Stephen Rees's blog

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

Archive for October 12th, 2007

There’s also savings in numbers

with 4 comments

Two neat letters in the Straight today

Solving the Port Mann traffic jam is simple

1. No twin bridge
2. Four or more occupants, no toll
3. Three occupants, $2 toll
4. Two occupants, $10 toll
5. SOVs, $30 toll
6. All moneys to rapid transit and computerized ride-share program
7. Container semitrailer hours: 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Slow climate change now; end the twinning.

Lance Read / Vancouver

Re: “The two faces of Gordo” [Oct. 4-11]

At the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention, Gordon Campbell said: “As Einstein so clearly stated, the world will not evolve past its current state of crisis by using the same thinking that created this situation.”

But his actions remind me of Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over, yet expecting the results to be different.

For generations, cities have tried to cope with too many cars by expanding roads. Over and over, the results have been loss of homes, farmland, wetlands, and forests. Toxic emissions and road accidents are leading cause of death and injury. Car dependency consumes income needed for housing and education and weakens communities in numerous ways. Ironically, the cities that have invested the most in car infrastructure suffer the worst congestion and longest commute times.

The Gateway program would perpetuate this insanity by increasing single occupant vehicles while delaying and impeding development of a comprehensive transit system.

Carole James recognizes the futility of trying to move masses of people with cars, and characterized the program as “yesterday’s solution for tomorrow’s problem”. This is not quite accurate: it epitomizes yesterday’s nonsolutions, and why we are in a global environmental crisis today.

Ned Jacobs


Written by Stephen Rees

October 12, 2007 at 3:18 pm

Posted in Gateway, Transportation

Another new transit idea

with one comment

I would never have thought of Green Bay, Wisconsin, as being the kind of place to venture into untried fields of transit. But this story from the Fox River valley (the exurbia of Green Bay if you will) shows how transit can adapt to different needs of a sprawling area with jobs all over the place and no regular transit service possible

Valley Transit’s Connector service

What it is: A low-cost public transportation service to areas in and surrounding the Fox Cities, including sites beyond those on or near established Valley Transit routes. Operates from 4 a.m. to midnight, Monday through Saturday. Not available Sundays and holidays.

Annual budget: $136,050 annually, including $35,000 in United Way funding, $10,722 in projected fare revenue and state and federal public transportation funds

User fee per one-way trip: $3, or $1.50 plus standard Valley Transit fare for trips extending from transfer points on scheduled service routes

To schedule service: Call United Way at 2-1-1 or Valley Transit at 920-832-5800. Service can be scheduled within as little as two hours or as much as 14 days in advance

On the Web:

Or to put it really simply, HandyDART for the rest of us (para-transit) . I have often wondered if there would be better dial a ride service if it were opened up to everyone. No one would tolerate the current level of service from HandyDART unless they were forced to by circumstances.

On the other hand it’s tough luck in Appleton if your job is in the retail or service sector where working Sundays and Holidays – especially for new hires – is mandatory.

In this region we are seeing jobs get smeared all over the landscape instead of being concentrated in regional centres, which was one of those policies that was central to the LRSP but which few municipalities dared try to implement. The developers persuded them that if they pursued it too diligently, the jobs would just go to the municipality next door. One of the reasons we needed a stronger regional body to overview land use in my opinion. It is already problematic for minimum wage workers to get to the new warehouses and distribution centres – like the HBC on No 8 Road.

Also notable – this is America after all – is that the initiative relies on charity – or is that an NGO? – to get going. You can’t expect much innovation from municipal agencies – look at the talent pool local politicians are drawn from.

Written by Stephen Rees

October 12, 2007 at 9:59 am