Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Weekly Photo Challenge: Layered

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The sides of the canyon through Zion Nation Park in Utah shows how the rocks are layered. The erosion caused by wind and water reveals the rock “an immense sequence of sedimentary rock layers” over 250 million years old. There is a really nice infographic giving the names of the rocks on the NPS web site.

Written by Stephen Rees

September 20, 2017 at 9:26 am

Posted in photography

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Double Deckers for Vancouver

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Translink is saying that it will start trials of doubledeck buses this year. I just came across a picture of a German bus in Berlin

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This is a Lion’s City DD (A39) by manufacturer MAN – and is 13.73 m long (just over 45′ or five feet longer than the current fleet of single deckers. The feature that caught my eye was the three sets of doors – just as we have on the 60 foot artics currently in use. My bet would be that this has two staircases – as seems to be common in many large double deckers these days. These should speed dwell times at stops, which can be an issue with large capacity double deckers. I imagine that Translink will be using the Alexander Dennis buses which both BC Transit in Victoria and GO Transit in Toronto use, to avoid the usual performance of getting new vehicles certified for use in Canada.

By the way the capacity of the illustrated bus is 129.

Written by Stephen Rees

September 19, 2017 at 12:06 pm

Posted in Transportation

Jericho Pier Renewal

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Jericho Pier is a regular destination for our walks, but I have many more photos taken from the pier than of the pier itself. I thought it might be a good idea to record what is there now, before work starts. Then I took a look at the City webpage

The Vancouver Park Board, in partnership with the Disabled Sailing Association, is renewing the aging pier at Jericho Beach and providing an accessible dock for sailors with disabilities.

The pier is a popular destination for locals and visitors as well as for fishing and crabbing. The ramp and float on the east side of the pier are used for emergency boat landing.

The reconstructed pier will:

  • Provide an accessible floating dock to provide for users of all ages and levels of mobility, accommodating up to 15 sailboats for the Disabled Sailing Association’s adaptive sailing program

  • Provide seating and views of Burrard Inlet and English Bay

  • Offer recreational fishing and crabbing opportunities

  • Accommodate future sea level rise

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So it looks like I have some time. It also looks like there is a conceptual design already although  not on the webpage at the time of writing. Ken Ohrn on the PriceTags page does have a rendering – but without any link to where he got it from – so I won’t steal it.

If you cannot make it to the open house at pier tomorrow  11:00am to 2:00pm, presentation materials and an online questionnaire will be available September 16 to October 2, 2017.

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Written by Stephen Rees

September 15, 2017 at 3:58 pm

Drive Time

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I was staggered by the subtitle of this New Yorker essay by Ian Frazier “The surprising pleasures of driving in New York“. It seemed to me unlikely but the claim he makes – that starting with the “improvements” made by Robert Moses “the city has remade itself to favor cars” seems to be borne out by what I read. I have been driven in New York – by taxis and black cars – and the experience has been generally unremarkable. Especially as the flight times for planes leaving New York for Vancouver tend to be very early. But he also describes a multi-car pile-up in a passage that started giving me flashbacks.

Of course I have also ridden the crosstown bus – and the bike share. From what I read on Twitter from @StreetsblogNYC (a walking biking transit advocacy) I am lucky not to have had to deal with NYPD.

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But my intention was mostly to direct you to read the article – and I will throw in a few photos from my flickr stream for good measure. All are locations mentioned in the article

Williamsburg Bridge

The Williamsburg Bridge

Tram mid span
Dramatic angle

59th St – Ed Koch – Queensborough Bridge

FDR Drive

FDR Drive

Brooklyn Bridge roadway

Brooklyn Bridge

Written by Stephen Rees

September 13, 2017 at 5:29 pm

Posted in cars, Traffic, Transportation

Tagged with ,

Not The WP Photo Challenge

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There is no Weekly Photo Challenge being issued by WordPress this week. But I miss it, and by now this blog has amassed a considerable following  of people who have liked my posts. So like me I think they may be missing the challenge. In cognisance of its absence I am posting a picture which demonstrates that concept. Which, I think you will agree, is indeed hard to pictorialize.

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This is the local mall, where footfall has declined precipitously during redevelopment. There used to be two pay phones here.

So that’s my challenge – in one photo can you demonstrate absence? When you post set a pingback to this post and I will assemble a list of responses here.

Written by Stephen Rees

September 13, 2017 at 9:57 am

Posted in photography

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Guest Post: There is no bridge design

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Susan Jones, of Fraser Voices has sent this letter to NDP MLAs with copies to the press. She has also given permission for it to be posted to social media

Thank you for canceling construction of the bridge to replace the George Massey Tunnel.  The media are erroneously reporting that the technical work has been done on the planned bridge to replace the Massey Tunnel.  In fact the numerous documents posted by the B.C. Liberal Government are mainly literature compilations and descriptive information.

There is no bridge design.  There is only a preliminary, conceptual plan for the bridge.  The six geotechnical reports are mainly a collection of available information.  The Geotechnical Data Report, posted February, 2017, contains test-hole data and laboratory investigations which do not include “project design requirements” and “cannot guarantee or warranty that the geotechnical information obtained is sufficient to fully satisfy the project objectives or requirements.”[i]

There is no evidence that a bridge can be safely constructed at this location. Without data and evidence, it is not possible to calculate the cost of the bridge.  In fact, evidence collected to date confirms that the soils in location of the planned bridge are liquefiable sand and silt to great depths.  Any bridge supports would need to be deep pile foundations.  It they can be built at all, they would be exorbitantly expensive due to depth requirements and massive lateral structures.

The geotechnical information available to the public is accompanied by a disqualifier:

The contents of this memorandum are not sufficient nor detailed enough for the final design, and should not be relied upon for the final design, for bidding purposes or for construction.”[ii]  

Yet the B.C. Liberals were planning to award contracts in the summer of 2017.

The option of upgrading the existing tunnel and sinking a second tube was not credibly pursued by the B.C. Liberals.  In April, 2013, Tunnel Engineering Consultations (TEC) from the Netherlands came to consult with the B.C. Ministry of Transportation.[iii]  No written report of this consultation has been provided to the public in spite of Freedom of Information requests.  It appears the BC Government did not request formal input.  I suggest the B.C. Government contact TEC and request further consultation.

Thank you again for planning to review the project.  Unfortunately, it is politically difficult as the tunnel congestion is a controversial issue that needs to be addressed effectively.

Sincerely,

Susan Jones

References:

[i] February 9, 2017:  GEOTECHNICAL DATA REPORT – OAK STREET BRIDGE TO LADNER TRUNK ROAD George Massey Tunnel Replacement Project, Scrolled page 3/324

https://engage.gov.bc.ca/app/uploads/sites/52/2017/04/Technical-Background-Geotech-1.pdf

 

[ii] February 9, 2017:  GEOTECHNICAL DATA REPORT – OAK STREET BRIDGE TO LADNER TRUNK ROAD George Massey Tunnel Replacement Project, Scrolled page 203/324

https://engage.gov.bc.ca/app/uploads/sites/52/2017/04/Technical-Background-Geotech-1.pdf

[iii] Planning Chronology for Massey Tunnel Replacement, Fact Sheet B.C. Government News, Sept. 13, 2016

https://news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/planning-chronology-for-massey-tunnel-replacement

 

 

cc:       B.C. Government NDP MLAs

Mayor and Council, City of Richmond

Mayor and Council, Corporation of Delta

Vancouver Sun

Vancouver Province

Delta Optimist

Richmond News

Surrey Leader Now

Peace Arch News

CityHallWatch

Written by Stephen Rees

September 13, 2017 at 8:53 am

Book Review “The Patch”

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Alex McLean Oilsands 11 Suncor site, Alberta, Canada 140407-0617_0

The People, Pipelines, and Politics of the Oil Sands

by Chris Turner

Written by Stephen Rees

September 10, 2017 at 4:27 pm