Stephen Rees's blog

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

Archive for September 13th, 2017

Drive Time

with one comment

I was staggered by the subtitle of this New Yorker essay by Ian Frazier “The surprising pleasures of driving in New York“. It seemed to me unlikely but the claim he makes – that starting with the “improvements” made by Robert Moses “the city has remade itself to favor cars” seems to be borne out by what I read. I have been driven in New York – by taxis and black cars – and the experience has been generally unremarkable. Especially as the flight times for planes leaving New York for Vancouver tend to be very early. But he also describes a multi-car pile-up in a passage that started giving me flashbacks.

Of course I have also ridden the crosstown bus – and the bike share. From what I read on Twitter from @StreetsblogNYC (a walking biking transit advocacy) I am lucky not to have had to deal with NYPD.

Screen Shot 2017-09-13 at 5.10.54 PM

But my intention was mostly to direct you to read the article – and I will throw in a few photos from my flickr stream for good measure. All are locations mentioned in the article

Williamsburg Bridge

The Williamsburg Bridge

Tram mid span
Dramatic angle

59th St – Ed Koch – Queensborough Bridge

FDR Drive

FDR Drive

Brooklyn Bridge roadway

Brooklyn Bridge

Written by Stephen Rees

September 13, 2017 at 5:29 pm

Posted in cars, Traffic, Transportation

Tagged with ,

Not The WP Photo Challenge

leave a comment »

There is no Weekly Photo Challenge being issued by WordPress this week. But I miss it, and by now this blog has amassed a considerable following  of people who have liked my posts. So like me I think they may be missing the challenge. In cognisance of its absence I am posting a picture which demonstrates that concept. Which, I think you will agree, is indeed hard to pictorialize.

IMG_2612

This is the local mall, where footfall has declined precipitously during redevelopment. There used to be two pay phones here.

So that’s my challenge – in one photo can you demonstrate absence? When you post set a pingback to this post and I will assemble a list of responses here.

Written by Stephen Rees

September 13, 2017 at 9:57 am

Posted in photography

Tagged with

Guest Post: There is no bridge design

with one comment

proposed-george-massey-bridge-artist-rendering

Susan Jones, of Fraser Voices has sent this letter to NDP MLAs with copies to the press. She has also given permission for it to be posted to social media

Thank you for canceling construction of the bridge to replace the George Massey Tunnel.  The media are erroneously reporting that the technical work has been done on the planned bridge to replace the Massey Tunnel.  In fact the numerous documents posted by the B.C. Liberal Government are mainly literature compilations and descriptive information.

There is no bridge design.  There is only a preliminary, conceptual plan for the bridge.  The six geotechnical reports are mainly a collection of available information.  The Geotechnical Data Report, posted February, 2017, contains test-hole data and laboratory investigations which do not include “project design requirements” and “cannot guarantee or warranty that the geotechnical information obtained is sufficient to fully satisfy the project objectives or requirements.”[i]

There is no evidence that a bridge can be safely constructed at this location. Without data and evidence, it is not possible to calculate the cost of the bridge.  In fact, evidence collected to date confirms that the soils in location of the planned bridge are liquefiable sand and silt to great depths.  Any bridge supports would need to be deep pile foundations.  It they can be built at all, they would be exorbitantly expensive due to depth requirements and massive lateral structures.

The geotechnical information available to the public is accompanied by a disqualifier:

The contents of this memorandum are not sufficient nor detailed enough for the final design, and should not be relied upon for the final design, for bidding purposes or for construction.”[ii]  

Yet the B.C. Liberals were planning to award contracts in the summer of 2017.

The option of upgrading the existing tunnel and sinking a second tube was not credibly pursued by the B.C. Liberals.  In April, 2013, Tunnel Engineering Consultations (TEC) from the Netherlands came to consult with the B.C. Ministry of Transportation.[iii]  No written report of this consultation has been provided to the public in spite of Freedom of Information requests.  It appears the BC Government did not request formal input.  I suggest the B.C. Government contact TEC and request further consultation.

Thank you again for planning to review the project.  Unfortunately, it is politically difficult as the tunnel congestion is a controversial issue that needs to be addressed effectively.

Sincerely,

Susan Jones

References:

[i] February 9, 2017:  GEOTECHNICAL DATA REPORT – OAK STREET BRIDGE TO LADNER TRUNK ROAD George Massey Tunnel Replacement Project, Scrolled page 3/324

https://engage.gov.bc.ca/app/uploads/sites/52/2017/04/Technical-Background-Geotech-1.pdf

 

[ii] February 9, 2017:  GEOTECHNICAL DATA REPORT – OAK STREET BRIDGE TO LADNER TRUNK ROAD George Massey Tunnel Replacement Project, Scrolled page 203/324

https://engage.gov.bc.ca/app/uploads/sites/52/2017/04/Technical-Background-Geotech-1.pdf

[iii] Planning Chronology for Massey Tunnel Replacement, Fact Sheet B.C. Government News, Sept. 13, 2016

https://news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/planning-chronology-for-massey-tunnel-replacement

 

 

cc:       B.C. Government NDP MLAs

Mayor and Council, City of Richmond

Mayor and Council, Corporation of Delta

Vancouver Sun

Vancouver Province

Delta Optimist

Richmond News

Surrey Leader Now

Peace Arch News

CityHallWatch

Written by Stephen Rees

September 13, 2017 at 8:53 am