London England is always slightly ahead of the curve and the Evening Standard reports on the cutting edge work of a community alliance formed by “London Living Streets, 20s Plenty for Us and Living Streets”, to make them more comfortable and safer for all users. They are calling for “segregated cycle lanes, the removal of gyratory systems and a default, London-wide 20mph speed limit.” as well as a ban on those large digital advertising signs, the removal of central white lines on roads, and the use of speed cameras on all bridges.
By introducing these concepts as well as narrowing streets and full time, capital-wide road-pricing they believe that fatalities and serious injuries can be alleviated. Other recommendations are regulating autonomous vehicle speeds, and ensuring that trucks have side baffles to ensure that pedestrians and cyclists are not dragged under the truckbeds at corners.
“Some of these policies have been considered before but it has been very piecemeal,” said group spokesman Jeremy Leach. “We have already seen support for this from the new Mayor’s administration and Transport for London but we want them all pulled together under an effective ‘Vision Zero’ policy. We know from looking at other cities that these measures work. It would be daft not to try them.”
If you have ventured out to this mall which takes up 1.2 million square feet of real estate, you will have noticed that it is very much the same kind of mall reminiscent of the last century. It is located very close to the Tsawwassen Ferry terminal on the Delta flood plain which did contain the most arable soils in Canada. It has no density around it, and while there are transit connections, it’s still a hike to get there from anywhere. To attract employees the mall has laid on its own bus to move employees from Scott Road Station in Surrey. This mall is really designed with its 6,000 parking spaces for people with vehicles prepared to drive a long way and go for a day shopping. It’s so twentieth century.
The mall is very lightly used by consumers on weekdays. There is such little mall traffic that the whole place shut down early with some of the winter snow storms in order to get employees safely home. Most evenings the mall is fairly empty. The idea of pedestrians walking to the mall was never really thought of, despite the fact that Tsawwassen is just across the seven lane highway. Price Tags has previously written about the accessibility challenges for pedestrians and cyclists.
As reported in the Delta Optimist the Corporation of Delta has been lobbying for a five million dollar pedestrian overpass at Highway 17 and 52nd Street to get pedestrians safely across the street to the mall. This intersection has been fabulously overbuilt by the Province in true super highway style, with dedicated right lanes on and off of 52nd Street, despite the fact that traffic is throttling down to a municipal two lane road. Pedestrians and cyclists have to cross 40 meters across seven lanes of traffic and two turning lanes, leapfrogging to tiny cement pedestrian refuge “islands”. There are lots of improvements that could be made at grade to make it easier for pedestrians to cross to/from the mall that would not require a huge pedestrian bridge. But that is not in the purview of Delta, or the Province. It’s all about that five million dollar pedestrian bridge.
Transportation Minister Todd Stone wrote the Corporation of Delta stating he’s been evaluating the intersection and “These assessments found that pedestrian volumes were lower than the forecasted volumes which were considered when the business case was undertaken to address the merits of a pedestrian overpass. In addition, staff did not observe pedestrian overcrowding on the traffic islands or any other pedestrian related safety concerns.”
And here’s the best part- “The current intersection improvements, like similar intersections within the Lower Mainland, provide adequate accommodation for pedestrians and cyclists.” Even the Delta Chief of Police has weighed in, noting that in his expertise the length of the intersection, the signal timing and traffic speed make pedestrian access across Highway 17 challenging. Meanwhile, Tsawwassen Mills Mall motors on, looking for those last-century consumers willing to spend a day at the mall.
Peter Ladner writing in Business in Vancouver is a former city councillor, an avid bike rider, and a proud citizen of Metro Vancouver. He has called out the “inane election promises that threaten urban mobility initiatives” in his latest editorial. Metro Vancouver’s mobility has been shoved aside as an afterthought by the lack of careful thinking and crafting of what should be the Provincial showpiece and jewel-the public transit and movement of Metro’s citizens.
As Peter states “In moves reminiscent of last election’s sudden dumbest-move-ever call for a referendum on regional transportation funding, both the BC Liberals and NDP have done a deep dive into the stupid-policy pit. The BC Liberals have promised to cap tolls on existing and future bridges at $500 per year per person, and the NDP would get rid of tolls altogether. No, no one consulted the regional transportation plan or its guardians (TransLink and the Mayors’ Council, both created by the provincial government)…
Just as the Mayors’ Council and TransLink are about to set up an arm’s-length commission to explore options for mobility pricing to #curecongestion (a debatable goal, but leave that aside), the province has clamped the handcuffs on. Without a measured look at the current unfair toll regime in the context of all the other transportation funding options, the opportunity to link fairer regional fundraising to reducing congestion becomes a distant haze.”
“Both the BC Liberals and NDP have now made improved mobility immeasurably more difficult by arbitrarily changing an unfair bridge tolling policy with no public input except perceived anger from motorists.”
The “vote-now, pay-later” program policy assigned to bridge tolls by two of the political parties is in direct odds with the Mayors’ Council’s work as well as a prudent approach to accessibility and affordability for citizens. Peter also takes a further swing at proposed energy and mega projects steered by the current Provincial party. In summation, Peter notes:
“If only voters would see into these dark holes and realize what will really happen to their taxes and their commute times after today’s false promises have hit the wall. But that probably won’t happen. Both the NDP and BC Liberals are counting on that.”
From the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation:
There is a lot at stake in this provincial election. Already, transportation is becoming a key issue in the campaign, as evidenced by two announcements by the BC Liberals and BC NDP yesterday, proposing changes to the region’s tolling system.
The Mayors’ Council responded to the proposals by pointing out that neither party has yet committed to workable solutions that will reduce congestion across our region over the long term. Completing the 10-Year Vision should be the first priority for both our provincial and regional governments if we want to relieve congestion, improve affordability and protect the quality of life in Metro Vancouver.
If you haven’t already, please Take Action on our website, where you can show your support for completing the 10-Year Vision and take a brief survey. Responses are by first name and postal code only. Encourage your friends, family, colleagues and others to visit our site and Take Action, and we’ll be able to share your responses with the political parties as part of our candidate outreach activities.
Here’s how the Mayors’ Council is trying to make transit a provincial election issue:
Curing congestion – who could be against that? And it resonates nicely with more than a half-century of advertising for nasal congestion that we have embedded in our minds.
But a note of caution …
We always think of congestion as a bad thing – and at some particular choke points, it is. But beyond the most egregious examples, there’s a belief that, ideally, traffic should always be able to flow at the posted speed limit.
So is congestion, then, traffic that is moving at 20 kmh rather than 50? Should our transportation system be aiming for constant free-flowing traffic at high speeds everywhere, all the time. That’s what the functional definition of congestion implies.(Tom-Tom is Smart-Smart – and Dumb-Dumb.) However, to achieve that ideal means destroying the idea of the city as a place of human exchange, with commensurately crowded public spaces.
The congestion-free ideal is used to justify billions in excessive transportation infrastructure that at best will temporarily deal with only one choke point and then, literally and metaphorically, move the problem down the road.
“This will be the largest bridge ever built in B.C. When completed, it will address what is now the worst traffic bottleneck in the province and bring travel time reliability to one of our most important transportation corridors, serving national, provincial and regional economies,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister, Todd Stone in December, 2016.
Nor will transit ‘solve’ the problem. It offers a choice and can help prevent a road-based problem from becoming a lot worse. It helps shape a less car-dependent urban form. But so long as the mentality of the ever-expanding free road exists, transit won’t deliver what the advertising promises: a cure for congestion.
If we continue to offer an illusion, we’ll be taking on a challenge that we can’t, and shouldn’t, meet.
Kenneth Chan in the DailyHive expands on what is known about transit for the Arbutus corridor. My general thoughts are: More choices to more places. A good thing — bring it on.
There’s an opinion poll in the article — running around 6:1 in favour of Arbutus’ light rail (at time of writing).
Why transit at all? Well, there’s that pesky matter of the agreement with CP Rail to buy their old abandoned rail line.
The City of Vancouver says its use of the former railway strip is defined by its purchase agreement with Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), and this agreement establishes the Corridor be used for walking, cycling, and light rail.
“The City in its capacity as owner of the Lands will commence and expedite an internal planning process to design the portion of the lands for light rail use and walking and cycling use,” reads Article 9 in the agreement between both parties. . .
. . . Arbutus Corridor is suitable for light rail given it runs on a pre-existing railway right-of-way and there are only 10 street crossings along a 55-block stretch of the route. It could potentially complement the Canada Line, acting as a ‘relief line’ for the parallel route, especially with the underground Broadway extension of the Millennium Line terminating at the intersection of Arbutus Street and Broadway.
However, such a train system is likely many years away with the Broadway extension and the new light rail transit system in Surrey designated as regional priorities. TransLink and the Mayor’s Council have not identified the next rail rapid transit priorities following the completion of the current slate of transit expansion plans.
More of Mr. Chan’s earlier thoughts on light rail for the Arbutus Corridor and elsewhere:
An Arbutus light rail line would likely begin as a natural southern extension of the long-proposed Downtown Vancouver streetcar – from the existing railway right-of-way along South False Creek that starts near Granville Island and ends just west of the Cambie Street Bridge, behind the Canada Line’s Olympic Village Station entrance building. The Arbutus Corridor’s northern tip is just one block away, separated from the start of the South False Creek railway corridor by only a strip mall.
According to THIS by Richard Zussman on the CBC web site, we can expect the Province of BC to match the $ 2.2B Federal contribution to transit expansion in the Metro Vancouver area. Official word at 9 a.m.
Isn’t April Fools’ day tomorrow? Or did I wake up in an alternate universe?
No matter. This is a good announcement. Glad to hear it.
But this does leave open the question as to where the other 20% will come from:
CBC Story: The municipalities, represented by the TransLink Mayors Council, will now be responsible for finding the additional 20 per cent to cover the estimated $5.5 billion it will cost for the two major projects.
A senior member of the provincial government says it is willing to work with the municipalities to figure out how to fund their share.
Following last week’s federal budget, de Jong said the province’s suggested option is for municipalities to use money from the developments along the transit lines to pay for the transit projects
In that Provincial story that just doesn’t change and won’t go away the Delta Optimist’s Ian Jacques lets us know that Peter Fassbender, minister of community sport, culture development and minister responsible for TransLink has spoken. Despite the fact that the Federal Government has earmarked 2.2 billion dollars for transit and for the replacement of the Patullo Bridge, and nothing for the massive multi billion dollar proposed Massey Bridge, the Province is doggedly determined to go forward with their bridge reincarnation of the Massey Tunnel.
And there is a bit of a backhand at the Federal government and the Metro Mayors too-the Province is not going to match the 2.2 billion dollars in transit funding provided by the Federal government, insisting that the Metro region pony up with 33 per cent of the funding. But somehow the Province will have 3.5 billion dollars (at current estimates) for this bridge, despite Metro Mayors’ protest that it is overbuilt, in the wrong place, on a floodplain river delta, further compromising the Fraser River estuary and decimating the most arable farmland in Canada. But never mind, back to the Provincial government’s point of view.
“Fassbender said according to the feds, the project is not eligible because it is already in effect underway and the transit funding announced is for rapid transit projects on existing or new infrastructure.” The Mayor of Delta (and the only mayor of the Metro Mayors supportive of the Massey Bridge) provided a positive spin. “We have a great deal of dollars coming from the feds relative to the Alex Fraser, the interchanges at Highway 17, at the weigh scales and the bottom of Nordel Way, so we have a lot of federal money coming to Delta and I’m ecstatic about that. What we are doing, and have continued to do, is talk with Ottawa and all work together to try and get additional funding for the bridge and if that happens, great, but it doesn’t change the situation.”
The situation is clear that the Province wants this bridge at all costs. Imagine what 3.5 billion dollars could do for improved public transportation in the region. And remember that the Province valued this overbuilt bridge instead of a more comprehensive metro Vancouver public transportation network.
The Federal government’s budget came down last week and it was called “Building a Strong Middle Class”. With that sentiment, the Federal Government provided 2.2 billion dollars for Greater Vancouver transportation projects including a Broadway subway, Surrey light rail and replacing the Pattullo Bridge. These are all part of the TransLink Mayors’ 10-year Greater Vancouver transportation plan.
Surprise! As reported in the Delta Optimist by Ian Jacques the Federal government didn’t provide any funding for the single-minded Provincial government support of the Massey Bridge, so the Province will have to pony up the $3.5 billion dollar estimated cost on their own.
The Province had one more salvo for Metro Vancouver mayors who have universally rued (except for the Mayor of Delta) the placement of this overbuilt Massey bridge in a location that will have dire ecological ramifications and is quite frankly in the wrong place for the region. The Province announced they will not be matching the Federal mass transit and transportation funding for Metro Vancouver. Nope. The cities still have to find a third of the funding.
Think about that-this is the Province that insisted on a Metro Vancouver referendum to fund transit despite the wishes of Metro Vancouver mayors. This was a 7.5 billion dollar plan, with one third each being provided by the Federal, Provincial, and Municipal governments IF voters accepted a 0.5 per cent infrastructure sales tax. That initiative was sounded defeated, with Transportation Minister Todd Stone victoriously concluding “We are very proud that we fulfilled our commitment to give the people of the region a voice”. At that time the Minister also stated “Doing nothing is simply not an option. The region is going to have to decide how it’s going to come up with its one-third of the cost.”
Is the funding missing for Metro Vancouver’s transit and transportation plan going towards the Massey Bridge? And where will the Province come up with the billions of dollars for the 2016 estimated cost of 3.5 billion dollars? Surely there is a less costly solution that could include mass transit and a smaller ecological footprint.
The Mayor’s council has sent out this press release on today’s Federal Gov’t Budget announcement. It looks like ~ $ 2.2B for the Millennium Line Broadway Extension (a.k.a. Broadway subway) and the Surrey LRT. Smaller things too.
Pattullo Bridge replacement funding is a little less clear.
Today the TransLink Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation welcomed the Government of Canada’s commitment of approximately $2.2 billion in its 2017-2018 budget which marks the next step forward in building two critically important rapid transit projects in Metro Vancouver.
The estimated contribution from the government’s Public Transit Infrastructure Fund (PTIF) builds upon an initial commitment of $370 million for local transit projects in 2016, which at a combined total of $2.6 billion marks the single largest federal investment in Metro Vancouver transportation in at least 20 years.
TransLink and the Mayors’ Council can now move forward in negotiations with the provincial government to secure matching funds for Phase Two of the 10-Year Vision for Metro Vancouver Transit and Transportation, which includes construction of the Millennium Line Broadway Extension in Vancouver and the Surrey LRT, as well as increased service on existing SkyTrain lines, continued expansion of bus service in every corner of the region, and new funding for major roads, walking and cycling infrastructure.
Time for the Province to pitch in.
A video making the rounds — now here on PT. Runs 1:39.
The post on the World’s Best Bus Stop in Singapore got a lot of interest. You can actually see it under construction on Google Maps Streetview:
Tim Barton asked:
Does the amount of stuff to do here suggest that people are waiting a long time for a bus? I love this, but I would hope that people aren’t waiting long enough to make use of most of it. Shelter, seating, landscaping and bus time info excellent though.
Here are some of the buses on the Departure board:
So no, a Singaporean is probably not waiting very long – or at least knows when the next bus is coming. (That makes such a difference). And has a lot of choice.
BTW, you can do exactly the same thing in Vancouver:
I just can’t check out a library book at my bus stop.
The provincial government is able to generate budget surpluses thanks to the economic engine that is known as Metro Vancouver – the cash cow of British Columbia. But though the Liberals are able to tap the cream from the cow, especially its real estate values, they don’t have to be particularly nice to the cow.
Latest evidence comes from the always-helpful SCI Update:
While the BC budget promises “$24.5 billion over three years in new and upgraded provincial infrastructure spending”, funding for a number of key infrastructure projects for the Metro region are conspicuous by their absence.
The biggest missing piece is a provincial commitment to funding a portion of the $700 million (estimated) upgrade of the Lions Gate Waste Water Treatment plant. The federal government has already committed $212 million to the project in the 2016 budget, and the Metro Vancouver Board of Directors has formally committed a 2 one-third share of the project, but Metro has been waiting for a provincial response to it’s funding application for well over a year. The 2017 budget makes no mention of the project.
And then this quite astonishing figure:
92% of major transportation capital spending in region is for Massey bridge
Transportation Ministry budget documents list $3.8 billion in planned spending for major capital projects in the Metro region from 2017-2024, but almost all of this money ($3.48 billion or 92%) is for the proposed Massey Tunnel replacement bridge project. Most Metro municipalities have expressed opposition to the proposal.
The Ministry of Transportation service plan accompanying the budget lists $320 million in spending for other major transportation projects in the region until 2024, but the province has so far committed only $99 million of that amount. $122 million of the funding for those projects is from the federal government, $69 million is from local governments and the remainder is not accounted for in the service plan.
Especially when compared to this:
Transit – where is the commitment to Phase II of the transit plan?
Metro is deeply concerned about the budget’s failure to commit to Phase Two of the Mayors’ council’s 10-year transit plan. Phase One, currently underway, is focused on reducing current overcrowding and congestion, but the province has yet to commit to Phase Two, which focuses on major transit expansion to address regional growth. This includes most of the big pieces in the 10-year plan, including new bus and SkyTrain service, the Millennium Line Broadway Extension and the Surrey-Newton-Guildford LRT projects, the replacement of the Pattullo Bridge, and addressing key traffic bottlenecks across the region.
But there are still a few months to go to the election. Things could change.
The Arbutus Greenway is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create something big, wonderful and enduring for active transportation in Vancouver. Thankfully, citizens have beaten back the effort to turn it into a private park (complete with heritage blackberry bushes, whose berries go so well with crème-de-la-crème and cocktails). Citizens went to open houses in energetic droves to toss in their wishes, hopes and fears.
But what comes next?
Naiobh O’Connor, writing in the Vancouver Courier, asked Lon LaClaire, Vancouver’s Director of Transportation, to discuss the upcoming design effort. Wondering, like everyone, how to squeeze in walkers, rollers of various kinds, bike riders and provisions for an eventual light rail system. Not to mention art, history, planters and whatever else came up from the consultations.
Personally, I’ll be most interested in intersections, since this is where danger lurks. I’d be delighted to see grade-separation in a few places where the Greenway crosses arterials. I’ll be looking for design options in the fall, and preferred options in the spring of 2018.
From the Vancouver Courier: Greenway project staff are now analyzing a mountain of feedback. Close to 4,000 people submitted input — 3,000 completed a city survey, 910 visited two pop-up events and 260 attended open houses. . . .
The corridor ranges in width from 15 to 20 metres, raising anxiety the city is trying to pack too many uses in. It’s a point raised during consultation where one of the main messages LaClaire heard was “people want something pretty simple.”
“I heard some people concerned about what we’re trying to fit in the right-of-way… trying to fit a streetcar, walking and cycling doesn’t leave much space,” he said. “That is going to be a challenge in the design. It will be interesting in the next phase, when we come up with options, how it can fit and get people’s reactions.”
Deciding the route for the future streetcar is one the first priorities because it will inform the rest of the design. There may be portions where the tracks could veer off the corridor and move back on at a different point. LaClaire has been talking with city engineers about the possibilities. . . .
But detailed design work on the final greenway is a long way off. This fall, design options will be unveiled followed by further consultation. A preferred option, which might be a combination of more than one, will be released in the spring of 2018.
Transit Success: The Evergreen Line extension. Lots of people riding; and lots of development along it should mean even more riders coming. And many are taking local trips. With thanks to Gary McKenna in the Tri-City News.
More than 30,000 riders per day are using the Evergreen Extension, making up half of all weekday transit trips in the area, according to numbers released Friday by TransLink.
CEO Kevin Desmond told The Tri-City News that Compass Card data shows a significant number of commuters have been travelling to destinations within Port Moody and Coquitlam since Evergreen opened on Dec. 2. “Twenty per cent of those trips start and stop within the Tri-Cities,” he said, later adding, “That gives you a sense of those activity nodes.”
By comparison, the 97 B-Line bus service that was replaced by Evergreen had 10,000 passengers per weekday, a third of the number used by SkyTrain since it opened on Dec. 2.
Transit Follies: Meanwhile, at the development by Onni Group at the 25-acre George Pearson Lands, it looks like the developers may be shying away from adding a transit stop to the Canada Line (@ Cambie & 57th). This despite open house promo material (below). If so, this mistake would deprive new and existing residents of the area of a healthy alternative way to get around. [Thx Frances Bula].
A neglected opportunity like this would be a big bad mistake, and a source for decades of regret.
A special-interest way to romp through Vancouver, with the route based on where beer gets brewed. Geography meets travel, thanks to Aaron Licker at Licker Geospatial Consulting (LGeo), showing off his Geographical Information Systems (GIS) skills.
While the map’s text says “transit”, the routes are based on walking, bike riding and bus riding. Note approximate travel timings at the map’s bottom, and allow stopover times in addition to travel times when you plan your next tour.
Remember the Tom Tom Annual Survey of Traffic Congestion suggesting that Vancouver is a parking lot of traffic? And Minister of Transportation Todd Stone calling the Massey Tunnel one of the most congested places in British Columbia according to a Canadian Automobile Association Survey?
Business in Vancouver reporter Patrick Blennerhasset cuts through the congestion chat by talking to a transportation expert, City of Vancouver Manager of Transportation Steve Brown. Steve notes that we need to define what we mean by congestion. Congestion can also be a very good thing-if transit or biking or walking is more efficient and gets you to a place faster, then congestion is your active transportation friend. The slower traffic, the safer active transportation users are too-while only ten per cent of pedestrians will survive a vehicular collision at 50 km/h that rises to a 90 per cent chance of survival with a vehicular collision at 30 km/h.
Steve Brown has great logic-“the key for Vancouver to continue to relieve congestion lies in creating alternative transportation methods to automobile trips…Over the last few years, we have seen a lot more concerns over congestion. And because we’re kind of falling behind on some of our transit infrastructure investments, we’re seeing that there are tending to be more trips lately relying on the road network.”
So…bolstering active transportation and transit reduces congestion, actually making driving easier for folks that want to do this. But doesn’t that defeat the purpose? And that is where misinformation comes in.
“Last year, Langley City councillor Nathan Pachal compiled the 2016 Transit Report Card of Major Canadian Regions. He gave Vancouver a high ranking in terms of public transportation—second only to Montreal—using Canada Transit’s Fact Book 2014 Operating Data by the Canadian Urban Transit Association, which gathers its data from transit agencies across the country and Statistics Canada’s National Household Survey. Pachal also called into question the accuracy of the TomTom rankings. He said during the transit referendum in 2015, discussion around congestion in Vancouver reached a fever pitch.”
And back to those Tom Tom Statistics-those are predicated upon counting the extra travel time during peak hours for a vehicle versus the time taken to travel during no traffic conditions, and then multiplied for 230 working days a year. Remember that Tom Tom’s clients are drivers, and therefore cities with freeways and highways that provide a quick exit are ranked highly, with no ranking given to alternative transit modes or active transportation.
While Vancouver ranked as the 34th most congested cities for vehicle users according to Tom Tom, “the INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard, has ranked Vancouver 157th worldwide in terms of traffic congestion.” Why? Because INRIX a Kirkland, Washington-based transportation analytics company, analyzed traffic congestion in 1,064 cities for its second annual report. Its methodology calculates congestion at different times of the day in different parts of a city using 500 terabytes of data from 300 million different sources covering over five million miles of road. ” This is a much more sophisticated analysis on “overall travel times” as opposed to peak versus free-flow times.
But neither of these two approaches factor in active transportation or transit, and measure a city’s performance by the efficiency of this type of movement. While Tom Tom may be getting a lot of attention, the INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard is perhaps a more accurate gauge. Here’s to an index that also factors in other users besides vehicular.
INRIX Global Traffic Index Scorecard:
- Los Angeles
- New York
- San Francisco
- Bogota, Colombia
- Sao Paolo, Brazil
- London, England
- Magnitogorsk, Russia
- Paris, France
TomTom Traffic Index ranking:
- Mexico City
- Bangkok, Thailand
- Jakarta, Indonesia
- Chongqing, China
- Bucharest, Romania
- Istanbul, Turkey
- Chengdu, China
- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Beijing, China
- Changsha, China
With Phase 1 of the 10-year TransLink plan funded and work well underway, people are wondering where the money will come from for Phase 2, where some really big bucks get spent. Broadway Subway, Surrey light rail, Pattullo Bridge.
Minister Fassbender is proposing transit be (at least partly) financed by cashing in on the increase in land value and ensuing profits for developments built around transit stations. He assured BC municipalities that he is not planning to rob their piggy-banks.
Hello Broadway Extension; goodbye CAC’s. And welcome to a “transit-supporting levy” collected and administered by your Provincial Gov’t.
Note that the Mayors previously proposed a “region-wide development fee” to help fund transit. This fee would apply region-wide, with possibly higher rate for higher-density transit oriented developments. See page 35 of the Mayor’s 10-Year Vision Investment Plan.
Thanks to Frances Bula in the Globe and Mail.
Other cities, notably Metro Toronto, have considered this kind of “land-value capture” system for financing transit, as well. Some look to the City of Vancouver’s existing method of community-amenity contributions as a model. Vancouver negotiates with developers to give back community benefits equivalent to 75 per cent of the land-value increase they see when their land is rezoned.
Vancouver is especially likely to be concerned how its approach would be disrupted by a new transit levy.
The city collected $105-million in 2015 in community amenity contributions from developers who got rezonings. Half of that went to an affordable-housing fund, while the remainder was spent on heritage, parks, community centres and child-care facilities
Thanks to the deadlock on transit funding broken by the promise of big bucks from the federal government, TransLink is both getting its act together (with a recharge from Kevin Desmond, new CEO) and getting support across political and government lines.
It’s easy to discount anything TransLink and/or government does, but this is good news in the right direction. Here’s an example from the HUB newsletter: