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  #21  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2009, 9:44 PM
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This notion of tearing down the viaducts shows how uncreative the city is. There is plenty of room available along NEFC to develop without their removal. Mr. X's post perfectly shows what can be done and how viaducts can actually be an interesting and functioning part of an urban fabric. All this councilor want to do is tear down the ducts so the city can pick some more low fruit by building another bland Yaletown to make a quick buck in development, but then what?

The funniest thing is they are making this a big story on news 1130 as if it is almost a done deal to tear them down.
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  #22  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2009, 10:06 PM
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As much as some people would like to use the land for yuppie condos and inconvenience the working class all in the name of sustainability, the Viaducts are a part of this city. Taking them out now would be like removing a few ribs so you can fit in your favorite dress.
Sorry, you're still not selling me on this "working class" stuff. If they can afford to drive and insist on doing so when there's perfectly fine transit out there, that's their decision. These people you describe make a lot more money than I do, and I resent having to subsidize a lifestyle characterized by such wasteful extravagance.

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Agreed. Just another idiocy from Gregor and his Green Goons, in their attempt to make downtown Vancouver as relevant and vibrant as Brentwood Mall.
If your definition of "vibrant" is having an excess of road space, Brentwood has that in spades. So does Whalley.

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Originally Posted by Distill3d View Post
So, uh, if we tear down the Viaducts, are we going to tear down the SkyTrain and put it all underground as well? And while we're at it, lets reroute the bloody Trans Canada Highway to 0 Avenue, and tear down the Port Mann Bridge just so we can reclaim the land and rebuild Port Mann. Lets not stop there though. How about we invent the 0 emission, electric hover car, make it free for everyone to own one, and then we wouldn't need roads at all! We could just fly everywhere.
Nobody's suggesting any of these things. You might consider a career in opposition politics with your apparent love of hyperbole.

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And if you keep going down that path you will slowly but surely turn downtown into a suburb. Actually more of a resort than a suburb. And that process is already taking place given that new office space is being added along the Broadway/Lougheed corridor and in Burnaby, Surrey and other places. Who knows, maybe one day in not too distant future Metrotown becomes the new business center/downtown of Metro Vancouver.
I think you're onto something here. Indeed, if there's one thing suburbs are known for, it's their lack of road space.

Mr.x, the Toronto example doesn't serve your purposes all that well. The Gardiner Expressway has proven to be an enormous headache for that city in trying to revitalize their extremely lackluster waterfront. Toronto is a classic example of what expressways do to a city; Seattle would be another good one.

Did any of you bother reading lightrail's link? Here it is again in case you forgot: http://www.infrastructurist.com/2009...p-save-a-city/

Although Vancouver is perfectly able to go it's own way with urban planning (it's proven rather more capable than other cities in this regard), if it were to take any cues from other cities, I would rather they emulate Seoul or San Francisco than Toronto or Seattle. My hunch is that most Torontonians would agree.

Again, I advocate tolling non-commercial and -industrial vehicles on the viaducts as an intermediate measure to see how badly these things are actually needed. Worst case scenario? This downtrodden "working class" will simply fork out the extra cash instead of taking transit, and the city can put the revenue towards something else worthwhile that actually beautifies the city.
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  #23  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2009, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by lightrail View Post
Yes the traffic will disappear. In Seoul, South Korea, they removed an elevated freeway (which used to carry 180,000 vehicles a day) that bisected the dense city, replacing it with park and a day lighting a buried river. No new roads were built. When asked where the traffic went, planners shrugged. They had no idea. Traffic on other roads was no worse than before the viaducts were demolished.
If the traffic wasn't easily identifiable on another route or mode of transportation, then that just means the people stopped making those travel trips. Which is a big problem, IMO, if you are investing the region's resources in our downtown peninsula. If the goal is simply to have less people travelling into downtown, then we should let the regional planners know, so we can stop building transit infrastructure to downtown (3rd seabus, streetcar, SkyTrain...) and build them to somewhere else instead. But I think the goal is to change the people's mode of transportation over time, not to stop people from making those trips at all.
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  #24  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2009, 10:15 PM
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  #25  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2009, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Metro-One View Post
This notion of tearing down the viaducts shows how uncreative the city is. There is plenty of room available along NEFC to develop without their removal. Mr. X's post perfectly shows what can be done and how viaducts can actually be an interesting and functioning part of an urban fabric. All this councilor want to do is tear down the ducts so the city can pick some more low fruit by building another bland Yaletown to make a quick buck in development, but then what?

The funniest thing is they are making this a big story on news 1130 as if it is almost a done deal to tear them down.

The Creekside Park expansion poses as a major problem to making the viaducts more of a lively and active place. For one thing, the park is going to be underused and secondly it would be much more ideal if buildings lined up along Pacific Boulevard to provide some pedestrian activity along the street. Add in having developments between the viaduct spaces, some aesthetic improvements to the viaducts themselves, and you have the solution.

It's park overkill.
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  #26  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2009, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by geoff's two cents View Post
Sorry, you're still not selling me on this "working class" stuff. If they can afford to drive and insist on doing so when there's perfectly fine transit out there, that's their decision. These people you describe make a lot more money than I do, and I resent having to subsidize a lifestyle characterized by such wasteful extravagance.
Exactly! It's their money, and their lifestyle. So why should they have to subsidize their lifestyle to support your dream of an urban utopia?

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Nobody's suggesting any of these things. You might consider a career in opposition politics with your apparent love of hyperbole.
With an attitude like yours so should you.
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  #27  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2009, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by geoff's two cents View Post
Mr.x, the Toronto example doesn't serve your purposes all that well. The Gardiner Expressway has proven to be an enormous headache for that city in trying to revitalize their extremely lackluster waterfront. Toronto is a classic example of what expressways do to a city; Seattle would be another good one..
The Toronto example I provided was meant to be about the type of development that would be suitable for the major lot next to GM Place, not really about the viaducts.

A viaduct example would be the postponed GM Towers wedged between the viaducts:


































New office tower to adjoin GM Place
Businesses hope location will help lure the best employees with Canucks perks

Bruce Constantineau, Vancouver Sun
Published: Saturday, August 18, 2007

GM Place owners plan to build a 22-storey office tower that will connect to the arena's northwest corner, Vancouver Arena Limited Partnership announced Friday.

A formal application has been submitted to the City of Vancouver for permission to build a 312,000-square-foot building designed by architect Peter Busby.

Busby said the building will become a signature Vancouver office tower because of its design and plans to make it among the most energy-efficient commercial buildings in North America.

Sustainable features will include using "energy synergies" between GM Place and the connecting office tower. Heating and cooling systems between the two buildings will work together so waste heat from one building will be used to heat the other.

Part of GM Place's underground parking, which is used mostly at night, will be used for the new office tower.

Vancouver Canucks chief executive officer Chris Zimmerman, who was uncertain about the project's cost and potential opening date, said the new building will enhance the fan experience by providing new amenities like restaurants and retail shops.

He noted office tower tenants will be able to walk from their lobby straight onto the concourse level of GM Place for hockey games or concerts.

"We always want to have more concourse space because it gives us the opportunity to create more food and beverage options," Zimmerman said in an interview. "It will allow for better flow throughout the arena."

He expects the new tower will attract a lot of potential new tenants who will enjoy the unique opportunity to be directly linked with an NHL venue.

"In a highly competitive job market, I think it gives the primary tenants some wonderful recruiting tools," Zimmerman said. "We'll be able to provide some unique benefits around utilization of the building, the ice surface and probably some inside access to certain team events. It will be a great way for companies to differentiate themselves."

He said the current high demand for Vancouver office space makes it an ideal time to build the new tower. The downtown Vancouver office space vacancy rate is currently at an all-time low of 3.5 per cent, according to CB Richard Ellis Ltd.

bconstantineau@png.canwest.com


© The Vancouver Sun 2007
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  #28  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2009, 10:29 PM
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That sounds awesome - I hope it gets built soon. Especially the game night lighting effects.. fantastic idea.

The viaducts are a part of the city, there is no good reason to rip them down. There's enough space to put condos around False Creek as is without removing vital pieces of infrastructure.
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  #29  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2009, 10:32 PM
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Did the city approve the application?
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  #30  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2009, 10:35 PM
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Did the city approve the application?
Yes. It was to be completed this year, but it has been postponed because of dwindling office demand induced by the recession.
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  #31  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2009, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by geoff's two cents View Post
Sorry, you're still not selling me on this "working class" stuff. If they can afford to drive and insist on doing so when there's perfectly fine transit out there, that's their decision. These people you describe make a lot more money than I do, and I resent having to subsidize a lifestyle characterized by such wasteful extravagance.

If your definition of "vibrant" is having an excess of road space, Brentwood has that in spades. So does Whalley.

Nobody's suggesting any of these things. You might consider a career in opposition politics with your apparent love of hyperbole.

I think you're onto something here. Indeed, if there's one thing suburbs are known for, it's their lack of road space.

Mr.x, the Toronto example doesn't serve your purposes all that well. The Gardiner Expressway has proven to be an enormous headache for that city in trying to revitalize their extremely lackluster waterfront. Toronto is a classic example of what expressways do to a city; Seattle would be another good one.

Did any of you bother reading lightrail's link? Here it is again in case you forgot: http://www.infrastructurist.com/2009...p-save-a-city/

Although Vancouver is perfectly able to go it's own way with urban planning (it's proven rather more capable than other cities in this regard), if it were to take any cues from other cities, I would rather they emulate Seoul or San Francisco than Toronto or Seattle. My hunch is that most Torontonians would agree.

Again, I advocate tolling non-commercial and -industrial vehicles on the viaducts as an intermediate measure to see how badly these things are actually needed. Worst case scenario? This downtrodden "working class" will simply fork out the extra cash instead of taking transit, and the city can put the revenue towards something else worthwhile that actually beautifies the city.
It really doesn't take that much money to own and operate a car. I'm still in school, live on my own, and can easily do so without parental subsidy. The amount of use I get out isn't particularly high, but operating costs over the coarse of a year are in line with what some people I know spend on restaurants and alcohol.

Similarly motorcycles and scooters aren't such a ridiculous item far out of reach of the downtrodden proletariat. A new cheap motorcycle can be had for under $5K, and insured and fueled for LESS than the cost of monthly bus pass.

Wasteful extravagance is bit of an overstatement.

Now here's a wasteful extravagance... what kind of a toll would you charge people to go 3 blocks? $.50 ? Why spend a few million dollars on tolling infrastructure that you know will never actually break even financially? Could it be a lack of financial realism holding is your personal economic status back?

The idea of the viaduct really hurting the vitality of that area just seems kind of odd to me. It's not like Concorde is hesitant to state that it's developing that area as well. It's right up there on the gentrification calendar. It's more of an eventuality that the viaduct is going to be encapsulated by new development as Concord continues to build up its land. I honestly like the idea of them having to change their cookie cutter to fit in the viaduct. It's going to make an interesting neigbourhood.
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  #32  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2009, 10:44 PM
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Exactly! It's their money, and their lifestyle. So why should they have to subsidize their lifestyle to support your dream of an urban utopia?

With an attitude like yours so should you.
Thanks for the suggestion, but I think I'd die a very early death of sheer frustration if my job was to convince people of their enviro-ecological responsibility. Honestly, preaching environmental awareness to suburban Vancouverites is like preaching racial equality in the Jim Crow South - though, instead of pitchforks and torches, I'd just be assassinated in a drive-by shooting by someone from Maple Ridge driving a 4x4 through the West End.

How about a compromise? Toll these drivers (who can obviously afford it) to make up for the tax revenue loss to the city (from not developing this prime real estate) and the loss in quality of life for city residents. It wouldn't have to cost any more than the toll on the Golden Ears Bridge - which, considering the dearth of transit options in Langley and Maple Ridge (and the fantastic transit in Vancouver and Burnaby), is actually a less intuitive tax on those drivers. Imagine, for instance, if those tolls went straight towards skytrain expansion in the aforementioned burbs. . .
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  #33  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2009, 10:53 PM
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This idea is so bad it is practically criminal,

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Originally Posted by geoff's two cents View Post
Mr.x, the Toronto example doesn't serve your purposes all that well. The Gardiner Expressway has proven to be an enormous headache for that city in trying to revitalize their extremely lackluster waterfront. Toronto is a classic example of what expressways do to a city; Seattle would be another good one.
The Gardiner Expressway doesn't even register when it comes to talking about the challenges in re-developing the Toronto Waterfront.

The greatest challenge are too many interests that can't agree on anything at the same time all benefiting from doing nothing. Be it the squatters who object to the presence of the public or any of the noises that might be expected in the core of an enormous city. There are the condo developers who are quite happy to buy land for practically nothing, land that would likely appreciate in value significantly were there any coherent redevelopment strategy and there is the City of Toronto itself that employs some of the stupidest people to ever emerge from the womb without strangling themselves with their umbilical cord and then the elected officials like Vaughn and Miller who pander to the above groups ensuring the status-quo.
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  #34  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2009, 10:55 PM
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It really doesn't take that much money to own and operate a car. I'm still in school, live on my own, and can easily do so without parental subsidy. The amount of use I get out isn't particularly high, but operating costs over the coarse of a year are in line with what some people I know spend on restaurants and alcohol.
Point taken, and good for you. However, I still have issues with people polluting the air unnecessarily. But then, I suppose that makes me a hippie.

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Now here's a wasteful extravagance... what kind of a toll would you charge people to go 3 blocks? $.50 ?
I'd charge the same that the GEB charges. Again, this would actually be more reasonable than the toll GEB travelers currently pay, given the fact that there are so many options for commuters heading into downtown Vancouver.

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Could it be a lack of financial realism holding is your personal economic status back?
No, it's because I'm an academic.

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Similarly motorcycles and scooters aren't such a ridiculous item far out of reach of the downtrodden proletariat. A new cheap motorcycle can be had for under $5K, and insured and fueled for LESS than the cost of monthly bus pass.

Wasteful extravagance is bit of an overstatement.
Don't forget repairs.

While I admit there are exceptions to every rule, I would suggest counting how many 5K and under cars you see going over the viaducts to employment centres in the CBD. My hunch is that the number of people riding motorcycles is much lower than even that.
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  #35  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2009, 11:09 PM
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But the option is there, and I see a lot of bikes on the road during summer.

Repairs are cheap for the most part. Especially when you learn how to wrench for yourself, there's books, rental shops and the like. The beauty of a bike is you don't need much space.

Now if you add ~$3 toll for those 3 blocks what youre going to see is an equilibrium of people who can't afford to be late, value their time much more than those who drive around or just simply don't give a crap. The end result is still likely going to be more carbon emissions and additional debt from installing the tolling infrastructure. You wouldn't save money on maintenance either if people have to drive farther to go around the toll.

Now as an academic I'd say that making $10-13K or so in a summer isn't entirely unreasonable, $15-25 as you gain in value. Most coop jobs in my field started around $3K a month for second years. Provided you have some initial capital to spend its not like a used car or cheap motorcycle are out of your reach.
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  #36  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2009, 11:18 PM
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What is funny is it would not be cheep to take down the ducts, create new roads and access points. I think that money would be better used in building the street car system Honestly, this councilor must have his finger in the condo developer's pie. What we need is more proposals like the GM tower there (which I really hope gets built) instead of more tower in the park Yaletown vacation condos wannabe suburbs.
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  #37  
Old Posted Oct 18, 2009, 12:05 AM
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What is funny is it would not be cheep to take down the ducts, create new roads and access points. I think that money would be better used in building the street car system Honestly, this councilor must have his finger in the condo developer's pie. What we need is more proposals like the GM tower there (which I really hope gets built) instead of more tower in the park Yaletown vacation condos wannabe suburbs.
Given the city's current financial position, I wouldn't advocate tearing them down at this precise moment either - only if they became so decrepit that the choice was between replacing them or tearing them down for good. I agree that tearing them down at this juncture would be fiscally irresponsible. Tolling infrastructure, however, might provide better bang for the buck. . .

I also agree on the need for office space, especially in that particular area - Stadium station is rather underutilized by the 9-5 crowd. It would certainly be an improvement on the current moonscape next to GM and BC place. . .
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  #38  
Old Posted Oct 18, 2009, 12:19 AM
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A bad idea to remove the viaducts - i'm in the camp that you will push traffic to other areas, especially thru cordova/powell - most heavy trucks and commuters would take those routes instead. Plus the escarpment issue - aside from dead-ending dunsmuir and georgia, it would be awkward to try to build a traffic ramp up from the level of gm place.

And we are seeing some suitable infill for the area - Even GM place without the office tower fits in nicely with the area, as with the costco. Not the most pedestrian-friendly environment, but suitable for the place.

Put a toll on the viaduct? interesting idea, and easy place to toll. But how would the city toll just commuters, and not, say commercial vehicles/ couriers and other business traffic? There is already a perception that the city caters to residents before busineses. (eg. property taxes on residents vs. civic business taxes.)
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  #39  
Old Posted Oct 18, 2009, 12:59 AM
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Sorry, you're still not selling me on this "working class" stuff. If they can afford to drive and insist on doing so when there's perfectly fine transit out there, that's their decision. These people you describe make a lot more money than I do, and I resent having to subsidize a lifestyle characterized by such wasteful extravagance.
I think you don't quite understand what the working class is. You should brush up on your Marx. The proletariat sell their labor. They do not own the means of production, and do not own the results of their labor. Most of the people in those cars are driving to their jobs, that they have to work, to earn a living, to pay for their house. They generate surplus that the bourgeoisie exploit so that the bourgeoisie can live where they want and pay for it, driving the workers further away from where they work.

So yes, people who have to drive in to work, no matter how much wealth they actually have accumulated, they still don't own the means of production, they don't own their job, they are still the working class. They show up every day to work for a living.

And Last time I checked, this was a free country. People were allowed choice, and people are allowed the persuit of happiness.

I don't know about you, but when I was a kid, I was happy gorwing up in a house, with a yard I could play in with friends, or play street hockey on my near deserted road. I imagine a lot of people out there want to give that happiness to their kids. How is that wrong? How can you punish hard working citizens who are driving the economic engine of downtown Vancouver with their hard work, but who can't even afford to live there.

For the price of a 1 bedroom condo downtown, you can get a full 4 bedroom townhouse in Surrey. For a 2 bedroom Condo downtown, you can get a house with a yard in the burbs.

Life is about choice, and if people choose to be happy by having kids and a yard and neighbours they know for their entire lives, why do you want to deny that to them?

I can live in White Rock (rent at the moment) and drive a car. I can use my car to get to downtown in about an hour, and I can go anywhere else I want on a whim. If I were to take transit downtown, it would take at least an 1:45. If I lived in Langley, the difference between dirving and transit would be 2 to 1. When I lived in Coquitlam, I could drive downtown in 35 minutes, or take transit and be there in 45 minutes while having people sneeze in my face. But it's about choice.

I chose most of the time to ride transit, but it had nothing to do with the environment. Even if I lived downtown, even in the same building I worked in, I would still want to own a car. A car to me is freedom, and for a year I was without that freedom once, and I missed it. I missed driving to parks I've never seen, or not having to struggle carrying 2 shopping bags on the bus. And if I had to budget it, there is no way I could afford a car AND live downtown. So I don't.

I'm not against tolls when they pay for expensive infrastructure that would otherwise be beyond our means to construct. But using tolls or building/removing roads to engineer people's wills and eliminate free choice is beyond socialist, it's a form of fascism.
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  #40  
Old Posted Oct 18, 2009, 1:12 AM
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News 1130 is hilarious, they are actually calling the viaducts a freeway! Now to me this shows just how disconnected that average Vancouverite is towards road infrastructure if they refer to 1km long (are they even 1km long?) bridges with a single off ramp and on ramp as a "freeway!"

If that is a freeway, then the free flow section of the new Golden Ears Bridge (from Lougheed to 200th) is a Mega Autobahn M1 speedway!
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