Stephen Rees's blog

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

Posts Tagged ‘Vancouver

Captain’s Log

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#19 to Metrotown at Stanley Park
#19 leaving Stanley Park

Just a normal day in paradise – with times from the friendly systems that now track my movements

car2go from Yew at Nanton to the Aquatic Centre, English Bay (4.9km)

Depart 11:40am Arrive 11:54am

Bus from Stanley Park – after ten minutes wait at the terminus

2:26pm 19 to Ganville Street

2:54pm 16 to Nanton arrive 3:20pm (8.35km)

Despite heavy traffic on Georgia, the #19 made good time as it ran for most of the time as SORRY BUS FULL. The bus was a diesel, not a trolley, and was running a short turn to Main Street.

The wait on Granville Street seemed long as the Transit app kept reporting “real time” expected departure times that got updated intermittently.

I have not been using car2go much recently as there was often no car available when I wanted one. They sent me a rather plaintive email to tempt me back so the trip downtown was actually free.

Not that I was in a hurry or anything but I think I am going to be looking for car2go more often.

Written by Stephen Rees

July 15, 2019 at 3:55 pm

Posted in transit

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ProVancouver party proposes flat fare and other transit discounts across Lower Mainland

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Faregates at King Edward

The title is that of an article in the Georgia Straight

The ProVancouver Party is one of several new entities that have popped up due to the upcoming city election all of which claim to be non-partisan (just like the flailing NPA) and different from the status quo.

The main difference is simply in the level of understanding of how local government in Vancouver works (or is supposed to) between those who have some experience and those with none at all. Many of the new candidates seriously think that their naivete is a qualification rather than a liability.

I am not going to bother with analysing any of these half baked proposals. I am simply going to point out that getting elected to Vancouver City council does not enable anyone to introduce any of these ideas. As the Straight points out these are regional measures, which means that they have to appeal to most of the other municipalities outside of the City of Vancouver. The only commonality among these municipalities is their utter contempt for Vancouver and all it stands for. For one thing they are all convinced that Vancouver benefits far more from transit than they do. Even when Burnaby has far more SkyTrain service than any other municipality. And if your identifier is ProVancouver, you are already setting yourself up for an argument. West Vancouver still thinks it would be better off if it left Translink altogether – though even they have to concede that it is really difficult to find any acceptable piece of land within West Vancouver that could be used as a bus storage and maintenance facility.  Places like Anmore and Belcarra even think that people from other municipalities should not be allowed park or even drive on their roads.   Especially in summer.

The key word that ProVancouver has latched onto is “affordable”.  Which you might think would translate into some kind of means tested subsidy for transit fares. But as usual in all such woolly thinking, the term itself is not defined – but has something to do with “families” even though most people now live in rather different households than the traditional Mum, Dad and 2.4 kids. What we do know from our experience with the referendum is people in general believe a lot of nonsense about Translink and think they pay quite enough in taxes to provide much better service than they currently get. And that second belief is equally strongly held everywhere – even in the best served parts of the region. If you are not going to collect enough at the farebox, then it has to come from somewhere else, and any proposal is always going to be met with the angry riposte “How are you going to pay for that?” (without waiting for the answer before stamping off).

One of the great weaknesses of the upcoming ballot is that it is going to be filled with a lot of names: most of them will be unfamiliar. And whoever gets elected is going to have spend a lot of time and effort getting up to speed on procedures, rules and regulations. To some extent that does mean the potential for more influence from the professionals who have mostly been doing this stuff as a full time career for many years. But sadly they will be fully occupied trying to persuade the newly elected councillors that they have to both listen and read attentively. There is no evidence at all that ProVancouver has the slightest intention of doing that before insisting that they are now in charge: heaven help us all if that is the case.

 

Written by Stephen Rees

August 15, 2018 at 4:25 pm

Arbutus Greenway

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The greenway is really showing how well the plan is working now. The start of sunny weather and car free days in Vancouver is bringing people outside. We walked from King Edward Ave to Granville Island

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13th Avenue

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10th Avenue

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6th between Cypress & Burrard

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6th between Cypress & Burrard

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5th at Fir

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5th at Fir

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5th at Fir

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5th at Fir

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5th at Fir

All these photos were taken on my iPhone 6 and are as shot, no post processing at all.

Written by Stephen Rees

June 16, 2018 at 2:50 pm

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Favourite Place

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Favourite Place (and yes I have anglicised the spelling) ought to be harder to pick. But “you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone” and while there are many places in Vancouver that I could pick, the loss of our view cones and corridors is one I feel very strongly about. We are blessed with a place of quite extraordinary beauty – a deep inlet (actually a fjord) at the foot of the North Shore mountains. For a long time Vancouver was mostly concerned about cutting down trees and making stuff from them. The old growth forest is almost gone except for one or two areas of park managed to make it look like we imagine it ought to have looked. Stanley Park is actually just one of several such places.

For as long as I have been here, there was a firm policy to protect the view of the North Shore mountains and the inlet from a number of significant places. Now the pressure to allow ever more taller towers across the city means that these views are vanishing. And one such development is right next to where I live. I took this photo with my phone while walking on the Arbutus Greenway at W 37th Avenue. Overlooking Quilchena Park with a spectacular view – and two tall cranes in the process of blocking that view with condos. The developer has recently gone back to the City to ask for permission to add more floors to the part of the development nearest to our six storey building.

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The roof of our building is just below the height of the current tree canopy, so it almost invisible. The new buildings will be up to 72m (263 ft). The developer says that fits the view because it would match the nearest skyline of the North Shore mountains: the snow capped peaks will still peer over the top. The City has yet to rule on this proposal, and I took the photo so I would be able to look back in future at what we will have lost if the developer gets what he wants.

I went back and took a picture with my camera using the zoom lens.

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Written by Stephen Rees

March 21, 2018 at 10:35 am

Weekly Photo Challenge: Tour Guide

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Tour Guide

Share with us an image, or two, or three, (or more!) of where you live. For bonus points, tell us what it is about the photo(s) that you love.

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Vancouver BC sits on the Burrard Inlet, one of the finest natural harbours anywhere. I recommend using the SeaBus to get across it – at weekends and in the evening one of the cheapest harbour tours anywhere.

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Vancouver has magnificent beaches, clean water and very safe swimming. Tourists tend to go for the “standard sights” like Stanley Park, or the Steam Clock in Gastown. I would recommend you set aside some time just to relax, go sit on the beach and admire the scenery.

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If you feel like a bit of exercise go for a walk in the woods. On the North Shore are a couple of reservoirs in closed watersheds, with old growth forests and many trails. This one is Capilano but Seymour is just as good.

Written by Stephen Rees

February 7, 2018 at 12:49 pm

What Vancouver Streets will look like

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A powerpoint presentation by Dale Bracewell (Manager of Transportation Planning, City of Vancouver) via Twitter

Three sample slides

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Download the complete presentation

Written by Stephen Rees

February 1, 2018 at 2:38 pm