Stephen Rees's blog

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

Archive for May 2018

Jobs Jar

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Fair Vote Canada BC is looking to hire two summer students in Burnaby. The positions would be for 8 weeks, 30 hours a week.

Do you know a secondary or post-secondary student who’s passionate about proportional representation and is great at talking to people?

Do you know a student has these qualities and has the skills to help with a research project?

If so, please ask them to send their resume and cover letter to

anita.nickerson (a) fairvote.ca

(email munged to deter scrapers)


Ecojustice is hiring! They are looking for a Grant Writer for their Vancouver office. Ping  if you’re interested or want more information… lnkd.in/gEzNv5W

Written by Stephen Rees

May 23, 2018 at 4:19 pm

Posted in employment

Weekly Photo Challenge: Twisted

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Vancouver House is a condominium at the end of Granville Bridge that makes the most of a restricted site by a design that is twisted. This photo was taken a month ago, and the construction is now nearer completion.

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By a curious coincidence Price Tags – another Vancouver based blog has a more recent picture this morning.  Which saves me having to go out a try for a better shot. I can’t say that this design fills me with affection, but it is unusual.

Somewhere in my photostream is a picture of a very twisted tree trunk, but Flickr’s search engine – as usual – seems incapable of finding it. Maybe that will be one of the benefits of the takeover by SmugMug.

UPDATE

WordPress has announced that the Daily Post and all its challenges will cease issuing new challenges on May 31. I am leaving Vancouver for a cruise tomorrow – and I doubt that I will have a connection to the internet for a couple of weeks. So this is the last post I will make with this heading. It was fun while it lasted. Thanks to those who followed me, as a result of these WPC posts. And thanks to all those who “liked” my posts.

 

Written by Stephen Rees

May 23, 2018 at 10:13 am

Weekly Photo Challenge: Liquid

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Liquid

My first reaction this week’s photo challenge was to repost some of my beer pictures. It is one of the most frequent subjects on my Instagram and Flickr streams. There are also lots of river and sea pictures – but again more about the scenery than the water. Which  is when I thought of waterfalls!

Vetter Falls

Vetter Falls, BC

Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls, BC

Blackiston Falls

Blackiston Falls, Alberta

Waterfall

Cameron Falls, Alberta

Twin Falls

Twin Falls, North Vancouver, BC

Written by Stephen Rees

May 16, 2018 at 9:34 am

Not quite!

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Walkscore.com offers the rating for your address. And in this case I am afraid I do not agree with the assessment “Flat as a pancake”. There are steep hills in nearly every direction with the exception of Valley Drive to the north west. Any length of ride in any other direction takes you out of the bowl we live in – and getting up to the Arbutus Greenway via Nanton Ave or W King Edward is a real climb. Similarly getting up to Kerrisdale is a slog (Yew or Arbutus) though the old rail right of way makes it a gentler climb. The Ravine is not supposed to be used by cyclists, but they do.

The Arbutus Mall is undergoing rebuilding so the number of errands you can do on foot are now limited – but should be a lot better in a couple of years.

Transit isn’t “many” either: just two bus routes #16 on Arbutus and #25 on King Ed. If you scroll down it also says “Car sharing is available from Zipcar.” which is also misleading. We use car2go and evo: Zipcar is at Broadway and MacDonald, Modo at West Blvd and 41st – not exactly walking distance!

And here is the streetview they say it “not available”

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Written by Stephen Rees

May 12, 2018 at 11:43 am

Posted in Transportation

The New York Subway Delays

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There is a brilliant article in the New York Times drawn to my attention by a tweet from Jeffery Tumlin. “With amazing graphics, the Times explains how rapid transit works – and why well intentioned but uncoordinated decisions can make it fail.”

There is only one concern that I wanted to raise – and the NYT no longer wants comments. It is about these paragraphs

As the M.T.A. adopted more safety rules, the share of overall delays attributed to planned track work increased from 20 percent in 2010 to 30 percent in 2014, despite a similar amount of work each year.

Protecting workers is an important part of the M.T.A.’s mission, but the tracks are still dangerous after these new rules. In the last five years, three more workers have died on the tracks, and near misses are not uncommon.

The London Underground, a system of similar size and age, has had no track worker fatalities since 1998.

Piccadilly Line Barons Court  20051201

It may be of similar size and age but there is a huge difference in its configuration and how it operates. In London the system shuts down overnight – or rather it used to – it now runs at night on some lines at weekends. Most of the system has two running tracks. There are a few places where there are four parallel tracks (Piccadilly/District in West London and the Metropolitan main line). Many of the lines are in deep level tubes – with only a single track in each tunnel.

New York’s subway is mostly in cut and cover shallow trenches with multiple tracks – at least in Manhattan. In the outer boroughs many lines are elevated. Many lines operate with both local (stops at all stations) and express services (limited stop) and they work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Maintenance can be undertaken by switching trains between express and local lines while work is underway. Maintenance in London can mostly be carried out overnight when there are no services running. (Which is also the practice in Vancouver.)

N Train at 36th Ave, Queens

Written by Stephen Rees

May 9, 2018 at 1:59 pm

Posted in Transportation

Weekly Photo Challenge: Place in the World

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This is my photo that I took from the Window of a Dash 8 as it returned from Terrace to my Place in the World, Vancouver. The plane was almost directly overhead of where we live – but this is one of the places we go to. False Creek, Granville Island, downtown. This where we go for walks, and great restaurants, theatres and the Orpheum – home of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Exactly where we go “to feel inspired or cheered up”. We can get there on the bus, bikes (using the new Arbutus Greenway to avoid the traffic) or car2go and Evo. Two great car sharing services which means there are no worries about parking. We often walk one way and drive the other because of this flexibility. Of course we have Compass cards for transit and I get a concession fare – and sometimes people even give up their seat for me!

There are lots of pictures of Vancouver on my flickr photostream. And also quite a lot from New York. By the way, Erica V (who set the challenge this week) seems to be a bit mixed up. She talks about New York as though it is “an island”. Wrong. There are five boroughs in the City and what she is talking about is Manhattan. And I would bet, just lower Manhattan at that. There is a lot more to the City than that. Again, on my flickr stream there are pictures of Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. I have yet to visit the Bronx – and I want to add Coney and Long Islands too. We have also enjoyed Roosevelt and Ellis Islands.

Written by Stephen Rees

May 9, 2018 at 10:30 am

Why am I blogging?

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Yesterday I posted a blog about a movie – and at the very end of that movie is a neat infographic of all the things we as individuals could do that would help save the oceans. Only one of those things is voting.

This morning in my inbox is a study of how, if we all became vegans, we could reduce our carbon foot print.

And straight away I recalled a tweet I had seen

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Actually that was just the start of the thread

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I did retweet the first one – which means I can now recover the rest of the thread. And while in general tweets “disappear” quickly, everything on the internet is stored forever, somewhere.

I do not know Louisa, of course. I was just retweeting what someone I do know (OK – it was Roland Talango) retweeted. It just struck a chord. And it is quite possible she is repeating something she heard or read in another medium. Doesn’t matter. We recognise the validity of what she is saying.

Yesterday’s blog post has been read 14 times and gathered 5 “likes” so not a huge reach. But someone is reading this – you. And you have reached this far so you have the attention span to get beyond 280 characters.

The comments threads on this blog never get anything like as long as the discussions on facebook. Despite most people disliking Facebook’s business model and recent behaviour, the drop off among people I know and care about has not been noticeable.

There are lots of things that happen around us that we notice. Some cause us to comment – and for more than will admit we do not have to actually have someone within ear shot all the time, but talking to an empty room soon seems pointless.

By the way, we go to a beach quite often. Beaches in Vancouver – based on my recent experience – do not seem to be getting much plastic, or there are enough people picking it up that I have not been able to find three pieces every time I visit. There is, of course, plenty of litter elsewhere and I still do not feel its my job to pick up after all those who have less concern about the environment than I do. I did post a tweet to car2go about that very issue. It did not get any response.

There are things that I see where I really want to say something, but I don’t. And, every so often, not saying something seems to cause a kind of build up – and eventually I blurt out somethings better unsaid just to relieve the pressure. I suspect blogging might be something similar.

I am really glad there is a young woman who washes out the stomachs of fledgling seabirds and feeds them squished squid. I am really pleased a group of guys are cleaning up a beach in Western Australia fouled by ghost nets. It is encouraging that there are other people out there who are doing their very best – even though it is not enough, and can never be enough, by itself. So by reading this, you are reassuring me that I am not shouting at the clouds.

And we really must do more to stop people like Jason Kenney getting elected anywhere.

Written by Stephen Rees

May 8, 2018 at 10:51 am