the two cities.  I excerpted several of the pieces here and here - but there are still a few other articles in the series, including this one:

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Less roads reduces congestion

Former Vancouver city councillor Gordon Price made worldwide headlines when he suggested congestion could be a city’s friend. He is convinced that congestion can be managed to achieve benefits for a community.

“On one hand, congestion encourages more people to consider other forms of transport – like walking or bike riding or public transport,” Mr Price said. “But it can also help authorities to manage the transport system.

“Well co-ordinated traffic lights can act as meters, allowing a certain number of vehicles through at any one time. If done effectively, it means the traffic continues to flow.

“And as the traffic is moving, albeit slowly, it makes it less attractive for motorists to dart off into side streets looking for a quicker route – the concept known as rat runs.” Mr Price, who now works at Vancouver’s Simon Fraser University, said building more roads to solve congestion was a legacy of engineers who had been dictating urban design and transport networks in many cities for many decades. …

Mr Price said that, as populations grew, more people needed to travel in ways other than cars to allow enough room for the current number of cars, trucks and buses to move around efficiently.

“If the next million or so people all choose to drive, then we really do get gridlock since there isn’t enough room to handle an increase on that scale,” he said.

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While we’re at it, here’s a repost of the video made by Matt Taylor which effectively illustrates the absurdity of trying to accommodate the next million people in this region if they all drove cars. (For a quick view of the consequences, go to 3:21 to see what we’d need to do just to park them.)’

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Backlash: ‘Coolest city’ lists

August 29, 2014

From The Guardian by Jordan Fraade:

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The big problem with ‘coolest city’ lists

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The problem with a “coolest city” ranking is the way it takes things any city ought to be proud of – diversity, urbanity, art, energy, walkability, transit accessibility – and attaches them to a polarising sociological identity. Most Americans probably don’t have strong opinions about multimodal transit, or bicycle infrastructure. But they do have strong feelings about snobbish urban hipsters. …

Last summer, in the process of rewriting its 1958 zoning code, Washington, DC, floated a plan to eliminate mandatory parking minimums in the entire downtown core and in the vicinity of subway, streetcar, and high-frequency bus lines. At the last minute, under immense pressure, it backed down.

… many different groups came together to defend parking spots – united by a large serving of disdain for the “young people” who wanted parking minimums scrapped. One local AAA representative, defending parking minimums, said that the move toward transit-friendly development just reflected “the arrogance of youth”. …

When it comes to hating millennials in DC, no one can hold a candle to Washington Post columnist Courtland Milloy. Milloy’s anti-bike screed from this July, which stops just short of endorsing vehicular homicide, is a prime example of anti-cool-kids backlash. … This reliance on his audience’s dislike of “those kinds of obnoxious people” is what saves Milloy the trouble of actually explaining why bike lanes, dog parks or fusion restaurants are bad things.

… you don’t need to argue over merits when you can rail against people.  …

When the focus of city governance shifts away from winning spots on magazine lists and towards useful service provision for as many constituents as possible – cool people, uncool people and the vast, middlingly cool majority – the US will finally have the urban renaissance it has been promised.

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Full article here.

Click Bait: Bike Helmets and Injuries

August 29, 2014

Always a favourite bit of bait.  Ken Ohrn thanks Kay Teschke for the link: “A solid read for those who like rigor and research. It debunks a recent alarmist report that claims bike-share systems are awfully dangerous.”

From The Conversation:

Hard Evidence: do bikeshare schemes lead to more head injuries among cyclists?

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… the users of these bike hire schemes are less likely to wear helmets, high-visibility clothing or specialist cycling Lycra than people riding their own bikes. We’ve argued this is a good thing, as it helps normalise the image of cycling away from a specialist past-time, reducing the perception that riding a bicycle is a risky activity or only for super-sporty people.

But a recent study by Janessa Graves and colleagues published in the American Journal of Public Health concluded that there was a link between the introduction of bikesharing schemes in North American cities and the risk of bicycle-related head injuries. So it was argued that helmets should be incorporated into the schemes as standard from the outset.

We suggest that these concerns are misplaced, and agree with the many other commentators who have argued that the study’s data don’t justify the authors’ conclusions. In fact, the paper’s data could be reasonably interpreted to argue the opposite – that the take-up of bikesharing schemes leads to lower risk of injury. …

What this study does tell us fits with the possibility that injury risks may actually be lower when using hire bikes, and that the introduction of these schemes may go hand-in-hand with a general lowering of risk. So for now, calls for bikesharing schemes (or all cyclists) to require helmets are not supported by the evidence available.

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Full article here.

 
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