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View Full Version : Extra density,rail transit all wrong in Vancouver?



vanman
Jun 13, 2007, 8:43 PM
This was originally posted by en at SSC:


From newspaper: Expert: Density, Rail Transit All Wrong

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wrong way to make a region livable
Randal O'Toole
Special to the Sun


Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Property owners in the Lower Mainland face some of the strictest land-use regulations in Canada, with more than two-thirds of the region off limits to development. Not coincidentally, Vancouver also has the least affordable housing in Canada.

TransLink, the Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority, is building expensive light-rail and other transit lines, and has given relief of highway congestion the lowest priority for funding.

Not coincidentally, Vancouver shares with Toronto and Montreal the record of most time and fuel wasted per commuter of any urban area in Canada.

In 1995, the provincial government asked the Greater Vancouver Regional District to write a "strategic plan" for the region. The legislature gave planners 14 goals, including maintaining housing affordability, providing efficient transportation and protecting the unique character of communities.

The GVRD responded with its Livable Region Strategic Plan. But rather than meet all 14 goals, this plan focused on just two -- "avoiding urban sprawl" and "minimize the use of automobiles." Unfortunately, achieving these goals meant discarding several of the others.

To avoid sprawl, the GVRD closed more than 70 per cent of the region's land to development and mandated that all cities in the region accommodate growth by increasing population densities. The result has been skyrocketing housing prices and, for most families, an end to the great Canadian dream of owning your own single-family home.

To minimize automobile use, TransLink spends a large share of the region's limited transportation funds on various forms of rail transit. These expensive projects will not get a significant number of people out of their automobiles.

The growing congestion that results will only waste the time of the 90 per cent of people in the region who rely on autos as their main source of transport.

Meanwhile, the mania for density is destroying the unique character of communities. District planners directed cities and towns to move more of their residents into five-story apartments and condo towers.

Cities are also supposed to provide a "jobs-labour balance." This means cities like Surrey that have almost twice as many workers as jobs are expected to add more than 100,000 new jobs.

Meanwhile, cities like Burnaby that have more jobs than workers are supposed to discourage new businesses. The result will be that everything looks exactly alike.

Where will it end? Vancouver is already the densest major city in Canada, 14 per cent denser than Montreal and 27 per cent denser than Toronto and Victoria. The only incorporated Canadian town of any size that is denser than Vancouver (by a mere one per cent) is the Montreal suburb of Westmount.

Vancouver's Mayor Sam Sullivan says even more density is needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This argument is without foundation. Research shows that building, heating, and operating highrise condos emits more greenhouse gases than single-family homes.

Density also increases traffic congestion, and cars produce the most pollution and greenhouse gases in congested traffic.

The region will not reduce carbon emissions by forcing people to waste fuel in stop-and-go traffic.

Just who decided that "avoiding sprawl" should be the paramount goal of the region's planners anyway?

This goal should be laughable in a province that has some of the lowest population densities in the world, all of whose cities, towns, and villages cover less than one-half per cent of British Columbia.

Planners have their priorities upside down. In a province such as B.C., which is 99 per cent rural open space, or even a region such as Vancouver, which is more than 70 per cent open space, keeping housing affordable is more important the preserving every last acre of undeveloped land.

Nearly three out of four Canadians aspire to live in a single-family home with a yard. The yards people want to own are some of the most valuable sources of open space and outdoor recreation a city can have. Denying this goal to most of the region's residents makes Vancouver less livable, not more.

Discouraging driving is even dumber. Besides being the most convenient form of urban transport ever invented, autos have given Canadians access to better jobs, housing and recreation, and Canadians are not going to give them up.

If driving has problems, such as greenhouse gas emissions, fix those problems. One of the world's leading alternative fuel research labs is located right in Burnaby, yet planners chose social engineering over technical solutions to pollution.

Government strategic planning inevitably does more harm than good. The province should break up the GVRD and TransLink into decentralized, user-fee-driven agencies each focusing on a specific mission such as sewers or transit.

Land-use planning should be turned over to the cities, or better yet, private landowners.

Local governments should focus on providing effective urban services, not on changing people's lifestyles.

Randal O'Toole (rot@cato.org) is a senior fellow with the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C., and author of The Vanishing Automobile and Other Urban Myths: How Smart Growth Harms American Cities.

- - -

Randal O'Toole will speak on this topic at the Fraser Institute, 1770 Burrard,at noon on June 20.

For tickets, call 604-714-4578.
__________________
Visit my former Japan student exchange blog
http://ngaie.blogspot.com

raisethehammer
Jun 13, 2007, 8:47 PM
what a moron.

Holden West
Jun 13, 2007, 9:21 PM
Vancouver's Mayor Sam Sullivan says even more density is needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This argument is without foundation. Research shows that building, heating, and operating highrise condos emits more greenhouse gases than single-family homes.Eh....I think this only applies to old apartment towers with lousy insulation and single pane windows. I should have known better not to trust a post that mentions both SSC and the Fraser Institute... :P

westcoast604
Jun 13, 2007, 9:48 PM
Good article. While there are a number of mistakes with it, overall he is saying what nobody else has the guts to say. Like it or not there are serious flaws with the LRSP and so-called good planning principles in general. Most people will accept such things and get on the band-wagon without doing any independent analysis or thinking on the subject.

Basically he is right in the fact that the majority of people want to own a single family home with a private yard, and a vehicle for convenience. I agree that private open space is more valuable to home owners than public open space. People like privacy. People are also not interested in commuting by transit from Surrey to Vancouver daily, let alone from somewhere like Abbotsford. The most amount of time anyone wants to spend on public transit is none, however, realistically a half hour trip is bareable. Anything beyond this, starts to make public transit less and less desirable, to the point where clearly you would rather be in a private auto for travelling such distances.

In a fantasy world, everyone would live close to their place of work and not have to commute far; but this is not reality, especially for families. The result is that people must travel, and transit is not a viable option for lengthy commutes. Adequate roads and highways should absolutly be in place to accomodate this population, instead of trying to force people onto a mode of transport that is un-desirable, inconvenient, and full of people you dont want to be jammed into a packed train with at rush hour.

While sprawl should be limited and valuable farm land protected (especially considering south-west BC has the most fertile soils and longest growing season in all of the country), it should not be feared like the plague. While I am not for endless single family subdivisions into the sunset, I do support sprawl in the form of complete, walkable communities that include various forms of housing, employment generating land-uses, and recreation areas.

At this point, there is still plenty of undeveloped land in the region, not encumbered by the ALR, which can be developed with adherence to new urbanist goals. Most of it is in Surrey, Maple Ridge, and Coquitlam. So there is in fact and increasing urban footprint regardless of policies to restrict it. The urban growth boundaries have been set, but they have not yet been built out. It is my prediction that once this land is completely used, that piece by piece more land will be opened up in appropriate places with the environment shaping the form of this growth, rather than growth paving over the environment.

Densification of existing urban areas and expanded rapid transit is unquestionably the way to go. But realistically you do need a balanced approach that provides for single family housing as well as expanded, adequate highways and roads. Together, these approaches will make the region liveable and affordable.

In most cities, sprawl is occurring without the counter-balance of inner-city densification and transit improvements. If you have this balance, sprawl will be significantly limited, but will still take place. If done right, sprawl can be in the form of highly livable and environmentally sensitive communities. The regulations in place today to protect watercourses and any other ecologically valuable areas are much more stringent and dictating than anything you would have had in the 50s,60s,70s, and 80s.

Land-use planning should be turned over to the cities, or better yet, private landowners.

I have no idea what he's talking about here. Clearly land-use planning is undertaken by the city. Private land-owners know nothing about planning, and only think in self-interest, so that makes no sense.

westcoast604
Jun 13, 2007, 9:50 PM
Good article. While there are a number of mistakes with it, overall he is saying what nobody else has the guts to say. Like it or not there are serious flaws with the LRSP and so-called good planning principles in general. Most people will accept such things and get on the band-wagon without doing any independent analysis or thinking on the subject.

Basically he is right in the fact that the majority of people want to own a single family home with a private yard, and a vehicle for convenience. I agree that private open space is more valuable to home owners than public open space. People like privacy. People are also not interested in commuting by transit from Surrey to Vancouver daily, let alone from somewhere like Abbotsford. The most amount of time anyone wants to spend on public transit is none, however, realistically a half hour trip is bareable. Anything beyond this, starts to make public transit less and less desirable, to the point where clearly you would rather be in a private auto for travelling such distances.

In a fantasy world, everyone would live close to their place of work and not have to commute far; but this is not reality, especially for families. The result is that people must travel, and transit is not a viable option for lengthy commutes. Adequate roads and highways should absolutly be in place to accomodate this population, instead of trying to force people onto a mode of transport that is un-desirable, inconvenient, and full of people you dont want to be jammed into a packed train with at rush hour.

While sprawl should be limited and valuable farm land protected (especially considering south-west BC has the most fertile soils and longest growing season in all of the country), it should not be feared like the plague. While I am not for endless single family subdivisions into the sunset, I do support sprawl in the form of complete, walkable communities that include various forms of housing, employment generating land-uses, and recreation areas.

At this point, there is still plenty of undeveloped land in the region, not encumbered by the ALR, which can be developed with adherence to new urbanist goals. Most of it is in Surrey, Maple Ridge, and Coquitlam. So there is in fact and increasing urban footprint regardless of policies to restrict it. The urban growth boundaries have been set, but they have not yet been built out. It is my prediction that once this land is completely used, that piece by piece more land will be opened up in appropriate places with the environment shaping the form of this growth, rather than growth paving over the environment.

Densification of existing urban areas and expanded rapid transit is unquestionably the way to go. But realistically you do need a balanced approach that provides for single family housing as well as expanded, adequate highways and roads. Together, these approaches will make the region liveable and affordable.

In most cities, sprawl is occurring without the counter-balance of inner-city densification and transit improvements. If you have this balance, sprawl will be significantly limited, but will still take place. If done right, sprawl can be in the form of highly livable and environmentally sensitive communities. The regulations in place today to protect watercourses and any other ecologically valuable areas are much more stringent and dictating than anything you would have had in the 50s,60s,70s, and 80s.

Land-use planning should be turned over to the cities, or better yet, private landowners.

I have no idea what he's talking about here. Clearly land-use planning is undertaken by the city. Private land-owners know nothing about planning, and only think in self-interest, so that makes no sense.

Boris2k7
Jun 13, 2007, 9:55 PM
... what a toole (pun intended)

The guy clearly doesn't understand planning in the slightest. I could turn around just about every vague claim he makes, but that would be exhausting... so here's just a few...

TransLink, the Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority, is building expensive light-rail and other transit lines, and has given relief of highway congestion the lowest priority for funding.

As opposed to even more expensive highways and interchanges?

To avoid sprawl, the GVRD closed more than 70 per cent of the region's land to development and mandated that all cities in the region accommodate growth by increasing population densities. The result has been skyrocketing housing prices and, for most families, an end to the great Canadian dream of owning your own single-family home.

Yeah, sure. Maybe get a table or chart to back that one up. There are skyrocketing housing prices in Calgary and we have no growth boundaries.

To minimize automobile use, TransLink spends a large share of the region's limited transportation funds on various forms of rail transit. These expensive projects will not get a significant number of people out of their automobiles.

The growing congestion that results will only waste the time of the 90 per cent of people in the region who rely on autos as their main source of transport.

Uh huh. Sure. Because, you know, building highways would get people out of their cars... NOT. Yeah, sure, let's build some more roads and have even more cars on the road, that will help your congestion for sure... :koko:

Meanwhile, the mania for density is destroying the unique character of communities. District planners directed cities and towns to move more of their residents into five-story apartments and condo towers.

Cities are also supposed to provide a "jobs-labour balance." This means cities like Surrey that have almost twice as many workers as jobs are expected to add more than 100,000 new jobs.

Meanwhile, cities like Burnaby that have more jobs than workers are supposed to discourage new businesses. The result will be that everything looks exactly alike.

Strange logic he's using here. It's so... vague. So his reasoning is that because planners would like to get prople to move into multi-residential buildings... and because there are differences in the amount of jobs and workers in each municipality... everything ends up looking the same?!?

Vancouver's Mayor Sam Sullivan says even more density is needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This argument is without foundation. Research shows that building, heating, and operating highrise condos emits more greenhouse gases than single-family homes.

Density also increases traffic congestion, and cars produce the most pollution and greenhouse gases in congested traffic.

The region will not reduce carbon emissions by forcing people to waste fuel in stop-and-go traffic.

Density increases opportunities for transit. Transit gets built and people use it. Now, I know that it is a hard concept for this guy to grasp... but try to just use a little imagination...

Not to mention that he seems to be the type with his head in the ground about global warming.

Just who decided that "avoiding sprawl" should be the paramount goal of the region's planners anyway?

This goal should be laughable in a province that has some of the lowest population densities in the world, all of whose cities, towns, and villages cover less than one-half per cent of British Columbia.

Planners have their priorities upside down. In a province such as B.C., which is 99 per cent rural open space, or even a region such as Vancouver, which is more than 70 per cent open space, keeping housing affordable is more important the preserving every last acre of undeveloped land.

Professionals? Academics? People who have some real knowledge on the subject and understand what sprawl does to our cities? Read up on the subject buddy...

His argument is foolish. Just because there is land doesn't mean you should use it irresponsibly. And no, affordable housing isn't more important than preserving the natural landscape and preventing sprawl, nor are they necessarily opposing goals.

Nearly three out of four Canadians aspire to live in a single-family home with a yard. The yards people want to own are some of the most valuable sources of open space and outdoor recreation a city can have. Denying this goal to most of the region's residents makes Vancouver less livable, not more.

Discouraging driving is even dumber. Besides being the most convenient form of urban transport ever invented, autos have given Canadians access to better jobs, housing and recreation, and Canadians are not going to give them up.

Wow, this is just pathetic. When he has little material left, he turns to this. I guess we should just bow to everyone's wants and needs... because everyone needs and acreage and an SUV, don't they? Does this guy seriously consider a backyard as outdoor recreation?!?

If driving has problems, such as greenhouse gas emissions, fix those problems. One of the world's leading alternative fuel research labs is located right in Burnaby, yet planners chose social engineering over technical solutions to pollution.

I see he subscribes to the ecological efficiency side of the environmental debate (read: the one the big corporations also subscribe to). Problem: new technology doesn't solve the underlying issues. It just puts off collapse a little further into the future.

Government strategic planning inevitably does more harm than good. The province should break up the GVRD and TransLink into decentralized, user-fee-driven agencies each focusing on a specific mission such as sewers or transit.

Land-use planning should be turned over to the cities, or better yet, private landowners.

Local governments should focus on providing effective urban services, not on changing people's lifestyles.

ROFL! Break up the GVRD? And TransLink? No centralized planning agency? LANDOWNERS planning?!? On top of that... trying to provide services of any kind with such an absurd setup? LOL, I have no further comments about this ignorant, silly statement.

Holden West
Jun 13, 2007, 10:00 PM
I have no idea what he's talking about here. Clearly land-use planning is undertaken by the city. Private land-owners know nothing about planning, and only think in self-interest, so that makes no sense.

I don't know either unless he's implying the communities' planning is influenced the the GVRD, but I don't know how you guys do planning over on the mainland.

About condo vs. SFD efficiency, my condo unit heating is off right now, and has been for several weeks. In fact, last year I didn't have the gas on all year (natural gas is included in the monthly condo fee). That's right, for an entire year, my condo was unheated. On the coldest winter evenings I just put on a sweater. Let's see a SFD owner try that. :haha:

MistyMountainHop
Jun 13, 2007, 11:04 PM
The Fraser Valley is one of the best places in all of BC for growing food. In the years to come, global warming will hurt food production in the prairies and Okanagan due to the lack of rain. The Fraser Valley will still be able to grow food. We have to plan for the future, not just the present.

SpongeG
Jun 13, 2007, 11:53 PM
i will agree vancouver is lacking in road infastucture - but it is finally catching up and with these improvements - 2012 in vancouver will be a nice place to live if we can afford it by than

Nutterbug
Jun 14, 2007, 1:18 AM
Vancouver's Mayor Sam Sullivan says even more density is needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This argument is without foundation. Research shows that building, heating, and operating highrise condos emits more greenhouse gases than single-family homes.

Does he mean each suite within the condo highrise, or the entire fricking building!?!?!?!

yesheh
Jun 14, 2007, 2:20 AM
The Fraser Valley is one of the best places in all of BC for growing food. In the years to come, global warming will hurt food production in the prairies and Okanagan due to the lack of rain. The Fraser Valley will still be able to grow food. We have to plan for the future, not just the present.

Um... the land may be good but the price of farmland is completely insane right now. It is literally impossible to start a new farm as a small business and the only people who can expand currently are those who have sources of illegitimate cash or are connected to big business... Land has gone from <$10,000 an acre to >$60,000 over the last 7 or 8 years and if one manages to get their piece excluded from the ALR then you have really hit the jackpot -instant millionaires. In short, there is no easy answer and while farmland should be protected (as once it is converted to housing/commercial it is near impossible to return it to farmland) people must understand the economic realities at stake here.

Nutterbug
Jun 14, 2007, 2:32 AM
Um... the land may be good but the price of farmland is completely insane right now. It is literally impossible to start a new farm as a small business and the only people who can expand currently are those who have sources of illegitimate cash or are connected to big business... Land has gone from <$10,000 an acre to >$60,000 over the last 7 or 8 years and if one manages to get their piece excluded from the ALR then you have really hit the jackpot -instant millionaires.

So which politicians/officials do you have to bribe to make it happen?

fever
Jun 14, 2007, 2:33 AM
For those who haven't ever heard of the guy, he's spent the last several years writing the same article about every city in North America.

Every statistic presented is dishonest. Policy directions are stated incorrectly. Otherwise, statements are generally false.

Does the Sun read articles or is this supposed to be ridiculous?

westcoast604, you support sprawl in the form of not sprawl...

Jared
Jun 14, 2007, 2:36 AM
I was going to do a point-by-point rebuttal, but I see Boris beat me to it.


Randall O'Toole, like Wendell Cox and Joel Kotkin, is simply a shill for suburban developers. Remeber the "doctors" who used to guarantee that smoking was harmless? These guys are the modern day incarnation of them...

mr.x
Jun 14, 2007, 3:45 AM
On wikipedia: "He is an avid cyclist who always rides a bicycle to and from work, and advocates alternative means of transportation where possible."

o_O and you'd think he'd drive a car to work....but then wiki might not be a reliable source.

SpongeG
Jun 14, 2007, 3:53 AM
well one thing we can say is i am sure people not served by the LRT new and old are happy to see more money going towards something they will never use while their commutes don't get any better

vanman
Jun 14, 2007, 7:27 AM
^and what about the people young and old who have no use for expanded road infrastructure simply cause they can't afford to or aren't physically able to operate a vehicle. The automobile has been held up as the only viable solution to personal transportation for decades and now people are realising that it doesn't have to be this way. Instead of restricting options the same way the vehicle has mass transit is creating new ones.


If you are interested in more crap from O'toole check out his article on Oregon's smart growth.http://www.cato.org/pubs/regulation/regv24n3/otoole.pdfYou'll find nuggets of gold like:

Light rail Planners were especially aggressive about rezoning
neighborhoods near Portland’s light-rail line, which
opened in 1986. They believed that higher densities along
the light rail would promote light-rail ridership. However,
time has shown that few people want to live in such highdensity
communities and few developers want to construct
them, even if there is convenient access to mass
transit. As city planner Mike Saba told the Portland city
council in 1996, “We have not seen any of the kind of
development – of a mid-rise, higher-density, mixed-use
mixed-income type – that we would’ve liked to have seen”
along the light-rail line. In the same meeting, city council
member Charles Hales noted, “We are in the hottest real
estate market in the country,” yet “most of those sites
[along the light-rail line] are still vacant.” Hales then convinced
his fellow council members to offer developers 10
years of property tax waivers for any high-density housing
built near light-rail stations.

or this:

People who are disabled, too old, too young, too poor,
or otherwise unable to drive have long been the major users
of public transit. Planners’ attempts to attract middle-class
commuters out of their autos by building expensive rail
projects have often hurt transit-dependent people as fares
increase and service is cut back in order to pay for rail construction.
But instead of building high-cost, high-capacity
rail lines and then attempting to redesign cities to provide
ridership, planners should focus on designing transit systems
systems
to serve low-density urban areas. That means using
low-capacity jitneys, shuttle vans, and demand-responsive
transit systems. It also means demonopolizing public transit,
opening the door for private providers of transportation
services.

G-Man
Jun 14, 2007, 2:50 PM
What an idiot!

TransLink, the Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority, is building expensive light-rail and other transit lines, and has given relief of highway congestion the lowest priority for funding.

Not coincidentally, Vancouver shares with Toronto and Montreal the record of most time and fuel wasted per commuter of any urban area in Canada.

Not coincidentally these are the three largest cities in Canada!!

Also I have recently seen stats that show that while Vancouver's downtown core has been increasing in size total traffic movements has decreased over the last ten years.

yesheh
Jun 15, 2007, 1:10 AM
So which politicians/officials do you have to bribe to make it happen?
I've never heard of anyone actually bribing the ALR... although I wouldn't be terribly surprised if it did happen. What is more likely is that a municipal government would put pressure on the ALR commission to release certain parcels of land, similar to what is currently happening in Abbotsford and what has happened in the past in Richmond, in response to development proposals. The chance at more property tax is very tempting...

deasine
Jun 15, 2007, 1:16 AM
I just think the GVRD is doing too much to the downtown core itself and not enough to municiaplity town centers. If they now put the focus on Surrey, we can get more living around Surrey to work IN Surrey which will alleivate traffic.

mr.x
Jun 15, 2007, 1:18 AM
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpost.php?p=13713862&postcount=7

vanman
Jun 15, 2007, 3:57 AM
^Great post.


After reading more of O'toole's articles I have realised that this guy definitely has an underlying agenda of privatization.....of everything. From the privatization of public lands to public transit and so on. Case in point:

Land-use planning should be turned over to the cities, or better yet, private landowners.


I'm sure he would be in favour of a Canadian private health system as well. He is one of those 'let the market decide everything' kind of people.

Nutterbug
Jun 15, 2007, 4:15 AM
^Great post.


After reading more of O'toole's articles I have realised that this guy definitely has an underlying agenda of privatization.....of everything. From the privatization of public lands to public transit and so on. Case in point:



I'm sure he would be in favour of a Canadian private health system as well. He is one of those 'let the market decide everything' kind of people.

He represents the Cato Institute--a libertarian think tank. He doesn't seem to realize that destroying the environment violates the fundamental "live and let live" true libertarian principle though.

EastVanMark
Jun 15, 2007, 8:40 AM
Good article. While there are a number of mistakes with it, overall he is saying what nobody else has the guts to say. Like it or not there are serious flaws with the LRSP and so-called good planning principles in general. Most people will accept such things and get on the band-wagon without doing any independent analysis or thinking on the subject.

Basically he is right in the fact that the majority of people want to own a single family home with a private yard, and a vehicle for convenience. I agree that private open space is more valuable to home owners than public open space. People like privacy. People are also not interested in commuting by transit from Surrey to Vancouver daily, let alone from somewhere like Abbotsford. The most amount of time anyone wants to spend on public transit is none, however, realistically a half hour trip is bareable. Anything beyond this, starts to make public transit less and less desirable, to the point where clearly you would rather be in a private auto for travelling such distances.

In a fantasy world, everyone would live close to their place of work and not have to commute far; but this is not reality, especially for families. The result is that people must travel, and transit is not a viable option for lengthy commutes. Adequate roads and highways should absolutly be in place to accomodate this population, instead of trying to force people onto a mode of transport that is un-desirable, inconvenient, and full of people you dont want to be jammed into a packed train with at rush hour.

While sprawl should be limited and valuable farm land protected (especially considering south-west BC has the most fertile soils and longest growing season in all of the country), it should not be feared like the plague. While I am not for endless single family subdivisions into the sunset, I do support sprawl in the form of complete, walkable communities that include various forms of housing, employment generating land-uses, and recreation areas.

At this point, there is still plenty of undeveloped land in the region, not encumbered by the ALR, which can be developed with adherence to new urbanist goals. Most of it is in Surrey, Maple Ridge, and Coquitlam. So there is in fact and increasing urban footprint regardless of policies to restrict it. The urban growth boundaries have been set, but they have not yet been built out. It is my prediction that once this land is completely used, that piece by piece more land will be opened up in appropriate places with the environment shaping the form of this growth, rather than growth paving over the environment.

Densification of existing urban areas and expanded rapid transit is unquestionably the way to go. But realistically you do need a balanced approach that provides for single family housing as well as expanded, adequate highways and roads. Together, these approaches will make the region liveable and affordable.

In most cities, sprawl is occurring without the counter-balance of inner-city densification and transit improvements. If you have this balance, sprawl will be significantly limited, but will still take place. If done right, sprawl can be in the form of highly livable and environmentally sensitive communities. The regulations in place today to protect watercourses and any other ecologically valuable areas are much more stringent and dictating than anything you would have had in the 50s,60s,70s, and 80s.



I have no idea what he's talking about here. Clearly land-use planning is undertaken by the city. Private land-owners know nothing about planning, and only think in self-interest, so that makes no sense.

Kudos to you for having the stones to point out the nuggets of truth in the otherwise over the top drivel of an article this guy wrote. :worship: :worship:

Why is it that in this region we can never take as you so succinctly put it, "a balanced approach". Its always either 16-lane superhighways cut right through the heart of the city, destroying historic neighborhoods, or, living in a fantasy world where everyone is forced to take transit regardless of inconvenience, as well as the; stick my head in the sand and pretend that the fact that there are now 3 times as many cars traveling the same road infrastructure built in the 1940's isn't happening. Neither is healthy.

SpongeG
Jun 17, 2007, 9:06 PM
yeah i am thinking people in here don't drive or leave their neighbourhood

must be nice

jpick
Jun 18, 2007, 1:11 AM
Why does anybody listen to the Fraser Institute?

If you're paying any attention at all, it doesn't take long to realize that they always take the extreme right ideological position. You can't go any further to the right. They're funded by big business interests. They're a clone of the American think tank system. Yet, they somehow always manage to get a lot of space in the paper.

You can bet this dude is on the payroll of Wal-Mart.

The Geographer
Jun 18, 2007, 1:23 AM
Eh....I think this only applies to old apartment towers with lousy insulation and single pane windows. I should have known better not to trust a post that mentions both SSC and the Fraser Institute... :P

Well, it could have a point depending on the lifestyle of the occupants. If it is like my family and there are 6 adults living in a single family home, sharing cooking, cleaning, and common areas then it could possibly be more efficient than a condo containing 3 separate, two-person households, each with its own appliances. The result is similar to Scandinavian cooperative housing, except that the people are related (its called a family people; the most efficient thing is to not move out of home). However, the majority of single family homes contain little more than 2-3 people.

As for the post, what is this crap about all of the undeveloped land in B.C.? It is out in the middle of nowhere, and would be astronomically expensive to service. People forget why cities were built in the first place.

EDIT: Oh did everyone hear? Ralph Klein will be working at the Fraser Institute "think-tank". Anyone who hires him to "think" is out-to-lunch. Now his "tank" abilities are more credible.

jpick
Jun 18, 2007, 1:32 AM
Here's who pays (some of) his bills:

http://www.lightrailnow.org/facts/fa_lrt_2007-01a.htm

You'll recognize the names if follow U.S. politics closely.

Nutterbug
Jun 18, 2007, 1:42 AM
Here's who pays (some of) his bills:

http://www.lightrailnow.org/facts/fa_lrt_2007-01a.htm

You'll recognize the names if follow U.S. politics closely.

I'd be just as afraid of these guys orchestrating a terrorist attack on public transit infrastructure as I would be of any Islamic extremist groups.

SpongeG
Jun 18, 2007, 2:51 AM
i think i read it on here or not but it was online about some LRT project in a city - i believe pittsburgh - that was all planned out but lobbyists got it involved and stopped it and made it into a rapid bus line - it turned out the lobbyists were backed by the tire industry - as it was in their interest to utilize buses which require tires thus keeping them in the $$$ - so anyway they did run busses but it wasn't a success and i believe a decade later or something they are going to go with LRT at a greater cost in todays dollars and the first phase was a huge success over the rapid bus

anyway its interesting how in US politics the business players can get so involved - as far as i know that can't happen to the same extent in Canada

Nutterbug
Jun 18, 2007, 2:55 AM
anyway its interesting how in US politics the business players can get so involved

Can you say Halliburton?

mr.x
Jun 18, 2007, 3:02 AM
i think i read it on here or not but it was online about some LRT project in a city - i believe pittsburgh - that was all planned out but lobbyists got it involved and stopped it and made it into a rapid bus line - it turned out the lobbyists were backed by the tire industry - as it was in their interest to utilize buses which require tires thus keeping them in the $$$ - so anyway they did run busses but it wasn't a success and i believe a decade later or something they are going to go with LRT at a greater cost in todays dollars and the first phase was a huge success over the rapid bus

anyway its interesting how in US politics the business players can get so involved - as far as i know that can't happen to the same extent in Canada

you should watch Michael Moore's "Sicko" documentary, it's downloadable online in DVD quality. somehow, Americans have been able to turn healthcare into a $1 trillion industry....and make people choose which finger they would like to get sewn back on: "The middle finger will cost you $60,000 while the ring finger, $12,000." That guy in the movie chose the ring finger.

anyhow, about 5 kms of the 11-km project is going to be elvevated/tunnel....i'd think the guideways and tunnels would be able to accmmodate SkyTrain cars (tunnels are tall and the guideways are bulkier to support LRT trains heavier than SkyTrain), it probably is technically possible for LRT to be uninstalled and replacing it with SkyTrain.

Mininari
Jun 20, 2007, 5:30 PM
you should watch Michael Moore's "Sicko" documentary, it's downloadable online in DVD quality. somehow, Americans have been able to turn healthcare into a $1 trillion industry....and make people choose which finger they would like to get sewn back on: "The middle finger will cost you $60,000 while the ring finger, $12,000." That guy in the movie chose the ring finger.

anyhow, about 5 kms of the 11-km project is going to be elvevated/tunnel....i'd think the guideways and tunnels would be able to accmmodate SkyTrain cars (tunnels are tall and the guideways are bulkier to support LRT trains heavier than SkyTrain), it probably is technically possible for LRT to be uninstalled and replacing it with SkyTrain.

Top:
Yeah, I've heard stories of those who do have health insurance still being stuck unable to pay the $10,000 deductable. What good is insurance if the deductable is going to break you.

Bottom:
You're probably right -- it would be very feasible to upgrade the LRT.
If they DO manage to somehow build the LRT as-planned, and it does create a terrible mess, then we've got ourself a nice half-billion dollar solution.

(psst...can we please just build Skytrain in the first place?)

SpongeG
Jun 21, 2007, 1:14 AM
i would love to see more skytrain but first the roads need to be caught up - most of the main roads in surrey are only now becoming two lanes in each direction which is making a difference - 176th is the truck crossing and its been one lane for most of it - a big chunk of it is now two lane and the rest from cloverdale to hwy #1 will be 2 lane soon - and its made a huge difference already and hwy #10 is finally becoming two lanes and the interchanges are working much better now

ignoring all those improvements and upgrades would have been a stupid idea to put in a wee bit more skytrain