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Annals of Walking – 28: Reading … Singapore Green Man

August 21, 2014

A pedestrian perspective.




By Sandy James:

last-great-walk-195x300Wayne Curtis’s new book, The Last Great Walk,  documents the 1909 journey of Edward Payson Weston who walked from New York to San Francisco in 105 days at the age of 70.

Wayne uses Mr. Weston’s story to explore the American shift away from foot travel, and the potential benefits of its return. From the connection between our brains and mode of locomotion, to the pedestrian discouraging design of American cities, Wayne examines how walking, or not walking affects our health, environment and national identityNot walking, he argues, may be one of the most radical things humans have ever done.





If in Singapore, with a Green Man Plus card that gives seniors additional time to cross the road.

The Green Man Plus system lets qualified individuals use a specially activated card to request additional time at pedestrian crossings. The card holder taps a card–one that generally also holds transit funds–on a special sensor on a light pole, located above the normal button to request a cross signal.

The timing system recognizes the request and adds about 6 seconds to the crosswalk counter.

More here.


The Berkeley Bugle: The latest from Copenhagen

August 21, 2014

Peter Berkeley, PT’s Brisbane correspondent, keeps sending us so much good stuff, he deserves his own head – hence The Bugle. 

Stuff like this:


CopenhagenFrom Wired:

Copenhagen has long been leading the world in citizen-pleasing infrastructure, and the city has yet again outdone itself. In June, it welcomed the Cykelslangen, or Cycle Snake, an elevated cyclist roadway over the harbor to ease congestion. …

Cykelslangen (pronounced soo-cool-klag-en) adds just 721 feet of length to the city’s 220 miles of bicycle paths, but it relieves congestion by taking riders over instead of through a waterfront shopping area. …

The Cykelslangen winds around the harbor front, in juxtaposition to the grid-like architecture of the area. This element of the design is, for all its beauty, purposeful. Bicycle roads have a maximum allowable gradient to prevent riders from picking up too much speed, and to allow riders on cargo bikes to ascend easily. Making it curved adds length so the elevation changes can be gradual.


Ron Richings passes along a link to Bicycle Dutch - and the constant upgrades to their system:



Way more here.

Ohrn Image: Counter Top

August 21, 2014

Someday soon, this counter will go into operation at the south end of the Burrard Street Bridge.  

This year’s  planned max:  99,999,999  

Today’s planned max: 999,999  



Biennale: Love Your Bean

August 20, 2014

From the Vancouver Biennale:

Who doesn’t love jelly beans? The childhood treat is all grown up in the latest public art installation by the Vancouver Biennale Open Air Museum. Love Your Bean is a delectably fun and candy-coloured grouping of three enormous jelly beans by Canadian sculptor and filmmaker Cosimo Cavallaro.  Amazingly realistic, the sculptures will be a grand scale treat to visitors of Charleson Park.
The community and media are invited to meet the artist at the sculptures:
Date: Friday, August 22, 2014
Time: 4:30 – 6:30 PM
Location: Charleson Park on False Creek South.
This is a free public event.  Light refreshments served.  Artist in attendance. 

Follow your passion: Next Generation Transportation

August 20, 2014

Like the kind of information and issues posted below?  You’ll love this:


Next-Generation Transportation Certificate – First course starts September 17. Register today


This online program is designed to help mid-career professionals use next-generation transportation strategies to advance livable and sustainable cities of the future.

Take all four online courses to earn the certificate, or take courses individually.

The first course in the program, Next-Generation Cities and Transportation, starts September 17 online. This 12-week online course provides a foundation in the principles and practices of next-generation transportation and its role in advancing liveable and sustainable cities of the future.

Other courses in the certificate include:

Applications to the full certificate are due September 5.

Certificate details

Future Present: The History, Problems and Possibilities of the Canada Line

August 20, 2014

Kenneth Chan, in Vancity Buzz, asks a question we’ve all wondered about when standing on a crowded platform in the Canada Line:

Could it become a victim of its own success?

If you have used and compared the Canada Line with the train systems found in other major metropolitan areas around the world, there is no mistaking that it was built with bare bone station designs consisting of jarringly short and narrow platforms for seemingly ‘toy trains.’

The usual answer with respect to capacity is, sure, no problem:

According to TransLink, with 50 metre platforms permitting three-car trains, this means the Canada Line has a ultimate design capacity of 15,000 passengers per hour per direction (pphpd).

“The current capacity offered by the Canada Line is about 6,100 people per hour per direction in the peak periods,” TransLink spokesperson Jiana Ling told Vancity Buzz. “Recent measurements show at the busiest point, the line currently carries around 5,500 pphpd. Thus, the current ridership has not exceeded the maximum capacity in peak periods.”

CL 1


But Kenneth, with his usual thoroughness, explores the complications and variables:

Even if the Canada Line train system were to have the same ultimate design capacity as the Expo Line’s present peak capacity, therein lies the other major problem of getting higher volumes of passengers in and out of the small station footprints efficiently. …

Service reliability and train frequency is also impaired by the short-sighted decision to single-track the final 640 metres of elevated guideway before both terminuses at Richmond-Brighouse and YVR-Airport Stations.



He explores how the system can be tweaked to handle more ridership, and, most interesting of all, the politics and processes behind the decision-making, concluding that:

The decision makers and planners of the day lacked the foresight needed to ensure the system would be designed with excess buffer capacity to allow for both planned and unplanned growth – or at the very least, be given the capability of significant expansion.


Right at the end (probably further than most readers will get) there’s this topically relevant observation:

In the distant future, when Canada Line capacity is completely maxed out, a secondary north-south light rail or fully grade separated system could be built on the Arbutus Corridor to complement the Canada Line.

However, the availability of the Arbutus Corridor for such a future use is up in the air. The Canadian Pacific Railway wants to utilize the railway for its development potential while the City of Vancouver wants to maintain it as a greenway for purposes that include a future light rail line.



In other words, the Arbutus corridor may well be needed in the future as a relief for the Canada Line, at a time when the city is ready to densify that part of the city.

Unimaginable?  Remember that “Kerrisdale” is a short form for “Kerry’s Dale” – the name of the interurban stop at 41st Avenue, opened in 1905, when the B.C. Electric Railway made the real-estate viable as a whole new neighbourhood.  That’s how cities grow – and redevelop.

No matter how the issue of the Arbutus corridor is bandied around during this election, all parties and candidates should commit to this essential principle: the right-of-way will continue to be maintained for the purpose for which it was built, for which it is zoned and for which it will be needed in the future.  It will be a corridor for trains.

Ohrn Image: Little People Peloton

August 20, 2014

Yet another group of little people riding with their big friends (or camp counsellors) at Jericho Beach Park.  





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