Canada Line now spurring evictions

Now that the Canada Line is nearing completion, at least one residential complex along the line is evicting its tenants in what has become a regular event in Vancouver: the evict/renovate/jack the rent cycle. I've lived in one of these buildings at Oak and 14th (now "Coco", some high-end condos).

It's the dark side of the otherwise positive effect a new rail line can have on a neighbourhood. Property values along a new rail line appreciate an average of 10% faster than the rest of a city, and a new line opens all kinds of possibilities for new, dense development.

Subway tourism!

It's not just for hobbyists and train-obsessives anymore. In the September 20th Globe and Mail Travel section, the front page article briefly compares the world's subway systems.

Rush hour sucks!

I just want to say that it has been a long time since I've had to drive on highway #1 out from Vancouver to the Fraser Valley during rush hour. I did it last Friday afternoon, leaving at 4pm.

There were three of us carpooling up to Princeton, and then the Okanagan, for the weekend. We spent a lot of time with the engine off. My thoughts on the trip:

- Cars make most people pretty sad.
This has been reinforced by this latest experience: lots of down faces. C'mon people! It's Friday! Oh, but you're by yourself in your $40,000 aluminum can, two hours from home.

Translink and BC gov't spending plans don't match up

The BC Government's "Climate Action Plan" includes the stated goal of doubling transit ridership by 2020... but Translink's own financial planning is a bit more pessimistic. They need more money, and they think they know where they can get it: real estate development.

Vision Vancouver: Geoff Meggs digs streetcars

While looking up info on all the Vision candidates, one item sold me on the idea of choosing Geoff Meggs: he'd like to see the downtown Vancouver streetcar system built by the city.

Not just "phase zero" as has already been budgeted for (the current council gave the go-ahead for a 'demonstration' stretch to be built from Granville Island to Science World), but the whole project.

Vancouver Cycling Budget Meeting!

We've just heard that the Vancouver Bicycle Advisory Committee is meeting with city council to discuss infrastructure and cycle-oriented budgeting for 2009-2011.

Basically, if you want money to be spent on improving cycling in the city, write or email council members now. (Here are their numbers)

And the original email in full detail:

Translink among world's best public systems?

The fresh CEO of Translink believes they operate one of the world's best transportation systems.

At a DVBIA dinner on September 10th, Tom Prendergast made the claim during his first public speech since taking the position in July.

He believes Vancouver is in "the top five", ranking with other major cities like TO, Chicago, and London.

Finally! Vision + COPE look like they'll play nice

It looks like (pending approval by the Cope membership) Vision, COPE, and the Greens have agreed to work together. Or, at least, not step on each other.

This is the best news in some time, cheers to everyone that has been sweating it out behind the scenes on this. I bet it hasn't been easy.. it always sucks that the 'left' can be so fractitious.

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