Mapping How Vancouverites get to Work

Erik Villagomez, one of the founding editors of re:place Magazine, has put together another one of his illuminating maps.

This one uses census and Translink data to illustrate how people from various locations throughout the city get to work - by showing what percentage use transit, cycle, or walk.

Remove the Viaduct!

Good ideas need to be spread wide, in hope they gain traction. Paul Hillson has an idea that I hope Vancouver planners take notice of: removing the Georgia and Dunsmuir Street viaducts.

The viaducts have served their purpose, as the train tracks they originally rose over no longer exist. Today, they serve as a reminder of the direction Vancouver nearly went in the '70s - they are the only part of a massive highway construction plan that ever saw completion.

"Bad Times" Budget = Good News for the Evergreen

Perhaps the biggest news for BC coming out of the 2009 federal budget is the announcement that funding for the Evergreen Line, connecting the Millenium Line to Port Moody and Coquitlam, is going to come - and soon.

The Evergreen Line - originally conceived of as a streetcar, but recently turned into a SkyTrain project - has taken its rightful place as the most important infrastructure project in the province.

Pattullo Closure Debrief

Well, there has been a lot said about the recent Pattullo bridge closure, so I'm not going to sum it all up here.

I've just got to say that Translink emerged as the winner. Faced with a possible PR catastrophe, someone made the brilliant decision to tell the public to expect the worst - and then surprise everyone with a sudden solution. Anyone in any kind of service business knows it is far better to shock a client with a hasty delivery than it is to surprise with an unexpected delay.

Port Mann,Hwy 1 Project Delayed

One of the deadlines for financing the Highway 1 / Port Mann portion of the Gateway Project has passed, amid an inflating budget and the backdrop of the current recession.

Whether the project will proceed as a P3 is in doubt, as the budget is now reported to be $2.3 billion, up from the original $1.3 billion. The cost benefits of building this bridge, with HOV lanes expanded to Langley (we've all seen how successful the HOV lane has been), as opposed to building a rail system out to the Valley, are now seriously in question.

The Overshadowed Announcement

Stephen Harper was in the GVRD today, at the Surrey Fraser Docks, to announce the start to construction of the South Fraser Perimeter Road.

Gateway Project "Cancelled" by Surrey Residents

As part of the International Day of Action on the Climate Crisis (Dec 7th), residents of Surrey, BC modified a sign advertising one of the least-sensible projects in the Gateway program: the South Fraser Perimeter Road.

The Gateway project is a multi-billion dollar highway expansion program that will increase ghg emissions in the sector that is already highest for this region. Since no contracts have been signed for some of the largest portions of the plan, it is still easy to back out of the plan.

Translink Dips into the Reserves

The Translink board adopted their 2009 budget on Friday, which calls for a $100 million reach into the reserve accounts.

Translink Looking to Further Increase Security

In an effort to boost security, or at least the appearance of security, Translink is looking to add station attendants and a possible dog-squad to their security forces.

I'm becoming a little concerned with the way Translink police force is quickly becoming its own large force, but the attendants is a great idea.

From the CBC:

The Sun Sets on the Federal Conservatives

Well, I'll not say much on this since it isn't exactly a Vancouver issue.

The exciting part of all this is that we may be watching a shift in Canadian politics for the foreseeable future - Canada is moving in the opposite direction from a two-party system. Coalitions might well become the norm for the coming decades.

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