Just up harbour at CRAB Park – the first-ever Ce Soir Noir.
Or as The Sun cleverly described the two: Black and White and Bread All Over. But in my opinion, heh, CRAB took the cake:
One of the biggest differences in the two events, in addition to colour and demographics, was how the respective crowds arrived:
Something never seen before: a playground full of kids, all in black.
Bravo to the creators and organizers. Just the right amount of people, creativity and civility.
Photo by Michael Alexander
Easy prediction: Ce Soir Noir will become a global complement to Dîner en Blanc.
Danger: It will become so popular, it too may have to limit capacity.
And then: La Fête Gris.
It’s just a matter of time before those fighting the densification of their communities figure something out: When high-density neighbourhoods are being justified by planners because they are supportive of transit, what’s the justification when there won’t be any assurance of more transit?
From today’s Sun:
Townhouses replace trees in south Surrey neighbourhood
In Sunnyside Heights … a parcel of land has been stripped clean and covered with townhouses baking in the sun. A grove of trees shades an old rancher next door, but a city sign suggests officials will punch a road through those trees to connect with the city grid on the other side.
“It’s extremely worrisome,” said Clinker’s neighbour, Sybil Rowe. “The total character of south Surrey is being erased. This is one of the last beautiful parts of the Lower Mainland left.”
Such cries are coming from all corners of south Surrey, following massive transformations in areas such as Morgan Creek, Elgin and Sunnyside. Many residents lament the loss of the mature trees, while others like Clinker worry the city doesn’t have the infrastructure, schools or transit to handle a flood of people to the area.
City officials, often criticized for the pro-development stance, argue they have little choice. With Surrey welcoming 1,000 new residents every month, planner Jean Lamontagne said the city must create higher density around its town centres, including south Surrey.
This has led to a shift in zoning in some areas from suburban to urban, or bylaw changes to allow more units on two- or five-acre lots that have had just one home on them. Nearby Clayton, for instance, once a farming community bordering Cloverdale, is now wall-to-wall development.
“The reality is that with the price of land and the price of housing, if we want to provide an affordable product, the type of development is much more dense,” Lamontagne said.
Lamontagne acknowledges south Surrey lacks in transit and other infrastructure, but attempts to address those issues by building transit hubs and collecting development cost charges to build utilities and widen roads. The rest is out of the city’s hands, he said, as it counts on the province to upgrade Peace Arch Hospital, transit and build new schools.
The situation has led to a grassroots movement among residents, such as those in Royal Heights and Crescent Beach Annex, who have convinced the city to preserve their neighbourhoods’ character with special zoning to keep small homes on residential lots. Such zoning requires 80 per cent support of neighbours in an area.
What this seems to be saying is that Surrey will continue to zone for high-density transit hubs, but the only money on the table will be for widening roads – no doubt connecting to the widened freeways being funded by the Province.
How long before a Council, in the face of public protest, refuses to upzone – or more dramatically downzones – a neighbourhood plan because TransLink affirms that there will be no more service (unless it removes some from elsewhere in the region, leading to more protest)?
That would send a shockwave through the development community, which so far seems to think that it is business as usual; somehow money will be found to fund the transit on which their strategies are based.
In the event of a reversal, I wonder what they would then say to the Liberal Party fundraisers.
Paris has nothing on North Vancouver.
Dan Ross, the Transportation Work Group Manager at Opus International Consultants, reports on the recent Lonsdale Car Free Day and Slide the City.
It was a beautiful day, and for those who pre-paid their tickets and didn’t mind waiting in about a kilometre-long queue, the 1,000-foot long waterslide down Lonsdale Avenue in North Vancouver (6th Street to 3rd Street) was worth it.
The rest of the Car Free Day events were south of 3rd Street down past Esplanade Avenue and to the shipyards at Carrie Cates Ct. There weren’t the mob-deep crowds who attended Car Free days in Vancouver in July; the Lonsdale event was also a little more family friendly and genteel by comparison (this is still the North Shore), but there was a good, critical mass of attendees and it was a lot of fun.
Kudos to the City of North Vancouver for organizing and hope to see many more of these next summer.
Health-care dollars are in the news – this time, with twinning of one sickening and one wonderful twist. And a strong sense that while people can change, accountability for public attacks is really all too rare (all is fair in politics and war, and memories are short, we seem to think).
First: By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver.
A local study has shown the enormous cost of injuries to people in BC — some 456,000 injuries and $2.29 billion per year in 2010. But the article focuses on 5 percent of injuries that are recreational and, in theory, preventable (22,000 out of 456,000), and makes the absurd claim that bicycle helmet use saves health care dollars.
My opinion, and I’m not alone, is that helmet use discourages people from riding bikes (by roughly around 50 percent), and the health benefits (and ensuing lower costs of health care) exceed the risks of riding by a margin of 20:1. (See Klassen article below.)
Meanwhile, the other bogus nastiness in the article is the apparent opinion that the other 434,000 injuries are not preventable — and we all know that the largest part of these 434,000 injuries are most likely related to motor vehicle crashes. It’s another example of the cultural blind spot we all have to the appalling death and injury toll from motor vehicle crashes. First — we just don’t “see” them; second — they’re not preventable.
So buckle up those helmets, people. And let’s just forget about road deaths and injuries altogether.
Second: Mike Klassen writes in the Courier wanting more bike lanes, and increasing the active lifestyle, because of its large contribution to overall health, and thus to reduction of the huge medical care costs attributable to a sedentary lifestyle.
It marks, for me, a Wonderland-level change from the days when Mr. Klassen ran a scurrilous attack blog called City Caucus on behalf of the civic NPA. In this now-defunct blog during the run-up to the bike-lane-heavy 2011 civic election, he published a vicious hatchet job on HUB, the non-profit advocacy organization for people who ride bikes. Because, ya know, the NPA was fundamentally against bike lanes and by extension, against people who ride bikes. HUB’s position, including the health benefits of an active life, were just a bunch of hooey. This position did not work in 2011 and in 2014, as the NPA lost both elections badly.
Now, it seems, Mr. Klassen understands that an active lifestyle is of huge importance to society as a whole, and as a result he advocates in favour of bike lanes, along with improvements for pedestrians.
He writes: “While Vancouver abounds with runners, cyclists, paddlers and those taking a stroll on our cherished seawall pathways, we can do more. We could establish new jogging and walking routes, and combine them with safer traffic crossings right across the city. And notwithstanding the headaches they cause with opponents, the city should build more bike lanes, too.”
Imagine any big city anywhere in the world without traffic just for a day. Now, if that city were Paris, imagine further the photographic possibilities, not to mention the visual, auditory and olfactory potential.
Imagine no more because on September 27th, that’s just what Paris is going to do: “Une Journée Sans Voiture” – A Day Without Car, for the first time in the city’s history.
City Hall calls it “a crazy gamble, but achievable.” No motorized vehicle, with a few exceptions like ambulances, will be allowed to drive the streets. As Mayor Anne Hidalgo announced in March: “Paris will be completely transformed for a day. This is an opportunity for Parisians and tourists to enjoy the city without noise, pollution and therefore without stress.”
Other cities including Montreal, Bogota, Mexico City, Ho Chi Minh City and Brussels have instituted Day Without Car programs, some of them permanently and some partially, closing certain streets and encouraging bike riding.
Another missive from Scot’s trip to Portland:
Colourful and well-scaled residential infill along Division Street in Portland:
It’s quite an intimate streetscape with the building elevations +/- 50 feet apart with street neckdowns of 24 feet at either end of the block, reducing traffic speed and book-ending the small commercial strip. Unlike Vancouver’s main arterials which are largely stroads with high traffic volume and speeds, Portland’s main Eastside routes (Burnside, Hawthorne, Division, etc.) are narrow in cross-section and, subsequently, with lower speeds and volume, making living above them more pleasant.
Intersection is SE Division Street & SE 32nd Avenue looking east. (Map here.)