Stephen Rees's blog

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

Archive for February 13th, 2008

4 Lectures on Future of Transportation, starting March 6

leave a comment »

Admission is free, and reservations are required for all lectures.
Email or call 778.782.5100.

Are Today’s Transportation Agencies Ready for Tomorrow’s Challenges?
March 6, 7 pm. Speaker: Michael Meyer, Director of the Georgia Transportation Institute and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
Venue: SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings, Vancouver

Dr. Michael Meyer has literally written the book – not to mention chaired the committees, led the departments and received the recognition – on transportation planning. He will call on his comprehensive experience and knowledge to explain the intricacies of transport policy, to better understand our current dilemmas and challenges, from the need for better transit to the environmental and health considerations that have emerged as top priorities.
Panel includes Councillor Peter Ladner, George Puil, and Stuart Ramsey
Lecture/Panel details:

Transportation Strategies for Healthier Communities
March 19, 7 pm. Speaker: James Sallis, Professor of Psychology, San Diego State University; Director, Active Living Research

The Market for Walkable Urban Development
April 25, 7 pm. Speaker: Christopher B. Leinberger, Metropolitan Land Strategist and Developer, The Brookings Institution, Washington DC

Our Transportation Future
May 22, 7 pm. Speakers: TBA.

This series is sponsored by by the Bombardier Foundation and the Active Transport Lab at the University of British Columbia. Program partner: Simon Fraser University City Program.

Written by Stephen Rees

February 13, 2008 at 6:36 pm

Posted in Transportation

Victoria’s message to B.C. on health, climate: it’s up to you

with 4 comments

Vancouver Sun

Not entirely, Mr Campbell. Your government needs to play its part too. Because your government is laying the groundwork for the development of BC for the next generation. And so far that seems to be “business as usual”.

The announcement I wanted to see was that the Gateway Program would be cancelled immediately. The UN’s International Panel on Climate Change has recently revealed that its estimates for pollution from ships need to be tripled. That is not just greenhouse gas emissions, it also the emissions that threaten the health of the residents of the Lower Fraser Valley. Environment Canada and Health Canada have both recently informed you, in response to the Environmental Assessment of the Port Mann Bridge Twinning and Highway #1 widening, that the estimates for future pollution and greenhouse gas emissions were “misleading”. That is because the demand forecast chose to ignore the impact of this development on both land use and induced traffic.

There will be another million or so people moving to the Lower Mainland in the next twenty years. You have made long term “promises” to provide them with transit after they arrive. This will not change the pattern of development or their chosen means of travel. We have to provide transit to the fastest growing areas of the province now and not leave it until after the freeway has been widened. Because the developers are already moving to build more car oriented sprawl – just as they always have done in areas which have little or no transit provision. And no one would expect them to do otherwise. LiveSmart BC, aimed at containing urban sprawl and rewarding green developments, will not work unless it incorporates transit from the start – not as a possible add on later, which is what your recent transit announcement proposed. This also means you have to change your priorities. Not just cancelling all of the Gateway, but also the underground line to UBC. Because growth is not going to happen as much in your constituency (Vancouver, Point Grey) and that money will be much better spent on shaping the much greater growth in Langley, Surrey and Abbotsford.

People can only make choices from what they have been offered, and for too many people their transportation choices are still too limited despite a regional growth strategy that you wrote when Chair of the GVRD that said it should have been increased by now. Building more freeways now and promising that transit will come later is just Not Good Enough.


The above has been sent as an email to both the Premier and a letter for publication to the Editor of the Sun

UPDATE February 14

Of course it was not published in the Sun. And no doubt I will get the same form letter back from the MoT in due course.

Written by Stephen Rees

February 13, 2008 at 12:32 pm

It is called the K.I.S.S. principle

leave a comment »

From today’s Province:

Carbon driving lesson


Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Premier Gordon Campbell needs some basic driving lessons.

He says he wants to stop the growth of carbon emissions and reduce them by 33 per cent by 2020. But, his Gateway freeway plan would accelerate emissions and make it impossible to stop and turn around.

Mr. Premier, you first take your foot off the gas, then put the brakes on and then turn around.

Stepping on the gas (Gateway) and the brakes (transit) at the same time will just land us in a multibillion-dollar ditch.

Eric Doherty,


Written by Stephen Rees

February 13, 2008 at 8:47 am