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  #41  
Old Posted Oct 31, 2007, 10:15 PM
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I dont think too many people still argue that the port mann needs at least one more lane... that would be somewhat obsurd, so while were at it we may as well add a few more lanes and transit capability, I think most people here do not have a problem with that. Where I think the problem lies is with the continued expansion of the highway west of the Port Mann from a 6 lane highway into an 8 lane highway all under the guise of freeing up port traffic. This logic is flawed in many ways. Primarily is what has been said again and again, the capacity will be rapidly reached after completion. Furthermore there isnt even that much port traffic taking the number one from the port facilities located within Vancouver, so the reasoning is nearly a lie from the provincial government.

And regarding your argument about "The myth that expanding the "freeway" will only encourage more growth on the south side of the Fraser is completely ubsurd" well that couldnt be further from the truth. While it is true that people will not stop coming to the region becuase the freeway has not been expanded, the lack of expansion will cause people to look at other options than sprawling suburban communities in places like Langley and Surrey. In a way it forces the densification of the inner suburbs and the city which are well served by a plethora of transit options. Although there will still be some who refuse to live in townhouses/condos or merely denser single detatched developments, they will pay the price to live outside the inner city. Not expanding the highway also sends a political message to those surrounding communities that unmanaged growth will not be tolerated and their communities must be planned in accordance with sustainable planning practices. If the money from gateway was used to expand West coast express service, and skytrain service in the outter burbs than the areas could still enjoy high growth rates, while not damaging the environment or the urban fabric of the city.
     
     
  #42  
Old Posted Oct 31, 2007, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by LeftCoaster View Post

And regarding your argument about "The myth that expanding the "freeway" will only encourage more growth on the south side of the Fraser is completely ubsurd" well that couldnt be further from the truth. While it is true that people will not stop coming to the region becuase the freeway has not been expanded, the lack of expansion will cause people to look at other options than sprawling suburban communities in places like Langley and Surrey. In a way it forces the densification of the inner suburbs and the city which are well served by a plethora of transit options. Although there will still be some who refuse to live in townhouses/condos or merely denser single detatched developments, they will pay the price to live outside the inner city. Not expanding the highway also sends a political message to those surrounding communities that unmanaged growth will not be tolerated and their communities must be planned in accordance with sustainable planning practices. If the money from gateway was used to expand West coast express service, and skytrain service in the outter burbs than the areas could still enjoy high growth rates, while not damaging the environment or the urban fabric of the city.
Im well aware of your point here, but the growth in Langley and Surrey will be the same whether there is an additinal lane added or not. I addressed that in my first post - cheaper, abundant land that is un-matched elsewhere in the region. You cannot expand rapid transit very extensively south of the Fraser until there is much much more densification that will take decades. Again...mentioned in my first post. Westcoast express is a more likely short term option, but I believe the rail crossing is a swing bridge under the pattulo - and you have skytrain running above it there anyway so somewhat pointless.
     
     
  #43  
Old Posted Oct 31, 2007, 10:53 PM
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You didnt address that in your first post... you merely stated that those of us who thought that way were wrong. The fact remains that if highway 1 is not expanded it will serve as a growth deterand in the outter suburbs as they are less a part of the city and therefore less desirable, despite large and cheap land prospects. I in no way said that growth will stop in the outter suburbs if highway one is not widened, it will merely put a damper on the rampant growth.
     
     
  #44  
Old Posted Oct 31, 2007, 11:08 PM
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^I agree with you here. Its a very valid argument. Im just suggesting that the same amount of people would likely move south of the Fraser regardless of what happens with the highway - even with a deterant such as no expansion. The only thing I think an unexpanded highway could do is possibly encourage more compact and urban development patterns in Surrey. But even this I am certain would happen anyway with the additional 2 lanes added.
     
     
  #45  
Old Posted Oct 31, 2007, 11:28 PM
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Gateway by itself will lock us into an automobile-centric form of urban development

I'm going to have to disagree with your conclusion, Westcoast604, while agreeing with most of your points.

Population and employment growth South of the Fraser will continue unabated whether the Gateway Program goes ahead or not. I completely agree. However the transportation investments and land use decisions we make now will lock us into patterns of urban development for decades to come. The momentum is there and we can harness this inertia to steer our forms of urban development towards environmentally, economically, and socially desirable outcomes by making strategic decisions about transportation and land use.

This leads to the Gateway Program in its current form. It will lock in automobile-scaled patterns of development because there is no alternative on the horizon. Pitiful local bus service and the odd express bus route will not change the patterns of urban development we will see in the coming years in South Surrey, Langley, Maple Ridge, Mission, Chilliwack, Delta, or Abbotsford. These municipalities are planning their growth right now using the correct assumption that existing and future residents will travel almost exclusively by vehicle. Without a plan, or even a promise of rapid transit, commuter rail, ferries, or streetcars, these cities will be built to best facilitate the movement of automobiles using the Bible of traffic engineering, the Institute of Traffic Engineers (ITE) Handbook. It contains guidelines and rules to facilitate the unimpeded flow of automobiles and omits entirely any notion of a pedestrian-oriented public realm. In the ITE handbook walking is what one does in a parking lot.

We know what cities look like when they are built following the ITE handbook and I don't need to cite urban planning horror shows like Houston to make this point. They look like Willowbrook, 200th St in Langley, the Hwy 1 corridor in Coquitlam, and No.3 Road in Richmond before that city got its act together and started planning for people instead of vehicles.

We can disagree but I don't think those are nice urban environments. Yet those examples are what planning exclusively for the automobile yield and they are very hard to change once they have been created.

The Gateway Program is responding to decades of transportation neglect south of the Fraser. There is plenty of political blame to go around among local politicians, the successive Provincial governments, and a miserly Federal Government. We're in a hole and we need to dig out lest the entire region begin to lose functionality due to never-ending gridlock. However the Gateway Program is going about it in a deliberately myopic fashion. The plan is incomplete without significant rapid transit and commuter rail components.

We need to respond to congestion on Hwy 1 south of the Fraser. It impacts quality of life, it slows the movement of goods and people, it wastes increasingly precious fuel and unacceptably pollutes, and moreover, it hinders the competitiveness of the region. I haven't drank the "it's fine" Cool-Aid, we need to do something. However congestion is not a bad thing at all; congestion is success. It is a lot of people trying to be somewhere at the same time. A crowded road leads to desired places, so does a full SkyTrain, bus, and Westcoast Express train. While adding capacity to the latter three result in positive outcomes adding capacity to the former does not.

It is hopelessly naive to think expanding the freeway will have no effect on urban development patterns or not induce more traffic. It will, it always has, it always will. That's the point of a highway. Why do you think we built them in the first place? To speed up travel and make land further away from the core more attractive for development.

Adding more lanes and improving the interchanges will make it a "better" road so far as the ITE handbook is concerned. The traffic will, theoretically, flow more freely and that will make the highway appear to be a much improved transportation option. The perception that the highway is better will induce new trips by (1) redirecting existing trips from other routes to the highway because it will have advantages over the alternative route, including directness, ease of navigation, the expectation of a quicker journey, (2) rescheduling trips to peak periods of use that would otherwise have been made at alternative times of day to avoid rush hour traffic, and (3) induce trips that would not have been made at all because of the peak traffic loads on the highway, including errands that could be put off for another time because it would be too much work to fight traffic along the highway for a single errand when several of these trips could be combined into a single outing. These three factors were identified and articulated by the transportation economist Anthony Downs in his book Stuck in Traffic. In his decade and a half of research on the subject he has found no instance where the addition of road capacity did not generate trips at a faster rate than either the rate of population growth or the growth of the economy, or both combined.

The real question in my mind is what kind of city do we want? If we want more Willowbrooks, 200th St in Langley, etc., then we should build the roads and bridges and add a few buses and leave it at that. "Let the market decide". Well the market responds to the structure it exists in and in the absence of fixed rail-based public transit infrastructure that goes hand in hand with municipal plans for pedestrian-oriented development, the market will yield more of the same.

It is worth noting that I haven't even mentioned climate change and peak oil until now. We owe it to ourselves, our children, and future generations of humans and animals to act rationally. We know now that human activity is exacerbating the Earth's natural cycles of climate change. To reference an 80s pop song, "we didn't start the fire, it was always burning while the world's been turning...". What we've unknowingly been doing over the last two centuries has been to throw fuel on the fire and stoke it up higher. We didn't know what we were doing had consequences, now we do, so we must act rationally to remedy the situation.

An almost exclusively vehicle-oriented form of urban development by definition requires the use of vehicles. Bit by bit they are getting cleaner and more fuel efficient, some extremely so, but their use for virtually every trip is mandatory based on the scale of the built environment. Hybrids, ethanol, electric cars and possibly even hydrogen-powered vehicles will all make a huge difference to the intensity of our transportation-based pollution as more of these vehicles hit the roads but it will have little effect in the big picture if the volume of use continues to climb, which by definition it will as automobile-scaled development reigns.

What we need to do is build cities where the use of automobiles is not mandatory and then let hybrid/electric cars and more and better transit do the rest. This doesn’t have to look like the high density neighbourhoods of Yaletown or the West End, though they are excellent examples of high quality of life neighbourhoods were a car is not required. Instead, to use some Vancouver examples, Commercial Drive, Kerrisdale, and 4th Avenue are all excellent predominately single-family home neighbourhoods that are highly walkable, all have a wide variety of building types so that people of different age groups and incomes can live together, and each is anchored by a main shopping street with good transit connections to the rest of the city. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that are all classic streetcar suburbs.

It is also worth noting that an automobile-scale of development is highly vulnerable to economic shock due to increased fuel costs, shortages of fuel, or hypothetically, the requirement that fuel be prioritized for more productive purposes. In such likely scenarios people will find their neighbourhoods don't work well when they try to walk places. The distances are too great and gaps in fundamental infrastructure like sidewalks, crosswalks, and transit service are insurmountable.

We need to build a comprehensive regional network of rapid transit, light rail, commuter rail, express buses, and local buses to support a form of urban development that is built for people instead of cars. We have many, many successful models to draw upon, most notably the late 19th century streetcar suburb that produced most of North America's most successful walkable urban neighbourhoods and commercial streets.

We need to build our road infrastructure to be more useful to all stakeholders and this includes congestion pricing, HOV/Transit lanes, goods-only lanes, and new road infrastructure like the Gateway Program offers.

We need a PLAN and a schedule for new regional public transportation infrastructure projects so that municipalities can begin planning their growth and intensification around them. The market has shown nothing but enthusiasm for high quality transit oriented development in Metro Vancouver so far. There isn't an economic argument working against rapid transit when we consider its proven record of success. As an aside, can anyone tell me why a rapid transit project requires a business plan to receive funding while a road or highway plan does not?

Lastly, we need to recognize that we don't live in an all-or-nothing world. We need to use our existing infrastructure better. And, most importantly, we need to start thinking about moving people, not vehicles. Once that paradigm shift is made the rest will come quite easily.
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Last edited by SFUVancouver; Nov 1, 2007 at 3:27 AM.
     
     
  #46  
Old Posted Nov 1, 2007, 12:20 AM
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I recently attended a lecture series where I got to hear your old city planner Larry Beasley speak. It was very enlightening.A few things he said relevant to transportation were:

-Congestion is a good thing. Think about it, the most lively parts of a city are where traffic moves slowly.

-The best transportation plan is a land use plan. Most trips that we do are not commutes, but to get the necessities of life such as groceries. These things should be withing easy walking distance. In fact 80% of trips are for things that should be nearby, so by planning well with higher densities and mixed-use we get rid of 80% of transportation problems.

-Rapid Transit and freeways encourage areas to become devoted to a single use. This point surprised me, but it kind of makes sense. The only reason why areas like downtowns can even by so dominated by one use such as offices is because people are fed in and fed out on a daily basis from outlying areas which are just residential. Rapid Transit has to be used as a tool to generate economic and political support for pedestrian-friendly development. Rapid transit's role should be for the commutes when people can't live close to where they work or for recreational trips like going to see a hockey game.

The conclusion I draw from this for Gateway is that if you get more people to walk for their trips through better planning which is encouraged by better transit, you should see commuter traffic replaced more and more by actual goods traffic without adding any new infrastructure. But, then again goods movement isn't the real reason for gateway, it's so that Falcon and people in his riding can drive a little faster - for a little while at least
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  #47  
Old Posted Nov 1, 2007, 2:40 AM
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i was going to add some things, but after all the comments you all made i see no reason to.

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  #48  
Old Posted Nov 1, 2007, 3:51 AM
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Oh man... everybody I am familiar with... friends, colleagues, etc. utilize their vehicle. It's a lifestyle as well as a practical choice. Two girls I know situate in Yaletown utilize transit for short distance convenience. Same with a girl I know situate in Maple Ridge utilizing the WCE into downtown Vancouver for the 9 to 5.

~14% of people utilize transportation daily in metro Vancouver...

It's good to see al the transit users (non-vehicle owners on here)... but I'm sure even the Calgary and Edmonton forumers on here know the non-practicality of some of the arguments that I continuously read.
     
     
  #49  
Old Posted Nov 1, 2007, 7:49 AM
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Not expanding the highway will not reduce growth south of the Fraser and increase growth on the Burrard peninsula. It will do the exact oposit and strangle population growth and job growth on the Burrard peninsula and increase job growth and population growth south of the Fraser river. In the long run it fill in fact in all probability increase sprawl not reduce it and fracture our region reducing its economic power. If you want to reduce car use and reduce sprawl then not only the most efficient but also the most cost effective method is to increase fuel taxes. Not by strangling our economy, not by increasing commute times or neglecting our vital infrastructure. This highway expansion is needed, it was probably needed a few decades ago and right now it probably falls short of what is needed today. If you want to reduce sprawl and car use then increase the price of gas which effects the entire region equally and doesn't just shift the same growth from one part to another. The businesses that rely on using vehicles and fuel will pass on the costs to the residents/consumers, the residents wont have that luxury and will have to change their lifestyle or leave the region, while the extra revenue in fuel taxes can be used to keep our region competitive on the global level. The fact that Vancouver is a region that many people want to live in is a bonus which would make this all that much easier.
     
     
  #50  
Old Posted Nov 2, 2007, 7:35 AM
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Excellent 8 minute documentary about the potential for queue jumper bus lanes on Hwy1

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  #51  
Old Posted Nov 2, 2007, 7:58 AM
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^ it's amazing that man, Kevin Falcon, went to my high school.
     
     
  #52  
Old Posted Nov 2, 2007, 4:39 PM
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Way to congest traffic even more. Queue jumper lanes may help. But he failed to mention that the HWY 1 overpass on 152nd street is only 2 lanes northbound. The 3rd lane currently used for parking that that he suggested be converted to a queue jumper lane would have to again merge back into traffic to make it over the bottleneck overpass - which i should add is usually at a standstill all the way down the curve onto the highway - so that bus is going nowhere fast.

The region's transportation priorities for as long as I can remember have been focused around transit. It's about time they are investing in roads for the first time in decades.
     
     
  #53  
Old Posted Nov 2, 2007, 10:02 PM
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It's about time they are investing in roads for the first time in decades.
You mean waste opportunity cost on an incredibly inefficient way of moving people.
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  #54  
Old Posted Nov 16, 2007, 10:02 AM
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Gateway vote? It's just a dream
But not in Seattle, where voters nixed project

Frances Bula, Vancouver Sun
Published: Friday, November 16, 2007

SEATTLE - Imagine that everyone in Metro Vancouver was able to vote on whether the $3-billion Gateway roads-and-bridges project should be built.

Imagine advocates from both the pro- and anti-Gateway groups dressing up in polar-bear costumes and parading around in downtown Vancouver -- say, outside a hall where Bill Clinton and Al Gore were giving speeches on global warming -- and claiming you could only save the environment by a) voting for Gateway or b) voting against Gateway.

Imagine those groups also spending $5 million on ads and billboards and flyers and phone banks to convince voters that a) Gateway is bad or b) Gateway is good.

That's a fantasy scenario here.

B.C. Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon simply announced the Gateway project two years ago and public input since then has consisted of information meetings, angry letters to the editor or calls to radio shows, and whatever can be achieved by impromptu lobby groups.

But the fantasy scenario has been a reality for almost a million voters only 200 kilometres away.

People in three Seattle-area counties got to campaign and vote on what's called Proposition 1, a mammoth $18-billion, 20-year plan aimed at solving traffic problems in one of the U.S.'s most notorious cases of urban gridlock.

It included plans to add 300 kilometres of road, replace two bridges, and build 80 kilometres of light rail from Everett to Tacoma, with a side spur to Redmond in the east.

Proposition 1 -- which was narrowly defeated on Nov. 6 during civic elections -- is also an object lesson to everyone in B.C. about what might happen here if the public had a say.


Until the vote, both sides were fighting frantically to win the hearts of voters, who seemed to be evenly split in their opinions, according to polls.

Some of the arguments sounded uncannily like the same ones Metro Vancouver residents are hearing.

The anti-Prop-1 groups, in particular, focused on the negative environmental impacts.

The Sierra Club came out strongly against the proposition, in spite of the 80 kilometres of light rail and the transit investments, because of what the local spokesman admits is a much more hard-line attitude to road-building than environmental groups had even two years ago.

"There was a long time that lasted until a couple of years ago where the debate was, 'How much roads versus how much transit?'" said Mike O'Brian. He was speaking at the tail end of a rally, held a few days before the final vote, during which about 30 supporters demonstrated outside an American mayors' conference on global warming where Clinton and Gore were speaking.

Now, O'Brian said, populist environmental groups like the Sierra Club are saying they don't care how much transit planners add to any transportation package, they just won't accept anything that adds road space.

"Roads just fill up in urban areas, so 180 miles of more roads is 180 miles of more emissions," said O'Brian.

That's certainly how Julie McCoy felt.

McCoy brought her five kids, all dressed in polar-bear costumes, to the rally to support the cause.

"Global warming is real, it's here, it's bad," said McCoy, who lives in the north-Seattle neighbourhood of Broadview. "We feel like all of our resources need to go to fixing transit."

The pro-Proposition 1 side arguments also sounded eerily familiar.

"Vote 'Yes' to unclog major traffic choke points [and] fix our roads,'" said one piece of campaign literature. Another emphasized that "improving freight mobility will allow our region to compete in an expanding global economy."

But there were also differences between the U.S. and Canadian debates, because of how the U.S. system works. There, voters have to be sold on supporting initiatives and are much more likely to think about the negative tax impacts.

Proposition 1 would have meant sales taxes rising from 8.9 to 9.5 per cent and the cost of what Seattleites call car tabs, part of the car-licence system, would also rise.

That's much different from here, where big regional transit projects are not voted on directly by the public, and voters don't always see an immediate link between the project and their taxes.

Here, the Gateway project was largely driven forward by a coalition of businesses that got together in the late 1990s and successfully lobbied the provincial government for the project.

It has been opposed by Metro Vancouver, Vancouver and Burnaby city councils, two impromptu opposition coalitions, and every environmental group around.

In Seattle, Proposition 1 was crafted by two different public organizations -- the Seattle equivalents of TransLink and Metro Vancouver -- and was supported by a coalition of city councils or individual councillors from around the region, labour groups, business groups and even some environmental groups. Although the Sierra Club was opposed, other groups like the Tahoma Audubon Society, Washington Environmental Council and Transportation Choices Coalition endorsed the project.

All of that meant that there was a lot more for transit and light rail put into the project, in an effort to make it attractive to voters worried about road-building. And there was a much broader coalition campaigning for it.

That kind of process is definitely more stressful than Canada's, admitted one of main pro-Proposition 1 organizers.

Aaron Toso, working with Keep Washington Rolling, also acknowledged that "some of these decisions might be better made by a group of transportation-planning experts."

In a big project like this, it can become easy for people to vote against the whole project because they don't like some part of it.

But ultimately, Toso said, he thinks the American system works better.

"I'd go with our way. It's vital for the community to be supportive and we have seen a broad consensus. And I don't think a central authority can know what every neighbourhood needs."

As it turned out, Toso was doomed to be disappointed by voters who didn't buy into that consensus.

About 55 per cent of those who voted rejected Proposition 1 last Tuesday.

Within that group, almost half voted against it because they objected to the higher taxes they'd have to pay.

But 20 per cent voted against it because of the global-warming impacts.

They were people like Amie Marston and Diane Schumacher, who were both waiting at the bus stop across the street from the Sierra Club rally.

Marston, an analyst at the University of Washington and city resident who'd been issued her ballot and voters' guide a couple of weeks earlier, had already voted against it.

And suburban commuter Diane Schumacher was sounding equally unenthusiastic.

Neither like the increased taxes.

But neither thought it did enough to get people off the road. In fact, it encouraged them.

"I haven't owned a car in five years, so I feel like in Seattle, we've got it figured out," said Marston. "But then we're asked to subsidize people even more who choose to live in the boonies."

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  #55  
Old Posted Nov 16, 2007, 10:39 AM
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Seattle's "car tabs" are equivalent to the "vehicle levy" that was prooposed by Translink for funding but nixed by the Province.
Imagine the public voting to pass a vehicle levy - what do you think the chances of that remotely passing up here would be?

Proposition 1 “combined a $30.8 billion Sound Transit proposal to add 50 miles of light rail line over 30 years and a $16.4 billion plan to build 186 miles of new lanes and ramps in the three counties.”

Of the roads portion, the biggest chunk would have gone to the replacement of the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge (SR520) - $1 billion in toll revenue and $1.1 billion in sales taxes and car tabs (vehicle levies) towards the $4.4 billion project. The Governor is now "finding" the funding elsewhere for the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge.

$2.8 billion has been separately budgeted towards the replacement of the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

The twinned Tacoma Narrows Bridge (now tolled) just opened up this year.

“Proposition 1 would impose a six-tenths of a percent sales tax and an eight-tenths of a percent tax on car licenses in the urban areas of the three counties, on top of current sales and license levies. If passed, it would raise the sales tax in Seattle to 9.4 percent.”

“If you lived in an urbanized area of King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, you would pay 6 cents on a $10 purchase. That would pay for the rail and road portions of the measure, an increase of $150 a year per typical household. Also a car-tab tax of $80 for each $10,000 of vehicle value would go to roads. ”

That is in addition to the existing sales taxes and car tabs:

“Taxes already levied for Sound Transit — 4 cents in sales tax on a $10 purchase and $30 for every $10,000 of value in car-tab tax (scheduled to end in 2028, when bonds are repaid) — remain in effect regardless of the outcome.”

I find it surprising that voters voluntarily vote to increase their taxes. That’s actually quite impressive. If you had asked GVRD voters whether they wanted to pay Translink’s Vehicle Levy, my guess is that the voter response would have been a more resounding “No” than 55%. Given that the total car-tab burden for a $20,000 car would have increased from $60 annually to $220 annually, plus tolls, I am surprised that the “Yes” camp garnered roughly 45% support.

King County voter turnout was only 36 percent, because it's not a Governor/Presidential election year.

Given that more money under the Proposition was allocated to transit than to roads - it could just as easily be viewed as the overtaxed population not wanting to spend on anything (including transit). One comment in the P-I article notes:

“I want to see how the Sea-Tac light rail (segment) goes before we put up 50 more miles of it.”

Remember, Seattle defeated their light rail line proposal the first time, and had to go back to the voters a year later before passing (sound familiar?), and they passed the monorail expansion twice before finally killing it in 2005.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/transp...transpo07.html

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/transp...transpo08.html

Last edited by officedweller; Nov 16, 2007 at 11:07 AM.
     
     
  #56  
Old Posted Nov 16, 2007, 7:19 PM
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Sometimes public opinion polls are a good gauge of the electorate and, considering the topic at hand, I thought that it would be apropos to list the following.

During September, 2007 the NRG Research Group (not as familiar as Ipsos or Mustel but still reputable) conducted a public opinion survey of Burnaby residents concerning the Gateway Program. Considering that Burnaby Mayor Corrigan is one of the region's strongest opponents of the Gateway Program in Metro Vancouver, the results are somewhat surprising.

Sample size: 300; Margin of Error: 5.7%

"Based upon what you now know about the project to expand Highway 1 from Vancouver to Langley, improve on and off ramps and twin the Port Mann Bridge would you say that you support or oppose it? Would that be strongly or just somewhat support/oppose?

Strongly support 46%
Somewhat support 27%
Total Support 72%

Somewhat oppose 9%
Strongly oppose 12%
Total Oppose 21%

DK/Neither 8%

Just imagine what the results of a similar poll would be undertaken south of the Fraser River!

http://www.getmovingbc.com//NRG%20Re...ber%202007.pdf
     
     
  #57  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2007, 2:03 AM
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this is the end of projects for transportation though

its just one of what will be many more announcements over the next decade

Vancouver (Region) for its size is lacking in infastructure in general its about time it got caught up

now if they could only realize the south fraser can function very well on its own and is in need of its own skytrain lines and busses to serve it as its own area as opposed to being a feeder to the "big" city of Vancouver

I mean in the sense that a lot of people who live in Surrey work in surrey and like it and do not need to get into Vancouver for anything except for maybe a hockey game or concert
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  #58  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2007, 4:33 PM
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Originally Posted by SpongeG View Post
I mean in the sense that a lot of people who live in Surrey work in surrey and like it and do not need to get into Vancouver for anything except for maybe a hockey game or concert
Or a vandalism/theft binge.
     
     
  #59  
Old Posted Nov 24, 2007, 6:11 AM
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Stingray2004 Stingray2004 is offline
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Location: White Rock, BC (Metro Vancouver)
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I would think that the future reline-striping of Grandview Hwy in Vancouver (from Hwy 1), to include an HOV lane along the 6-lane arterial, would be supported by most... in conjunction with the proposed Hwy 1 upgrades in the Gateway Program.

According to a positive recommendation by the engineering department of the City of Vancouver, that should be the case.

In fact, the plurality of residents in the affected area, according to a concurrent city survey, also support same.

http://www.city.vancouver.bc.ca/ctyc...ts/cs4_002.pdf

Yet, Vancouver city's apparent political fringe oppose the HOV concept along Grandview. In fact, they believe that any HOV lanes (akin to the ones along Hastings St, in Burnaby) will turn Grandview Hwy into a freeway!!???!!!

Go figure... do they even know what a freeway is?

http://www.cope.bc.ca/content/grandv...rough-backdoor
     
     
  #60  
Old Posted Dec 30, 2007, 12:28 AM
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mattropolis mattropolis is offline
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: BC
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Falcon takes flight

Here's an article from the Vancouver sun that really explains the man in charge of the Ministry of Highways. Yes, I mean Highways. Most of the article is about his cars but there are a few points that he mentions about the road expansions he's planning. I'm not interested in the car they are advertising, but it kind of explains why he's so interested in roads and highways, whereas transit is a distant afterthought.

From Friday's Automotive Section. 2007/12/28

http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/driving/story.html?id=68d2df7a-4ffc-48bd-a96d-5001c1b288d1


Who better to pave British Columbia into the 21st century than a self-confessed sports car freak?

Andrew McCredie, Special to The Sun
Published: Friday, December 28, 2007

In this monthly series , automotive writer Andrew McCredie kicks some new-vehicle tires and goes for a ride with high-profile British Columbians from the world of entertainment, sports, business and politics.

- - -

HIS WHEELS
FIRST car: "My first car was a 1967 Ford Fairlane, 390, factory four-speed. Apparently that car was once known as the Widow Maker because it came off the assembly line with a lot of horsepower. I loved it. My friends and I were really into cars so we tore the engine apart, bored it out and put in some heavy-duty pistons. It was the fastest car in high school."

SECOND CAR: "I hung on to the Fairlane for a few years, then I bought a '63 Corvette convertible. It was baby blue, but I had it repainted back to its original Riverside Red. It had a 327 with a four-speed and it was just a wonderful car."

CURRENT CAR: "A 2003 Nissan Pathfinder. The only real reason I have it is because of my job. I spend a lot of time on construction sites and driving around the province, especially in the north and sometimes in some treacherous conditions. I've put about 130,000 kilometres on it. It's been a great vehicle -- it's got the feel of a car inside -- but I'm still a sports car guy at heart."

DREAM CAR: "I met a guy at a dinner a little while ago, and we started talking and he was a car buff too. He had a Ferrari F430 Spider, the newest one. He said he'd take me for a ride, so one day I was down at the Waterfront Hotel and had about an hour gap between appointments. He picked me up and we went for a ride, and it was beautiful. Just beautiful. So, I'd have to say a new Ferrari."

- - -

The parting advice Herb Mills, of MCL Motors, offered when I picked up the 2007 Aston Martin V8 Vantage from the Kitsilano candy store, er, luxury car dealership, was, "Keep your foot in it."

Premier Gordon Campbell may very well have uttered the same advice to Kevin Falcon when he appointed the Surrey-Cloverdale MLA minister of transportation on Jan. 26, 2004.

Since then, less than three years ago, Falcon has become the poster boy for not only Metro Vancouver's contentious Gateway Project, but for the many and varied large-scale highway improvement jobs currently under way in B.C.

These include the Sea to Sky Highway, the Kicking Horse Canyon and the William Bennett Bridge. The total sticker price is in the billions.

Once all the disparate patches of asphalt are widened and neatly tied together and the Port Mann twinned, the Gateway Project alone is expected to go north of $3 billion.

Clearly, Falcon has kept his foot "in it" when it comes to his day job. And when we went for a spin in the new Aston Martin in and around the MLA's constituency one Saturday morning, the self-confessed sports car freak had little trouble keeping his running shoe on the brushed-aluminum gas pedal.

That doesn't mean we were speeding, we weren't -- though on one occasion and on a totally empty stretch of highway, Kevin did test the Vantage's V8 acceleration. The reason you keep your foot "in it" when driving this exquisite sports car is the car's unique sportshift feature. The Vantage is equipped with a six-speed manual transmission, a wildly state-of-the-art gearbox with an electro-hydraulic clutch control that harnesses the 380 horsepower 4.3-litre V8 mid-mounted powerplant.

There are two ways to shift, either manually using the elegant forged-magnesium paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel, or by letting the car do all the shifting, in so-called "auto shift."

It was in this mode that Falcon did most of the driving. And he mastered the technique of keeping his foot on the pedal as the car went up and down the gears.

At first a little disconcerting, the effect of the clutch automatically engaging and adding a gear as you keep your foot firmly on the pedal is not unlike playing a high-end video racing game. In other words, it's a blast.

And Falcon was clearly having a blast as we drove around much of the patchwork highway quilt that is being expanded, upgraded and sewn together by his ministry.

In this area south of the Fraser River alone, $210 million is being invested in Highway 10 and Highway 15 improvements. Like a proud father, Falcon points out the new concrete infrastructure as we zip along Highway 10.

"Number 10 Highway is a major truck route and when the improvements are done we'll have four lanes all the way to Langley," he says as the Aston picks up speed and the exhaust note rumbles the cockpit-like cabin.

"And 176th Street, a two-lane road that goes to the fourth busiest border crossing in the country, is going to become a four lane and hook right into the TransCanada [highway]."

Falcon is the highest profile and most active minister of transportation the province has had in the driver's seat since the legendary Phil Gaglardi paved his way into drivers' hearts during his near two-decade run back in the '50s and '60s.

Longtime premier W.A.C Bennett said of his high-flying cabinet minister: "Next to him, the Roman roadbuilders were pikers," and he declared Flyin' Phil "the world's greatest highway builder."

That title, however, is in jeopardy as Falcon, not even three years into the job (Gaglardi served as highways minister for 16 years) is flying higher than even Flyin' Phil when it comes to billion-dollar road building.

Just as Gaglardi had his critics, there are outspoken critics of Falcon's plans. Protesters of some projects portray him as a dogmatic autocrat, hell bent on paving paradise.

Falcon shrugs it off, noting he never listens to talk radio and rarely watches TV. Instead, when he's driving it's all music, all the time. "From classical to the Sex Pistols," he says.

If Falcon doesn't shy away from the at-times rough and tumble of B.C. politics, he's probably got his brothers to thank -- all five of them. The second youngest, Falcon says his siblings are also the source of his passion for cars.

"We had every kind of car when I was growing up," he says, noting his mother wasn't always pleased with a driveway that resembled a car lot most of the time. "My older brothers went through the whole seventies customized van thing, another brother had a white Trans-Am with the eagle on the front."

Hot rod magazines were tucked into his math textbooks during high school at Vancouver College.

"I was just counting down the days until I could get my licence, then when I got it I bought my first car almost immediately," he says over the purr of the Vantage's stainless-steel exhaust.

"I'd saved up money over the years from paper routes and when I was 14 I got a job at The Big Scoop."

His first car was a high-performance Ford Fairlane, and since the age of 16, the now 40-something Falcon has owned a number of similar sporty cars, from a Corvette to a VW Cabriolet to a Beemer.

"My friend Bob Vickerstaff was really good with the mechanical stuff, so we'd always be in his garage doing stuff to my cars, like boring out the engine and putting in special pistons and cams," he says.

But nothing as exotic as the Aston Martin V8 Vantage. With a base price of $134,200 (our tester topped out at $154,800 thanks to some tasty options like 19-inch wheels, the sportshift gearbox and a Nav system), the 2007 Vantage is priced to compete with Porsches and other German high performance vehicles.

In terms of refinement, technology and materials used, however, the Vantage has more in common with prancing Italian sports cars. Featuring a bonded aluminum structure draped in an aluminum alloy and magnesium alloy body, the rear-wheel drive coupe has a beautifully proportioned look and style all its own.

Thanks to the use of race-inspired dry-sump lubrication, the V8 engine is mounted low in the chassis for improved handling and cornering.

Performance numbers are impressive, with a zero to 100 km/h time of five seconds and a potential top speed of 280 km/h.

All Aston Martins -- there are four models in the 2007 stable -- are hand built in Gaydon, a village in Warwickshire, England.

Up until March of this year, Ford owned Aston Martin, but in a bid to shed some underperforming assets and to raise a little cash, the Big Three automaker sold the marquee to a private consortium committed to returning the one-time legendary sports car builder to prominence.

If the new Vantage is any indication, they're well on their way.

Like the exterior, the interior is an exercise in proportion and elegance. In lieu of a gear shift, there are three buttons mounted on the dash, identified with the letters D (for auto drive) R (for reverse) and N (for neutral). A fourth button with the Aston Martin logo is a push start ignition.

Where German sports car interiors have a somewhat cool and reserved look about them, the Aston's is warm and inviting, offering the kind of elegant luxury British motorcars are renowned for. The gauges are easy to read but with a classic feel about them, and the controls are well-positioned and in many ways intuitive to the driver.

As a onetime president of the Vancouver Junior Chamber of Commerce, Falcon is unabashedly pro-business, and no doubt agrees with another of W.A.C.'s memorable lines, this one concerning the B.C. economy: "The finest sound in the land is the ringing of cash registers."

Truck traffic, Falcon notes, is the province's lifeblood in many ways, and to that end the Gateway Project is designed to strengthen the arteries and keep things pumping along and over the U.S. border.

As to the issue of global warming, Falcon has faith that industry, with the prompting of governments, will save the day.

"I'm a great believer in the ingenuity of the human mind, and I think what we'll find is that technology is going to deal with greenhouse gas and emission issues," he says, noting how much cleaner cars are today than they were just a decade ago.

But he also says the private sector needs prodding from government to invest in new technologies.

"That's why were putting $90 million into creating the first hydrogen bus fleet in the world, and we've just awarded the contracts for two hydrogen fuelling stations, one in Victoria and the other in Whistler, that we'll showcase during the Olympics."

He also lists the recent approval of "low-speed moving vehicles", electric runabouts with a top speed of around 40 km/h. Perhaps if Falcon keeps his portfolio until 2020 to equal Flyin' Phil's tenure as Minister of Transportation, we'll all be driving around in one of those.


But on this Saturday in December, Kevin Falcon seemed quite content to be behind the wheel of a sexy sports car with a speedo that goes to 330 km/h.
     
     
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