. . . and graffiti. This badly-placed box blocks a chunk of sidewalk.
Plus a replay of the message.
Here’s a fabulous animated swoop (7:09, silent, and worth every second of your time) through the waterfront entertainment district of NEFC. It starts with an overall aerial view of the project, giving a look and feel that is, frankly, exciting; then moves through the District at street level. Many thanks to Joseph Hruda of CIVITAS Urban Design & Master Planning and Concord Pacific.
Things I saw: people, people, people; spaces of all shapes and sizes; places for people to sit, walk, sip, stare, eat, shop, live. More people. Greenways. The bike-ped overpass. Oh yeah, and a few cars.
The Entertainment District: a part of the massive NEFC development.
- SITE AREA: 5.3 Hectares
- DENSITY: 4.9 FAR
- RESIDENTIAL: 230,550 sq.m. (3,550 Units)
- RETAIL: 21,000 sq.m.
- OFFICE: 4,200 sq.m.
Adrienne Tanner writes in the Globe and Mail about Vancouver civic politics. Specifically — bike lane opposition as a traditional NPA platform issue.
She doesn’t think it’s a good idea any more.
It seems that almost everyone in the world except the NPA accepts that separated bike lanes are safer – and cities are rushing to build them.
. . . . Any party that bucks the worldwide cycling trend risks branding itself as a band of troglodytes. It’s a bit like railing against the internet: not a smart move for a party that needs to grow its base and freshen its image.
Really, it would make more sense for the NPA to pivot in favour of active transportation and bike lanes (like the DVBIA, based on their major survey of 11,000 downtown residents, workers, students and shoppers). Vision may be less dominant in the October civic election, leaving a large pro-bike constituency looking for a place to park their votes.
So now on to bigger things: affordable housing; rezoning for density; who’s running for Mayor?
One reigning paradigm of Motordom is that we all buy a car as soon as we can, and just keep on buying every few years for decades. Much to the profit of those who make cars and related stuff.
But it seems this paradigm is already eroding, and undergoing change. My suspicion is that even more change is in the works when and if autonomous vehicles (AVs) become a practical and cost-effective reality. If this does come to pass, it’s likely that the number of active motor vehicles will shrink, and the Ubers of the world will operate large fleets of AV’s at much higher utilization that the single-digit numbers for most currently-owned private cars. This on-demand mobility looks like it may become the new paradigm.
Thanks to VanCity for this look at car-share (17-page PDF). It seems that Vancouver is edging towards the new paradigm.
According to VanCity’s survey and research:
Vancouver has more car-sharing vehicles per capita than any other city in N.A. That’s 3000 vehicles, 4.22 per 1000 population.
Why? Convenience (95% of survey responders); save money (62%); environmental concern (58%).
A surprising finding: only 44% of younger responders agreed that they liked not owning a vehicle. The report’s authors point to money savings as this group’s main reason for using car-share.
Another: 26% of respondents dumped a private vehicle in favour of car-sharing; and 40% avoided buying one.
Expanding transportation choice (options) is the major benefit the survey’s respondents like.
Many thanks to Ralph Segal for this wonderful background on Vancouver’s Northeast False Creek (NEFC) plan, and the thinking that has led to the planned viaducts’ demolition.
This is for those who still question the wisdom of demolishing the Viaducts, as contained in Vancouver’s just released NorthEast False Creek (NEFC) Plan.
Between 2007 and 2010 (prior to my retirement from Planning in late 2011), the City’s NEFC team was developing a detailed Area Plan for implementation which assumed the viaducts were a given. Why would we think otherwise? Viaduct removal was nowhere on our radar. But as the team struggled to address the full range of planning and urban design objectives, development economics, provision of affordable/social housing, parks, etc., etc, we kept running into the obstacles that the viaducts presented….serious compromises to most objectives, sacrificed potential qualitatively, quantitatively and economically, not the least of which was foregoing the freeing up of two City-owned blocks either side of Main St. (800 Main from Quebec to Gore Streets). The list of missed opportunities, diminished “value” (value in the broadest sense, not merely dollars), just kept on growing. This was entirely aside from any concerns about viaduct aesthetics, the under-viaduct environment or negative references to a long-abandoned 1950’s discredited elevated freeway philosophy.
We had to ask – what compelling benefits are provided by the viaducts? The bottom line boiled down to a convenient vehicular access in and out of the Downtown, certainly a worthy benefit. But at what sacrifice to other compromised objectives as well as foregone opportunities! This is the point at which serious investigation of an at-grade street option began for the entire NEFC Plan area. Was there an at-grade street arrangement that would at least equal, or surpass, the viaducts’ vehicular capacity in terms of the City’s overall transportation policy for future Downtown and False Creek Flats development? The ensuing comprehensive investigation has delivered a re-designed “complete streets” network proposal that addresses this issue. Full details of this network are being advanced.
The City’s NEFC Plan illustrates a broad-based approach that can provide a truly transformative environment for this entire east end of the Creek, with vastly improved connectivity to, and enhancement of, surrounding established and future neighbourhoods, the full benefits of which will be passed on to future generations of Vancouverites. The comprehensive process with wide-ranging public consultation through which this Plan has evolved has yielded an outstanding detailed vision.
Corrigan-mageddon joins so many prophesies of doom, at least for now.
Under it’s new leader, Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan, the Mayor’s Council has unanimously supported the Phase 2 Plan of the 10-Year Vision. This is the next major step for Broadway subway, Surrey light rail and Pattullo bridge replacement.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Mayors Council supports the implementation of the Phase Two Plan in early-2018 as planned, including construction of the Surrey-Newton-Guildford LRT, Millennium Line Broadway Extension, the SkyTrain Upgrade Strategy and the replacement of the Pattullo Bridge, along with increases to bus and HandyDART service and funding for walking, cycling and Major Road Network infrastructure across the region;
FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that Mayors’ Council calls on the Province of B.C. to confirm as soon as possible its partnership in delivering the Phase Two Plan as scheduled, including a provincial contribution of a 40% share of capital costs of all projects in the Vision, working with TransLink to support and extend planned increases to HandyDART service and a commitment to work with the Mayors’ Council to close the $60-$80 million annual regional funding gap fairly and affordably to residents;
Update from the Mayor of Surrey:
Major Investments in the 2018 Investment Plan:
Vancouver staff released a 368 page PDF today to council recommending the approval of the next big steps forward for the Northeast False Creek and the Viaducts Replacement Project. Council receives it for approval during the 09:30 a.m. meeting on Wednesday January 31, 2018.
For anyone wondering what “city-making” means — this is what it looks like. It’s big; it’s ambitious; it’s expensive; it’s transformational on a huge scale.
It now includes the Housing Vancouver Strategy, seeking to “. . . permanently secure long-term affordability of all future social and affordable housing units . . ” within the plans’ areas.
Other big things:
- Potentially generating $1,700M in public amenity contributions (see para 10.1, p43)
- Build-out estimated to take 20 years
- 10,000 – 20,000 new residents, all within many transportation choices
- 6,000 to 8,000 new jobs
- 1,800 new social housing units (estimated 3,250 residents)
- 32 acres (or so) of new parks and open spaces
The report also provides a comprehensive summary of the public consultation results, the approach to the longer term implementation of the NEFC Plan and Viaducts Replacement Project, and an update on the emerging design for the parks and open space in the future Northeast False Creek.
. . . Given the unique circumstances in Northeast False Creek of creating a plan that is dependent on a substantial infrastructure replacement project for all of Vancouver, the report summarizes some critical technical work that City staff and consultants completed to ensure that the plan can be implemented following Council approval. On the transportation and infrastructure side, there are now detailed designs (90% construction ready) for removal of the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts, approximately eight kilometres of street with associated bicycle lanes and accessible sidewalks, improvements to approximately 40 new and existing intersections, and plans for the relocation and upgrade for approximately 16 City and third-party utilities. In terms of parks and open space, Park Board and City staff have been working with our international consultants and the community on the conceptual design for the largest and potentially the most impressive addition of parks and open space in the downtown in decades, and the report updates Council on the emerging design including a recommendation to continue collaboration with important interests into early 2018.
For those deprived so far today of a reason to foam at the mouth — the report contains the word “bicycle” in 14 places, and the viaducts are still coming down (p 47, table 2). Let the ranting begin.
If you’d rather have a constructive and public bash at the plan, why not attend City Council, and be a speaker, when it’s presented for approval to council at the meeting that starts on Wednesday January 31 at 09:30 a.m.
Vancouver’s Mobi (by Shaw Go) has some interesting times ahead. Next-gen dockless systems are edging nearer. Costs march downwards as competition rears its head.
While it’s one thing to be the first to put bike-share into a city, it’s a new world when the second comes along.
It becomes harder for each to compete, due to revenue split. But the business should eventually drain to the low-cost entrant, as long as other things like coverage and ease-of-use are the same. In this case, U-bicycle charges $1 for 30 minutes, drawn from cash deposited in the rider’s account. Mobi has a much broader and more complex charge scheme based on daily, quarterly or yearly membership fees. But you’d be hard-pressed to ride enough to get your per-ride Mobi costs down to $1 for 30 minutes.
For the rider, it becomes a choice: both systems, or one. A membership fee at one or a deposit at the other. One app or two. For the city, it is more complex. Several hundred docks, or several thousand bikes at racks and lamp-posts within the coverage area. Stranding a supported system vs. no-cost entrant. And who knows what lurks behind the scenes in the agreements and understandings with Shaw around their sponsorship.
The concept of integrating Mobi and U-bicycle looks like a non-starter. Starting with the apps, then cost structure, money-handling, telecommunications, back-end logistics, customer service, fines and pick-up fees, revenue-splitting, cost allocation. [Shudder: Two bosses].
Second is Dropbike, recently approved by city Council in Kelowna for up to 1,200 bikes in an 18-month no-cost pilot starting April, 2018. Interesting difference to U-bicycle is the Dropbike concept of “parking havens”, where riders are encouraged to leave their bikes when the ride is over. Cost is really low, at $1 per hour, with extra cost if you don’t drop the bike at a haven. Otherwise the two systems are similar, and so are the bikes. Dropbike won’t supply helmets.
Kerry Jang, after 10 years as a Vision Vancouver councilor, will not run for re-election in October 2018. Out of 11 council members (including the Mayor) as of today there will be at least 6 new people after October 20, 2018 (including Bremner).
Since the last election in 2014, we have these changes:
Vision Out: Robertson, Meggs, Reimer, Stevenson, Jang
In: Louie, Deal
NPA Out: Affleck
In: De Genova, Ball, Bremner
Green In: Carr
Locations are clustered along commercial areas in the city. Apparently, there is no cost to the city, and none to the public during use.
. . . the Shaw offering also includes an additional 500 plus WiFi locations spread widely throughout the downtown core and surrounding areas, including the following highly-concentrated spaces:
• Broadway (Oak to Cambie)
• Commercial Drive (Venables to 1st Ave)
• Davie Street (Jervis to Burrard)
• Denman Street (from Davie to W. Georgia)
• Downtown Eastside
• Granville Street (from Drake to Cordova)
• Main Street (Broadway to E. 16th Ave)
• Robson Street (from Denman to Burrard)
It also includes 125 Mobi by Shaw Go bike station locations, of which 49 are currently enabled with #VanWiFi provided by Shaw.
Bandwidth speed will generally be 10 Mbps and there is no limit or cap on data
usage. No personal information is required to access the VanWiFi network.
To connect to VanWiFi:
- Select the VanWiFi network name from your device’s Wi-Fi settings menu
- Open your browser and you will be automatically re-directed to the WiFi terms and conditions page. Read and then click the button to accept the terms and conditions.
- You will be re-directed to the VanWiFi home page (vanwifi.vancouver.ca) and are then connected to the internet.
Results of a recent study from UBC asking 260 people about their bike trips — purpose and how fast (among other things).
It’s seems that the 2000+ bike trips were mostly for utilitarian reasons: 75% (school, errand, work).
Also, in the coming months we will share research reports and papers generated from this data on our website.
Dr. Alex Bigazzi
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Civil Engineering and School of Community and Regional Planning, The University of British Columbia
Amazon has announced its short-list for the new HQ 2. Vancouver is not on the list.
Montgomery County, Md.
Late on a foggy day in Vancouver. A view over False Creek, Kits Point and the Maritime Museum.
A reminder that some 20 job openings are available HERE. This has been and continues to be a terrific place to work.
Come and work at the Best Airport in North America! There are currently 20 job openings at Vancouver Airport Authority in areas such as Emergency Planning, Airside Safety, Baggage and Graphic Design. Join the team.
Despite the recent efforts by NPA Councilors DeGenova and Affleck on twitter to rile up opposition to the proposed Cambie Bridge bike lane, the public has responded in the same way they did in 2011 and 2014.
- We like bike lanes
It’s a handy barometer of public opinion going in to the 2018 civic election.
As we have all become aware, the blunt tweet has emerged as a tactic in political circles.
Right here in Vancouver, two NPA members of city council have taken a lesson from a certain famous Twitt-o-phile. And the resulting tweets use SHOUTING and an angry GIF, it seems, to rile up a shrinking segment of the electorate in the City of Vancouver (motor vehicle operators) at the expense of a rapidly growing segment (people who ride bikes). Oh yeah, and ignoring DVBIA support for the new Cambie Bridge bike lane.
In any case, these are clearly divisive efforts that failed miserably in 2011 and 2014. It’s worth a glance at the replies, which (at the time of writing this) strongly support more safe and effective infrastructure for people riding a bike.
Someone has built a nifty library on the Arbutus Greenway (near 49th Avenue).
But now, that’s so passe. This time, it’s a hydrogen fuel cell. With thanks to Reuters.
[Ed: note the small box-like object near the bike’s front wheel. It’s the fuel cell.]
Pragma Industries, which is based in Biarritz, France and makes fuel cells for military use, has sold some 60 hydrogen-powered bikes to French municipalities including Saint Lo, Cherbourg, Chambery and Bayonne.
. . . “Many others have made hydrogen bike prototypes, but we are the first to move to series production,” said founder and chief executive Pierre Forte.
The firm’s Alpha bike runs for about 100 km (62 miles) on a two-litre tank of hydrogen, a range similar to an electric bike, but a refill takes only minutes while e-bikes take hours to charge. One kilo of hydrogen holds about 600 times more energy than a one-kilo lithium battery.
. . . With bike’s range limited by the size of the hydrogen tank, Pragma is also working on a bike that will convert plain water into hydrogen aboard the bike, using a chemical reaction between water and aluminum or magnesium powder to produce hydrogen gas.
“In the next two-three years we want to enter the consumer market and massively increase the scale of our operations,” said Forte.