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On the Referendum: A Reminder from Richard

May 22, 2015
From Richard Campbell:
Only a few days before ballots must be received by Elections BC on May 29. They should be mailed by Monday, May 25 to ensure they are received on time.
There are still over 50 percent of the ballots lying around in people’s homes. More than enough to win!
Lots of people will be riding bikes and taking transit to events, beaches and parks this weekend.
So when you are out and about this weekend, please ask people on bikes and transit, “Hi, have you voted Yes yet?”.  Its a great way to meet people and to help ensure that the cycling and transit improvements that we all need happen.
Print out a few of these handy flyers  here to hand out. Or they can be folded and hung on the cables of parked bikes.
More here.

On the Referendum: Charles Montgomery and Darren Davis

May 22, 2015

Charles Montgomery did a video interview with Kiwi transport planner Darren Davis in support of a Yes vote in the transit plebiscite when he was recently in Auckland.



Twinning Tweets: British Columbia as Carbon Dealer to the World

May 22, 2015

We’ve always been an exploiter of our environment; that’s the nature of a frontier province.  But now we’re notching it up: If you can get fossil fuels in a pipe or to a port, we’ll sell it to the world – and take no responsibility for the consequences.

Yes, we have a carbon tax on domestic consumption of carbon, but not on the throughput of oil, LNG and coal, which we are doing our best to facilitate.  As indicated in items that came in today:

Bridge high enough for LNG tankers proposed

Port Metro Van­cou­ver wants the prov­ince to build a higher bridge when it re­places the Massey Tun­nel to al­low taller LNG tankers to travel up the Fraser River, ac­cord­ing to doc­u­ments ob­tained by an en­vi­ron­men­tal group. …


An internal email between port staff suggests the port’s 65-metre figure is based on the height clearance requirements for the biggest LNG tankers that could turn in the river.

Tunnel replacement, it is said, will also help in shipping coal out of an expanded Fraser-Surrey Docks.

So we both increase the amount of carbon we can ship, and use the wealth generated to build infrastructure that will encourage even more driving and suburban sprawl – the highest-energy forms of urban development.


Meanwhile … also in the Sun: “Big energy clashes with Kerry on climate change.”

“The call for carbon pricing is unanimous,” Gerard Mestrallet, CEO of the French energy company Engie, said on a panel discussion in Paris. “It’s loud and clear. Carbon pricing is the right signal, the right tool.” …

“We need a robust price of carbon,” Philippe Varin, chairman of the French utility Areva SA, said at the conference. “Necessity is the mother of creativity, and we definitively need a carbon price.”

If indeed that should happen, the economics of the carbon we export, currently without a carbon tax, suddenly change.  And so, presumably, would we – or at least the cost of the debt we incur for the kind of car- and truck-dependent urban region the Province will build, especially in the absence of a commitment to transit and assumption of ever-greater royalties for carbon.

The Changing Face (and Reality) of London

May 22, 2015

Antje links to this extraordinarily well-illustrated piece in the MailOnline: .

London enters the age of the skyscraper


Around 70 tall buildings are under construction, with nearly 200 more planned – despite London’s reputation and history as a ‘low-rise’ city with just a few skyscrapers concentrated in small pockets.

Cheerleaders say the massive change is the only way to deal with London’s housing crisis by increasing the density of the inner city.

But critics insist the new tower blocks are being built to serve foreign investors who are likely to leave the buildings empty – doing nothing to ease the problems of ordinary Londoners who face soaring rents and house prices.

London 2

This graphic shows how the City of London could look when proposed new skyscrapers are built, after a new report revealed that 263 tall buildings are currently being planned for the UK’s capital.



A projection of how the Southwark area and the banks of the Thames could look when all the new skyscrapers are built.



One Blackfriars, a 50-storey residential tower, pictured from Blackfriars Bridge in an artist’s impression.


Many more here.

Says Antje: “Apparently the new residential high rise apartments are sold to foreign investors by the storey. Many remain empty.”

Exciting Weekend Reading: New Metro Vancouver Reports

May 22, 2015

Metro Vancouver has recently published a number of reports:


And many other materials are also on the new Metro Vancouver website:


Metro Vancouver is supporting the ULI Building Healthy Places event.  See post below.

ULI: How Building Healthy Places is Good for Business – Jun 11

May 22, 2015

Healthy Places_June 2015_updated May 21

Click to enlarge.


Registration here.

Ohrn Words: Choice

May 22, 2015

Ken Ohrn:

People get around in Vancouver in lots of different (and changing) ways.  In this photo, we see what I think are several types of multi-mode trip.


Ohrn Choice


Clearly, people are getting on and off the bus, and walking to their final destination. And one transit passenger has a bike on the bus rack, and will ride it somewhere when they get off the bus, and probably rode it to the bus too.

Meanwhile, across Granville Street at the Vancouver City Centre Canada Line Station, a man walks away from the station after having completed his transit trip. And it is quite possible that one of the bikes parked at the station belongs to someone who made the next part of their journey on the Canada Line.

Lots of ways to get around, lots of great choices.


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