Stephen Rees's blog

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

Archive for September 2017

How many people move per hour …

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This graphic was posted to twitter this morning by Brent Toderian. It comes from Dale Bracewell the Manager of Transportation Planning at the City of Vancouver.

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Most people still think that widening streets and adding lanes for more cars will somehow help congestion. In fact that simply induces more traffic and makes matters worse. If more people chose to use bikes and walking for short trips – which are in fact the majority of trips in the city – there would be less traffic. What we need to concentrate on is the number of people being moved, not the number of vehicles. Using  cars with a capacity of five or more people to move just one or two people is clearly a waste of space – not just the 3 metre lane width on streets but the parking spaces needed to accommodate cars when they are not being used – which is most of the time. There are far better uses for urban land than storing vehicles.

Clearly even if we cannot afford lots more skytrain lines, we could be moving lots more people if we had bus lanes in the City of Vancouver. There are not many at present, and most are peak hour, peak direction. The City cannot do very much by itself to increase transit supply but it could do a great deal to make the bus network much better. Exclusive bus only lanes and traffic light priority would straightforward to implement – but the noisy pro-car lobby would have to overridden.

Written by Stephen Rees

September 29, 2017 at 9:37 am

Posted in Transportation

CUTA Integrated Mobility Report

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I have decided that there is no way to make this work just with a retweet. So this blog post is addressed to mostly to readers who come to this blog because they are interested in how Canadian transit agencies should better adapt themselves to changing circumstances. Unlike CUTA’s approach to transit statistics, this report is not restricted in its distribution and it is free to download as a large pdf.

Screen Shot 2017-09-28 at 11.30.34 AMIt is meant to be a resource for transit agencies wishing to advance their communities towards integrated mobility.

So if that is something you want to read, start at the CUTA report web page from which there is a download link.

Written by Stephen Rees

September 28, 2017 at 11:32 am

WPC second bite at “Windows”

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There was no reponse shown on the challenge page so I tweeted WordPress and they seem to have fixed the issue – but only posts that go up after the fix will show up there. So here are some more windows

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These are the windows installed on what was once a balcony in our suite. It is north-west facing, so only gets sunshine late in the day. But the view of the trees is one I often use – and sunsets – the mountains are slowly being hidden as the canopy of tree tops rises.

Here is the previous effort

Written by Stephen Rees

September 27, 2017 at 11:07 am

Posted in photography

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Window

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This window is in the Pantheon in Paris. The building is a deconsecrated church, whose architecture is inspired by St Paul’s cathedral in London and has a magnificent dome. If you have a head for heights, you can access both the interior and exterior of the dome, and views from both are impressive. I took the picture as we started our way up the many stairs to the top. The view from this window was a bit of a disappointment, and it did not get used in my record of the trip on either WordPress or Flickr. But it does seem to fit rather neatly into this week’s challenge “To get more creative, use the glass in a window to add texture to your photo.” It seems to me that the panes of this window have not been cleaned for a while. If you like flying buttresses, or colonnades, this is a view of the building not usually seen.

pingback reset

Written by Stephen Rees

September 27, 2017 at 9:42 am

Posted in photography

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“Watermelon” wants free transit

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Straight picture

There are a lot of nice photos of Mary Jean “Watermelon” Dunsdon and a nice old bus in the Straight. I replied under the article but decided I should post here too. Not that I need to write much more

“she’s traded in her bikini for a business licence”

Erm, I don’t think so. Wreck beach is not the sort of place where people wear bikinis, is it. And her famous Georgia Straight front cover picture doesn’t have her wearing a bikini either.

watermelon

As for free transit, we have been around this argument several times over the years

https://stephenrees.blog/…/a-case-for-free-transit-in…/

https://stephenrees.blog/2008/03/31/free-transit/

https://stephenrees.blog/2007/12/20/free-ride/

And just to show I’m not the only one who thinks this idea is far from “sensible”.

https://thetyee.ca/News/2007/07/30/FareFree6/

The way to get more people using transit is to increase service – and make what you do provide more reliable. That means more trains and buses – and put the buses is exclusive bus lanes. Put a camera in the front of every bus, and paint the bus lane red, then the operator just clicks the button every time the bus gets behind a vehicle that is not a bus. Use the ticket revenue from that to buy even more buses. But you cannot afford to give up 50% of current revenues if you want to increase service.

By the way the City has no power to make transit free – but there is a great deal it could do to give buses priority on Vancouver’s streets.

I think we would be better off with Pete Fry on council.

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Seven Sisters Road by “sarflondonunc” on flickr

Written by Stephen Rees

September 26, 2017 at 3:27 pm

Weekly Photo Challenge: Layered

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The sides of the canyon through Zion Nation Park in Utah shows how the rocks are layered. The erosion caused by wind and water reveals the rock “an immense sequence of sedimentary rock layers” over 250 million years old. There is a really nice infographic giving the names of the rocks on the NPS web site.

Written by Stephen Rees

September 20, 2017 at 9:26 am

Posted in photography

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Double Deckers for Vancouver

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Translink is saying that it will start trials of doubledeck buses this year. I just came across a picture of a German bus in Berlin

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This is a Lion’s City DD (A39) by manufacturer MAN – and is 13.73 m long (just over 45′ or five feet longer than the current fleet of single deckers. The feature that caught my eye was the three sets of doors – just as we have on the 60 foot artics currently in use. My bet would be that this has two staircases – as seems to be common in many large double deckers these days. These should speed dwell times at stops, which can be an issue with large capacity double deckers. I imagine that Translink will be using the Alexander Dennis buses which both BC Transit in Victoria and GO Transit in Toronto use, to avoid the usual performance of getting new vehicles certified for use in Canada.

By the way the capacity of the illustrated bus is 129.

Written by Stephen Rees

September 19, 2017 at 12:06 pm

Posted in Transportation