Stephen Rees's blog

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

Archive for May 29th, 2007

Tram move to cost $1.3M

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Richmond News

The City of Richmond will spend up to $1.3 million to house a tram that may never run again, according to a plan going to the city’s parks, recreation and culture department tonight.

This is a sorry story. Richmond has not performed well with respect to the Interurban which pretty much created it. Vancouver and Burnaby have done much better. Vancouver certainly benefited from a former head of BC Transit who recklessly spent the crown corporations funds without proper authorisation on restoring a car now on Vancouver’s Heritage line. Burnaby have recently spent a packet on their interurban car. Richmond has a long history of arguments and law suits and the car is still not in running condition.

I got an idea from a story in the Vancouver Courier today (not on their site at the time of writing) which lauds Hatch Mott McDonald for getting the contract to design the expansion of the streetcar lines between Granville Island and Science World.

 

If the project goes ahead, the single tracks between Granville Island and Science World, where the Downtown Historic Streetcar runs on weekends during the tourist season, would be replaced with double tracks that would accommodate both the new and old streetcars.

Single cars would run down a grass median in the centre of First Avenue with a car and a bicycle lane on either side. Whether the wires that power the electric cars will span First Avenue or run off posts in the centre of the median will be examined in the report HMM will submit to the city by the end of the year.

My suggestion would be that the City of Richmond lend the tram to Vancouver. They hope to borrow some other cars to have some running by 2010. TRAMS have a lot of experienced people, and the technology of electric traction is common to trolleybuses. So 1220 could be running again, as long as we don’t have to wait for Richmond to get its act together. And we might even have some money from our Olympic venture to contribute. The main thing is that the car run, not be a static museum piece. We have lots of nice pictures in our Archives – which cannot be published because no-one knows who the photographers are. They form a very nice exhibit right now. A few artifacts could round that out. A working car on a line that is actually performing a function is a much better memorial to the interurban.

BCER 1222

Richmond should hang its head in shame. It has already allowed housing to be built on part of the right of way. In future years our children will look at the monstrosity on No 3 Road and wonder what on earth we were thinking of. We could have had a real light rail system here again. We chose not to. Incredibly short sighted and as always driven more by penny pinching than common sense.

Update

Tram moving to next stop

By Matthew Hoekstra

City staff will announce next Tuesday the new proposed home for the Steveston tram.

Last October city council abandoned plans to relocate interurban tram #1220 to Britannia Heritage Shipyard, over cost and community concerns that a shipyard wasn’t the right spot for a historic rail car.

Council opted instead to leave it at its current home in a barn in Steveston Park until a new location could be found.

Now, according to city spokesperson Ted Townsend, a new location has been identified. That location will be revealed at the next parks, recreation and culture committee meeting, Tuesday at 4 p.m. at city hall.

And something I had missed in  the Province last Monday from Derek Moscato

Written by Stephen Rees

May 29, 2007 at 3:19 pm

Blatherwick retiring from chief health post (4:25 p.m.)

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Blatherwick retiring from chief health post (4:25 p.m.)

Vancouver Sun

Well he’s earned it but I am going to miss him. There are very few public servants at any level of government here who have such a straightforward approach to getting the truth out there.

He’s been chief medical health officer for Vancouver coastal since 1984.
Since then, Blatherwick has racked up accolades for establishing the largest needle exchange program and first supervised injection site in North America; creating the Pine Street (now Pine Free) Youth Clinic; and campaigning for safer sex at the start of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
He claims his biggest achievement was reducing the public’s exposure to second-hand smoke.

He … received the Order of Canada in 1994 for his work in public health and an award as a Canadian Health Hero from the Pan American Health Organization in 2002. He was also the recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002.

Written by Stephen Rees

May 29, 2007 at 9:04 am

Posted in personal thoughts