Stephen Rees's blog

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

Translink bills : Only one Taxpayer

with 4 comments

There’s an op ed piece today which is creditted to Kevin Falcon. It is in response to the Sun’s earlier “Hide your money before the TransLink Gang turns you into roadkill, Jan. 24″

It is of course a simple recycling of what has been said before – but the kicker is at the end

But the benefits of this plan go beyond just addressing climate change.

This is about building stronger, denser, more vibrant communities that will grow near transit hubs and along corridors.

It’s about giving people in the Lower Mainland choices to efficiently get where they need to go — by walking, cycling, transit or car.

This suggests that someone in the MoT is paying attention. And of course it is absolutely right, and must be applauded. Well done Kevin! Now perhaps you would just care to explain why you need to build all those highways first – which will of course have exactly the opposite effect. And while you are at it explain why since the BC Liberals have been in power for the last seven years you have done so little in terms of transit for the fastest growing parts of this region? And that the only significant investment in rapid transit in that time (the Canada Line) has already destroyed one “dense vibrant community” centre (Cambie Street in Vancouver) and you have not even thought seriously about compensation for the businesses destroyed by cut and cover construction which even you now admit was a bad decision and won’t be used on Broadway.

You might also like to comment on why in your announcement there was so little for the South of the Fraser in terms of rapid transit. And nothing for Abbotsford or Chilliwack for twenty years when they already have a railway line that could carry passenger trains now – and get them to Langley and Surrey, which for people in that area are actually more important destinations than Vancouver.

In the next twent years another million people are coming here. And for the first half of that time all they will see are new highways. Do you seriously mean that this will convince them to go for “hubs and corridors” that have only inadequate transit as they do at present?

People need more choices NOW.  Especially those struggling to get between Surrey and Coquitlam in the peak periods. You could be running a fast, frequent bus service between those two centres today – by the simple expedient of using a short length of the northbound hard shoulder of Highway #1 in the morning peak as an exclusive bus lane to get past the queue and onto the bridge. But you actually stopped Translink from doing that!

Kevin , you have a huge problem – it’s called lack of credibility. And sending stuff like this to the paper only makes matters worse.

Written by Stephen Rees

January 31, 2008 at 9:44 am

4 Responses

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  1. I agree with your points, Stephen. Can we just add one more small, even petty request from a resident of Mount Pleasant? A Community Shuttle on 16th Avenue, please? I mean, I don’t even want it to go all the way from 16th and Dunbar to 16th and Commercial – I’ll be ok from Fraser to say, MacDonald. Pretty please? 🙂


    January 31, 2008 at 10:31 am

  2. “But you actually stopped Translink from doing that!”

    When/where/how did the BC Govt tell Translink not to build the The Eric Doherty Queue Jumper?

    Budd Campbell

    January 31, 2008 at 11:35 am

  3. Raul – if you want a Community Shuttle on 16th it has nothing to do with me. Talk to the service planners at Translink.

    Of course, everyone in the region deserves better transit than we have now. Many people who are already here want to switch from driving but have no realistic options other than to move house or change jobs. But also development continues apace, but tends not to be transit oriented in most places, because most places do not have decent transit.

    And we have always had the argument about does the next increment in transit spending shape new development or serve existing areas. Fortunately, the BC government now seems ready to spend much more on transportation in this region now. So they should, if they spend wisely, do both. All I am trying to do is stop them from spending money on something that we know doesn’t work in terms of shaping development into something more sustainable or provide more choice for our trips. The problem is that they currently plan to spend a lot on roads, and then spend even more on a tube train under West Broadway. And there might be a bit left over for the currently rapid growth in the Valley in twenty years or so. And that, frankly, is barmy! And a shuttle bus here or there makes no difference to the big picture.

    Stephen Rees

    January 31, 2008 at 1:32 pm

  4. Absolutely true, Stephen – I have indeed contacted Translink. It was meant more like a cheeky comment.



    January 31, 2008 at 3:14 pm

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