Stephen Rees's blog

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

Archive for May 13th, 2007

The Livable Region Coalition’s new blog

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The Livable Blog

Going live today is a blog that I have added to my blog roll and one which I hope you will take the time to read and bookmark.

It starts with an op ed piece that was written for the Vancouver Sun. Despite that journal’s recent flirtation with David Suzuki, and some of their columnists seeming conversion, this well argued piece by David Fields of SPEC was not published. But it sets out why the expansion of Highway 1 and the twinning of the Port Mann Bridge is self defeating, and wholly contrary to the direction that this region set out on many years ago.

It was always acknowledged that the region would continue to grow and attract new settlers from across Canada and the rest of the world. The question was what shape would that development take. The Livable Region was the plan that all 21 municipalities signed on to, and was endorsed by the province as the official growth strategy. It wasn’t especially prescriptive. It has been criticized for being too vague. But it can be summarized in a few words. Protect the green zone, build complete communities, create a compact urban region and increase transportation choice. And that is still, in the view of many, a pretty good formula. And one we could have stuck to more closely than we did (suburban office parks weren’t in there – neither was the Canada Line).

But the direction set by highway expansion is one we had consciously rejected: we did not want the inevitable loss of green space, sprawl and car dependence that follow in its wake.

Lawn Sign

Written by Stephen Rees

May 13, 2007 at 2:43 pm

Now drivers face ban on smoking at the wheel

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| UK News | The Observer

In UK it is already an offense to talk on a cell phone while driving – a ban that we urgently need here. But we have been proud of our worker protection led ban on smoking where somebody has to work. So maybe we don’t have to wait for the cell phone ban to get started on this one. I am appalled at the number of drivers I see multi-tasking when they should be driving. Eating and drinking at the wheel – and the results of the distraction when the hot coffee spills on your legs. Something that I know from personal experience and has reformed me

The threat to other road users from people smoking (and other distractions) is significant. In Canada there is a further consideration not mentioned here of the number of fires that are started through carelessly discarded cigarettes. And both cyclists and those on motorbikes are at risk from the thrown dog end.

Written by Stephen Rees

May 13, 2007 at 11:36 am

Posted in Road safety